Employment Opportunity for Students with Disabilities Testimonials
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Testimonials from Managers
Jean-Luc Plante (PSC/CFP)
The Employment Opportunity for Students with Disabilities (EOSD) is a simple and easy program to access amazing student talent. The response rate of from students through the EOSD is absolutely phenomenal, and the speed by which students were referred to me by the program team was excellent. Like all other student job opportunities, accommodations in the assessment process was neither onerous nor time consuming. The quality of students referred to me through EOSD was amazing and I would highly recommend that managers take advantage of this program as it also offers additional resources to support your student (s) through onboarding, learning and development and mentorship.
Benedict Lee-Ying (CRA/ARC)
My experience with the Employment Opportunity for Students with Disabilities (EOSD) has been great. I was initially only looking to place one student and asked for a list of 10 applicants to interview. The applicants were so impressive that I shared their resumes with other managers and we were able to issue total of 4 Letters of Offer. We’re looking forward to summer 2019, the students will work on a range of complex IT projects including programming, testing, and business analysis.
As an Employment Equity Advisor and person with disabilities, I’m aware that persons with disabilities are under-recruited, especially at younger ages (20-35). The Employment Opportunity for Students with Disabilities (EOSD) is an important tool in trying to increase those numbers. EOSD helps reduce barriers for students with disabilities, helps build a more inclusive and respectful work environment, and provides meaningful work experience for students. That is why I decided to participate in EOSD in its pilot year in 2017 and continue to support the program today.
The hiring process for EOSD is simple and easy to follow. The selection of available candidates is fantastic and allowed me to find the perfect candidate for my clients. The program also makes accommodations easy as well. Students were able to apply their research skills and subject expertise in my workplace. Those students, in turn, had many opportunities to receive special training, network, and meet with mentors.
I’m very thankful that I was able to contribute to EOSD.
Testimonials from Students
EOSD has allowed me the opportunity to work in a central agency (Public Service Commission) gaining valuable hands-on experience in policy analysis and research. While working in the Policy and Communications sector, and more specifically on the Diversity and Inclusion Directorate; I have been fortunate to be responsible for providing strategies to increase the representation of the Employment Equity groups within the Federal public service. My team advocates for my professional development, and wants to see me succeed, which makes working here even more rewarding! They were also diligent in ensuring I had workplace accommodations in place the moment I started working here so I could hit the ground running. Furthermore, working in various sub-teams, such as the summer student project hosted by the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN), has also contributed to my professional development. I have also never been singled out or used as a ‘token’ for my learning disability, and I’m treated as an equal and fully capable person on the team, and in every meeting I’ve been in.
My experience with EOSD has been helpful and enjoyable. Although I don’t have a visible disability, pressure can sometimes come up on me and make me more stressed out. This program helped me realize that there are plenty of job opportunities for people like me, and that the government demography does their best to be understanding, and help those like me do their best to fit in with their fellow employees and work to the best of their abilities. Some of the activities were fun, and they also helped us learn. Hopefully, this program will be able to help many more student in the future find job opportunities best suited for them.
I had been job searching fruitlessly for 7 months when an employee from Health Canada introduced EOSD to all the students who attended an info session held for student with disabilities at McGill University. Fortunately, after enrolling in EOSD I finally was contacted for an interview at the beginning of June and was hired to come to CEAA for a 6-week internship doing EE recruitment as well as health and wellness initiatives at the agency among other responsibilities.
I got bridged for a full time job at the CEAA (soon to be IAAC) doing Employment Equity staffing, drafting the Accessibility Act action plan, and dashboard reporting. For now, I am a full time casual while they work on creating a new position for me. If it was not the EOSD, I would never have been able to get into the public sector and have the opportunity to show who I truly am and what my capabilities are through the initial internship.
My background is bachelor in psychology major and economics minor with experience working in cultural clinical psychology lab researching on how cultural barriers, language differences, and social taboos prevent people from seeking mental health services. Now, I enjoy being part of the inclusion and diversity committee at CEAA. I also studied my master in data analysis at McGill Desautels management school so am happy that dashboard reporting is part of my job. The combination of work really suits me perfectly! Way to go EOSD. Thank you so much.
YASEO provided me the chance to work at a central agency (TBS) in a sector (GPP) and team (WMTI) that strives to challenge the norm and imagine the best and next practices of the workplace. WMTI is a dynamic place with diverse individuals with different life and work experiences and I am really happy I ended up here for the summer. From the very first day, they made every effort to include me in different files and took my input on tasks and projects. I get to sit in meetings with directors and ADMs and present my work. Everyone at WMTI is very accommodating and has never questioned my skills, work ethic or ideas because of my learning disorder. I look forward to coming to work and working on files that have the potential to make a difference on the entire public service and therefore lives of Canadians across the country.
YASEO is an amazing experience. I was provided opportunities to learn how the machinery of government works and to gain real-world experience and insight on how policies and programs start and are implemented in Government. Everyone has been incredibly kind and generous with their time by showing me and the other students the ropes and making us feel welcome. I felt right at home! I have been pleasantly surprised at how creative and dynamic the Federal Public Service is becoming. Having innovative minds working hard and programming set in place for employees to use their talents and skills to the best possible magnitude will truly benefit all. Though at first you may feel you don’t understand what those around you are doing – believe me, that was me! – with time and the help of the patient people of the Public Service you will begin to gain an understanding of how things work. From the spark of an idea, to a note about it in parliament, to full-fledged programs and laws, the Government is truly agile! I would highly recommend YASEO, as you will meet lots of amazing people and gain valuable experience supporting projects that support all of Canada.
My experience with YASEO has been nothing but positive. I am overwhelmed by the amount of support and compassion I have been shown. The team I am fortunate to work with has given me the opportunity to develop my skills and to contribute to work that is meaningful and exciting. Each person on my team has demonstrated passion and knowledge for the projects they are devoted to and it has given me the inspiration to further my experience and hopefully work for the Federal Public Service full-time one day. My colleagues have strived to ensure I have been accommodated and that I have a clear idea of a path aligned with my educational and career goals.
Being unable to accomplish my original life goal of being a physiotherapist due to a hit-and-run in Havana, Cuba while on a study-abroad trip at the University of Cuba while at Western University; I had to find a new career path. After barely passing my consolidation/final placement on my second try for Rehabilitation Assistant at Algonquin College, my placement supervisors all suggested I pursue a different career path despite passing due to my limitations (multitasking ability) from the accident. It took a lot of soul searching, but I agreed. YASEO has opened my eyes to my future career options. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about all the wonderful career opportunities in the public service and network professionally. Being a mature student in e-Supply Chain Management (commerce) at Algonquin College, I will definitely have an upper hand having already experienced working with the government especially with the Phoenix Pay System. I'll end off with a quote from former president Barack Obama that sums up my experience: 'Hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary. That something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
Julie and Luna
When I enrolled in the Youth Accessibility Summer Employment Opportunity for students (YASEO) program, I was afraid to face discrimination for my disabilities. However, I was surprised to find not only a lot of openness, but also a community of students living in similar circumstances to mine. In my new job, I was welcomed and trained, my limitations were considered respectfully, and access to the workplace accommodations I need was facilitated. I now have a part-time student position during the school year and my work team has recognized me as an active and engaged team member. The network I created with other students allowed me not only to meet friends, but also to see that I was not alone in having a disability, and that I wanted to be an active member in society. In short, I loved my experience.