A Brand is Not…

A brand is not a Mission Statement, a Logo, a Tag-Line or a brochure. A brand is the character and personality and reputation your organization brings to a ‘customer relationship.’  It’s about maintaining your organization’s relevance to its ‘customers.’ Your brand is real whether you like it or not – it could be a hanging-on-by-a-thread …

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A Draft Transition Plan – Segregated to Inclusive Environments

Most disability advocates and professionals have been aware for a very long time that sheltered or segregated environments (particularly in day options) do not generate good outcomes in the areas of inclusion and capacity building. Nevertheless, resistance remains to the closure of such environments. Some say more time is needed, others say that these environments …

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People at an Alberta Council of Disability Services Conference

ACDS Conference Review

The 2014 Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) Spring Conference – held in Edmonton this year, turned out to be one of the best Employment Conferences I’ve been to in a very long time. Although Employment Inclusion is not the primary focus of ACDS, they have seen the ‘writing on the wall’ and invested heavily …

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Differing Perspectives

This video is of Dr. Temple Grandin as the main speaker for the National Career Development Association’s annual conference (in fact it was their 100th anniversary in 2013!)

Alberta’s Employment First Initiative

Employment First is essentially a ‘best practices’ statement which simply asserts that employment in the general workforce should be the first and preferred outcome for publicly funded services for adults with intellectual / developmental disabilities. Employment First principles  have been promoted most vocally by APSE – the Association of People Supporting Employment First – a national …

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A laptop and various reporting documents sitting on a desk

Outcomes Based Services and Reporting for Non-Profits

The movement towards outcomes-based services in the disability services sector is a clear trend. To a large degree, however, it’s only the trend that’s clear. Our collective understanding of outcomes is often limited within the sector and even once we’ve mastered the difference between goals, outputs, outcomes, etc. we still struggle with identifying the right outcomes to track – …

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A rescue boat travels down a residential street during the 2013 Calgary Flood

What The Calgary Flood Taught Us – Business Continuity Planning

On June 20th 2013, Calgary, along with several other municipalities in Southern Alberta declared a State of Emergency due to severe rainfall and flood threat. By morning on the 21st it wasn’t just a threat – the rivers whose origins lay in the East Slopes of the Rockies couldn’t be contained anymore. The effect on many communities …

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How Are We Hurting Employment Inclusion For People With Intellectual Disabilities?

Several weeks ago, a local employment service I consult to encountered an all too familiar situation; the residential services involved urgently wanted the job-seeker “out of the house” and engaged in full time employment. The Career Exploration and Job Search processes were, in their estimation, taking too long. A job placement in which this job-seeker …

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What’s Wrong With Employment Inclusion? (Part 2 of 2)

Find Part one of this blog post here. Government funding for employment services for people with disabilities generally falls into two categories. Type one is best described as ‘Project Funding’ which is generally based in strategic procurement, requests for proposals (for which there is intense competition) and 1 – 3 year long contracts based on …

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