May 5, 2011
Debunking Disability Myths
The 9th BLN Breakfast Series Event sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group
Ontario JOIN's ninth Employer Series Event, Debunking Disability Myths, sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group was held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Thursday, May 05th from 9 a.m. till 11 a.m.
Over 130 registrants attended with representation from over 40 different employers. The morning shed light on the misnomers and misconceptions about what it means to hire a person with a disability and "debunked" the common myths that surround persons with disabilities in employment.
TD produced and launched a video at the event entitled "In Their Voice; Setting the Record Straight on Disability Myths." Speakers and guests continued a dialogue on debunking disability myths. They included: Emcee, Christine Senitza, Operations Services Officer at TD Bank Financial. Her role during the whole morning served to dispell myths about a person who is deaf being an MC. The audience was engaged and delighted with the concept.
Mary O'Hara, Senior VP, Corporate People Strategies, TD Bank Financial Group. Her personal commitment to diversity and her leadership at TD on tackling this very important issue in our communities was very evident at the event. Sharing her personal journey with a child with autism was also so appreciated and showed the audience that we all are close and affected by disability.
Ian Mahaffy, a person living with an Invisible Disability. It was wonderful to feature a person who could share their struggles and courage living with an invisible disability. Ian was an amazing speaker and he gave the audience great food for thought about their own misconceptions and biases.
Tim McCallum. This great vocal performer shared his journey in gaining meaningful employment on the stage and all of the auditions that he attended without being cast. With his amazing talent, the audience felt that he will be the first person in a wheelchair with the lead role in "Phantom of the Opera". He is truly an inspiration and Ontario JOIN can't thank him enough for closing our very special day performing "You're Still You" and "This is the Moment"
Deepak Soni, Chair of JOIN Board of Governors offered official thanks to all and closing remarks on behalf of JOIN.
In addition to inspiring and setting the record straight, it is our hope that as a result of BLN events like this one, together we will shift the attitudinal barriers associated with recruiting, hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities in our workforces.