York students and recent graduates with disabilities will have an opportunity to connect with employers and community agencies and learn about employment supports in the workplace at a full-day Career Success Symposium on April 28. The event, which features keynote speaker, Michael Landsberg, is a partnership between York’s Career Centre and Counselling & Disability Services. It is open to all York students and recent graduates with physical, learning, and mental health disabilities.
The morning will feature a mini fair of exhibitors and a talk from Landsberg, who is the Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson and was the host of Off the Record on TSN from 1997 to 2015. Landsberg has been an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk, an initiative focused on raising awareness and encouraging dialogue about mental health, since it launched in 2011. He speaks publicly about his personal struggle with depression in an effort to help reduce the stigma of mental illness.
In the afternoon, conference attendees can choose to attend breakout sessions on topics: Résumé and Cover Letter Writing Tips; Entrepreneurship; Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Workplace; Experiential Education; Tips for Creating a Professional LinkedIn Profile; and Networking.
The conference will wrap up with a discussion panel on Disability Disclosure and Accommodations in the Workplace featuring panelists from the Ontario Public Service, Career Edge Organization, Epilepsy Toronto, Dolphin Digital Technologies, and Mental Health and Wellness at York.
Schedule highlights include:
- 10am: Registration and complimentary continental breakfast
- 10:30am: Mini fair: booths featuring community partners, employers and optional LinkedIn photo station
- 11am: Welcome remarks and guest speaker: Michael Landsberg, Bell Let’s Talk Spokesperson and Host, Off the Record, TSN
- 12pm: Complimentary boxed lunch
- 1pm: Breakout sessions (attendees may choose one workshop)
- 2:15pm: Breakout sessions (attendees may choose one workshop)
- 3:15 pm: Panel Discussion: Disability Disclosure and Accommodations in the Workplace
The annual event has grown over the past few years, starting as a discussion panel and expanding to an all-day conference this year. Kevin Cao, a York student who attended a previous Career Success panel, described his experience: “With many organizations present, I gained insights into current trends and got advice on how disability stigma in the workplace has changed.” At the event, Cao learned about Lime Connect, an organization that offers internships and scholarships for students with disabilities. He was later able to secure a paid summer internship through Lime Connect at BMO. He is now a Lime Connect ambassador and will be representing the organization at this year’s event.
In addition to Lime Connect, examples of community organizations and employers exhibiting at this year’s event will include:
- TD Bank Group
- CIBC – Career Access Program
- Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, Workplace Essential Skills Partnership (WESP)
- Rise Asset Development
- Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- York University Temporary Agency (YUTA)
York students and new grads (up to two years after graduation) with disabilities are invited to register for the conference at careers.yorku.ca/success and are welcome to stay for all or part of the day. Complimentary breakfast and a boxed lunch will be included for all attendees.
Full details and schedule can be found at careers.yorku.ca/success.