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LiveWorkPlay Celebrates United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Although this annual December 3rd observance is a single date on the calendar, it has always been a favoured opportunity for LiveWorkPlay to celebrate progress towards a more inclusive local, provincial, national, and international community. In fact, all of our guiding statements – mission, vision, and values – were derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This year we are turning International Day of Persons with Disabilities into a full week of exciting events involving many individuals, organizations, and partners in the community!


It starts with the release of a new bilingual video developed in partnership with Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Canada, with funding support from the Community Foundation of Ottawa New Leaf Community Challenge. Produced by Affinity Productions, the video tells the story of inclusive employment by focusing on the success of Tara Pahwa. Connected with ISED by the Employment Supports team at LiveWorkPlay, Tara is joined in the video by colleagues and supervisors, with some context provided by our co-leader Keenan Wellar.

“I cannot say enough about the quality of this collaboration,” says Keenan. “Our task force known as the Federal Employment Strategy Group, coordinated by our Manager of Employer Relationships Jen Soucy and our volunteer co-chairs Mary Gusella and Daniel Spagnolo, have not only opened doors, but have built quality relationships. Melanie Lefebvre and Christine Mao from ISED don’t appear in the video, but they’ve been with us every step of the way, and have shared with us a passion for delivering a message that we believe will have tremendous impact on the culture of public sector organizations and beyond.”


The 2017 theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all.” In essence, it’s about working towards a day in the future when the welcoming and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities does not require the many different types of support, interventions, and advocacy currently provided by agencies LiveWorkPlay. But in the present, our work is critical to taking on barriers, identifying opportunities, and delivering great results, as demonstrated with Tara’s video above. Coming on the heels and hype of Black Tuesday and Cyber Monday, consider making a donation on Giving Tuesday!


It’s going to be a great night at the Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa Celebration of People awards. An incredible list of individuals and organizations will be recognized, and this year there are many LiveWorkPlay connections.

This includes our nominee for the Employer Award (The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro) and Emily Menard, up for Employee Award, who was nominated by her employer Welch LLP (they found each other with help from our Employment Supports team). And lastly, Keenan will be presenting the Volunteer Opportunities award.


LiveWorkPlay is pleased to be attending the Minister’s reception in celebration of this year’s United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and other Members of Parliament and Senators, are hosting this event in the Parliament Hill Precinct. Mary, Danny, Jen, and Keenan will be representing on this important occasion.

This will not be our first time meeting Minister Hehr, as we supported the announcement of the Hire for Talent employer toolkit by hosting the Ottawa site of the national launch party on October 18! The toolkit includes a remarkable series of videos from partners across the country, and also stars many employees and employer connected with LiveWorkPlay support.


We don’t have any official events scheduled for Friday and Saturday (but check out Community Living Ontario Friday Update for more news) because we need time to get ready for our mob at Pita Pit on Sunday!

We have partnered with two other Canadian organizations to hold the first ever National Cash Mob! In Ottawa you can join us at Pita Pit 2016 Ogilvie Road on Sunday, December 3, any time between 1 and 3pm (eastern time). We’ll have some prizes and surprises, but you never lose with a delicious and nutritious lunch at Pita Pit! Show them that their inclusive hiring practices matter to you!

A huge thanks to Gateway Association and TEAMWork Cooperative for their help in organizing this national cash mob. Visit their pages for information about their local cash mobs on Dec 3 in Edmonton and Halifax.

We need your help with the celebrations! If you cant be at one of our events in person, please join us on social media!