Halifax Job Search Strategies Forum Report

Welcome and Overview

Watch streaming video of Jennifer Dillon

Joel Miller, Nova Scotia Director, NEADS
Jennifer Dillon, NEADS

Joel Miller welcomed participants on behalf of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) board, and the host province of Nova Scotia. As a multi-disability board with representatives from every province, NEADS and its individual board members have an enhanced understanding of the disabilities that challenge Canadians.

“It has inspired me to go on and do better things,” Miller said.

Board membership is open to anyone with a disability. Miller encouraged interested participants to speak to him or another NEADS representative during the day.

Job Search Strategies Project

Since NEADS began in 1986, the demand for employment initiatives for students and graduates with disabilities has increased, said Jennifer Dillon. NEADS developed the Job Search Strategies Project to meet that demand. The continued support of BMO Capital Markets and the Equity Through Education program has allowed NEADS to host 17 forums since 2005, including two in Halifax. The eighteenth forum is scheduled for November 2009 in Regina, and others will follow until the program ends in March 2011.

Equity Through Education Program Vision

Participants watched a video that explained the Equity Through Education program’s mandate and the positive changes it brings to the lives of funding recipients. The program nurtures an individual’s talent and capabilities, which not only enhances the life of that individual but also enhances our country as a whole.

The video included the story of Jason Mitschele, a visually impaired law school graduate who became a Crown prosecutor, and is a former member of the NEADS executive. He emphasized the importance of organizations like NEADS that help people “forge their own way in society.”

Overview of the Day

Dillon said the forum is a safe, interactive environment for asking questions, practicing networking skills, and obtaining different perspectives about seeking employment.

For those uncomfortable participating in a large group discussion, Dillon said there would be opportunities for one-on-one discussion during the resumé workshops and program breaks. Dillon encouraged participants to be open to feedback, as it is an essential part of the learning process.