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Rural entrepreneurs - make sure you enter the Just Watch Me video contest. Find more info on our News page

Listen to the interview with Richard Pimentel about employment for persons with disabilities on AMI's Contact

Be sure to watch the Talent Untapped video about persons with disabilities

Hear the interviews about the 2014 Expo on AMI's Mosiac City

Be sure to check out the Just Watch Me video contest. Check our News page for details

Be sure to complete our survey about the 2014 Expo

Be sure to watch the video of Randy Lewis (speaker at the 2011 Expo) promoting his new book.

Find all news items on our News Page

2011 Expo Highlights

On this page you will find information that was specific to our inaugural Employment Expo from 2011.

See this short video for highlights of the 2011 Employment Expo...

Click on the tabs below to review the information.

  • Program
  • Exhibitors
  • Partners
  • Schedule
  • Speakers
  • Sponsors

2011 Employment Expo Program

Embracing our theme of celebrating and advancing the participation of people with disabilities in Manitoba’s workforce, we were pleased to feature a full day of engaging activities and events on Thursday, May 19, 2011.

Best Practices Breakfast

The EXPO kicked off with a lively Best Practices Breakfast with a full-course breakfast, lively networking opportunity, and captivating presentation. Everyone was welcome to attend, but this event was primarily intended to celebrate and encourage Manitoba employers. This year’s featured speaker was Randy Lewis from Walgreens who, from a corporate perspective, is uniquely impassioned about the value that people with disabilities can bring to the workplace. We hope you didn't miss this compelling presentation – the remarkable story about an experiment in workforce diversity that has dramatically altered this company’s hiring practices.

Exhibit Hall

Photo of guy holding Ability Axis Employment Expo sign The Exhibit Hall featured an exciting array of exhibit booths. Dozens of exhibitors showcased their products, services and job/career opportunities. Companies were there to share information on jobs and career paths in their workforces and industry. Government programs were there to explain how they support job seekers and/or employers to make successful employment outcomes. Community organizations were there to explain how they can assist employers in the hiring and retention of folks with disabilities. Advances in access technology were on display. There was an abundance of information and resources for job seekers, employers, and the community at large.


In addition to Randy Lewis’s morning presentation, we were thrilled to be featuring two other exceptional speakers.

Shayn Anderson of Diversity Inclusion presented “Taking Pride in That Which Sets Us Apart”. In this inspirational presentation, Shayn shared his conviction that people with disabilities need to break free from the shackles of erroneous beliefs about themselves, discover the true value of their uniqueness, take responsibility for their destinies, and make their way boldly into their futures.

Denise Bissonnette of Diversity World presented “Creating an Inclusive Workplace: Putting the Dream of Diversity into Practice.” Based on solid leadership principles and practical strategies drawn from experience, Denise imparted fresh ideas on how to foster the day-to-day mindset and habits that allow for, invite, and cultivate inclusiveness in our workplaces.  These ideas are pertinent to hiring, interviewing, and day-to-day communications with employees from diverse groups including but not limited to employees with disabilities, newcomers to Canada and Aboriginal peoples.


Attendees took advantage of several free seminars throughout the day.

11:00 AM The Nuts and Bolts of Supported Employment
1:00 PM Disclosing your Disability in the Job Search Process
2:00 PM Self Employment & Entrepreneurship
3:00 PM Disability-Friendliness in Customer Service Delivery

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about the 2011 exhibitors

Below is the list of Exhibitors at the 2011 Employment Expo. Click on any of the links to read the summary information that our exhibitors have provided. Links are provided to their websites if you would like to read about them further. We hope you had a chance to visit all the Exhibitors at the 2011 Ability Axis Employment Expo!

Assiniboine Credit Union

Assiniboine Credit Union Logo Link to the Assiniboine Credit Union website Assiniboine Credit Union is a successful cooperative committed to financial, social, environmental and ethical responsibility. ACU manages assets exceeding $3 billion generated by more than 108,000 members in Winnipeg and northern Manitoba. Assiniboine offers competitive services and products, and works with community leaders to foster self-reliance and strong, sustainable communities. They are committed to doing business in a way that contributes to the well-being of their employees, members, the communities they serve and the environment. In addition to being a strong financial cooperative, Assiniboine has been recognized nationally, provincially and locally for leadership in corporate social responsibility.

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Bison Transport

Bison Transport logo Link to the Bison Transport website Bison Transport is one of the largest truckload carriers in Canada, serving Canada and 48 states in the U.S. As a high-service, dependable and value creating supply chain partner, Bison Transport offers full service logistics, dedicated fleet operations, yard management and warehousing, and distribution. We have achieved Platinum status as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. Bison Transport is a four time Grand Prize Winner of the highly coveted Truckload Carriers Association National Fleet Safety Award. As well, we have received numerous awards for our environmental and technological initiatives.

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CNIB - Manitoba Division

Image of CNIB Logo At your local CNIB Career and Employment Services office you will find a range of programs to assist you in finding and maintaining employment. In addition to working with employers and the government to raise awareness of the need for more training, funding and prospects for blind and partially sighted people, we work directly with you to build your confidence, develop new skills and find opportunities in the job market.

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Canadian Wheat Board

Canadian Wheat Board logo Link to the Canadian Wheat Board website Controlled by western Canadian farmers, the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), a Best Diversity Employer and a Manitoba Top Employer, is the largest wheat and barley marketer in the world. The Winnipeg-based organization sells grain to over 70 countries and returns all sales revenue, less marketing costs, to farmers. The CWB is proud of its diverse workforce comprised of employees who are valued for their individual skills and attributes. Our goal is to increase awareness of the various dimensions of diversity, and strive to create an open environment by promoting and building cultural awareness through continuous communications, learning events and activities. The CWB has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Companies for 2011.

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Cargill Limited

Cargill Limited logo Link to the Cargill Limited website Cargill Limited, a Manitoba Top Employer, is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba and employs over 10,000 people across Canada. The company had been recognized in The Globe and Mail’s Best Companies to Work For in Canada and was recently awarded the Canada’s Top Employers for Young People award for 2010. Our employees work in fields, labs, mills, kitchens, offices, production facilities, and on trading floors. They wear hard hats, crunch numbers, seal deals, invent new products, and improve processes. Our goal is to employ great people with imagination who are committed to delivering the best ideas to the industries we serve. Cargill is a Gold Sponsor of Ability Axis.

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Centre for aboriginal human resource development Inc

Logo for the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Link to the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development website (CAHRD) Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc. is a non-profit, human resource development organization that delivers Education, Training and Employment services to the urban Aboriginal population of Winnipeg.  CAHRD offers comprehensive services to job-seekers that can lead directly to employment through job preparation (interview skills, resume workshops, job referrals), and assisting clients with accessing further education and training.

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Community Futures Manitoba

Community Futures Manitoba logo Link to the Community Futures Manitoba website Are you interested in starting your own business?  Community Futures staff can help you explore self employment.  Our Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program helps people with disabilities or health conditions start their own businesses in rural Manitoba.  We are excited to be part of the Employment Expo and look forward to meeting everyone on May 19th!

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Community living manitoba

Community Living Mantioba logo Link to the Community Living Manitoba website Community Living Manitoba is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee as an organization dedicated to the full inclusion in the community of persons of all ages who live with an intellectual disability.  We believe that all members of the human family are full persons and cannot be reduced to words, labels, categories, definitions or genetic patterns; all persons are unique and ineffable; all persons are entitled to respect and dignity; all persons are entitled to equal access and opportunity to make decisions and choices, and, when necessary, to receive support to do so; & all person’s lives are enriched through relationships and friendships.

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Connect Employment Services Inc.

Connect Employment Services Inc logo Connect Employment Services Inc is a not-for-profit employment service in Winnipeg, Manitoba that supports adults with intellectual disabilities.  We  believe that all people deserve the opportunity to work and participate in the community, where they are respected and rewarded for their efforts, skills and accomplishments. Connect supports people who want to work in an integrated community setting - in a job of their choice, respective of their interests and abilities.  We provide services to help people work - including assistance with job preparation, job search, transportation training and job training.

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Diversity World

Diversity World logo Link to the Diversity World website

We are excited to be a part of the Ability Axis Employment Expo. Please drop by our exhibit. We offer training and consulting services for organizations who are engaged in workforce diversity and workforce development. We also sell a variety of books, DVDs, and similar resources - many of which will be available for purchase at our booth. We hope to see you on May 19!

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Eastman Employment Services

Eastman Employment Services (EES) offers employment assistance to people with intellectual, social, physical and learning disabilities as well as mental health issues or other barriers to employment. Services are provided to those in Southeast Manitoba that are unemployed or underemployed and are motivated to seek employment. EES helps individuals who have had difficulty accessing the job market develop the skills and contacts necessary to obtain and maintain meaningful paid employment in the community. This includes providing support to employees and employers in order to achieve mutually beneficial partnerships.

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Epic Opportunities

Epic Opportunity logo Link to the Epic Opportunities website Epic Opportunities is a non-profit charitable organization in Winnipeg, offering an array of services to empower people with an intellectual disability to participate in all aspects of community living.  Our vision is for all people to be valued members of the community, have significant personal networks, equal access to opportunities and contribute to a better society. We offer services and supports that assist people to develop and pursue employment goals, attend job development and skill development workshops and acquire paid employment.  Our career exploration service provides a variety of  supports and resources to both employees and employers.

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Evolve Green

Evolve Green logo Link to the Evolve Green website We are an alternative energy company. Our services include commercial, residential, and large scale projects. As a manufacturer, importer and supplier of wind turbines, solar, and LED lighting products, we also offer Thermal Evacuated Tubes, and Solar Air Heating. Our installers are available in most States and Provinces, please inquire for the installer nearest you. Our mission is to provide sustainable power generation that benefits the public and the environment. We want to educate the public on the multiple alternative energy products available. (Exhibit sponsored by Community Futures Manitoba Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program.)

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Frontier Computing

Frontier Computing logo Link to the Frontier Computing website Frontier Computing is a Canadian authorized distributor and provider of assistive technology for people with: vision loss, hearing loss, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and people requiring communication aids. Since 1986, our professional staff have identified and handpicked products that significantly increase independence in the workplace, in education and at home. We also offer training programs designed to meet your personal or professional needs.

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Health Maintenance Enterprises

Health Maintenance Enterprises business cardHealth Maintenance Enterprises is a private Health Care Agency since 2001 with focus primarily on staff relief in institutions among other services as listed on our logo. All our employees - Registered Nurses and Certified Health Care Aides are screened, bonded and insured and Health Maintenance Enterprises is a member of the Better Business Bureau since 2006. Serving Long Term Care since 2001. LTCAM Member since August 2009.

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Laksidedigital / Lakesidebroadband

Lakesidedigital logo Link to the Lakesidedigital website Lakesidedigital offers full-service computer centres in Arborg and Gimli. We do computer tune-ups or repairs in a timely and cost-effective manner and we can assist you with the purchase of new computer equipment or supplies. Your home for rural broadband Internet service in the Interlake, Lakesidebroadband has been serving the Interlake with high speed internet for close to 8 years. From providing internet for businesses with specific needs to full residential and commercial services.  The Lakesidebroadband team is committed to ensuring the network is operating at optimal performance and providing customers with service that exceeds their expectations. (Exhibit sponsored by Community Futures Manitoba Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program.)

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Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities

Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities logo Link to the Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities website MFWD is a charity & our work is supported by volunteers. We offer training in accident prevention and demonstrate through the use of a motorized 1/16 scale farm machinery showcase, how quickly an accident can happen. We believe that through education & by sharing stories of farmers who have survived an accident, the causes of injuries & fatalities will be reduced. MFWD supports injured farmers & families through the rehabilitation process. We are proud of our volunteers & the work they achieve to make Manitoba a place where all people enjoy the rights & responsibilities of living & working safely. Safe farms – safe families! Come talk to us at our booth!

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Manitoba Hydro

Manitoba Hydro logo Link to the Manitoba Hydro website Manitoba Hydro, a Manitoba Top Employer, is investing in a bright future for Manitobans and our environment. We are a leader among energy companies in North America, recognized for providing highly reliable services and exceptional customer satisfaction. Join our team as we continue to build a company that supports innovation, commitment, and customer service.

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Manitoba Liquor Control Commission

Manitoba Liqour Control Commission logo Link to the Manitoba Liquor Contol Commission website The MLCC, a Manitoba Top Employer, is an agency of the provincial government and is mandated with regulating, distributing and selling beverage alcohol within Manitoba. Revenue generated through the MLCC supports provincial programming in education, health care, social services and community projects. The MLCC is a challenging, diverse, and inclusive workplace, employing approximately 1,000 people at its Winnipeg Head Office and at Liquor Marts throughout the province.

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Manitoba Lotteries

Manitoba Lotteries logo Link to the Manitoba Lotteries website As one of Manitoba’s Top 10 Employers, Manitoba Lotteries strives to create a positive workplace environment for all employees based on mutual respect, consistent application of policies, fairness in all our practices, and organizational development opportunities to support business needs.

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Manitoba Métis Federation

Manitoba Metis Federation logo link to the Manitoba Metis Federation website The Employment & Training department of the MMF welcomes Métis, Non-Status & Inuit clients into their offices to meet with qualified staff that will assist them in discovering what their employability skills are and how we can be of further assistance. Whether you are a client who has been on Employment Insurance within the last 5 years or a client who has not had the opportunity to successfully gain employment, our office will provide you with those supports to guide you towards a more meaningful life.

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Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance logo Link to the Manitoba Public Insurance website Manitoba Public Insurance - We believe diversity strengthens us.  Our aim is a workforce that reflects the communities we serve.  At Manitoba Public Insurance you'll get the training, tools and encouragement you need to succeed. We provide a respectful, inclusive work environment and clear and consistent direction. Our people have the support they need to do their jobs and the opportunity for career growth and advancement.

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McDiarmid Lumber

McDiarmid Lumber logo Link to the McDiarmid Lumber website Work with who you know and come build with us. We are proud to be Canadian owned and operated. Our mission is to provide the best products and services while continually growing our business. McDiarmid Lumber has been providing fast, friendly and convenient service to our customers for over 80 years and we take pride in hiring people who share our dedication to customer service excellence. We offer excellent earning potential, company benefits and career growth opportunities.

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New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families

Image of New Directions logo Link to the New Directions website New Directions is a large, non-profit organization which provides a unique combination of human services to individuals in Winnipeg. Our staff positions include: Clinicians/Therapist, Counselors, Classroom Instructors, Employment Facilitators, Residential Treatment Workers, Development Treatment Workers, IT, HR, Accounting and Administrative Assistants and more. We offer programming and a variety of resources for the Deaf community, individuals with intellectual disabilities and the Aboriginal community and we strive towards a workforce that has fair representation of person with disabilities, Aboriginal persons, visible minorities and women. Please visit our booth to learn more about us.

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New Flyer Industries

New Flyer logo logo and link to the New Flyer Industires website

New Flyer Industries, as North America’s leading manufacturer of quality, heavy-duty buses, we look for energetic & innovative individuals who are passionate about creating a better product, better workplace & better world. We have been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2006-11), Manitoba's Top Employers (2007-12), one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2008-11), a Top Employer for Canadians over 40 (2010) & named one of Financial Post’s Ten Best Companies to Work For (2009). New Flyer is the only Transit Bus Manufacturer to achieve certification in three standards; ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 & ISO 14001. Looking to get ahead in your career? Climb aboard with New Flyer...

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Opportunities for Employment

Image of the Opportunities for Employment Logo Link to the Opportunities for Employment website At Opportunities for Employment, our mission statement is... To equip individuals to achieve greater independence by pursuing and maintaining meaningful employment. For more than a decade now, OFE has assisted over 6,500 individuals find and keep meaningful employment.  Today we employ over 35 professionals located in one of two locations who have a passion for helping our unemployed Winnipeg residents in their journey to self-sufficiency. Check out our programs:  General Employment Assisted Services (See booth for complete program details); Mature Worker Program; Stages of Change for Persons with a Disability Program; Community Home Services Program. And most importantly... all of our services are at NO COST to you!

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Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program

Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work logo Link to the Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program website The Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program (PWIP) is a one stop employment service for job seekers with disabilities which provides job seekers with disabilities with tools to prepare for a career or secure employment. PWIP provides the supporting the development of individual vocational plans and portfolios specific to the career needs of the participants, providing tuition to project participants as needed, accessing a wide range of employment programs and opportunities, enhancing participants' pre-employment skills development, reducing barriers in the workplace by engaging employers in a successful, recognized best practices model program and acting as a resource to assist stakeholder groups in creating an inclusive workplace.

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Premier Personnel

Premier Personnel logo Link to the Premier Personnel website Premier Personnel is a supported employment agency that assists people with a variety of intellectual or learning disabilities connect with employers. We provide pre-employment assistance with resumes, interview & job search assistance. We can provide on site training to assist both our client & the employer once we make an employment match. We also provide ongoing supports to try & make sure that all employment issues are dealt with efficiently & professionally in order to keep employment situations working. For employers we always pre-screen clients & only provide applicants that we honestly believe can perform the duties as the job requires in order to streamline the hiring process for them & making the process as easy as possible.

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Province of MB - Civil Service Commission

Province of Manitoba logo Link to the Manitoba Government - Civil Service Commission website The Government of Manitoba is excited to be able to take part in the Ability Axis Employment Expo.  We are committed to diversity and to an Employment Equity Policy that achieves a civil service workforce that is reflective of the citizens it serves at all levels.  We have some exciting employment programs specifically for job seekers with a disability and look forward to sharing this information with you.  

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Province of MB - Disabilities Issues Office

Province of Manitoba logo Link to the Manitoba Government - Disability Issues Office The Manitoba government works with persons with disabilities to improve their quality of life. This means helping Manitobans with disabilities: obtain the education and training of their choice; find meaningful employment; gain full access to government services, information and events; live independently with adequate housing and disability supports. Accommodating the needs of persons with disabilities helps the province promote access, inclusion and equality of all Manitobans.

Province of MB - Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade

Province of Manitoba logo Link to the Manitoba Entrepreneurship Training and Trade website Manitoba Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade is located in the Canada/Manitoba Business Service Centre. We offer free assistance to entrepreneurs who are dreaming of, starting, growing or selling their business.  We have a wide variety of services from business counselling, business workshops, a business research library and more.  We look forward to meeting you at our booth on May 19th!

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Reaching E-Quality Employment Services

Reaching E-Quality Employment Services logo Reaching E-Quality Employment Services Reaching E-Quality Employment Services (REES) is a community-based employment service with a consistent track record of assisting people with disabilities or health conditions to gain employment.  Our mission statement is “to promote, facilitate, and maintain the employment of people with disabilities or health conditions by providing diverse and customized employment, training and consultation services”.   Our services include one-on-one employment counseling and marketing, group seminars, resume and cover letter assistance, and employer and community workshops in the areas of Job Accommodation, Disability Awareness, and much more.  REES . . . Better REESources; Better REESults. 

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SCE Lifeworks

Image of the SCE Lifeworks Logo Link to the SCE Lifeworks website SCE LifeWorks is a non-profit organization that provides support for job seekers labelled with an intellectual disability and for businesses and organizations looking for great employees and are looking to diversify their workforce.  SCE LifeWorks is proud to champion a number of innovative endeavours in the City of Winnipeg, including the “Celebrating Progressive Employers and Capable Employees” story series in the Winnipeg Free Press. We are proud to be a supporting partner of the Ability Axis Employment Expo.

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Service Canada

Service Canada logo Link to the Service Canada website Service Canada offers single-window access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services for citizens including Social Insurance Numbers, Employment Insurance benefits, Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security benefits. Service Canada Centres are also the first point of contact for clients seeking information on Government of Canada programs such as the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, New Horizons for Seniors Program, Opportunities Fund for People with Disabilities and the Youth Employment Strategy. 

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Society for Manitobans with Disabilities

Society for Manitobans with Disabilities logo Link to the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities website SMD is a family of organizations working together to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in Manitoba.  Persons with disabilities have diverse talents and abilities, just like anyone else.  At SMD, we support persons with disabilities trying to develop their fullest potential as participants in the larger community.  We work with community partners to help them build accessible and inclusive environments so that persons with disabilities encounter fewer barriers to community participation and personal independence.  At SMD we believe that diversity is a source of community strength, so we’ve adopted the following vision:  A community that supports the independence, participation and empowerment of persons of all abilities.

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TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust logo Link to the TD Canada Trust website TD is a great organization powered by great people who want to make a difference every day. Our over 81,000 employees world-wide are a big part of what makes TD stand out from any other organization. Every day, we deliver legendary customer and client experiences to our approximately 19 million customers. We’re an award-winning organization that reinvests constantly to ensure future growth. We’re recognized as an extraordinary place to work that embraces diversity, where everyone is respected and valued. TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches, with many exciting and challenging career opportunities.

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WASO logo Link to the WASO website WASO Employment Services provides assistance and supports to individuals living with disabilities throughout the entire employment continuum.  We offer individualized programming in order to provide the specific supports that are required by each person.  Our services include (but are not limited to), resume preparation, interview training, career exploration, preparation for employment, support during the job search, on site assistance for the new employee to ensure they reach their comfort zone as quickly as possible and ongoing follow up for as long as required.

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Workers Compensation Board

Worker's Compensation logo Link to the Workers Compensation Board website The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Manitoba is proud to be part of the Ability Axis Employment Expo.  The WCB is an injury and disability insurance system for workers and employers, paid for by employers. The WCB workforce is made up of approximately 500 people who provide service to about 30,000 employers and help about 32,000 injured workers annually. The WCB is committed to building a skilled, diverse workforce with representation from persons with disabilities.  Come visit us at our website or at our information booth to learn about all we have to offer as an Employer.

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We would like to thank and acknowledge our Partners in the 2011 Expo. Through their networks and contacts, they help spread the word about the Employment Expo.

The 2011 Expo Partners were:

  • Community Futures Manitoba
  • Connect Employment Services
  • Diversity World
  • Eastman Employment Services
  • Premier Personnel
  • Reaching E-Quality Employment Services
  • Sair Centre of Learning
  • SCE Lifeworks
  • Segue Career Options
  • Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce - Lead Partner
  • Winnipeg Transition Centre

2011 schedule

All events were held at the Victoria Inn, 1808 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB on May 19, 2011.

Time Centennial BallRoom Wellington Embassy
E & F
3 & 4
7:00 AM Exhibit
8:00 AM   Best Practices Breakfast *
Guest Speaker: Randy Lewis:
Will Hope and History Rhyme?
10:00 AM Exhibits Open: *

Continuous throughout
the day

11:00 AM   Seminar: *
Shayn Anderson:
Taking Pride in That Which Sets Us Apart
The Nuts and Bolts of Supported Employment
12:00 Noon      
1:00 PM Seminar:
Denise Bissonnette:
Creating an Inclusive Workplace: Putting the Dream of Diversity into Practice
Disclosing Your Disability in the Job Search Process
2:00 PM     Workshop: *
Your own Business: Self Employment & Entrepreneurship
3:00 PM Seminar: *
Shayn Anderson:
Taking Pride in That Which Sets Us Apart
Disability-Friendliness in Customer Service
4:00 PM Exhibits Close      

ASL Interpreters were available during the sessions noted by the *. As well, an interpreter was available in the Exhibit area to assist attendees.

2011 ability axis employment expo Speakers

You can read about the speakers that were featured at the 2011 Ability Axis Employment Expo.

Denise Bissonnette | Shayn Anderson | Randy Lewis

Denise Bissonnette Seminar

Creating an Inclusive Workplace:
Putting the Dream of Diversity into Practice

Photo of Denise BissonnetteThis powerful workshop redefines “diversity” as an opportunity to be celebrated rather than a challenge to be managed.  Based on solid leadership principles and practical strategies drawn from her experience working with people from diverse populations, Denise enlightened us with fresh ideas on how to foster the day-to-day mindset and habits that allow for, invite, and foster inclusiveness.  Based on the belief that we don’t need to wait for the world to change in order to change ourselves, this workshop empowered people to examine and identify the ways in which we daily enhance or inhibit, foster or sabotage the opportunity for everyone to bring their true gifts and potentiality to the table – within our teams, within our organizations, and within our larger communities. 

In her characteristic style of utilizing engaging exercises, weaving parables and poetry, and providing hands-on tools, Denise equipped us with key practices and habits we can put into immediate practice within the following areas:

  • The use of language and our patterns of communication;
  •  Our thinking habits and ways of “reasoning”;
  • The capacity for “deep listening”; and,
  • The willingness to be responsive to the wide spectrum of uniqueness that a truly inclusive workplace invites; and,
  • The courage to bring our own authenticity and remain true to our own gifts!

Primary Audience: Individuals with a professional responsibility and/or personal interest in enhancing the inclusiveness of their workplace.

About Denise Bissonnette

A Partner in Diversity World, Denise Bissonnette is an internationally renowned writer, trainer and keynote speaker. For two decades, she has inspired people and organizations throughout North America to look beyond traditional concepts of job and career development and to craft livelihoods rooted in the individual genius of each person. She has authored several publications on creative job development, state of the art job search techniques, the cultivation of the human spirit, workforce diversity, and how to "shine" on the job. Having designed Oracle Corporation’s workforce diversity training program, she has delivered keynotes and seminars on diversity and inclusion to organization such as the U.S. Business Leadership Network, the Los Angeles County Multicultural Conference, and the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals. With a style all her own, Denise's work is a rich tapestry of her talents as a poet, writer, storyteller, teacher and career developer.

"Jump up and down, do whatever you have to do - but don't miss a Denise Bissonnette training event!"

"Denise's training is extremely practical, but more important... I feel my passion and purpose again!"

"I have been working on this annual conference for eight years. In all that time, with 3 or 4 keynote presenters at each event, there have only been three standing ovations... they were all for you."

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Shayn Anderson Seminar

Taking Pride in That Which Sets Us Apart

Photo of Shayn Anderson This powerful presentation, based on the book by the same title, provided a fresh perspective on the experience of disability – as a quality that sets people with disabilities apart from individuals without disabilities and not below them.
North American culture is rooted in erroneous perceptions of people with disabilities as broken, damaged, and of less worth than their non-disabled counterparts. In a conversation style that is entwined with personal experience, Shayn Anderson exposed and challenged these perceptions. Delving into issues of diversity, civil rights, disability history, culture, and pride, Shayn asserted his conviction that people with disabilities need to break free from the shackles of erroneous beliefs about themselves, discover the true value of their uniqueness, take responsibility for their destinies, and make their way boldly into their futures.
Primary Audience: Individuals with disabilities who want to approach their own careers and job search with renewed confidence and pride.

About Shayn Anderson

Shayn Anderson started his company, Diversity Inclusion , with the simple premise that true and lasting change comes from education and enlightenment one person at a time. His idea is to create this opportunity for change by making informative training and powerful presentations that are also simple, fun, and engaging. 

Shayn has worked in both the private and public sectors - giving him a plethora of experience and balance in his approach to training. He has worked for the California Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, California Business Leadership Network, Wells Fargo Bank, United Cerebral Palsy Association, the California Department of Rehabilitation, the California Department of Mental Health and owned & operated his own company - Occasions Wedding and Party Rental.

Shayn has a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of the Pacific.  He currently teaches disability studies for the extension program of the University of California at Davis. He especially enjoys working with transition age youth with disabilities and has volunteered as a counselor for the California Youth Leadership Forum since 1997. 

Shayn’s upbeat nature and dedication to the areas of inclusion and diversity are contagious. He believes successful training is best maximized and accomplished through an atmosphere of honesty, trust, and comfort.

"Shayn was informative and inspiring. He was fun and entertaining, but at the same time very educational. It was interesting to hear from someone with a disability first hand. I felt like a new world opened up to me."
- California State Automobile Association

"I was very impressed with Shayn and his ability to convey so clearly what it is like to have a disability. Shayn spoke with authority and expertise. Shayn rocks!” 
-Alameda County Social Services

Watch video clips of Shayn from the 2011 Employment Expo.

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Randy Lewis Presentation

Will Hope and History Rhyme?

Photo of Randy Lewis

With an autistic son, Lewis learned first-hand the importance of looking past a disability to really see a person. Lewis took that experience to a new level when he proposed the idea of filling one-third of the distribution center (DC) workforce with people with disabilities—a philosophy few companies have yet to embrace.

Walgreens’ two newest distribution centers now employ an inclusive and integrated workforce composed of 40% persons with disabilities who are held to the same work standards and earn the same pay as “typically-abled” fellow workers. Surprising to some, the DCs staffed with disabled workers are 20% more efficient than any in the company.  As a result of this success in serving both shareholders and the community, Walgreens has set a goal of employing of people with disabilities as 20% of the workforce in all of its distribution centers.

Lewis shared the inspirational story of how he created a hard-working and loyal workforce by tapping into a market of employees that most companies overlook - in the hopes that other companies will see that hiring people with disabilities is not charitable but makes good business sense.

To learn more about these exciting developments at Walgreens, please see the following links:

About Randy Lewis

Randy Lewis is senior vice president of Supply Chain and Logistics for Walgreens in Deerfield, Illinois. He is responsible for the design and operation of Walgreens supply chain network including operations, engineering, IT systems, and inventory management. In addition to imports, Lewis overseas Walgreens’ domestic network of fifteen automated distribution centers and one of the U.S.’s largest private fleets to supply its 7,000 stores throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Lewis began his career at Accenture and finished his consulting career as a partner with Ernst & Young. Lewis joined Walgreens in 1992 as divisional vice president of logistics and planning. He was promoted to vice president in 1995 and to senior vice president in 1999.

Lewis graduated from the University of Texas, where he earned a B.B.A. in accounting in 1971, a B.A. in economics in 1974 and an M.B.A. in 1975. He served in the Peace Corps in Peru from 1971 to 1973. He worked his way through graduate school as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray.

He has been chairman of the Distribution/Logistics Committee for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and has served on the board of directors for Tim Hortons International. He is currently on the board of directors of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group.

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2011 Employment Expo SPONSORS

Below is the list of companies and organizations that have committed to support the Employment Expo and our broader efforts to increase the employment and career success of Manitobans with disabilities.

Gold Sponsors

Cargill logo
Cargill Limited

Silver Sponsors

Community Futures logo Link to the Community Futures Manitoba website
Community Futures Manitoba – Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program

Province of Manitoba logo Link the the Manitoba Civil Service Commission website
MB Government - Civil Service Commission

Province of Manitoba logo
MB Government - Family Services & Consumer Affairs
Link to the MB Family Services and Consumers Affairs


Google: Yahoo: MSN:

Ability Axis Partners

Manitoba Customer Contact Association logo link to the MCCA website

Funded By

Government of Canada Logo logo for and link to Government of Canada website

Province of Manitoba logo logo for and link to the Province of Manitoba website