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Featured partner: Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society (NDMS)

Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society [NDMS] supports the full inclusion of Nunavummiut with disabilities to improve their overall quality of life. Established almost 15 years ago, our organization looks to foster community inclusion and promote self-determination and independence. A study we did three years ago identified issues for those living with disabilities over the life span as including delayed interventions, lack of community inclusion, and barriers to education and labor market attachment.​​​​​​​​​

Our focus now is on integrating persons with disabilities into the labor market through a series of pre-employment programs and skills-based workshops that support sustainable employment or return to school options.​​​

​In the past year, here are some of the actions we’ve completed specifically related to employment and people with disabilities:​

  • Delivered a Mining Prep Program to instruct interested participants on entry-level work.
  • Prepared people with disabilities for working as an apprentice in the mines. After successful completion of the program, job matching was offered with BafinlandMines and Agnico Eagle.
  • Delivered innovative media programs where youth learned how to make video games, and how to create a video. Youth were paired with a local media company where they went out on the land to shoot videos,interviewing elders about what disability means in Nunavut. These videos will be available online early 2020.
  • Strengthened our connection with employers throughout the territory, through community scans identifying employer’s real needs in terms of providing support to persons with disabilities.
  • Developed a business case for hiring people with disabilities and asked employers to identify what they require in terms of ongoing support.
  • Contacted businesses in seven Nunavut communities to determine where their needs are and whether a pre-employment program would be beneficial in the community.
  • Led employer sensitivity training, exploring myths about disabilities and different types of behaviors they can adopt according to the type of disability

Looking ahead just at our employment-related activities, our organization will:

  • Focus on delivering one-on-one training with people with disabilities who are seeking work
  • Develop a job coach training/providing job coach assistance across the entire territory
  • Conduct community scans of employer needs and strengthen these partnerships
  • Host employer engagement events​

​As I step into the role of Acting Executive Director of the organization, I am excited to bring people with disabilities to success at the workplace across all the territory.  When meeting employers for employment engagement or job coaching, I encourage them to look at the strength and potential of each person rather than their disabilities. Playing a leadership role in inclusive hiring has given me a  unique perspective, and I look forward to expanding the role and function of NDMS in the community.

Pierre Essoh
Acting Executive Director
NDMS

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