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AccessTALK with Trish

Business & Economics Podcasts








Brendon Pooran: Lawyer Works to Remove Barriers for People with Disabilities

My guest this week is Brendon D. Pooran. Brendon is the founding lawyer at PooranLaw Professional Corporation. He is involved in all areas of the firm’s practice and regularly provides advice to individuals, families, organizations and government in the areas of: disability & human rights law; wills & estates planning; employment law, government benefits and human rights for people with disabilities; and corporate law for not-for-profit and charitable organizations. In addition to being a...


Amy Coupal: Global Champion of Accessible Learning Opportunities

My guest this week is Amy Coupal. Joining Curriculum Services Canada (CSC) in 2006, Amy soon became the CEO of Learnography and its charitable affiliate, My Class Needs Foundation, in 2009. Amy’s career has been focused on learning and development across multiple sectors and disciplines. She is passionate about creating meaningful learning opportunities that positively impact lives and communities. Prior to Learnography, she oversaw the development of multiple teacher training programs...


Far from Camera Shy, Douglas Tardif Features Business Abilities Program in Video

Douglas Tardif has enjoyed a long successful career as a businessman, performer, fund raiser, and as an on-line provider of self-employment expertise to the non-profit sector. His company has provided Project Management and Information Technology Consulting expertise in several sectors including Canada’s leading Trust Companies and the Southam Newspaper Group. In 1991, Doug accepted a two year consulting assignment with the Government of the Cayman Islands. His work with Immigration,...


Human Rights, Emotional Intelligence & the Evolution of Human Resources

My guest today is Janice McGurran. Janice has both private and public sector experience in the government and hydro sectors and in Human Resources at an Ontario provincial operational enterprise. She’s worked in the charitable sector as well as teaching part-time for York University/Seneca College in the Human Resources and Fire Services program. Her background also includes diverse committee experience. (WSIB, local hospital Board, PAO, IAPA and AODA) Janice has been responsible for a...


Adventure Junkie Shares “Signly” - an Accessibility App for the Deaf

My guest today is Tim Scannell, of Warwickshire, England. Tim is the “Social Media Ambassador” for an award-winning accessibility app called “Signly”. As if by magic, Signly displays pre-recorded sign language videos on a user’s cell phone, enabling better access to written content for deaf or hard of hearing sign language users. Tim himself was born profoundly deaf because of his mother contracting German measles during her pregnancy. He’s passionate about Building his business blog,...


Joe Dale of Ontario Disability Employment Network Talks About the Business Case

My guest this week, Joe Dale, is the Executive Director of the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s Centre for Excellence in Employment Services for People with a Disability. The Centre for Excellence focuses on engaging and educating businesses about the benefits of hiring people with a disability and on ensuring Ontario has a strong and effective employment service delivery network. Joe is also the founder of the Rotary at Work initiative, a program focused on educating businesses...


Sonny Brar, VP at Retail Council of Canada, Shares Vision of Accessible Retail

My guest this week was Sonny Brar, who comes with over 14 years of Retail, Human Resources, Health, Safety, Energy and Environment experience. He is currently the Vice President of Member Programs and Services at Retail Council of Canada and is an honours graduate of Criminology, Justice and Public Safety from Manitoba. Along with other functions, Sonny leads and supports RCC’s HR, Health, Safety, Energy, AODA Compliance, Accessibility and Member Programs, as well as supporting multiple...


Debra Ruh: Mother, CEO, Global Inclusion Strategist & Epic Barrier-Slayer

My guest this week is Debra Ruh, CEO of Ruh Global Communications, barrier-slayer of epic proportions and global Disability Inclusion Strategist. When told by 'experts' that her daughter Sara, who was born with Down's syndrome, would be lucky to push shopping carts at the local grocery store, Debra refused to accept this. When she told friends and family that she was going to start a for-profit that would help companies see the worth and potential in hiring disabled employees, she was met...


Warren Rupnarain, Career Advocate for Accessibility Works to Make it “Thumbs Up”

My guest this week will be Warren Rupnarain, the Accessibility and Diversity Coordinator for the City of Vaughan. Leading the City’s efforts to implement accessible services and programs that support a barrier-free community, Warren provides strategic and policy advice to City departments implementing and complying with provincially mandated accessibility standards. In addition, he develops and implements workplace diversity-related strategies, programs and services to engage and support...


From Non-Verbal with CP to Motivational Speaker with Heart & Humour

Meet Glenda Watson Hyatt, author, motivational speaker and a badass agitator. For Glenda, living with cerebral palsy has not meant a boring and unfulfilled life. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. She embraces the zest of life and goes for it with a “can do” attitude. An attitude that she demonstrates in her autobiography "I’ll Do It Myself" and, in her more recent book, "Emerging from the Cocoon of Silence: My Journey from Non-Verbal to Motivational Speaker". Both books are...


ADM Picarello Talks About Ontario’s Employment Strategy for People w/Disabilies

My guest this week will be Susan Picarello, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ontario Public Service Accessibility and Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities. As such, she is leading the implementation of Access Talent: Ontario Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities as well as accessibility initiatives throughout the Ontario Public Service or OPS. During her over 24 years with the OPS, ADM Picarello has held various key senior level positions in legislative, policy and...


Mississauga Celebration Square Wins Rick Hansen Accessible Cities Award

My guest this week will be Supervisor, Accessibility Planning for the City of Mississauga, Diana Simpson. Diana started her career with the City of Mississauga over 21 years ago, coming from the health care sector where she worked as a Recreation Therapist for 12 years. At the City of Mississauga, Diana was initially hired as the Recreation Analyst, Seniors – overseeing city-wide recreation services for older adults, including the Mississauga 55+ Senior Games. During this time she worked...


Mark Wafer, a Canadian Pioneer on Employing People with Disabilities

Inclusive employer, Mark Wafer owns seven Tim Hortons in Toronto. Over the last 22 years Mark and his wife Valarie have hired over 150 people with disabilities to fill meaningful and competitively-paid positions in all areas of the operation, from entry-level to logistics, production and management. They currently employ 46 people with disabilities in a workforce of 250. Mark has proven that there is a clear business case for inclusive employment. Real jobs for real pay. Mark is a...


Family Care Leader, Shirley Edwards Writes the Book on Family Care Planning

Shirley Edwards, experienced caregiver, daughter and mother, has crossed countless barriers and challenged the system with confidence and success. Her story is one of hope and belief. A hope to make things right for her loved ones and a deep belief in herself.Shirley Edwards, Family Care Leader, patient advocate, system navigation, care planning for caregivers Professionally, Shirley provides training in system navigation and care planning for caregivers and health care providers. Shirley...


Grandparent Caregiving: Mortgage Broker Natasha Bridgmohan Shares on Home Care

Natasha Bridgmohan is a Mortgage Broker with Mortgage Intelligence and primary caregiver for her 93-year old grandfather. With a vision to transform the financial services sector, she and her team of expert mortgage brokers are making a significant impact – one client, one mortgage, at a time – making mortgages accessible to people of all abilities. Natasha strongly believes that this can be achieved through customer education, tailor-made mortgage solutions and superior customer service....


Lloyd Pollock, Father of Accessible Transportation in South Central Ontario

Lloyd Pollock, a trail-blazer, brought accessible transportation to Toronto 26 years ago now. He just happens to be a man living with post polio syndrome. With 10 years of experience managing a taxi company, and training drivers for the school board on how to handle students using wheelchairs, Lloyd was well acquainted with transporting people with special needs. It was a natural fit when he was approached by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation in ’87 about developing a wheelchair...


Parent Advocate Martin Charney Shares Home 2 Own H2O Program

Armed with a Bachelor of Commerce, Martin found his first niche and passion selling real estate in South Africa. He became one of Johannesburg’s top 5 real estate brokers employing 40 real estate agents for over a quarter of a century. Then in 1999, not knowing a single person, Martin immigrated to Toronto with his family. He was the first licensee to sign up with the factor known as Liquid Capital and sold his very successful business to his licensors in 2005. From there, Martin built...


ODSP & Niagara Transportation: Paralegal Angela Browne Speaks Out

Angela Browne is born and educated in Ontario with post-secondary studies in business, sociology and law.Her professional experience includes teaching and course coordination at Brock University in criminology/corrections and serving as Executive Director of a mental health advocacy agency in the 90’s, She went on to a variety of policy and project-based contracts for various provincial government ministries, and eventually moved into federal policy work by the late 1990’s. Angela also...