Employment Advice Column: Handling tight work deadlines

Dear Joanna

I’m a happily employed accounting assistant at a large company that I secured through my job coach from Reena’s Channels supported employment program. My boss has requested that I complete the data entry of 100 financial statements with only a week’s notice. With the holidays just around the corner, and based on my past work experiences, I will require a lot longer to be able to  achieve this deadline.  What’s the best way to approach my boss and this unrealistic expectation?

Signed: Deadline Dread

Dear DD,

After consulting with the Reena job coaches as well as Wardynski’s blog https://www.brainspire.com/blog/tackling-unrealistic-deadlines-for-project-completion and based on my own experiences, the following are some strategies to consider before you present this issue to your boss:

  1. Deadlines Outside of your Control. Sometimes, the boss doesn’t understand the work involved in this task. He or she could be pressured from above to get this done as quickly as possible – and even expecting high quality of work – regardless of whether or not the deadline can be met. The first step is to ask to meet with your boss. Be clear and open about the task and what’s involved. Be empathetic and let the boss know that you understand the urgency and that you want to help. Then, explain what YOU CAN accomplish within this tight deadline. Don’t focus on WHAT YOU CAN’T DO.  Prepare an excel spreadsheet with the breakdown of a schedule with expected timelines and daily goals of what you can complete with 100% accuracy. For example: Week One: 25 statements; Week Two: 25 Statements; and so on.
  2. Prioritize. Step two could be an opportunity to discuss your “timeline flow chart schedule” with your boss to find out which documents are most important and most urgent to least urgent. It’s important to explain the process and then you can adjust your schedule accordingly. Again, you need to be clear, transparent and respectful of the pressure being put on your boss and of course on you as well. Be honest without blaming anyone.
  3. Asking for help. Sometimes your assigned work could overlap with other teams or departments within your company. Check out with your boss if this is the case. And then see if you can share information and even join the team to work together to achieve this deadline. Perhaps there are other co-workers who can help out for faster results. Be careful with this request as you want to find the  best way to do this to ensure that you are respecting the company culture. Your boss might have to be the one to ask for this help. And you can have a better chance of meeting your deadline.
  4. Ongoing status check ins with the boss. As soon as you start the work required, it’s important to keep your boss informed on a daily basis as to the amount of work you have accomplished that day. Find out from the boss how he or she prefers the communication – by email, in person and/or by phone.  Being transparent is key. By keeping your boss in the loop, he or she won’t be blindsided in case you miss the deadline. Remember to focus on what you are doing and not what you are not doing. And if you have to work extra hours to accomplish your daily goals, or the final deadline, I would do so but always let the boss know this as well.

Good luck with meeting your deadline. I am sure you will be successful.

Joanna

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EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN:  Negotiating a Salary

Dear Joanna,

After many job interviews, and plenty of help from my Reena job coach through the  community participation program Channels, I am  excited to report that I received a job offer for a receptionist position with a local social service agency.

But the salary is lower than the market rate by about 10 thousand dollars! I would like to negotiate the salary but am afraid of jeopardizing the success of my new position or the offer. I have spent countless months on this job search, and I just want a job. I don’t want to make my new employer angry and then renege on the job offer.

I am tempted to just accept the offer. However, I am concerned that I might be resentful after a while on the job given the salary is below my expectations. Please could you advise me on how to negotiate my salary in a professional and secure manner.

Thanks so much.

Signed: Salary Blues (SB)

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Dear SB,

Congratulations on your new job. This is exciting news. It’s a complicated topic with many perspectives on negotiating the salary but all experts advise you to do so only after you receive the job offer!

Although dated, Shapiro (2008) offers relevant suggestions on how to negotiate your salary in her book “What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here?”.  According to the author, the company wants you, needs you and has chosen you, and this is the one time you can ask for money and benefits that you desire and have the greatest chance of getting. Negotiating will show the company that you know that you are worth it and are not afraid to ask. This will help you enter your new position from a point of strength, solid ground, setting you up for success with key decision makers behind you. However, cautions Shapiro, the way you ask is critical to your success and you must prepare a script in advance if you do decide to approach the new employer.

Further, during the job interview, did you ask if there is room for promotion and career advancement with this position? If there is growth, then it could be worthwhile for you to accept the job and start building your career there rather than discuss the salary.

If you do decide to negotiate, Shapiro’s tips could help you to obtain your deserved salary.

  1. Make sure you know the market rate for you in this position. Remember that the salary you can command varies, based on where you live and your skills, experience and education. Check out other job postings for receptionist positions on Indeed, LinkedIn and other organizations in the same sector. You can also research salaries on www.payscale.com or www.glassdoor.com.
  2. Express your appreciation to the hiring manager for supporting your higher compensation package offer, before asking to negotiate further; consider ending off the conversation with “I’m thrilled about the additional ten percent; but I was really hoping for $x; is there anything else we can do here?”
  3. Prioritize. Determine the top one to three things you will be asking for and go back to the negotiating table no more than twice; negotiate each individual item before moving on to the next.
  4. Don’t rush. Keep calm and in control. The hiring manager might try to pressure you to make a quick decision, but take time to consider your options and make a decision you can live with.
  5. Be flexible. If you were not able to get the salary you were asking for, ask for extra vacation time or another priority on your list by saying something like “Would it be possible to make up the difference in the signing bonus?” You should also be aware when the negotiations are over, the hiring manager’s tone will change. At this point you must decide if you wish to accept the offer.

Additional tips are offered by Kearns (2011) in his article https://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/money-and-career/article/top-10-tips-for-salary-negotiations. He explains that negotiating the salary package is difficult, but the process could be a great opportunity for you to show that you can remain professional and clear-minded in any type of working environment. Plus, your pre-negotiation preparation could be the best investment you will ever make. So use these negotiation techniques and get the salary you really deserve.

For more information, check out Shapiro’s book and Kearns’ article in addition to countless blogs on the subject.  

I wish you lots of success with your salary negotiations.

Signed,

Joanna

To submit your questions for this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email Joanna at jsamuels@reena.org

Reena’s Annual Community Meeting – September 22, 2022

On September 22nd, 2022, Reena held its third virtual Annual Community Meeting. Only a handful of speakers were present on-site and the rest of the community were watching from the comfort of their homes.

This year, we were hounoured to feature Adam Vaughan as the keynote speaker. You can see his address in the video below (3:09 time mark).

Updates on last year’s activities were given by Reena’s three Chairs of the Boards and several awards were given to worthy individuals who contributed tremendously to Reena.

  • Board member of distinction Award – David MacCoy
  • Morris Baker Ish Tzaddik Award – Charlene Brown, Director of Home and Community Care Support Services Centra.
  • Rabbi Joseph Kelman Humanitarian Award – to City of Vaughan Mayor, Maurizio Bevilacqua.
  • Employer of the Year Award – Holy Grounds Cafe at Holy Blossom Temple
  • Employees of the Year Award – Joey Lax-Vanek, Elisa Vader, Tikvah Chasen, and Rafi Azrieli

 

Truth and Reconciliation Day – Sept 30th

Not long ago, we saw the closing of residential schools and institutions; for many Canadians the pain and memory are fresh, raw and very real.

This year, the day dedicated to Truth and Reconciliation falls between the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur during the Ten Days of Repentance.

These are days of mercy and forgiveness, days for confessing one’s sins, checking one’s conscience, and, most importantly, making amends as an opportunity for change.

This year, on September 30th, we participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and take this opportunity to reflect on Canada’s history and the impact of the residential school system–we recognize the pain and seek a path forward that is inclusive and sensitive to the trauma.

On this day we commemorate the children who never returned home while also honouring the tenacity, dignity, and courage of survivors and multigenerational survivors.

It’s an opportunity for discussion and education about Canada’s past and how it affected Indigenous communities. Recognizing this day is one of the first steps in a long journey towards understanding and meaningful reconciliation.

May we have a sweet new year and may it be inscribed for a life of good.

#ReenaFoundation respectfully acknowledges that the Cities of Toronto and Vaughan are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The cities of Toronto and Vaughan are covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work, live and play on this territory.

Learn more:

Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf (exactdn.com)

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Canada.ca

https://www.orangeshirtday.org/

#TruthandReconciliationDay

#OrangeShirtDay

 

EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN: TO DISCLOSE OR NOT TO DISCLOSE IN YOUR JOB SEARCH

Dear Joanna,

I am a high school student with diverse abilities who is participating in Reena’s Summer Employment Transitions program. I have been applying for remote data entry positions, and thanks to my job coach, I have a job interview next week. Job interviews are so stressful and not knowing whether or not to disclose my disability to the employer is causing me even more anxiety. Please can you advise me as the best way to deal with this issue?

Signed: Stressed to Disclose

 

Dear SD,

One of the most challenging aspects of the job search process for people with disabilities is dealing with disclosure. There are pros and cons of disclosing during any part of the job search process – in your cover letter? At the job interview? After the job interview? I consulted with the Reena job coach team as well researchers Hoff, Gandolfo, Gold, and Jordan (2000) in “Training Resource Network” who offer the following suggestions to help you make an informed decision on disclosure at the job interview:

Evaluate the risks of disclosing

Analyzing the risk factors of disclosing from the employer’s point of view is a critical step for all job seekers. You take a chance that you may not be hired; you may be labelled and face discrimination. Unless your disability could put you or someone else at risk, telling an employer about it is a matter of personal choice. If safety is an issue, you’ll need to disclose your disability at an appropriate time. If you do decide to disclose, consider the following questions before you move ahead: Will this information help or hurt your chances of getting or keeping the job? How will the interviewer react? If you have your disability under control, is there a reason to disclose? Do your coping strategies allow you to meet the job requirements? And are you qualified for the position as well. If you know you can’t perform some of the duties of the job description because of your disability, would disclosure help you get the job?

Benefits of disclosing

There are certain companies that specifically seek to hire persons who identify with a disability. For example, Canada’s Top 100 Best Diversity Employers and federally regulated companies like banks, telecom, transportation. It might be good to disclose that you have a disability (you don’t need to mention what it is) in an application, resume, cover letter, and job interview. Sometimes employers value your openness and how you overcome your disability. Also, the employer can provide accommodations if you disclose. Information interviews, networking, using social media (especially LinkedIn) and finding a mentor in your field are strategies to learn as much as you can about the company and its culture so you can make an informed decision regarding disclosure at the interview.

Stay positive

In the interview, focus on your abilities, skills, experience, and enthusiasm that you will bring to the job, not your limitations. Describe what you can do for the company, rather than what you can’t do. Also, prepare for the job search by identifying employers and companies that also focus on your abilities and strengths. Make sure your skills and experience are a good match for the role and that the work meets your needs. For example, unless your disability could put you or someone else at risk, telling an

employer about it is a matter of personal choice.

Know your Accommodations

It’s important to know exactly what you need to be successful on the job! This is your job. For example, do you need to have extra time for training? Do you need to have a mentor at the workplace or a job

coach on site? Do you require some time off for doctor’s appointments (and you can make up the time during the week)? If you do get the job, you can discuss accommodations with the hiring manager providing you are qualified for the job. Keep the discussion positive and be very clear as to what you CAN DO AND WHAT YOUR ABILITIES AND STRENGTHS ARE. Assure the employer (and yourself) that you will be a most competent and professional employee. Hoff et al write, “Generally, it is best to begin by disclosing only to those who need to know. This allows the individual to form relationships prior to disclosure and helps diminish stigma.”

Disclose during the job interview

Be concise and prepared to explain the gaps in your resume whether or not you decide

to disclose. For example, “For the last three years, I’ve been dealing with a medical issue, but it’s under control now and I’m ready to work. I have been learning many skills on my own through youtube trainings such as “MS Office” and “Office Skills” . Legally, the interviewer can only ask questions about your disability that relate directly to the requirements of the job. It is illegal to ask any other questions (personal or professional) about your disability.

Job coach support

If you are part of a supported employment program for people with disabilities, your job coach will handle the disclosure and accommodations in advance with the employers prior to and during the placement. Once again, it is important for all job seekers with disabilities to understand their disabilities and accommodations. Being able to articulate this information to both the agency support staff and employer in a clear and concise way will make for a more successful and sustainable placement.

Regardless of your barriers or disabilities, employers are looking for the most qualified candidate who is the best fit with the workplace culture and team whether or not the individual has a disability.

 

Good luck with your job interview!

Joanna

 

Note: Please feel free to email your questions, comments and concerns regarding employment and career issues in confidence to Joanna Samuels, Employment Supervisor, REENA, at jsamuels@reena.org.

EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN: DEALING WITH NEW EMPLOYEE STRESS

Dear Joanna,

I am happy to report that I started a new job as a purchasing assistant this week and even though I have a job coach from Reena’s Channels program, I am still very nervous and uptight about being in a new place and new on the job! All the staff are welcoming and nice to me but I still feel like a stranger in a strange land. Please can you help me be less overwhelmed at my new job.

Signed: Overwhelmed

Dear O,

It’s normal that you feel anxious about starting a new job but you don’t want to let this stress get in your way of being a fantastic employee.  I consulted with Reena’s  job coaches as well as some resources online and would like to share the following tips that could help you with new employee stress:

  1. You are not in a competition. If you are feeling unsure about your skills and being able to learn and perform the tasks of your job compared to others in your team, remember that you did get the job offer. The employer wants you for your skills and experience. You have earned the job offer and you don’t need to prove anything to the employer. You just need to focus on learning the tasks, asking your job coach for help as well as making sure your boss knows what you have completed at the end of the day.
  2. Show that you love to learn and are teachable. Demonstrate to your employer that you enjoy learning new tasks and new skills and you are not afraid to admit when you don’t know something or you did something wrong – but always like to learn from your mistakes. If you need extra time to learn a task, try to figure it out with your job coach and perhaps there is a video or youtube training on this. Check it out on google.
  3. Showing up / Being present. Research demonstrates that being reliable, responsible and punctual is one part of success as a new employee but showing up also means listening, seeing, observing and following instructions. Being in the moment rather than thinking about your stress of what you can’t do.
  4. You don’t have to be perfect! Focus on the positives – what you are learning, how you are learning from your mistakes, and taking notes of your progress on the job week to week. Set realistic milestones or goals for yourself. You can ask your job coach and employer to help with that. For example, if your boss wants you to enter in 100 suppliers into the company software database per week, then definitely work towards this. Progress could mean reaching these goals or learning a couple of functions in the new database software and being able to use these skills with ease. Measure your progress in small bits – bit by bits! You still need to learn the rules of the company. You are not perfect and you cannot expect perfection.

I hope these guidelines can help you be less overwhelmed and stressed at your new job and enjoy the journey to be a superstar employee!

 

Joanna

Please send your questions in confidence on employment, career and related issues to Joanna Samuels, Employment Supervisor, Reena, at jsamuels@reena.org

City Council Approves Reena’s Third Intentional Community Building 

On July 19, 2022, Toronto City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the Reena Affordable Housing Project at 155-165 Elm Ridge. A housing model that provides independence, affordability and accessibility while offering 24/7 around-the-clock resources for its residents. 

This truly is a life-changing opportunity for many families.  

Thanks to the leadership of the Frankfort Family, we have an opportunity to accelerate this project and break ground in the Fall of 2023.  

Reena would like to thank the many people and organizations who supported us along the process, as we try to do our part in providing housing for individuals with developmental disabilities: 

  • City of Toronto Council and the North York Council – Recognized the need, supported us early and ensured that additional housing would be ready as soon as possible. 
  • Councillor Mike Colle – From the moment we proposed the development to him, Councillor Colle understood the need, assisted us every step of the way, introduced us to community members and leaders, hosted several community consultations, and assisted us every step of the way to get to this wonderful result. 
  • Mayor John Tory who has been, and continues to be, a strong proponent of Reena and our Supported Housing efforts.   
  • The Concept 2 Keys (C2K) team at the City of Toronto – An incredible initiative at the city that led to reduced planning time resulted in efficient outcomes for the whole process. 
  • The neighbours and the community at Elm Ridge Drive – Very supportive of the plan from the get-go. Public consultations were well attended and were able to have collaborative conversations about the current needs and the solutions this building will provide. 
  • The Oakwood-Vaughan (OV) Community Organization – Supportive community engagement from the get-go. They wanted to know what we were doing, and how they could get involved and become key players in Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) solutions lab on mutual inclusion. 
  • Toronto Housing Secretariat – For their early and significant support through the City of Toronto Open Door Affordable Housing Program, which allowed us to hit the ground running. 
  • Toronto Community Housing – For working with their neighbours to ensure deeply affordable housing with supports could be built by other agencies. 
  • CMHC Seed Grant Funds – For supporting Reena with grants which allowed early-stage studies to be completed. 

 

Background 

In 2012 Reena completed a major new innovative residential development project. Located in the Lebovic Campus on Bathurst Street in the City of Vaughan, the Reena Community Residence is a midrise apartment building accommodating 60 self-contained rental apartments housing 84 individuals with developmental disabilities.  

Following this housing project, in 2019 construction began on the Lou Fruitman Reena Residence, a 79-unit apartment building with 138 beds spread across six floors, located at 919 Clark Avenue West in Thornhill, which was completed in June 2021. 

In view of the success of both these residences and the continued demand for housing, the Reena Board of Directors has decided to develop a third Reena Community Residence: The Frankfort Family Reena Residence. 

This new building will be modelled on the success of the Lou Fruitman Reena Residence and Reena Community Residence (opened in 2012).   

The Frankfort Family Reena Residence will be the largest residential project in Reena’s 50-year history.  

 

The building will:  

  • Be located on Elm Ridge Drive in Toronto’s upper Forest Hill neighbourhood. 
  • Become home to an estimated 160 individuals.  
  • Include units designed for independent or shared living arrangements and specialized units for complex care.  
  • Have floors designed to serve people with mental health conditions.  
  • Feature many amenities, including respite suites, programming spaces, a gymnasium, a garden, and an underground parking garage. 

 

Sincerely, 

Bryan Keshen, CEO 

$125,600 OTF Grant helped Reena Deliver Programs Online

Last Friday, Laura Smith, MPP for Thornhill, met with representatives from Reena Community Centre for a tour of the space. She also had an opportunity to learn more about the impact that a $125,600 Resilient Communities Fund grant, awarded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2021, has had in helping staff with needed technical equipment due to the pandemic.

“Reena, like so many non-profit organizations across Ontario, is a crucial and valued part of the community,” said MPP Smith. “People with diverse abilities and their families rely on Reena’s services every day, and even faced with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, they found a way to deliver. With support through the Resilient Communities Fund, their staff have access to the tools and tech they needed to adapt and to continue helping those who need it most.”

Through its many programs, Reena is an organization supporting close to 1,000 persons with developmental disabilities, the majority of whom are immuno-compromised and considered at risk. When COVID-19 first hit in early 2020, Reena’s entire outreach and respite day programs were forced to close, affecting 500 individuals, visitors were not permitted at a further 40 residential group homes, supporting 439 persons and Reena’s executive, administrative and non-direct care staff at Reena were also mandated to work from home.

As it pivoted to meet strict social distancing demands, the organization realized that its technology infrastructure was insufficient inside its group homes. Thanks to the Resilient Community Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Reena was able to purchase 50 laptops and other needed technical equipment so that staff could work effectively from home. In addition, Reena bought 400 licenses for computer security training programs to enhance data security and protect personal health information.

“We are very grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for investing in Reena,” said Bryan Keshen, CEO of Reena. “This grant provided us with the funds necessary to rebuild and recover from impacts of COVID-19 by ensuring that our employees working from home can fully and safely function as if they were at the office.”

Employment Advice Column: Turning your hobby into a career

Dear Joanna

I love to write and blog. How do I turn my passion and interest into paid employment and a career?

Signed: Writer’s block

Dear WB,

I think it’s a great idea. Finding something you love to do and turning it into a career and getting paid,  is a wonderful goal! After a long process, I too turned my hobby and passion into a meaningful career as a job coach with job seekers with diverse abilities. And now I’m at Reena. The rest is history. Let me share with you some tips and strategies that I have applied and used in my career search to achieve this as well as some suggestions from columnist Jacquelyn Smith’s posting https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/10/07/six-tips-for-turning-your-hobby-into-your-job/#487dbdbf3248

  1. Teach others to do what you love.  You can do this by volunteering as a tutor or “instructor” at a local community centre, library, place of worship, association, and any organization that you have researched and connected with to see if they are interested in your writing and blogging.
  2. Again, as a volunteer at first, create a Powerpoint presentation on a topic that you wrote and posted. Share your story or topic on a panel or debate in the community. Research upcoming conferences, community events and any opportunity where you can contact the organizers to see if you can present your topic of interest, and be a guest speaker. Perhaps your next employer/boss might in the audience one day!
  3. Sell/import/invent/craft a blog or story for enthusiasts in your hobby. For example, pick topics that are important to you. Blog about them on social media. Source people who share your hobby. Use as many social media tools and sites to showcase your work – it could be writing or even posting a video clip!  Check out meetup.com.  Don’t forget to share your work with real-time people. Be pro-active. Build your contacts and network as much as possible to let as many people know about you and your blogging as possible.
  4. Create a side-line business. Research and follow the most successful entrepreneurs and businesses in your area of interest as well as the experts in your hobby on social media. Engage in conversation with them. Join their groups on Linkedin. Start initiating these contacts to bring traffic to your blog, your Facebook page or your website. For example, for your hobby, consider taking on some editing jobs. Start small. Create a website, an email address and/or a Facebook page. Begin to “brand yourself”.

 

Joanna

 

To submit your questions for this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email jsamuels@reena.org

EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN: PREPARING FOR THE SUMMER VACATION AS A JOB SEEKER WITH DIVERSE ABILITIES

Dear Joanna

The summer season as begun in Toronto.  I have been looking really hard and long for a position as a receptionist and it seems like all the employers are taking vacations this time of the year! I  am participating in Reena’s Channels Community Participation program and the job coach recommends that I take a “breather” – but still focus on my job search and balance this with resting, relaxing, having fun and even learning a new skill! Do you have any suggestions as to how I can enjoy the summer holiday season and continue my job search?  

Relaxing & Resting

 

Dear R&R

This summer season can be challenging for both job seekers and employees alike and can be filled with anxiety and stress. You are not alone in having a hard time relaxing and enjoying during this break when most companies are closed and employees are on vacation.

 

You can consider taking a break from your job search. However,  I have heard from people looking for work that this is actually the best time for your job search.  Since many employees are in a “summer fun vacation mood”,  this could be an opportunity for you to set up informational interviews, apply for jobs and network. I’ve also learned that recruiters or hiring managers could be more open to helping you with your job search as they are less busy.

 

Career advice expert journalist Leah Eichler in the “Globe & Mail” (Report on Business, 2013) recommends taking a break is critical for your health, well-being and work-life balance.

 

Below are some tips sourced from Eichler and from conversations with select employers that could help you have a stress-free, and much-deserved holiday.

 

  1. Give warning. If you are looking for work, and are taking a much-deserved break, set an “out of office” setting in your Gmail or other service provider account. Change your voicemail and email to let people know that you are away from your desk at this time.  If you doing this from your cell or home phone,  I wouldn’t be specific about the dates of your holiday.  I would have a professional voicemail indicating when you will be returning all messages. Mention that you “have limited access to emails and internet”. I would make an exception if you are expecting an important follow-up phone call or email from a potential employer or a person from your networking.
  2. Prioritize projects. If there is a job opening with a deadline date during your holiday, then I would apply for it. Focus on urgent deadlines first. But if it’s not due until two weeks after you return, it can wait. This is a priority over a break unless you are on vacation with no access to email or the internet. Mention this in your out-of-office setting.
  3. Make a list. Before you leave for vacation or a break, create a back-to-work to-do list or a back-to-job search to-do list.
  4. Clean up. There’s nothing more depressing than returning from your break or vacation to see a pile of papers on your desk. So leave your area neat and tidy before leaving. Important files should be clearly labelled—and accessible. A clean and organized desk can do wonders to alleviate anxiety.
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself sufficient time when you return to sort through your emails, messages and other issues that have happened while you were away.

Enjoy your summer vacation or break!

Joanna

Please send your questions and comments related to employment and careers IN CONFIDENCE to Joanna Samuels, jsamuels@reena.org

 

Joanna Samuels, M.Ed., CMF, CTDP, RRP  is the Employment Resource Supervisor at Reena with expertise in job development, job coaching, and workshop facilitation with people with disabilities and multi-barriers as well as staff training. Also, Joanna helps employers with building an inclusive workforce,  is a published author and columnist, as well as a certified Life Skills Coach, and certified Personality Dimensions Facilitator.

Reena is in Compliance

The Ministry conducts compliance inspections of all Ministry-funded service agencies under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 (SIPDDA). The specific standards of care and safety requirements that agencies are required to comply with are set out in Ontario Regulation 299/10 Quality Assurance Measures (QAM) and/or in policy directives.

The primary purpose of an inspection is to assess service agency compliance with legislation and policy directives and seek to ensure that service agencies are fully aware of their responsibilities. Agencies may be provided with support to come into compliance. Compliance inspections are intended to provide assurances to the Ministry, members of the public, stakeholders and individuals receiving services and support that adults with developmental disabilities are receiving quality standards of care, in a safe and secure environment. Inspections are designed to be both transparent and fair.

They are conducted systematically, using a consistent approach for all service agencies, for maximum thoroughness and equitableness. I am writing with respect to the compliance inspection of your agency that took place from May 16, 2022 through June 3, 2022. The Ministry is pleased to inform you that REENA was found to be IN COMPLIANCE with Ontario Regulation 299/10 of SIPDDA (Quality Assurance Measures) and/or policy directives applicable to MCCSS-funded services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities.

CompLtr_Reena_June 2022

Election debate on disability issues – Summary

Community Living Toronto, Reena, Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence partnered together to host the Provincial Election Disability Forum on 17 May 2022 at the Shaarei Shomayim synagogue.

This was an opportunity for the disability community to hear from local provincial candidates on their approaches to disability matters and how their platform commitments focus on people with disabilities.

Below is a summary of the parties’ Election Commitments for Developmental Services gathered from the Forum as well as their platforms and other correspondence from Reena, Community Living Toronto and OASIS.