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Zoom webinar:
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  • April 18, 2023 from 11:00am to 12:00pm


Institute for Work & Health (IWH) Speaker Series webinar

“Skills development barriers for persons with disabilities and the promising practices to address them”
Presenter: Dr. Emile Tompa
Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
Register for free here:

According to Employment and Social Development Canada’s Skills for Success program, nine key foundational and transferable skills are needed to participate and thrive in learning, work, and life. These are adaptability, collaboration, communication, creativity and innovation, digital, numeracy, problem solving, reading, and writing.

Following are some of the questions behind a literature review recently undertaken by a team led by IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa: 1) What do we know about the foundational and transferable skill levels and employment outcomes of persons with disabilities? 2) What barriers do these individuals face in advancing their skills? 3) What are some promising practices to address these barriers? And 4) What impact did the COVID-19 pandemic have on persons with disabilities in their skill development?

In this presentation, Tompa discusses what the team learned from the research literature to date, and from interviews with key stakeholders in the Canadian and international work disability policy arena. These include members of the disability community with knowledge and experience of skill development programs, policy-makers, researchers and program/service providers.

Dr. Emile Tompa is a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. He holds appointments as an associate professor in the Department of Economics at McMaster University and as an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Tompa’s research interests include the consequences of occupational health and safety system design on the health and well-being of individuals and populations, the economic evaluation of workplace interventions for improving the health and well-being of workers, the economic burden of adverse health conditions and disability, and the analysis of disability policy systems. Most recently, Tompa was awarded funding from the New Frontiers in Research Fund to support a six-year social innovation laboratory called Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) that is focused on demand-side capacity building, i.e., skilling up employers to advance their abilities to tap into diverse talent pools, with a focus on disability confidence.

The IWH Speaker Series brings you the latest findings from work and health researchers from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and beyond. For those unable to attend, the recorded webinar of most presentations in the IWH Speaker Series are made available on its web page within a week of the event.