Search or browse below to see past Field of Interest grants. You may search by recipient organization name, project name, or city. Additionally, in the sidebar you may filter the grants displayed by year, interest or grant amount.

BC Centre for Employment Excellence

The Face-to-Face Project: Bringing Youth with Disabilities and Employers Together

The Face-to-Face Project was born out of the need to find creative solutions that improve labour market integration for youth with disabilities. These are individuals who have a great deal to offer as employees but too often struggle in marketing their abilities to employers using traditional methods. For The Face-to-Face Project, youth (age 18 to 25) with disabilities will be recruited from employment organizations in BC to participate in a fun and engaging employer networking opportunity. The youth will initially be referred to local employers who will engage them in mock interviews and networking scenarios. In addition to providing the youth with information about their businesses, employers will have the opportunity to speak with them about their career aspirations. The employers will then refer the youth to a second employer, who will meet with the youth in an informational interview. The project will wrap up with a half-day dialogue forum for project participants and an evaluation that captures implementation lessons and effective practices.

British Columbia Self Advocacy Foundation

Breaking Down Barriers

ESATTA was contracted by the BC Self Advocacy Foundation(BCSAF) in 2011/12 to present their No More Barriers campaign to communities throughout BC to share their campaign video & website and host World Cafe style dialogues to find out the types of barriers experienced by self advocates in BC. All feedback was reviewed by self advocates and 5 common barriers were selected by self advocates to become the guidelines for their 2012 No More Barriers grants. The key barriers were: supported decision making(SDM), youth & self advocacy, health, housing and employment. ESATTA decided they would develop a workshop on: SDM, Health and Employment. We have made contact with School districts and agencies throughout BC and will be offering to present this workshop. We want to help community become more aware of youth & adults with disabilities and how they are an untapped workforce ready willing & able to be employed. We also want to talk to self advocates about ways to understand how to get help and support when making decisions and ways to keep healthy & be active members of the BC workforce.

Community Action Employment Plan - Self Advocacy Project

One of the objectives of the Community Action Employment Plan is that self advocates play a leadership role in changing public attitudes by: 1) Leading and delivering a presentation of why employment is important to them to a range of stakeholders, including government, unions, businesses, employers and families 2) Establishing a pool of self advocates in each region to act as consultants/resources to the Plan and related work. Provincial self advocate leaders convened in May 2013 to discuss options for collaborating with partners in the Community Action Employment Plan. They also discussed how self advocates could advance an employment agenda in BC. This proposal is a result of that meeting. The project is roughly divided into two phases. The first is to develop a presentation and toolbox to assist self advocates in promoting employment. The second phase is to begin building community partnership to support the planning of the local events in the three pilot regions and a workshop at the Inclusion BC Conference.

Communitas Supportive Care Society

Customized self-employment:Micro Social Enterprise for persons with a disability

The project will create a comprehensive approach to provide dynamic business supports to assist entrepreneurs with disabilities to build up viable businesses until they have established themselves firmly in the community. This approach will support entrepreneurs from beginning to end of the business establishment process. Steps include: Orientation - complete an asset assessment which looks at individual's suitability, needs, interests,abilities and community supports. Viability - provides preliminary research of various market conditions to select the most suitable business opportunity that match person's abilities. Business planning - builds on viability research to create a detailed strategy to launch a successful business. Start-Up - implementation of the business plan; may include registering the business, enroll in WorkBC Customized Self Employment Program, developing marketing materials, acquiring financing, materials, equipment inventory, training, etc. On-going Support and Fade-out - Development of community natural support network, enabling paid supports to fade out.

Community Living Victoria

InclusionWORKS! Employment Through Family Governance and Self-Direction

InclusionWorks! will develop its capacity for employment development and supports under its family governance structure–find and sustain employment for young adults in partnership with the generic employment services used by all British Columbians–and document the process and lessons learned for other family-governed groups, users of Individualized Funding, employment service organizations and policymakers. The project will develop community capacity and promote expectations of employment with transitioning youth and their families. The project will contract with a job developer/employment facilitator to develop jobs and coordinate employment services for participants, including working with partners and support workers to align education, discovery, job development, job search, training, and job coaching. It will also fund support worker and family training on employment. This 3-year project will develop, implement and evaluate the model, collect lessons learned and create a report and guidebook to be distributed to self-advocates and families.

Delta Community Living Society

Leading Employment & Achieving Possibilities - Youth Mentoring Pilot Project

The Leading Employment and Achieving Possibilities (LEAP) pilot project proposes to support young adults transitioning from school to work. We envision a youth mentoring and support framework that will provide formal training for youth with and without developmental disabilities. The youth trained as mentors will then lead structured topics and activities for a group of proteges with developmental disabilities, as well as one-to-one support activities that will help lead the proteges to successful employment. The project will be managed by staff at DCLS Solutions Employment Services, established to respond to the needs of youth and adults who desire meaningful paid employment. DCLS Solutions has been successful in developing a Customized Employment (CE) pilot project which has been sustained beyond the 3-year pilot timeline. DCLS has created a framework for the CE process, data collection, best practices and community partnerships. The outcome of the original pilot resulted in 32 people with developmental disabilities successfully obtaining employment in our community in 4 years.

Family Support Institute (FSI)

familyWORKs - helping families to see the possibilities in employment

"familyWORKs" is about shifting attitudes. We will work with families to feature/show what is possible in terms of employment.We will work through family barriers. We see a "familyWORKs chapter" in many regions across BC. Our family oriented experience/efforts will enhance our ability to bring a more holistic approach to families in supporting them to develop a vision & action plan when it comes to employment for their loved ones. After engaging with families & supporting the creation of a family governed, family directed "familyWORKs chapter" we will develop and enhance the following: -an established web presence -family driven training with a focus on developing a vision for employment -training on asset based approaches to planning/various planning processes, action plan development, and community driven conversations In the familyWORKs; chapters families will have a voice & vision that can be drawn upon. These chapters will meet each month, share & learn, and develop complimentary individual action plans. We will meet families where they are at and grow from there.

Inclusion BC

Ready, Willing & ABLE

Ready, Willing & ABLE will work to increase the employment rate of British Columbians with a developmental disability. Our initiative has 3 measurable objectives, and is aligned with CLBC's Community Action Employment Plan. Our role within the CAEP will focus on building employer capacity and changing public attitudes by: 1. Developing and delivering a professional development series, including a "tool kit" for employers, in targeted pilot communities. Designed around the needs of employers, local business leaders will present from their experience about inclusive workplaces. The series, called "Personal Best: Growing the Team, Improving your Profits" will target business owners and CEO's. 2. Linking these employers to Employment Specialists in our member agencies and establishing employer mentoring networks, both locally and provincially. 3. Changing public attitudes by launching an integrated communications campaign called 'We're Ready, Willing and ABLE' highlighting local business leaders and focusing on the business case for hiring people with developmental disabilities.

Independent Living Vernon Spec-Team Assessment Society


ILV is partnered with Neil Squire Society to deliver the EmployAbility program. This program runs 3 days/ week for 12 weeks at a time, 4 times per year. Participants do distance learning on the computer about employment topics, through a virtual classroom (eg. Moodle). In the afternoon, participants have group activities which focus on health and wellness topics: smart shop tours, agency visits, or discuss topics such as communication skills or managing your disability. Consumers are given the choice about what topics are covered, based on what is relevant to them. There is a significant need for one on one support for consumers and increased focus on self esteem. ILV is requesting funding to increase staff support to 5 days/week. This increased time will provide time to offer a 14 week "The Gift of self Esteem" program and additional one on one sessions with consumers. The self esteem program will be one day per week, leaving one full day available for one on one appointments with consumers.

Kinsight Community Society

Youth Employment Initiative

A three year project with a long range goal to expand community capacity to successfully engage youth who have developmental disabilities in sustainable, paid employment. It is intended to increase employment opportunities and the overall rate of employment for youth aged 15 – 19 years in the TriCities. This will be accomplished through the provision of supports to bridge Secondary school students aged 15 – 19 years from school work experience placements into paid part or full time employment and by expanding the pool of paid employment opportunities in the TriCities through the active pursuit and education of potential employers.

Langley Association for Community Living

Youth Works 2013

This initiative proposes to provide support to twenty secondary school students to increase their attachment to the labor market after school hours, weekends and throughout the summer months. These supports will be offered to youth in grades 10-12, including youth who are transitioning out of high school. The initiative proposes to complete a discovery process with each student, in collaboration with school and family partners, ascertain each individual's employment skills and interests and match them with a suitable employment opportunity. Individuals will be provided with the required on the job support and job coaching to ensure success in their workplace of choice. Securing part-time and after school employment is the most potent support we can offer students to ease and support the transition to adult life. This is the most common experience for typical youth, but remains a largely illusive opportunity for students with disabilities. Students graduating school with job experiences on their resumes will have a greater likelihood of securing employment after graduation.

Mount Currie Band

L.E.A.P. (Lil'wat Empowerment & Accessibility Program) Vocational

We want to create a sustainable vocational program for our Special Needs members. Our nurse coordinator would act as liason/lead for project. Key components would consist of contracting a Special Needs Vocational counselor to perform one-on-one vocational and needs assessments. Vocational counseling would then be provided on an individual basis. We would provide training in such areas as: basic computer literacy, resume building, interview skills, and small business planning. We would hold workshops with external professional facilitators. We would arrange preceptorship/job-shadowing opportunities, as many of these community members have never previously had experience or opportunity for employment. We would host a job fair where local and surrounding area businesses could present employment opportunities. Also, more students will be transitioning to adulthood in the next few years. The 2nd & 3rd years of this project would be expansions and growth of the first year, based on challenges, gaps, successes, and feedback that will likely evolve once the program is rolled out.

Nanaimo Association for Community Living

COCO's Catering Project

The purpose of COCO's Catering Project is to help fulfill the cafe's mission. Catering will allow us to provide increased employment hours and expand the diversity of work experience for our staff with developmental disabilities. Catering has been identified as critical to helping the cafe achieve financial sustainability. It is anticipated that catering would also bring additional marketing and advertising benefits to the cafe, which would be incredibly beneficial for our small social enterprise. The project involves renovating the kitchen area, to offer more space that is suitably designed and equipped for preparing catering orders. This would greatly benefit our staff with developmental disabilities who can find working in confined spaces difficult and who also frequently suffer with back issues along with other mobility challenges. This renovation would allow us to undertake catering and at the same time better accommodate our staff with developmental disabilities by providing a bigger and more effectively designed workspace.

Pathways Abilities Society

Foundation for Employment Year 3

The time of transition from the secondary school system into the workforce can be difficult for young adults who have developmental disabilities. While some of them may have had unpaid work experience as part of their secondary curriculum, this appears to be insufficient to prepare them for pursuing a livelihood after leaving the school system. This project over two years has provided supports to sixteen individuals (eight per year) with developmental disabilities that are still involved in the secondary school system, and will provide supports to a further eight youth in the coming year. Supports are provided to assist these youth in securing and maintaining part-time employment in evenings or on weekends. Job development literature makes clear that personal connections are the best way to secure employment. This project will assist youth to begin to build a foundation network of employment contacts, through paid work experience, establishing employment contacts, and networking in the business community. This is not a job "readiness" program. The project is based on the premise that most of the workforce began to work for money in their teens, and that people learn about work through working. Follow up monitoring is conducted after the students leave the secondary school system to determine what impact having employment and developing employment contacts has on their transition into the adult workforce.

Salt Spring Island Community Services

New Beginnings

New Beginnings is a vocational development program for adults with employment barriers. It provides individual and group-based training and support, work experience placements, and supported work search. The target group is marginalized and vulnerable people including those with disabilities, mental health issues, addictions, social isolation, poverty, and limited life skills. A second program priority is finding or developing positive, flexible and accommodating work placements for experience and entry level paid employment. The program has been overwhelmed with both the numbers and complexity of need of participants. Half of the people applying or referred to the program have chronic mental health, disabilities/autism complicated by many other challenges such as inadequate housing and poverty. On the other hand there is a rapidly increasing food security movement in the community which brings many entry level work opportunities. It is our intention to develop a farm/garden skills component to the program designed specifically for the participants with the highest needs.

Steps Forward - Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Society

Farm Cycles: Employment and Sustainable Farming Communities

In this pilot project, STEPS Forward will work in collaboration local urban farmers to take community inclusion to the next step. In response to students' request to be more involved in the vibrant farming community in the Okanagan, this project will support this community to increase its capacity to include young adults with diverse challenges in valued roles and paid employment. The local food movement has the potential to be a space where people with different abilities can work together to become financially sustainable, meet like minded friends, and lead more ecologically sustainable life styles. The Farm Cycles Project will focus on supporting alumni and current UBCO students with developmental disabilities by seeking ongoing employment opportunities in food production, marketing and agriculture. They will have the opportunity learn about the organizations and resources for sustainable food-related issues in the Central Okanagan and how to work together towards common goals.

Victoria Brain Injury Society

Survivor, Supporter, Success!

The "Survivor, Supporter, Success!" program provides volunteer and employment training and mentorship to brain injury survivors. A large percentage of survivors are unable to return to their previous professions post-injury and must find gainful employment or volunteer opportunities in an environment that works with their disabilities. This program aims to rehabilitate and retrain survivors so they are able to volunteer or re-enter the workforce. Participants complete a peer support training course which enables them to become certified peer support volunteers. They develop transferable skills, including active learning and listening, problem solving, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, time management and communication skills. Once in their position as peer supporters, they support other survivors during their rehabilitation. This mutually beneficial program enhances the capacity and self-confidence of the peer supporters and is utilized as a stepping stone to paid employment, while also providing recent survivors with educated, understanding peer mentors.