Rethinking Disability Conference 2023

RDC 23 Rethinking Disability Conference
Develop, Connect, Engage
Register Now
ODEN logo bottom left, Sheraton Parkway Toronto North, 9005 Leslie St. Richmond Hill, ON Middle bottom, Nov 13-15 right bottom of image.
RDC 2023 – Register Now

ODEN is proud to announce the return of our Annual Rethinking Disability Conference for 2023

Develop | Connect | Engage

This conference is designed for employment service agencies and businesses from across Ontario, to enhance their professional development, increase capacity and learn new skills to apply to their services and inclusive-hiring processes.

In 2023, the Business Sector Stream will return on Tuesday, November 14. This is an exclusive opportunity for businesses and employers to develop or improve their disability awareness and confidence; learn from other businesses that are successfully implementing disability inclusive hiring and retention; and meet employment service providers from across the province who have the talent pool you need to gain that competitive edge for the future of work. Register for the Business Stream now.


Monday November 13, 2023

7:30am-8:45am Richmond Ballroom

Registration & Breakfast

8:45am-9:00am Richmond Ballroom


9:00am-10:15am Richmond Ballroom

Opening KeynoteWow, You Look So Normal,  Victoria Maxwell, Wellness Warrior

10:15am-10:45am Networking Break sponsored by OTEC
10:45am-12:00pm Thornhill

1A – Ready, Set, Recognize: Detecting Workplace Mental Health Issues and How to Help

Victoria Maxwell, Wellness Warrior

Markham A

1B – Authentic Storytelling – The Case for Creating Brand Recognition

TBC, Canadian Down Syndrome Society


1C –  Digital Accessibility & Why You Need to Know About It!

Jolene MacDonald, Accessibrand

Sponsored by OTEC

12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch Sponsored by YMCA-GTA
1:30pm-2:45pm Thornhill

2A – Understanding Standards and the ACA (Accessibility Canada Act): A Policy Review

Maureen Haan, CCRW


2B – Boost Your Community’s Youth Employment Options and Outcomes Through Collaboration and Advocacy

Carolyn McDougall, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Andrea Morrison, Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre

Dr. Jennifer Crowson, ODEN


2C – Disrupt! Series – A Framework for Youth Engagement

Payal Khazanchi, Community Living Ontario (CLO)

Yashvit and Riddhi Danani, Youth Advisory Committee, CLO

Shelbey Pillon, CL Essex

Terry Cloutier, CL Windsor

2:45pm-3:15pm Networking Break Sponsored by OTEC
3:15-4:30pm Thornhill

3A – Rural Job Development

J.C. Doyle, ODEN


3B – Project SEARCH – Many Sites, One Team: Building a Regional Collaboration to Achieve Employment Outcomes

Carolyn McDougall, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Tracey Morrow, CL Oakville

Nancy Comber, CL North Halton

Jennifer Way, MODC


3C – Will Robots Take My Job?  AI is not Taking your Job, But you may have to work with it

Jesse Preston, Epilepsy Toronto

Peter Young, META Belleville

4:30pm-5:15pm Sponsor Information Session
8:00pm-11:00pm Networking Social Event

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

7:30am-8:45am Richmond Ballroom

Registration & Breakfast

8:45am-9:00am Richmond Ballroom

Plenary Speaker – No Time…No Worries:  20 Everyday Micro Practices That You Can Use Right Now to Boost Your Mental Health

Beverly Beuermann-King, R’n’B Consulting Group – Work Smart, Live Smart

9:15am-10:15am Thornhill

4A – 10 Essential Team Needs as we Move Past Crisis and Business Disruption:  Keys to  Encourage, Engagement, Productivity and Combat Burnout

Beverly Beuermann-King, R’n’B Consulting Group – Work Smart, Live Smart


Business Stream ONLY

4B – Disability Awareness and Confidence Training – Part 1

J.C. Doyle, ODEN

Jennifer Hope, ODEN


4C – Making a Difference for Youth Who Have a Disability and Want to Work – An Update on the Youth Success Strategy                                    

Dr. Jennifer Crowson, ODEN

10:15am-10:45am Networking Break sponsored by OTEC
10:45am-12:00pm Thornhill

5A  – A Conversation with Employment Service Agencies about Hiring at Michaels Canada and LCBO

Joanna Patsakos, LCBO

Matthew Kingsbury, Michaels Canada


Business Stream ONLY

5B – Disability Awareness and Confidence Training – Part 2

J.C. Doyle, ODEN

Jennifer Hope, ODEN


5C – Community & College Collaboration to Support Employment Readiness and Access Needs of Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Barbara McFater, PTP

Susan Toews, George Brown College

12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch Sponsored by YMCA-GTA

Lunch KeynoteLeading Change: Creating a Culture of Engaged Teams –  Neil Thornton, The Thornton Group

1:30pm-2:45pm Thornhill

6A – Making Conversations Count with Accessible Social Media

Kelly Thibodeau, Squarely Accessible



Business Stream ONLY

6B – Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool – The Next Step: A tool for Employers

Dr. Monique Gignac, Ph.D., Institute for Work & Health


6C – Augmentative Technology to Deliver Instructions: Case Studies, Impact, Demonstration and Funding

Sam Sweet, CentralReach

2:45pm-3:15pm Networking Break Sponsored by OTEC
3:15pm-4:30pm Thornhill

7A – Occupational Therapy in Employment Services:  How an Innovative Model of Care is Revolutionizing the Employment Sector

Tara Aronson-Pattison, PATH Employment

Kelly Sward, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton


Business Stream ONLY

7B – Inclusive Recruitment & Hiring: A B2b Conversation

Joanna Patsakos, LCBO

Matthew Kingsbury, Michaels Canada


7C – Redefining Disability from the Lens of Inuit Culture: A discussion of Intersectionality and Inclusion

Lisa Spencer – Nunavummi Disabilities Mankinnasuaqtiit Societiy

Alyson Colón – Nunavummi Disabilities Mankinnasuaqtiit Societiy

6:00pm-6:30pm Cocktails
6:30pm-10:00pm Gala Dinner – Sponsored by Fedcap

Entertainment – Music & Dancing

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

7:30am-8:00am Richmond Ballroom

Registration & Breakfast

8:00am-8:45am Richmond Ballroom


9:00am-10:15am Thornhill

8A –                                                                                    


8B – Breaking Down Barriers Through  Knowledge Exchange

Amanda Mastronardi, KTT

Jill Teeple, Partners for Planning

Ingrid Muschta, ODEN


8C – Building Employer Capacity for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility

Rebecca Gewurtz, McMaster University

Dr. Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health

10:15am-10:45am Networking Break Sponsored by OTEC
10:45am-12:00pm Thornhill

9A – Job Development – Creating Partnerships that Work

Michael Bennett, The Bennett Edge


9B – Practical Organizational Change – Focus on Technology

Paul Fleming, People Minded Business

Ryan Stanga, People Minded Business


9C – 

12:00pm-1:15pm Lunch Sponsored by YMCA-GTA
1:15pm-2:30pm Closing Plenary – 
2:30pm-2:45pm Conference Wrap-Up
Surprise Snacks and Drinks To-Go

Download PDF version

Conference Hotels

RDC 2023 will be held at the Conference Centre connected to The Sheraton Parkway Toronto North and the Best Western Parkway Hotel North.

Sheraton Parkway Toronto North 
(905) 881-2121
Best Western Parkway Hotel Toronto North 
(905) 881-2600

Sponsors and Exhibitor Info

RDC 2023 has added additional marketing and sponsorship opportunities for this year. Please be sure to download the package below.

As a sponsor and/or exhibitor your business will:

  • Position your company as a thought leader, action-taker and trailblazer to attract top talent to your organization.
  • Promote your products and services to the disability market, which touches 73% of consumers and represents a huge opportunity for business. This represents $538.5 billion of disposable income.
  • Build relationships with over 240 conference delegates from Ontario by providing a venue for private and public stakeholders to learn, network, and grow their employment practice and diversity goals.
  • Showcase your company’s profile by supporting an Ontario-wide network of service agencies that deliver employment opportunities for people who have a disability.

Download the Sponsorship and Exhibitor Package

For more information contact Sue Dafoe, Business Services Manager at or via phone at 1-866-280-6336 Ext. 105.

Please note that ODEN does not share or sell any participant lists. 

If you are receiving these emails, they are SPAM.  Please forward all emails of this nature to Lesley Ellis at

Title Sponsor:


Accessibility Sponsor (Monday):

Happy Face with text Magnusmode in orange on a white background

Accessibility Sponsor (Tuesday):

SERCO with red circle under letter o

Platinum Sponsors:

CSBT letters with Community Service Benefits Trust

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:


Circle with checkmark inside with Blue text - MyJobMatch Building Connections for an Inclusive Future on right of image.


Gala Sponsor:

Fed Cap Canada in blue and grey writing

Innovation Alley Sponsor:

Breakfast Sponsor:

Lunch Sponsor:

Words - Shine On, Y of YMCA Greater Toronto

Networking Breaks Sponsor:

Keynote(s) Sponsor:

META logo in blue with text Making Employment Transitions Attainable

Bronze Sponsors:

Exhibitor Alley Sponsored By:

List of Exhibitors:

CSBT letters with Community Service Benefits Trust



March of Dimes Logo






Text: Therap Canada. Person-centered. Data Driven.





Letters ECC with red person abstract image over the middle C.