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North Shore organization helps local businesses become inclusive employers

Employers, individuals and the community benefit from the work of North Shore ConneXions Society

“I love my job because my co-workers tell me they appreciate my help and I’ve learned new skills,” says Kaya, a participant in North Shore ConneXions Society’s (NSCS) Supported Employment program.

“I’ve always wanted to work in a restaurant and I’m so happy I finally get to,” she says of her position at the popular Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, where she’s been working for the past four months. 

“I really like my co-workers and I ask them for help when I need it. My job coach at North Shore ConneXions comes to check in on me during my shifts and makes sure I know my tasks. She helped me learn how to roll cutlery; at the beginning, she made a sheet with instructions for me to use, but now I can roll cutlery without looking at it.”

Kaya is merely one inspiring example of NSCS’s work.

For 65 years, the organization has been supporting people with intellectual disabilities in the community. Its mission is to provide clients with the support they need to feel safe and enjoy physical and emotional wellbeing throughout their lives. It also seeks to discover and honour clients’ interests, talents, skills and aspirations so they can thrive, live the life they choose and be included as genuine members of their local community.

Since starting at Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, Kaya has impressed staff with her attention to detail, excellent customer-service skills and ability to learn new tasks quickly. Her work has also been recognized and appreciated by customers, many of whom are regulars and local residents.

Kaya was welcomed with open arms at Deep Cove, and its proprietors and staff continue to set an important example for other businesses. Inclusive hiring fosters employee engagement, enhances public image and leads to a positive market presence.

Book a presentation to see the value in becoming an inclusive employer

NSCS encourages businesses to become inclusive employers, thereby embracing diversity and attracting employees with a wide range of abilities. In providing these opportunities, businesses promote community engagement and social investment while employing staff who bring long-term value.

Businesses can learn more about inclusive hiring and how they can benefit from a diverse workforce through NSCS’s Education and Community Awareness presentations (ECA). These interactive educational presentations inform and educate employers and staff about the challenges faced by those who identify as having a disability. More importantly, they successfully demonstrate how these individuals bring their skills, talent and rich emotional contributions to their workplaces and communities.

As well, the presentations educate workplace teams about how to be aware of and improve upon environments that may trigger employees. They inspire teams to welcome diversity, encourage difference and ultimately contribute to building communities where all people are valued and included.

In addition to businesses, NSCS’s Education and Community Awareness presentations are perfect for teams, schools, community groups and first responders.

Says Samara Afeltro, HR Generalist at Alliance Maintenance Ltd. in Vancouver: “The material was clear and easy to follow and kept me engaged the entire time. I especially loved the videos and testimonials included throughout the presentation. I was definitely influenced in a positive way by the presentation and we intend to continue hiring people with diverse abilities.”

“Our presenter was relaxed and easy to follow,” adds Kristen, a Global Issues Instructor at Auburn Mountainview High School in Auburn, Washington. “[Their] knowledge and experience were perfect. The presentation inspired me to go out and help people with a disability.”

For more information or to book a session, contact Taylor Walker, Marketing and Events Coordinator at North Shore ConneXions Society, at If you would like to get involved as an employer, contact Tanya Vipond at or Samantha Hall at To support North Shore ConneXions Society through a donation or membership, visit