PROUD Project Blog – March 2022

Update March 18, 2022 

The PROUD Project researchers have shifted our focus to interviewing research participants in France and the UK, now that our Canadian interviews are almost complete.  We are still open to recruiting employers and managers in Canada who employ people with disabilities in their workplace to talk to us about their experiences. Since the start of 2022, we have produced 3 more recordings for our Broadcastability podcast.  Check them out at https://www.broadcastability.ca.  Andrea and Chloë are also teaching a course at the University of Toronto Scarborough, in partnership with the University of Manchester, on “Research Methodology and the Ethics of Working with Disabled, d/Deaf People and Other Vulnerable Groups.”  This innovative course is a “Global Classrooms Initiative” that is collaborating with Dr. Emma Ferguson-Coleman, Dr. Katherine Rogers, and Dr. Alys Young to teach students about how to ethically carry out research with members of the d/Deaf and disabled community.  Check out our Impact page for new publications and engagements https://www.theproudproject.ca/impact/ 

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in our research, or would like to know more about our project, contact the research team at: https://www.theproudproject.ca/contact-us/ 

PROUD Project Blog – November 2021

So many exciting and positive developments have happened since our last blog for the PROUD Project.  This update is to let our participants, followers and other interested visitors know about our progress. 

We are mostly finished conducting interviews with employees for our Canadian phase of the research project.  We are still hoping to recruit a couple of people with disabilities that are veterans or have worked in Canada’s military.  We are full swing into recruiting people working in management positions in organizations and businesses in Canada, that currently employ people with physical disabilities, about their experiences and insights. 

As we move into recruiting employees and employers in other countries, we have launched a LinkedIn ad to help us reach people in the U.S., France, Belgium and the U.K. Thanks for the Communications Team at the University of Toronto Scarborough for their assistance in creating a video and ad to help us in this regard. 

Our podcast series, “Broadcastability,” has now posted two podcasts – one in English and one in French, with participants we met through the PROUD Project study. Taylor and Joel have very interesting personal stories as well as insights into how we can create more inclusive workplaces.  We have had excellent feedback from listeners about these podcasts and feel very proud of the work our production team has done.  We now have a team of six people working on creating, editing, and promoting our podcasts.  Kudos to:  Isabelle Avacumovic-Pointon, Ahad Alingary at the University of Toronto, and Jessica Geboers and Casey Sabawi from Easter Seals Canada.  We are dropping new podcasts monthly and will have two more interviews available on www.broadcastability.ca before the end of the year. 

Andrea and Chloë will be teaching a course in the Winter 2022 Semester on “Research Methodology and the Intersectional Ethics of Working with disabled and d/Deaf people and other vulnerable groups.” This course has received funding from the Global Classrooms Initiative at UTSC as well as a Teaching Enhancement Grant from the Teaching and Learning Centre at UTSC.  We are also working with scholars from the University of Manchester (UoM) — Alys Young, Katherine Young, and Emma Ferguson-Rogers — to deliver a collaborative and completely accessible course for students from the deaf community and as well as students with other kinds of learning, sensory, or physical disabilities.  Part of the learning curve for us is   ensuring that all course materials are accessible and creating video lectures that are also simultaneously translated to British Sign Language.  This course will be a very inclusive, interesting and innovative experience for our students! 

Chloë has published an article about disability ethics’ contribution to making critical care triage decision-making more equitable, [Atkins, Chloë GK, and Sunit Das. “A Critique of the Use of the Clinical Frailty Scale in Triage.” The American journal of bioethics: AJOB 21, no. 11 (2021): 67-68. 10.1080/15265161.2021.1980135]. And, she has published another article which outlines how easily medical research can misunderstand people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. [Atkins, Chloë, and Carolina Barnett. “People With Myasthenia Are Getting Better, but Are They Doing Well?.” (2021): 663-664. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012617].

The research team is completing two articles outlining our findings during a bibliometric literature review in the area of disability and employment.  For this research we surveyed 1200 publications to understand the kinds of research being done, where the research is taking place, and who the top contributors are to the field.  Our research results are very interesting as we not only conducted a comprehensive literature review in an area that has not been investigated in this way before, but also provided a critique of the Web of Science research database as a tool for disability studies scholars. 

Chloë and Andrea will be presenting at the Disability and Work Canada Conference on December 2, from 2:30 – 3:25 pm EST.  Our panel discussion is about: Tools and Strategies to Support Employers’ Efforts to Include Persons Living with Disabilities in the Workforce.  We look forward to presenting along with Helen Grantis, federal government expert in Accessible and Inclusive Staffing and Assessment, and Christine Morin at the Centre de recherche pour l’inclusion des personnes en situation de handicapOur presentation is titled:The ‘secret sauce’ to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities