News & Events
DREN receives David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility
- Thursday, June 2nd 2016
The Durham Region Employment Network (DREN) is one of eleven recipients in the province to receive the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility. The awards, presented June 1, 2016 at Queen’s Park, recognize those who demonstrate leadership in accessibility and disability issues.
Her Honour, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented the awards alongside the Honourable David C. Onley and Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, on behalf of Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. The Honourable David C. Onley, Ontario’s former Lieutenant Governor, has long been a champion for disability and accessibility issues.
DREN was nominated by CMHA Durham and received the Champion Award which recognizes individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to raise awareness of accessibility, while improving the lives of people with disabilities in their communities.
Since 1993, DREN has been committed to making workplaces and hiring processes accessible to people of all abilities. DREN does this through collaboration and partnership. DREN is a network of 35 employment and community organizations that share leads, research best practices, and boost business awareness. DREN’s awards programs and conferences inspire local businesses to expand their talent pool and increase inclusion. DREN’s website brings thousands of job seekers together to find opportunities and services tailored to their skills and needs, making employment more accessible and achievable across the region.
DREN was one of four Durham Region recipients of the award which also included Mark Wafer, the Abilities Centre and the Durham Regional Police Services. “DREN’s recent focus has been to create a community of practice for inclusion in employment”, said Donna McAllister, Executive Director of DREN. “With the high representation of our region at these awards it is clear that Durham is prime to lead the way to a community where employment is accessible to all!”
MCSS Releases Report of Client Discussions on Social Assistance Reform
- Thursday, May 8th 2014
The Ministry of Community and Social Services Report of Client Discussions on Social Assistance Reform has been released. The summary report is available to the public on the Public Policy Forum’s website: Report of Client Discussions
"Over a hundred current and former clients of both the Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works took part in 11 discussion sessions across the province last year. The sessions were lively, wide-ranging and comprehensive, and helped us gain a wealth of information about the lived experience of those receiving social assistance and some of the areas in which we can improve services, supports and outcomes." Patti Redmond, Director, Ontario Disability Support Program Branch, Ministry of Community & Social Services
DREN recognizes National Access Awareness Week with release of business survey on accessibility
- Wednesday, May 29th 2013
DREN recognizes National Access Awareness Week with release of business survey on accessibility: Are we Ready for the Accessibility Advantage?
Our research was an exploratory study of Durham's business community, to gauge awareness of accessibility for persons with a disability among business operators. The focus was on businesses that are likely to be impacted by the thousands of visitors who will come to the region in connection with the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. Ajax, Whitby, and Oshawa will all be venues for Games events.
Research was carried out by means of a survey that was designed to touch on a number of issues including accessibility for various disabilities, awareness of business opportunities in accessible tourism, and customer service training. A total 165 surveys were completed.
Results of the survey indicate little knowledge of accessibility or of business opportunities in accessible tourism. Surprisingly, there was also a lack of awareness of the TO 2015 Games, even in the communities where events will be held. This was evident in the survey results and in discussions during outreach initiatives with business organizations in the region.
The research suggests two aspects of accessibility deserve specific attention from businesses and government. Travellers with disabilities show a strong demand for accessibility information in the planning stages of travel. Detailed accessibility information must be publicly available through advertising, websites on accessibility and other means, if travellers are to patronize individual businesses. Quality customer service is also a priority among travellers with disabilities. Our survey respondents expressed strong interest in receiving help with customer service training for business employees. Tourism industry research also suggests a need for more consistent and thorough training programs.
DREN unveils new strategic plan at 20th Anniversary AGM!
- Thursday, June 6th 2013
At DREN’s Annual General Meeting this morning the board of directors and executive director, Donna McAllister unveiled DREN’s new strategic plan.
DREN envisions a community where employment is accessible to all!
We provide leadership in employment services through networking, resources, education and advocacy.