We help youth with disabilities who are in high school connect with early work opportunities such as volunteering, co-op and paid employment. Check out our experience-based life skills programs and other employment services.
First point of contact for all programs:
VolunteerABLE (Fall/Winter) or Youth@Work (Summer): Complete volunteer work placements with Holland Bloorview and earn volunteer hours. A job coach supports you to learn your roles and reach your goals. You meet other participants for life skills and career development workshops.
Employment Action Coaching: If your goal is to start to volunteer or work, you will learn about how to job search, make an action plan, and work with an advisor towards your goal.
Ready to Work: Holland Bloorview job coaches help you connect with a Toronto employer and get you started in your paid summer job. (For youth who want a summer job and have participated in one VolunteerABLE or Youth@Work or Leading the Way and Employment Action Coaching. Youth must apply, interview and demonstrate commitment to job search activities and be available for summer work.)
Leading the Way: Do your high-school co-operative education placement or post-secondary fieldwork placement at Holland Bloorview. Includes coaching to support you with your goals, work life skill building and career development. (For current or former clients of Holland Bloorview who face barriers in finding suitable, accessible positions due to physical, learning and/or developmental disabilities.) (Note this program is operating in a very limited capacity in 2021-2022).
Personal consultation:Meet an occupational therapist or life skills coach to talk about your employment goal.
Resources & tip sheets
- Autism Speaks Canada Employment Toolkit
- Coalition for Persons with Disabilities: Offers free online workshops on a variety of work related topics including interview skills, disclosure and more
- Community Living Ontario Student Links: Matches students ages 14-21 who have an intellectual disability with a mentor to explore ideas for life after high school
- ConnectAbility.caThe ConnectAbility website provides a wide variety of resources and information about services for individuals with disabilities across Ontario. Check out the "Transitioning to Adulthood" sections.
- Magnet: A free online platform that matches jobs seekers with opportunities that meet their qualifications.
- ALiGN: ALiGN combines Magnet’s sophisticated matching technology with a personality assessment to create fit-based matches between employers and job seekers.
- ODSP Employment Supports
- Tip sheet for job seekers
Are you or someone in your life thinking about life after high school? Join our virtual group events for Toronto-based families and youth (ages of 14-26) with a disability and/or special education needs.
In each session you will learn about relevant resources and services, hear from lived experience mentors, and take a practical next step in the topic area.
See our flyer for session descriptions and registration links.
This workshop is facilitated by Holland Bloorview and ConnectAbility.ca
- Additional workshop dates coming soon
- Watch the recording from our September 2021 session
- Resources for transition-to-employment and continued learning
Workshop is designed for families and youth who are:
- On diverse high school pathways including: students taking non-credit courses, graduating with a certificate or in a special education program
- Between the ages of 16-26
Discuss and explore:
- Accessing employment supports and resources
- Other learning options and programs
- Related online community resources
- Hearing from staff, families and partners
- Hear from staff and lived experience experts on how expectations, responsibilities and participation in home and community activities can build children and youth’s skills and attitudes for future work, in this virtual workshop What can I be when I grow up? Early strategies to promote employment inclusion and participation. Facilitated by Holland Bloorview and the Ontario Disability Employment Network.
- Hear from youth who reflect on their past transitions into high school and share tips,tricks and perspectives about their experiences. A Youth@Work 2021 video project titled The Youth Perspective: Tips and tricks for the transition into high school and a Youth@Work 2023 video project titled The Youth Perspective 2023: Experiences and tips about the transition into high school.
Project SEARCH Toronto is a school to work transition program for students with intellectual disabilities in their final year of high school.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to be a co-site host for the Project SEARCH Toronto program, together with Toronto Rehab-UHN. Our other partners include: Community Living Toronto, the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN), Toronto District School Board and United Way Greater Toronto.
Learn more about the program at projectsearchtoronto.ca and join an information session for the 2022 school year.
Partner with Holland Bloorview to promote youth employment inclusion
Ready to Work:
Holland Bloorview job coaches connect employers with qualified, enthusiastic youth for summer positions
Employer resources & toolkits
- Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW): Promotes and supports meaningful and equitable employment of people with disabilities. Offers a range of resources and services for employers.
- CivicAction: Roadmap for youth-inclusive hiring.
- Discoverability: A free online portal for employers with a 6-step guide for employers about hiring—and retaining—employees with disabilities.
- Hire for Talent: Free employer toolkit - leverage the talent of people with disabilities.
- Magnet: A free platform that matches employers with candidates who have the education and/or work experience you need.
- Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN): Provides resources, strategic consultation services and information about the business case for hiring individuals with disabilities.
- Ready, Willing & Able: Supports you with resources, consultation, and answers to your questions about the modern inclusive workforce.
- RWA Works: A free resource hub providing the know-how and resources to support businesses in hiring employees with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder.
Designed for youth:
- In high-school (grades 10, 11, 12 or 12+) and working towards your OSSD
- Living with a disability and/or an autism spectrum disorder
- Living in Ontario
Parents/guardians are welcome to participate.
Virtual workshops are interactive. They include a mix of information (presentation style), discussion, activities and an opportunity to ask questions. We engage Youth Mentors to share their lived experiences.
Our employment programs and services are part of the Transitions, Recreation, and Life Skills services at Holland Bloorview and are linked to our organization’s strategy to support transitions to adult life. All of our employment programs are supported by donations to the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.