On August 13, 2021, the Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, the Hon. Carla Qualtrough, announced the “Towards Excellence in Return to Work/Disability Management Professionalization” initiative to NIDMAR, with funding provided under the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.
On December 3, 2021 we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This United Nations-sanctioned, internationally recognized day values the diversity of our global community. It is our opportunity to look towards the future and the creation of a world where a person is not characterised by their disabilities, but by their abilities; and to take on a commitment to create a world characterised by equal human rights.
The theme for IDPD in 2021 is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”
To read more please click on the following link: International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, 2021
In 2016, the Scottish government committed to increase the employment opportunities for people with disabilities. One of the methods chosen to address the employment gap was the training of 300 individuals to become Certified Disability Management Professionals (CDMPs) to serve the country’s public and private sectors dedicated to maintaining meaningful employment for workers with long-term health conditions, injuries, or disabilities.
To read more on the success achieved to date, please click on the following link to the Communique.
We’re happy to share some positive international news from our colleagues in the UK.
The recent relaxing of COVID restrictions in the UK has allowed for a celebration to recognize those individuals who have passed the NIDMAR professional exams for the Certified Disability Manager Professional (CDMP) designation. Here are some photos of the ceremony where the certificates were awarded by Graham Halsey, the UK License holder, and Dr. Norma Clark from the Scottish government.
Congratulations to the successful candidates! We look forward to when we can safely gather again for in-person conferences in Canada, at which time we can recognize and celebrate the 2020/2021 CRTWC and CDMP graduates from our region.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis and in order to have a full non-virtual event, the congress is postponed to September 28-30, 2022.
IFDM 2022: “Disability Management for Healthy and Inclusive Workplace and Labor Market”
10th International Biennial Congress on Disability Management and Return to Work
NH Bloom Hotel, Brussels, September 28-30, 2022
For full details: IFDM2022
The global community of Disability Management professionals continues to grow. Here is an update from our Malaysian colleagues:
“On behalf of the Certification of Disability Management Professionals (CDMP) Secretariat from the Return to Work (RTW) Department of the Social Security Organization (SOCSO) Malaysia we are honored to be given the permission from NIDMAR and IDMSC to offer the program to the neighbouring region. We have managed to offer the certification to Indonesian professionals in 2019, and moving forward we are working with Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and other South-East Asia country to bring this certification to their country, hence, expanding the practice of Disability Management in the region.
We have received several enquiries from countries in the South Asia (Bangladesh and Pakistan), West Asia (Middle East) and African Region (Kenya) to offer this program (CDMP) to their country.”
AHMAD ZAIDIN OTHMAN, CDMP
Cawangan Sistem Insurans Pekerjaan | Employment Insurance System Department
Pejabat PERKESO Negeri | Social Security Organization
Selangor Darul Ehsan | Malaysia
This support provides BC Residents the opportunity to obtain the professional designations for those working in the field:
• Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP), or
• Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC).
For details with regard to the development of the Occupational Standards in Disability Management, following Government of Canada guidelines as well as development of the professional certification examinations following Canadian, North American and ISO standards, please refer to the website at:
These professional designations have been recognized and adopted by employers and provincial and federal organizations across Canada. They were also referenced in the United Nations ISSA best practice Guidelines on Return to Work and Reintegration, as they are recognized as the global gold standard for those working in the field. There are currently individuals who have achieved these designations in 16 other international countries. This is an opportunity to join this elite Disability Management Global Professional Community of Practice as a virtual online platform is being built in order to facilitate closer collaboration of CDMPs and CRTWCs across Canada and internationally.
Qualifications to write the professional certification examinations include having completed an accepted educational program, one of which is the Bachelor of Disability Management. Also identified as accepted are a range of other educational degrees such as occupational health and nursing, occupational and physiotherapy, kinesiology, chiropractic, plus having completed Disability Management and Return to Work competency related education. Additionally, depending on the educational level, there is a requirement for various amounts of relevant work experience.
The support for qualified eligible individuals covers the cost of registering for the examination and the examination fees to obtain the professional designation.
To download an Application Form to write one of the professional certification examinations, please click the following link: WDA Grant Professionalization Strategy Application Form
For further information regarding the professional designations, please contact Jennie Ridler at:
A Special Virtual Event on Thursday, May 20, 2021 addressed the Consequences of Long COVID. The recorded session is now available to replay on demand. This one-hour webinar was hosted by the organizers of IFDM 2021.
New accessibility legislation will set British Columbia on the path to a more accessible and inclusive province for people with disabilities and their support networks.
If passed, the accessible British Columbia act will allow government to establish accessibility standards aimed at identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and inclusion. Standards will be developed in a range of areas such as employment, the delivery of services and the built environment.
“We’re committed to improving the lives of people living with disabilities, and today’s introduction of the accessible British Columbia act marks an important step in building an accessible province that works for all of us,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “To be a truly inclusive province, we must integrate accessibility into all aspects of our lives. This legislation will support the development of new accessibility standards, which will help ensure all British Columbians can participate more fully in their communities.”
To view the News Release made by the BC Government about the proposed accessible British Columbia act, please click on the following link: More Information
In a separate release, the Province announced that it is providing NIDMAR a $6 million one-time grant to administer a RTW and DM education and program support project over the next four years.
The project includes three strategies to support BC employers to accommodate injured workers to return to work as well as increase the number of people with disabilities in the provincial workforce through:
• Disabilty management program assessments and improvements
• Educational development
Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility said, “Every worker has the right to return home safely from work. As someone who has endured a serious workplace injury myself, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to return to the workplace. This funding will help more people successfully transition back into the workforce.”
Wolfgang Zimmermann, Executive Director of NIDMAR said, “We very much appreciate the support of the Province to enable us to provide employers in BC with education, professional certification and implement a Return to Work/Disability Management program so they can assist workers who acquire a mental or physical health impairment to maintain attachment to their workforce. Over 80% of impairments occur during a person’s work life, and spending a year on disability support, less than 1% will work again. Workplace efforts in early intervention and return to work play a key role in successful socio-economic outcomes for the injured/disabled worker.”
Lance Blanco, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Development Hardwoods Distribution Inc. said, “This is a tremendous opportunity. Employers in collaboration with their employees, can effect meaningful change through personal leadership and by introducing organizational policies and practices that focus on retaining valuable workers they might otherwise lose to the onset of a mental or physical health impairment. Everyone benefits when we build a culture of accommodation that recognizes the important contributions we can all make.”
Sussanne Skidmore, Secretary Treasurer, BC Federation of Labour said, “We are encouraged by this practical investment that will help injured workers to return to work. While there is much work to do to improve accessibility and supports for injured workers, employers will now have access to training and skills development to ensure they properly support their workers.”
The Honourable Minister of Labour, Harry Bains said, “Ensuring that workers who become injured or disabled have the supports they need to be able to return to work is vital to a healthy and just workforce. This grant will go a long way to improve and expand BC’s disability management and return-to-work resources and provide workers and employers with more of the supports they need.”
For further details regarding this grant, please contact NIDMAR by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For BC residents interested to be notified of future certification grant opportunities please register at: email@example.com
To view the News Release made by the BC Government Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, please click on the following link: More Information
Attached please find the latest Communique from the International Disability Management Standards Council (IDMSC) with regard to the Scottish Government NIDMAR Program and an interview with Dr. Norma Clark, Project Manager.
Committed to better outcomes for individuals with mental and physical health impairments, the article highlights the leadership of the Scottish Government and Dr. Norma Clark’s personal dedication and vision.
Members of the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management are part of a growing community of dedicated professionals worldwide. CDMPs and CRTWCs work tirelessly to support individuals with mental/physical health challenges in being accommodated in the workplace, allowing them the chance to maintain financial independence, continue to realize their potential, contribute to society, and continue to access the same opportunities as their able bodied peers.
In 2020 our members faced unprecedented challenges when the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses worldwide to adjust to new public health orders and re-imagine their daily operations. Disability Managers and Return to Work Specialists were navigating their own workplace disruptions, with access to their usual systems and supports suddenly impacted with the wholesale shift to working from home. CSPDM professionals have reported their heaviest workload to date with many seeing extraordinary surges in the number of cases they are managing.
Read the latest CSPDM Connections newsletter for a review of CSPDM news and events in 2020.
This eight-module Certificate Program addresses the mental health aspects of disability management and engages a holistic approach to foundational and current challenges related to evolving societal changes, the realities of a global pandemic and resultant workplace challenges.
Those whose responsibilities include disability management, return to work, human resources and health and safety are on the front lines as mental health conditions represent the greatest proportion of disability management claims. This Mental Health Certificate is centered on providing tactical learning opportunities for professionals to attain a perspective of informed “responding” versus well-intentioned “reacting”.
More information available here: https://www.pcu-whs.ca/2020/12/new-certificate-program-effective-workplace-responses-to-mental-health/
Note: A 10% discount is available to CSPDM Members in good standing.
On December 14, PCU-WHS hosted a virtual Convocation Ceremony for the awarding of the first Bachelor of Disability Management, a milestone both for the University and in the life of the very first graduating student.
International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) is a United Nations-sanctioned day that is celebrated internationally on 3 December. IDPWD is just one day on the international calendar, yet it symbolizes the actions we should take every day, in order to create diverse and accepting communities. The intentions of IDPWD are to recognize and value the diversity of our global community; to understand and learn from the experiences of people with living with a disability; to look towards the future and the creation of a world where a person is not characterised by their disabilities, but by their abilities; and take on a commitment to create a world characterised by equal human rights.
“Having an effective disability management program ensures an inclusive work environment so that employees with disabilities can remain at work and contribute in productive way. The CSPDM supports a strengthened, professional work force that promotes strong disability management practices. On International Day of People With Disabilities, we recognize and appreciate the contributions that our members make each and every day to minimize the socioeconomic impact of disabling injuries and illnesses on employees and employers” – John Mutch, CSPDM Chair
According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition—and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect. The 2020 IDPWD theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities right around the world. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as these potentially detrimental—and not always immediately apparent—impacts to mental health, is crucial as the world continues to fight against the virus.
In 2020, employers are focused on adjusting their work practices to comply with COVID-19 public health orders, and an unseen impact of the pandemic has been a decline in willingness to accommodate the return of an ill or injured worker. This further illustrates that people with disabilities are not offered consistent and sustainable support in the workplace. Now more than ever, we need to work together in identifying and addressing the marginalization, inaccessibility, exclusion and discrimination that many people living with disabilities face.
Fall 2020 has brought change to the CSPDM offices. Sheena Cook, who has been the Coordinator of Membership Services for the past nine years decided to retire in early October. Many of you had the opportunity to meet Sheena through attendance at the IFDM 2018 in Vancouver or the CSPDM Conference in Toronto in October 2019. We very much thank Sheena for her years of service. We now have Jennie Ridler joining us in the role of Coordinator of Membership Services. We asked Jennie to spend a few minutes to introduce herself to the members, and her introduction is included in this newsletter.