Transcript - My Accessible GC - Episode 4
(0:00:00.000,0:00:09.000) Screen Description: The screen reads: My Accessible GC (English) followed by Mon GC Accessible (French). On the right-hand side of the text, there is a circular logo of three stick figures, colored pink, blue and green with a black maple leaf in the centre. Surrounding the text are images of persons with physical and invisible disabilities. The background is image-gradient following the pink, blue and green colour scheme, which is associated with accessibility initiatives in the federal public service.
(0:00:00.090,0:00:39.050) Screen Description: Screen now features a close-up of Deputy Minister Yazmine Laroche.
(0:00:00.090,0:00:39.050) Yazmine Laroche: Hi, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the My Accessible GC video series. I’m Yazmine Laroche, and I’m the Deputy Minister for Public Service Accessibility, and I’m so thrilled that today my special guest is Jeff Willbond. Jeff is the Director of Accessibility at the Canada Post Corporation. So, I’d love it if you could tell us a little bit about your role at Canada Post and more particularly, what drew you to take on this file?
(0:00:39.010,0:01:13.016) Screen Description: Screen now features a close-up of Jeff Willbond.
(0:00:39.010,0:01:13.016) Jeff Willbond: So, a little bit about me and why I came to Canada Post. Well, I joined Canada Post two years ago, and I was with the federal public service for a number of years, as you mentioned earlier, with having done all kinds of really neat jobs and working on different projects. I really thought that this was an opportune time for a large old company to really demonstrate and model the potential and possibility of becoming an accessible service provider, as well as an employer of choice.
(0:01:14.014,0:01:58.016) Jeff Willbond: Our services span across the country with the largest retail network, and this is interesting - we have over six thousand retail post offices. That’s more than Tim Hortons and McDonald’s combined. What attracted me to Canada Post was their dual mandate, a mandate to not only serve the public, but as well become sustainable in terms of a commercial business. And they really had a commitment to change. They wanted to, and it was part of their value proposition. They wanted to not only become more diverse, more accessible, more inclusive, but at the same time reduce our carbon footprint, become more of a leader in the environment with respect to Canadian society.
(0:02:00.017,0:02:14.012) Screen Description: Screen now features a close-up of Deputy Minister Yazmine Laroche.
(0:02:00.017,0:02:14.012) Yazmine Laroche: It sounds amazing, and it sounds so exciting. I wonder if you could share some upcoming initiatives that you’re working on, something that you’re particularly proud of that you’re doing, and that Canada Post is doing right now.
(0:02:14.017,0:02:45.018) Screen Description: Screen now features a close-up of Jeff Willbond.
(0:02:14.017,0:02:45.018) Jeff Willbond: So, one of the things that we did when I first started was to appoint an expert panel of individuals across the country who have expertise in accessibility and who represent different organizations across disability and cross sector. We really value, you know, kind of an untapped labour pool with respect to our recruitment. So, we started our journey with creating a multi-year action plan to really enhance accessibility for both customers and employees.
(0:02:46.005,0:03:24.000) Jeff Willbond: And accessibility can’t be something at the side of your desk. It really needs to be embedded in the company’s DNA. So, for Canada Post, it was really about, you know, kind of weaving it into the fabric of the corporation, adopting accessibility as one of our strategic imperatives. And, you know, that allowed me to do a lot of really neat things just in a very short period of time, like improve physical access to the post offices, the modernization of our digital network. Really looking at applying the principles of universal design to procurement and projects and new builds.
(0:03:24.024,0:04:02.016) Jeff Willbond: The other thing that I’m really pleased about is the targeted recruitment strategy that’s underway. Really looking at that whole recruitment process. So, how are we attracting new talent? How are we onboarding new employees? How are we retaining our current employees with disabilities? And are we advancing those to, to really move along in their career? And then the, the last thing that I want to mention, Yazmine, is that we’re just about to launch a Canada Post scholarship for post-secondary students with disabilities.
(0:04:03.000,0:04:32.011) Jeff Willbond: And I’m really pleased about this scholarship because it really acknowledges that, you know, school is the transition to work. And again, there can be challenges and additional barriers with attending and participating in school. So, Canada Post has a commitment to the community, if you will, is to really look at supporting students through their post-secondary education with the creation of a scholarship award.
(0:04:33.006,0:04:48.016) Screen Description: Screen now features a close-up of Deputy Minister Yazmine Laroche.
(0:04:33.006,0:04:48.016) Yazmine Laroche: So, Jeff, I just want to thank you again so much for joining us today. And, thanks to everybody who’s tuning in to another great episode of My Accessible GC. Bye, everybody. Take care. Be safe.
(0:04:49.000,0:04:59.000) Screen Description: The screen reads: Since this interview, our special guest, Jeff Willbond, had moved on to a new exciting opportunity and is now Director General of Proactive Compliance at the Canadian Human Righ5tsw Commission. Congratulations Jeff!
(0:04:59.000,0:05:08.000) Screen Description: The screen now reads: My Accessible GC (English) followed by Mon GC Accessible (French). On the right-hand side of the text, there is a circular logo of three stick figures, colored pink, blue and green with a black maple leaf in the centre. Surrounding the text are images of persons with physical and invisible disabilities. The images are gradient-coloured following the pink, blue and green colour scheme, which is associated with accessibility initiatives in the federal public service. Image fades away with a black background that emerges with the Government of Canada logo in white appearing in the centre.