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Spotlight: Alumni Employment Supports

Katie at OpenCircle Benefits
Katie at OpenCircle Benefits

Alumni Employment Supports is a non-profit organization that provides employment advocacy and support for persons with developmental disabilities. Founded in 2000, Alumni assists graduates of the On Campus inclusive post-secondary education program in their employment pursuits.

Jacob at Home Depot.
Jacob at Home Depot.

The On Campus program provides inclusive post-secondary education opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities at the University of Alberta. Founded in 1987, it was the first inclusive education program of its kind in the world and has served as a framework for the development of similar programs worldwide. Students are assigned to an Educational Facilitator who provides individualized support for the duration of their university experience. Upon graduation, students have the opportunity to join the Alumni Employment Supports program for continued employment advocacy and on-the-job assistance.

Alumni Employment Supports was founded with the intention of facilitating inclusive experiences for our graduates beyond post-secondary education. Alumni now assists 26 graduates with a customized approach to individual success and inclusion in the workplace. Our graduates are employed in a wide range of job sectors, including but not limited to: retail, sports and fitness, food service and hospitality, education, automotive, arts and culture, and administration.

When graduates enter the Alumni Employment Supports program, they are assigned to an Employment Facilitator to assist with individualized job search, on-the-job training, and employer and coworker relationship development. The Employment Facilitators work with employers to conduct ongoing assessments of our graduates’ individual needs to determine the level of support required. As the graduate becomes familiar with their job duties and colleagues, the Employment Facilitator gradually fades out of the workplace to ensure an authentic inclusive employment environment. The Employment Facilitator remains as a point of contact for the graduate and touches base with employers on a regular basis. Should it be determined that any of our graduates require one on one support, a Personal Facilitator is assigned to that graduate to assist them with their job duties from day to day.

Our mission is to locate employment relevant to the graduate's interests and skills, and to assist with the creation of an inclusive workplace environment where the graduate can contribute their strengths as part of a team.

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[email protected]

Did you know?

  • Companies with inclusive cultures are 8x more likely to have better business outcomes1
  • Staff retention rates are 72% higher among people who have a disability2
  • Businesses with inclusive hiring practices experience 28% higher revenue, a 45% increase in workplace safety, 30% higher profit margins, and 2x more in net income3

An inclusive workplace provides a work environment that makes everyone feel included and valued.4 What does it take to create an inclusive workplace?

  • Everyone is treated with dignity and respect
  • Individual differences are acknowledged
  • Everyone is provided with the tools and supports needed to succeed
  • Active commitment to removing barriers to employment
  • Employees are empowered to contribute their skills and talents


  1. Deloitte: Human Capital Services. (2020, May 29). 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trend - rewriting the rules for the digital age.
  2. Jobs Ability Canada. (2021, June 18). What to understand about the power of inclusive hiring.
  3. Accenture. (2018, October 29). Companies leading in disability inclusion have outperformed peers, Accenture Research finds. Newsroom.
  4. Spiceworks. (2023, August 25). What Is an Inclusive Workplace? Definition, Best Practices, and Tools.

In addition to direct support, Alumni is committed to forming relationships with communities and the public at large. We aim to educate the public about the inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities in the workforce. Our latest initiative focuses on reaching out to local businesses to discuss the benefits of inclusive hiring and best practices. We have developed a presentation and workshop specifically for business owners on this subject, Inclusive Employment: Benefits and Best Practices. Our next presentation will take place on Thursday, April 4 at 2 pm via Zoom. For more information and RSVPs, please email us at [email protected]