Offering Services to Women Living with Disability

Innovation & Creation Lab

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Huguette Jean-Francois is an engineer and mathematician with an MA in project management, and a degree in Educational Technology. From time to time, she volunteers for nonprofits such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  

Huguette loves the digital world as well as social and solidarity economy organizations. “I am a ‘mère nourricière’,” Huguette explained. “I welcome home young women who are facing a tough time as well as financial and social challenges. I am a feminist. I fight for an end to violence against women and for the right for women to have access to scientific and technical training as well as the fight against violence against women.”

Through attending Civics Boot Camp, Huguette realised she had to move forward with her project: the Innovation & Creation Lab. “Its goal is to offer professional services and help women who are living with a disability to create jobs and to start businesses online,” Huguette said.

PROJECT DETAIL

“Our work ambitions with and for women living with a disability are getting larger and larger every day,” Huguette said. 

The Innovation & Creation Lab are looking to put into place training and support programs on:

  • Online jobs for women living with disabilities
  • Young single mums on creating online organizations and online trade
  • Parents to help develop parental skills when living with children with a disability
  • Video production
  • Promoting women living with a disability who have writing and artistic talents

“The job market here in Ottawa is not yet open to diversity in spite of big speeches and policies advocating for it,” Huguette said. “When you are living with a disability, whether visible or not, you have to make three times more effort than a regular employee does to achieve the same level of recognition. The Health system does not always work in your favor when you are looking to be more effective at work and are in need of accommodation.”

Huguette continued, “We launched our project in order to make a difference in the lives of women who are living with visible or non-visible disability and who, in order to gain financial autonomy, need to work in a compassionate, accessible and accommodating workplace. These are the most important values for us and they aim at promoting a different style of management.”

 

PROJECT STATUS

There are currently 12 volunteers working towards this cause. Huguette describes their main challenges as finding the financial backing to acquire materials and a workspace, and increasing their team of volunteers.

You can keep up with the Innovation & Creation Lab here.