A collaborative initiative aimed at promoting equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
What We Do
We strive to level the playing field, helping job seekers with disabilities find rewarding work that resonates with their skills and interests.
We build capacity within our network by providing resources, tools, and training that enable our members to better serve their clients and promote inclusive employment.
We partner with businesses of all sizes across Alberta, advocating for workplace diversity and inclusivity, while providing them with the resources to hire, train, and support employees with disabilities.
We offer insight, data, and recommendations to policymakers, to shape legislation that fosters inclusive employment and removes barriers for individuals with disabilities.
We are a passionate group of professionals, community advocates, and change agents working together to create an equitable and inclusive workforce in Alberta. We believe in the talent and potential of every individual, regardless of their abilities.
Alberta Employment First Network (AEFN) is delivering grants across Alberta to support DEAM events during October 2023.
The purpose of DEAM is to promote employment inclusion and increased participation in Alberta's economy, raise awareness, celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities, and support employers to have inclusive hiring practices.
Almira Alijagic-Vujovic (she/her) manager of REDIworks, division of REDI Enterprises Society in Medicine Hat, Alberta; Certified Surveyor for Creating Excellence Together (CET) Accreditation Program for the Disability Services Sector with the Alberta Council for Disability Services (ACDS);
member on the Board of Directors for the Lifelong Education and Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.).
Almira leads a highly successful supported employment program with an emphasis on career development, inclusive workplaces, and continuous learning. She is a strong believer that embracing each other's uniqueness, talents, and abilities is the key to innovation and success.
Almira is excited to take part in the development and support of Alberta Employment First Network.
He/They | Treaty 6 | BA in Communication & Culture
Council Member Alberta Premier's Council Status of Persons With Disabilities (PCSPD)
Digital Platform Coordinator Story Finder Gateway Association Edmonton
Self Advocate Member Pan Disability Connection
Choreographer Performer CRIPSIE
Freelance In Disability Art Social Justice
It is in the storytelling from our arts and our self advocacy/social justice are rich areas that folks with disabilities are amazing knowledge tree’s. My own small part of those knowledge tree’s has been in in disability arts, as well as self advocacy communities within social justice, I am grateful to be involved with connecting humans and humans in the disability community, in developing and collaborating with other humans in community building.
Accessibility is the core to my work in collaborating/cultivating sustainable communities with healthy relationships of diverse communities and genders, human rights, and love.
Johnathon Red Gun
Disability Employment Coordinator
Community Futures Treaty Seven
Johnathon Red Gun is the disability employment coordinator for Community Futures Treaty Seven, formerly Treaty Seven Economic Development Corporation. CFT7 is the southern Aboriginal Skills Employment Strategy holder. Under the agreement with HRSDC - Service Canada, CFT7 allocates the resources to the sub agreement holders of treaty 7 territories, consisting of the urban contracts of Calgary, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. First Nation sub agreement holders are the First Nations of Siksika Nation, Blood Tribe, Piikani Nation, Tsuu Tina, and Stoney (Lakoda,) for labour market programs.
CFT7 Mandate is to provide employment and economic opportunities for First Nations individuals, on and off reserve, including persons with a disability.
Mr. Red Gun has facilitated number workshops in the wellness stream, specifically, to those who are impacted by the Residential School legacy, and its intergenerational trauma. He now continues to use his wellness training, social work and judicial background to advocate for First Nations persons with a disability.
He has served in various advisory roles that he has developed partnerships in the stream of disability service delivery, disability accrediting agencies – Alberta Council Disability Services, educational institutions such as Red Crow and Bow Valley College, and mainstream “generic” supported employment agencies, more importantly partnerships and relationships with businesses.
His research for Siksika Nation Chief and Council into the complex issues of disability, advocacy, judicial background (ex member of the RCMP,) Blackfoot Culture and Traditions, has made him a valuable resource for numerous individuals in the community, service delivery, and private sector. It was during development of relationship with the Federal Jurisdiction Siksika Nation was awarded the first of its kind in Canada the Disability Pilot Project. In addition, during his service of the RCMP he was selected amongst the few First Nations to the color parties (ceremonial duties) of the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
Red Gun also has extensive involvement in the Kainai (Blackfoot) spiritual life. He is a past member of the sacred Horn Society (is now in the parent stage of those ways.) He shares his traditional life with his wife, who is still a member of the Buffalo Women Society, Brave Dog Society along with his daughter, Mackenzie and various transferred rights he has attained whilst a member of the Society, such as the Iiniskim - Buffalo Stones.)
He was also involved in the repatriation efforts, which resulted in the return of: The Horns society Komonni Saam (blue paint headdress) from Aberdeen, Scotland.
His traditional Blackfoot name Aapaiksi'konnista translated into English “Weasel White Calf.”
Mitch Lawson (He/Him) is the Manager of the CATALYST Program for the Southern Alberta Community Living Association in Lethbridge, Alberta. CATALYST was launched to address the issue of unemployment for people with disabilities in Lethbridge. Mitch has been running the program since it’s launch in 2018. Prior to this, Mitch had worked in the private sector in a business-to-business capacity, while also remaining engaged to the disability community. Mitch chaired the EmployUsYQL committee from 2019 – 2022, and sat on the Board of Directors for SAIPA in 2016. Mitch has a passion for helping people succeed, and is very excited to be a part of the development of the Alberta Employment First Network.
Shauna McCallum (she/her) is an agile leader who is passionate about innovation, challenging the status quo, and making meaningful change and impact. She currently serves as the Vice President of Programs and Services at Chrysalis-a non profit organization in Edmonton and Calgary. Chrysalis provides volunteer recreational therapeutic and employment support with people with disabilities. Shauna has been involved in many programs and start-up efforts — such as human-centered Design — all aimed at creating more innovative opportunities and solutions for people facing challenges.
Shauna is also the Partnership Broker for Edmonton’s Pan Disability Connection (PDC), a collective impact initiative led by service providers, advocates, and employers to eliminate systemic barriers to employment for persons with disabilities. PDC began as a grassroots collaboration in 2015. The network of like-minded employers, service providers and self-advocates believe in the importance of opportunity for all.
Stephen’s career has been spent working in Inclusive Employment, and he is fortunate to have had the opportunity to ply his trade in both Australia and Canada. He has been involved in both the creation of the Alberta Association for Supported Employment, and the Calgary Employment First Network.
He has facilitated workshops in the area of Career Development for the Alberta Government; has been teaching in a variety of environments, promoting best practices in Inclusive Employment. His educational journey has been focused on Adult Education, particularly on alternatives to traditional learning.
Stephen has had the pleasure of working with groups of people over the years who share the same passions and enthusiasm for assisting persons with disabilities in becoming active members of their communities.
Tanya McLeod (she/her) is President of The Sinneave Family Foundation in Calgary, Alberta; a national organization committed to providing value to the community by coordinating and investing in a portfolio of purposeful initiatives and projects aimed at enhancing opportunities in education, employment and housing for Autistic youth and adults. Tanya is pleased to lead the National EmploymentWorks Project that supports working age Autistic Canadians to prepare for, get and keep jobs. In 2019, Tanya championed the establishment of the Worktopia national network with a shared goal to change the odds of employment success for neurodivergent people, and is pleased to support the development of a provincial network for employment inclusion – the Alberta Employment First Network.