Stronger Together Consulting

Forte Ensemble/ Stronger Together: a Montreal-based accessibility training and consulting service

Team of 5 experienced consultants/ facilitators, with lived experiences of disability and professional expertise in accessibility. We offer trainings and accessibility audit services catered to the needs and processes of our clients. We have been effectively and compassionately been conveying information regarding best practices around accessibility to a range of audiences and clients since 2013.

    • Workplace culture shifts
    • Social/ Interpersonal/ Communicational
    • Sensorial/ Neurodiversity
    • Physical/ Design/ Building codes
    • Building cultures of belonging
    • HR practices/ Policy advising

Bilingual Participatory Training

  • Experienced in cross-sector culture change trainings bringing together government, non-profit, educational, business and stakeholder groups
    • (Eg., Developed and implemented an accessibility training with the Centre for Community Organizations (CoCo) which brought employees of the City of Montreal, community sector, Concordia University’s Office of Community Engagement)
  • Using creative facilitation to create experiential learning to break down stereotypes and build cultures of belonging (Eg., Conversational, workshops facilitated at McGill University’s Thomson House, 2019; poetry-based, play-based accessibility trainings for C-FAR Critical Feminist Activism in Research)
  • Workshops and trainings centered on needs of client, from development to delivery. To achieve culture shifts we promote:
    • Education
    • Exchange
    • Expanding awareness
  • Aware of federal regulations in progress-will incorporate this into our trainings and audits as they roll out

wordcloud

Image: word cloud from feedback of training participants in purple, burgundy, green and blue, words include: accessibility, perspective, transform, think, experiences, important, questions, workshop, improve, Thank you, conversational, opportunities, understanding, solutions, intimate, dialogue, learning,  respect, sharing

Accessibility Audits

Our audits are based on a strong understanding of disability, informed primarily by lived experience, and further developed by professional and community experience, governmental and academic research. (Eg., Research design and delivery for Canada Council for the Arts on Deaf and Disability Arts in Canada, 2018-2019.)

We align our audits with building codes, and supplement this with standards from existing standards such as the OADA and ADA where appropriate (Eg., Public enterprise, Société de transport de Montréal consultations, 2015, 2016; McGill University Post Graduate Student Society departmental audit of physical and social spaces, 2018-2019)

Sample past audits/ consultation

  • Government

    • Deaf and Disability Arts Practices in Canada research for Canada Council for the Arts
    • Montreal and Quebec City public consultations for Bill C-81
    • Developed and implemented an accessibility audit and training with the Centre for Community Organizations (CoCo) which brought employees of the City of Montreal, community sector, Concordia University’s Office of Community Engagement
    • Policy Consultation for updating of Concordia University-wide Accessibility Policy
    • Société de transport de Montréal audit, consultations on public usability and accessible infrastructure
  • Cross-sector

  • Education

    • Comprehensive accessibility audit and usability consultation for Post-Graduate Students’ Society and Thomson House, McGill University, Montreal
    • Comprehensive accessibility audit and usability consultation for Communications Department, McGill University, Montreal
    • Comprehensive audit of preliminary Critical Disability Studies Working Group lab space, EV Building, Milieux Institute, Concordia University, Montreal
  • Arts sector

    • Audit and workshop of Belgo Building, 372 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montreal
    • Audit and workshop of SSMU building, McGill University
    • Comprehensive audit of Oboro artists centre http://www.oboro.net/en   

Our approach

  • Based on Disability Justice, which allows for finding creative solutions and centring people who live with multiple marginalizations
    • Compliments current legislative and institutional processes of Universal Design, and human rights
    • Implementing key component of accessibility – adaptability; uniquely placed  to fill the auditing niche and meet the needs of groups with diverse members and stakeholders
    • Trained in design, policy, disability studies, sociology, social work and communications

What participants have said about our trainings:

‘My understanding of accessibility has deepened during this workshop because we got to talk about common issues… and solutions to how to improve and how to go about sensitive issues/questions.’

‘It has certainly allowed me to enter a room and approach its accessibility from more than one perspective.’

‘My biggest take away was learning about the dialogue and the importance of it when trying to make the place accessible as possible.’

‘I liked how intimate this workshop was’

‘To think about making a space accessible first and allowing for people without accessibility issues to adapt. It makes so much more sense to think about it in that respect.’

‘Thank you for speaking to us today!’

‘Thanks for doing this in an informal conversational style!’

‘I think it’s important to meet people who may have accessibility issues so that you can see things from their perspective. Thank you for sharing your experiences and time.’

Next steps:

I would be happy to meet and discuss options, your needs and timeline, etc. Feel free to get in touch by email or phone.

Aimee Louw,

514-601-4747

aimeelouw4@gmail.com

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