Featured Employer of Excellence for February 2014: Dartmouth Oceanview Hotel

Our featured Employer of Excellence for the month of February 2014 is Dartmouth Oceanview Hotel! Thank you Dartmouth Oceanview Hotel for your participation in our groundbreaking program. Your interest in building a strong, diverse workplace that includes people with disabilities means that you share our vision of an inclusive, healthy community to which all people belong and contribute.

Janet Toner, General Manager of Dartmouth Oceanview Hotel, attended reachAbility's introductory Disability Awareness Training (DAT) this Fall and, as a result, became more prepared to create an inclusive workplace - one that reflects the community they serve.

reachAbility has an award-winning track record for successfully accessing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. At the same time, we create opportunities for employers to build and enrich their organizations through the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their workplaces.

In this instance, reachAbility provided Toner and her team with a suitable, ready-to-work former client of ours, Shauna Stoodley. Stoodley has been doing very well working at the front desk of the hotel, and we have been making sure to provide additional training and support to both Toner and Stoodley to ensure continued growth and a win-win.

"Janet Toner and the Dartmouth Oceanview Hotel have been committed to the principles of inclusion and acting on their new appreciation for the value of embracing the whole community," says reachAbility's Community and Business Executive Danny Morton. "They're walking the talk."

We asked both Toner and Stoodley some questions about their experience with the Employer of Excellence program.

reachAbility: Who are you? Describe your organization.

Janet Toner: Dartmouth Oceanview Hotel is an 80 room property offering both leisure and extended stay guest rooms in the heart of downtown Dartmouth. We are committed to providing each guest with clean, comfortable, conveniently located accommodations and levels of service that exceed their expectations. Come experience exceptional value downtown.

rA: What inspired you to create an inclusive workplace?

Toner: Many years ago, as a young frontline employee, I was asked by my CEO what three things I would do differently to change the company for the better. These three things have become the guiding principles throughout my career: 1) Start the job, 2) Finish the job, 3) Teach the job to someone else who wants to learn.

rA: Do you have any words of encouragement for employers who are considering contributing to a culture of inclusion?

Toner: Great things happen when everyone works together toward a common vision. As employers and leaders we need to allow everyone to work to their personal strengths in order for our teams to reach their goals and our organizations to be successful. You can spend years looking for the ideal candidate to fit the roles within your company or you can outline the requirements and encourage people to be the best they can possibly be by allowing them to grow and help others. Everyone has something unique to offer, and will connect with guests, clients or customers in their own way, if given the chance.

rA: reachAbility's motto is LOVE LIVE LEARN. What do these words mean to you and your organization?

Toner: Ignting passion in the workplace (LOVE) will ensure proper balance (LIVE) and growth (LEARN) for both employer and employee.

rA: What do you love about where you work, and the journey you've been on as of late?

Shauna Stoodley: The energy. Talking with guests and my co-workers. I enjoy working in the mornings. Learning new things everyday.

rA: How has reachAbility and this new job changed your life?

Stoodley: Gives me a sense of belonging. I can provide for myself. I'm saving for my own place to be closer to work. I'm getting up everyday, and able to set goals.

rA: What have you learned about yourself?

Stoodley: That I can do this and I'm not alone. I'm very good with people, I enjoy what I do here. I have confidence in my self and my self-esteem is rising.

For more information on our Employer of Excellence of program, visit the 'About Employer of Excellence' page on our Employer of Excellence website.