More than 1.5 million women in Canada live in poverty. Women who face multiple barriers are at higher risk of poverty, such as Indigenous women, racialized women, single mothers, those who are LGBTQ2S+, newcomer women, and women living with disabilities.

RiseUP! provides self-identified women with disabilities their opportunity to shine.

Our Mission

To provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all women to succeed.

When women work together it creates a safer space for networking, relationship building, connection building, amplifying each other’s accomplishments. – Shine Theory

Our goal

RiseUP! aims to bridge the employment gap for women with disabilities or women that self-identify as having barriers to employment.

We do this by:

  • Providing full scale and adaptable support for the needs of all participants.
  • Meeting our participants as who they are, where they are, in their employment journey.
  • Supporting our clients to move forward on their personal and professional paths.

Life Skills

We provide access to individualized and group support to build on your employability and life skills. We will emphasize:

  • Workplace communication
  • Hard/Soft Skills
  • Interpersonal life skills
  • Conflict resolution and problem solving
  • Building internal/external support systems
  • Self-care and wellness at work
  • Goal setting and action planning for the future
  • Training plans
We meet you at your pace

Job Readiness

Develop your individual essential career skills and learn how they apply in the workplace

  • Cover letter, reference and resume building
  • Interview skills and dealing with interview stress
  • Job search strategies and the hidden job market
  • Professional and social networking
  • Creating an online profile
  • Critical thinking and continuous learning
  • Develop core competencies such as: numeracy, workplace computer applications (i.e. Microsoft Office, GoogleDrive, etc.)

Specialized Content

  • Disclosing Your Disability
  • Negotiating Accommodations
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Legal Rights
  • Self-Employment for PWD - How to get started
  • How can people be their authentic selves in an organization and do it with confidence
  • Relevant guest speakers with industry experience
Build your professional network with people in your community

Receive Employment Supports or referrals such as:

  • Assistive technology
  • Counselling/mental health
  • Cultural connections
  • Work gear/clothing
  • Wage Subsidy
  • Childcare

Job Search Planning

Begin your employment journey with the encouragement and expertise of the Job Development team by your side. We can offer support with:

  • Legal issues and knowing your rights at work
  • Educating employers
  • Employer supports and maintenance of training plans
  • Job coaching, employment counselling and on the job mentoring
  • Continuous support
  • Stress management
  • Enhancing social support

Connect Anywhere

Our web-based training provides participants in rural or urban communities with new opportunities in building their employability.

We utilize webinar & video conferencing software to deliver training in the comfort of your own home.

Program Outline

  • RiseUP! is an 18-week program, made up of 6 weeks in class and 12 weeks in Employment Experiences and Training. Class size is limited to 14 participants per session.
  • We will implement a dynamic blended model of programming comprised of skills training, guest speakers, targeted webinars and breakout sessions.
  • Participants will also participate in virtual interactive cultural workshops such as “Building a Dream…Catcher”.
  • Participants are engaged in the program (online) 4-5 hours per day, five days per week (25 hours per week unless an alternative accommodation is made).

Week 1

  • Introduction
  • Identifying career interests and objectives
  • Training Plan/Return to Work Action Plan
  • Essential Skills and core competencies
  • Specialized topics
  • Guest Speaker
  • Identifying employment barriers

Week 2

  • Workshops and coaching
  • Resumes, cover letters, and references
  • Specialized topics

Week 3

  • Goal setting
  • Job search
  • Online applications
  • Social media profiles & marketing
  • Self-Employment Workshop
  • Guest Speaker

Week 4

  • Hidden job market
  • Informational interviews
  • Personal wellbeing
  • Interactive Cultural Workshop
  • Communication Workshop
  • Guest Speaker

Week 5

  • Non-verbal communication & listening
  • Workplace communication & etiquette
  • Cultural Safety & Reconciliation
  • Interview skills
  • Legal issues
  • Guest Speaker

Week 6

  • 1:1 coaching sessions
  • Targeted job development, business concept, academic planning, or supported employment/volunteering
  • Closing ceremonies & certificates

Upcoming Sessions:

Our last intake is filled.

Please join our program waitlist as we wait and see if we receive further funding.


  • Women with Self-identified Disabilities
  • Unemployed or precariously employed
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Living on Vancouver Island & Coast
  • Not a full-time student
  • Not currently participating in another provincial or federal labour market program


In order to participate you will need:

  • Computer
  • Webcam
  • Reliable internet access
  • Microphone and speaker, or headset
  • An environment you feel comfortable participating

If you don't have access to a piece of equipment please let us know and our team can help

Sign up today from our website:


What happens if I have to miss a session for work, school, family emergency, or other commitments?

Participants will be expected to inform their facilitator in advance and make arrangement for material missed

How and what do I get paid for participating?

During phase 1, participants receive a daily stipend of $25/day based upon attendance

What happens if I don’t have the required technology to participate?

If you do not have access, the RiseUP! team will work with you to help you obtain the necessary equipment

Contact Us

Phone | 250-741-8116

Toll-Free | 1-877-714-0471

Email | riseup@ethoscmg.com

Mailing | 202-155 Skinner St, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5E8

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Created with images by styles66 - "job interview interview job" • Pexels - "computer laptop connection" • StartupStockPhotos - "student typing keyboard" • StartupStockPhotos - "student typing keyboard" • StartupStockPhotos - "student woman startup"