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Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) Project: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Workplace Inclusivity for All

Diversity and Inclusion, Disability Management


In this first segment of our conversation with Dr. Emile Tompa and Dr. Rebecca Gerwurtz gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) project from conception to current day to future goals and outcomes.  

Watch “One Size Fits One: Building Inclusive Workplaces For All

Interview Guest Bios

Emile Tompa, Ph.D.

Dr. Emile Tompa is a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. He holds appointments as an associate professor in the Department of Economics at McMaster University and as an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Tompa is a labour and health economist with an MBA from the University of British Columbia, an MA in economics from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in economics from McMaster University. 

Tompa is the Executive Director of Inclusive Design for Employment Access, or IDEA for short. It is a social innovation laboratory that identifies, develops, evaluates, and disseminates tools and resources that address critical needs of organizations in their efforts to be inclusive workplaces. 

Tompa’s research interests include the consequences of occupational health and safety system design on the health and well-being of individuals and populations, the economic evaluation of workplace interventions for improving the health and well-being of workers, the economic burden of adverse health conditions and disability, and the analysis of disability policy systems.  

Rebecca Gewurtz, Ph.D.

Dr. Rebecca Gewurtz is an Occupational Therapist, an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University, and an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Work and Health. She is the Director of the Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) Social Innovation Laboratory where she is leading research examining strategies for building employer capacity to hire, accommodate, and promote persons with disabilities. She is also interested in income security, benefit systems, and housing and homelessness. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and completed a collaborative program through the CHSRF/CIHR in Health Services and Policy Research. 

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