Telehop Communications Inc. supports the Toronto District School Board's Practice Firm for the Unemployed including Persons with Disabilities



    TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - Telehop Communications Inc., a CRTC-licensed
provider of a complete range of value-priced telecommunication services to
residential and business customers, is the corporate sponsor of the Employment
Accessibility Exchange (EAE), a new state-of-the-art Financial Services
Practice Firm for the unemployed, including Persons with Disabilities.
    According to the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey: A
Profile of Disability in Canada (PALS)(1), one out of every seven Canadians
adults (14.6%) aged 15 years and over, or 3.4 million people, reported some
level of disability. In Ontario alone, 14% of the population aged 15 years and
over are reported to have some level of disability. This percentage varies
between 10 and 14 percent in different CMA's across the GTA.
    The Toronto District School Board's Contracted Services and Partnership
Development Department (CSPD) operates the EAE, through funding contributions
from the Province of Ontario and the Federal Government through the Employment
Ontario Network.
    Telehop, a TSX Venture Exchange listed company (HOP), has supported many
programs, events, and organizations in the past, and strongly believes in
giving back to the community. Through this initiative, Telehop will be
supporting the Practice Firm by providing a number of contributions, including
up-to-date information on their business practices, and providing meaningful
work assignments, expert advice and guidance to the Practice Firm and its
participants.
    The Employment Accessibility Exchange is a Practice Firm that models and
simulates the job functions, business operations and transactions of a
Canadian Financial Services business. Prior to starting with the Practice
Firm, all participants must be referred by an Employment Assessment Counselor
with a 'Return to Work Action Plan' tailored to each participant's career
goals. The participant is then invited to attend a formal interview at the
EAE. Once accepted, unemployed individuals, including Persons with
Disabilities are provided with an opportunity to improve their job search
skills and a platform to gain practical hands-on work experience in a virtual
setting. To further assist participants find full-time employment and gain
confidence with their job search, a Job Developer is on hand at the
Scarborough facility to provide guidance on all aspects of the job search
process. The EAE also offers job search resources and on-site workshops to
help them improve their interview skills, resume and cover letter writing,
networking and cold calling. EAE can accommodate Persons with Disabilities as
it is wheelchair accessible, and has other facilities such as TTY access,
ergonomic chairs, hydraulic tables and adaptive computerized software.
    The response from job seekers, as well as employers and community
partners has been very positive. Community partners and employers realize that
the major barriers facing the unemployed can be overcome through this
intervention. Newcomers with considerable work experience from their home
countries can apply their skills and knowledge to gain Canadian experience
while working at a Practice firm. The unemployed can be productive during
their job search and are able to add current work experience and references to
their resumes. Persons with Disabilities can gain additional work experience,
access to adaptive technologies, and exposure to equal opportunity employers.
The Practice Firm is also a great avenue for individuals who have not been in
the work force for some time, and who therefore need a smooth transition back
into the work force. To quote EAE's community partners, "Finally, a program
that really makes sense and is actually filling the gap!"
    Ruth Bartholomeusz, President and COO of Telehop stated: "We are
delighted to be able to participate in the establishment of the EAE Financial
Services Practice Firm, and in the opportunity to assist new immigrants, the
disabled, and the unemployed in attaining much-needed work experience,
training, and more importantly, self confidence! We at Telehop strongly
believe that we not only have to build our business, but we also have to give
back to our community and we feel that the EAE Practice Firm initiative is an
innovative solution to a chronic problem that most work-seekers and new
immigrants face."
    For EAE's information session schedule, please call (416) 396-5654. EAE
is located at 3478 Lawrence Avenue East, Unit C002, Scarborough, Ontario,
M1H 1A9. www.work4disabled.ca. For more information on Telehop's products and
services check our websites - www.telehop.com.

    
    --------------------------
    (1) The 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) provides
        the most up-to-date and reliable information on people with
        disabilities living in Canada. It excludes those living in
        institutions and on Indian reserves. The provincial level is the only
        one for which data is available.
    





For further information:

For further information: More investor information on Telehop (HOP-TSX
Venture) may be obtained at http://www.sedar.com/ or by calling Patrick V.
Farrell at (416) 494-4490 ext 399, or 1-866-530-7988 or e-mail
pfarrell@telehop.com

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