Michelle Buckland is the Founder of EMBRACE© as a Learning and Development Consultant, Accessibility Advisor, and Keynote Speaker. As a seasoned Learning and Development Consultant, she achieves measurable and sustainable results by linking learning solutions to business objectives. This demonstrated her ability to build collaboration, foster learning communities, communicate with diverse groups, manage projects, and demonstrate the value of training investment/s. She has worked for and/or with companies such as DMR/Fujitsu Consulting, CELESTICA, Ministry of Solicitor General and Correctional Services, Royal Bank of Canada, Environment Canada, and Varanor International.
As an Accessibility Advisor, her goal is to help organizations, the education system, and community practice inclusion and people optimize their abilities. She holds numerous years of building awareness, ensuring accessibility-compliance, and identifying barriers to bring out the best in people so they can embrace their abilities and gifts and inspire them to reach their goals. With resilience and passion, Michelle fosters accessibility, inclusion, and diversity for people with disabilities through personal and professional development, legislation integration, and impactful speeches as an ambassador.
Michelle Buckland’s background in Adult Education reflects over 20 years including the methodologies, theory and principles. Some examples are the:
- ADDIE Model
- Needs Analysis and Assessment
- Instructional Design
- Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Experiential Learning Cycle
- Kirkpatrick Four-Level Training Evaluation Model
- Kolb’s Learning Styles
- Knowles’ Andragogy Model
Throughout her career she has been recognized as a committed partner who assesses the needs of her audiences and designs and develops training programs via a variety of training methods such as: interactive, hands-on, on-the-job, real-time, (rapid) e-Learning, digital learning, s-Learning, one-on-one coaching, microlearning, peer-based, action plan, self-paced learning, virtual and/or online with collaboration and learning tools. This has led to successful training implementation and $3M+ cost-savings.
As a key stakeholder, she has helped organizations implement training initiatives which has led to support/buy-in, cost-savings, compliance, product efficiency, customer service excellence, a fostered learning community, and corporate change across multiple lines of business, job functions and disciplines.
AMBASSADOR FOR ACCESSIBILITY and INCLUSION
Her key goals are to help build full access for all people who identify themselves with a disability, help organizations drive measurable business results and attract top talent while integrating accessibility legislation, and drive change for an inclusive community, workplace, and society. Michelle is a dedicated and award-winning recipient of increasing support and opening doors for individuals with disabilities with organizations and partners to promote an inclusive workplace, culture and/or environment. This has led to recognition through the media, the HOPE Award presented by the City Mayor in 2003, a Board Member of Barrier-free Canada, Special Mentions in articles, recipient of the Michele Edwards Memorial Award, and partnerships with non-profit organizations which provide services for people with disabilities.
Success stories encompass building awareness with workshops and keynotes, assess infrastructures, incorporating assistive technology to maximize participation of people with disabilities, and integrate accessibility legislation and employment best practices. This includes the:
- Accessible Canada Act (Bill C-81),
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA, 2005),
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), and
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL 2.0).
Her passion for accessibility and inclusion is to help individuals embrace their full potential, change mindsets, as well as teach businesses how to become more accessible for a larger target market — people with disabilities. Michelle is evidently recognized to be a voice for people with disabilities using technology, training, advocacy AND to help transform mindsets for everyone to “EMBRACE” disability as a natural part of life.
She states: “What I find so enjoyable is paying it forward and making a difference with a positive impact for those who may not have the same opportunities as others because their abilities differ. It is all in the mind of the beholder.”
AWARD-WINNING MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Michelle has excelled as a member of Toastmasters International by winning 1st Place of a Toastmasters Area Speech Contest. Also, Michelle has been a Keynote Speaker for special events, distinguished as a Motivational Speaker of the United Way Speakers Bureau, a judge for English Lab Toronto at Presentation Festivals, as well as within the community to help motivate high school and university students excel for their future endeavours. Her speeches include groups such as banks, community and non-profit organizations, law offices, and government offices.
Michelle has sat on committees which help advocate for the Canadian Parliament to enact a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA) to achieve a barrier-free Canada for all persons with disabilities. One of the committees successfully and collaboratively, with other service-based organizations for people with disabilities, helped make history in the establishment of the Accessible Canada Act, 2019. She represents them in different capacities (i.e. Barrier-free Canada, The Include Me Social Movement, “Making Canada Accessible” public forum, et. al.) to help create an accessible Canada, add input to legislation, support the community of people with disabilities, and build awareness for accessibility, inclusion, and diversity.
Her additional skill sets include mentorship; educating organizations and the public of removing stigma, misconceptions, and myths of people with disabilities; relationship building; and learning support. She has been devoted many years as a volunteer for United Way, Epilepsy Toronto, and Junior Achievement and still committed to help make a difference within a variety of communities. With lifelong learning and community, people will feel a sense of belonging, remain energized, motivated and thrive!
Michelle Buckland holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree specializing in Information Technology, a Training and Development Certificate with honors – both from Ryerson University – and a Certificate of Completion of a Management Consulting Professional Development Program. She is a 10-year member of the Canadian Society of Training and Development and a Toastmasters International Competent Leader.