Joel Dembe

Joel Dembe

Add to list
Accessibility and Diversity Expert, 5-time Canadian National Wheelchair Tennis Champion, Paralympian

Joel Dembe is a Paralympian and strategic communications advisor.

He was Canada’s top-ranked wheelchair tennis player and won over 30 international titles throughout his career.

Joel represented Canada at the Paralympics and won the country’s first international medal in wheelchair tennis at the 2015 Toronto Pan-American Games, shortly before retiring from sport.

He currently serves as a Senior Communications Manager and is also co-Chair of RBC Reach, an advisory group for clients and employees with disabilities.

Joel is a frequent media contributor,  keynote speaker and writer, where he advocates for accessibility and inclusion.

He was recently named to the Emerging Leaders under 40 list from Canadian business news publication, The Peak, recognizing leaders making an impact in their field

Add to list

Speaking topics

Embracing Inclusivity: Unlocking the Potential of a Diverse Workforce

In this powerful keynote, Joel shares his inspiring journey of overcoming adversity and competing at the highest level of sport. Attendees will learn how fostering a culture of accessibility and inclusion can unlock the potential of every employee, regardless of their abilities. Through personal stories and practical strategies, Joel provides a roadmap for creating a corporate environment that values diversity, fosters innovation, and leads to increased employee engagement and productivity.

Rethinking Accessibility: Designing an Inclusive Workplace for All

In this thought-provoking presentation, Joel shares his firsthand experience of navigating the world with a disability, showcasing the importance of accessible and inclusive workspaces. Attendees will learn how to identify and address barriers that prevent equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Joel also shares effective strategies for making workplaces more accessible, emphasizing the importance of empathy and communication. By rethinking accessibility, companies can cultivate a culture of inclusion and reap the benefits of a truly diverse workforce.

The Power of Resilience: Lessons from a Paralympian's Journey

Drawing from his experiences as a Paralympian, Joel offers a unique perspective on the importance of resilience in the face of challenges. This keynote delves into the lessons learned through a lifetime of overcoming obstacles and highlights how these valuable insights can be applied to the corporate world. Attendees will discover how embracing adversity can lead to personal and professional growth, and how building a resilient workforce fosters a more adaptable and successful organization.

Video clips

Joel Dembe - Ted Talk - Let's rethink how we look at disability

The Fight for Accessibility in Games | Sacred Symbols+ Episode 106

Speaker testimonials

The team and I were really happy with how the event went. A few people reached out to me with positive feedback saying it was insightful and we had lots of chats come in throughout the keynote from people commenting that they learned something new or gained a new perspective. Joel was super engaging even in the remote world and did a great job leveraging his story and connecting it to actions we can take. I really appreciate the work you and the rest of the team have put into getting this set up as well. Your flexibility and communication have made this a smooth process for us.

Hershey Canada

An inspiring speaker with wonderful stories to tell, Joel’s messages of inclusion, “can-do” and resourcefulness, set the tone for motivating a variety of audiences.

Caroline Tapp-Macdougall | Vice President BCS Group, Editor-in-Chief Homefront Magazine

Joel is a well-spoken, personable and enthusiastic representative for wheelchair tennis and Paralympic sport. It has been a pleasure to work with him over the past several years at major Games and events for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Anytime one has a chance to hear the first-hand story of an athlete and their journey, it’s a special treat – always inspiring, compelling and thought-provoking. I would recommend Joel as an impactful speaker and accomplished ambassador representing the best in Canadian sport.

Alison Korn, Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications | Canadian Paralympic Committee, 2X Olympic medalist, rowing

On behalf myself and the Royal LePage brokers we partner with, we wanted to thank Joel for coming to speak at our Royal LePage kickoff this morning. Your story was very inspiring and you had the audience really engaged (which can sometimes be difficult at these types of events).

Kate Robinson | RBC Mortgage Services and Waterloo-Region Royal LePage Brokers

I’m so honored that Joel came to speak at our RBC annual REACH (dis)ABILITY Learning Expo. Our theme this year was Overcoming Barriers; we wanted the audience to feel inspired and motivated. Joel’s presentation was engaging and humorous and relatable. I believe that we all came away feeling inspired by his story, hearing the importance of family support and the key role that a mentor plays in our lives. I would love to have Joel come back again one day.

Emma Carter | RBC Insurance

Request fees and availability for Joel Dembe

Request information