Accessibility consultant spotlight: Sarah Molder


Photo of Sarah Molder, a young white woman with blonde shoulder length hair and brown glasses

This month, we’re excited to spotlight Untapped Associate Sarah Molder. With a background in accessible employment for youth and a focus on disabilities studies, Sarah has been working with Untapped on a range of projects, sharing her lived experience and subject matter expertise with our team and clients.

Tell us about your professional journey. Where has it led you over the years?

I graduated with a degree in Kinesiology in 2018 – with the original goal of becoming a physiotherapist. But my Kinesiology program at the University of Regina had a big focus on disability studies. I felt really connected to these classes and decided to pursue a practicum placement with a non-profit brain injury organization. From there, I transitioned into a role with another non-profit that provided employment and community inclusion support to adults with developmental disabilities.

After some other program development and project-focused roles in the non-profit sector, I took on a major project with CanAssist. I managed the development of the Provincial Employment Strategy for Youth with Disabilities. I led a team in building a coordinated, consistent, and age-appropriate provincial approach to supporting young job seekers with disabilities in their employment.

This high-level role was a great experience, but I learned that I was missing the more practical development work. Instead of focusing on strategic direction-setting and day-to-day team management, I wanted to be the one building tools, writing resources, and applying critical thinking to the development of practical solutions. I was thrilled to connect with Untapped Accessibility!

I am now working with the Untapped team to support clients to deliver on accessibility. I love the process of working with a client to understand who they are and what accessibility means to them – and then translating this understanding into practical tools, resources, and actions that help them meet their accessibility goals.

What’s been your most meaningful accomplishment so far?

There were so many meaningful highlights from my time on the Provincial Employment Strategy for Youth with Disabilities project. For example, presenting with my amazing team at noteworthy accessibility and employment conferences will always be memorable! But reflecting on my career, I’d say my most meaningful accomplishment has been getting to where I am today. I have grown so much as a young anxious professional. Just recently, I’ve come to an important realization that I didn’t realize was holding me back. I used to think my anxiety was my biggest weakness and that I needed to “beat it” to be successful and make an impact. But I’m learning to work with it – and I’m seeing how much letting go of the constant fight is changing things. Not only am I producing my best work, but I’m also enjoying life so much more. I can’t think of a more meaningful accomplishment than that.  

Why did you choose to work in accessibility?

The problems we’re facing in our society are incredibly complex and interrelated. I believe the only way forward is to bring diverse lived experiences into social planning and decision-making. Leaders need to invite novelty into the way they do things – and this cannot happen without new insights, skills, and life experiences driving the work. People with disabilities can really change things.  

We need creativity and collaboration. We people with diverse backgrounds. We need people who think and learn differently. We need people who engage with the world in ways we are not used to. We need people who are sensitive and who feel things deeply. We need all the things that have been seen and treated as weaknesses by the barriers in our society. I believe accessibility can help us get to where our world needs to be.  

How do your talents, skills, and passions influence and impact your accessibility consultancy work?

I think about things deeply – and my brain is constantly processing at a mile a minute. Because of this, I tend to identify patterns and make connections quickly. This is a beneficial skill for accessibility work because a lot of what we approach on a day-to-day basis is unchartered territory. There’s no guidebook on how to comply with accessibility requirements – let alone help an organization excel in accessibility to the point where they see the major positive change that comes with being a truly inclusive space. I do well when there’s no detailed approach because it allows me the freedom to be creative and tap into my brain’s natural processing power. I find this way of working incredibly freeing and fun!