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Emma Arenson

University of Western Ontario

Emma became interested in disability rights and disability culture when she was placed in special education at the age of eight. Despite being told that she would not finish high school or go to university, Emma has completed the first year of her Masters in Art History at the University of Western Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Art History from Queen's University in 2009. She has been accepted to study law at Ottawa University in 2011. She owns her own stained glass business and likes to swim, play tennis, and bike.

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Alison West Armstrong

Algonquin College

Alison holds a Masters in Education in Human Needs and Social Services from Antioch University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario. Alison has 10 years experience working with students who have psychiatric disabilities and other “non visible” disability groups at Algonquin College. She has worked in collaboration with other student services and community agencies to promote Mental Illness Awareness Week, Mental Health Week, and has developed transition programs to assist students with mental illness who are beginning post-secondary education.

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Jennison Asuncion

Adaptech Research Network

Jennison holds both a Bachelor of Arts (with distinction) in Political Science and a Masters in Educational Technology from Concordia University. He co-directs the Adaptech Research Network and has been conducting research on the use and accessibility of information and communication technology and postsecondary students with disabilities for 13 years. Jennison has a particular interest in the accessibility of various forms of social media used by these students. Jennison is Senior Advisor to the NEADS and is responsible for developing and managing NEADS social media strategy.

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Randy Bolton

Reaching E-Quality Employment Services (REES)

Randy has over eight years of experience in the employment field and many more in transition experience. He is a Certified Job Search Coach with extensive education, training and experience in Career Counselling, Applied Counselling and Case Management. He has provided employment marketing and support services to persons with disabilities and health conditions for Reaching E-Quality Employment Services for over six years.

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Jillian Budd

Adaptech Research Network

Jillian is currently an undergraduate in Honours Psychology at Concordia University. She is a long-time research assistant with the Adaptech Research Network. Jillian also works with adolescents with learning disabilities at the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University

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Elizabeth Cherniak

Brock University

Elizabeth is a graduate student in Comparative Literature & Arts at Brock University. She has the experience of “hearing” for half her life and being “deafened” for the other half. Also, as a skilled teacher of English as a Second Language, Elizabeth teaches “listening” to international students.

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Jason Dunkerley

Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability

Jason is the coordinator of All Abilities Welcome, a national initiative aimed at promoting greater inclusion of Canadians with a disability in community recreation programming. As a three-time Paralympic medallist in track for visually impaired competitors, Jason is passionate about physical activity and how exposure to it can positively impact the lives of people of all abilities

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Catherine Fichten

Adaptech Research Network

Catherine received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from McGill University, a Master's Degree in Experimental Psychology from Concordia University, and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McGill University. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Dawson College and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. She is also a clinical psychologist at the Behavioural Psychotherapy and Research Unit of the Jewish General Hospital. Her research interests include factors which affect success in post-secondary education for students with disabilities, with a special focus on computer and information technologies.

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David Fourney

Ryerson University

David is a Ph.D. Candidate in Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University. He holds degrees in Psychology and Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan. A hard of hearing person, David is internationally recognized for his expertise in accessibility. He is a Canadian technical expert involved in the development of various international standards in the fields of ergonomics and user interfaces. A long-time advocate for the needs of post-secondary students with disabilities, David served two terms on the Board of NEADS as the Saskatchewan Director (1994-1998). David's research interests include accessible media, and methods for inclusive design.

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Jasmine Gillis

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Jasmine is from St. Fintan’s, a small town on the West Coast of Newfoundland. Hard of hearing since her childhood, Jasmine has used a hearing aid and FM system throughout her academic career. Jasmine will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Science, major in Psychology from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, a campus of Memorial University

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Blair Gosselin

GE Canada

Blair is in his final year of studies at McMaster University, where he is enrolled in the Engineering and Management Program with a major in Electrical Engineering. During his time at McMaster, Blair has held two internship positions. The first was a four-month internship with Toolbox Solutions, a category-management consulting firm. Blair is currently on his second internship, an eight-month placement as an assistant account management with GE Capital Canada.

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Tammy Harrison

Nova Scotia Community College

As a Disability Services Coordinator with the Nova Scotia Community College Disability Services Department, Tammy brings 11 years of secondary and adult teaching experience as well as almost 8 years of disability service experience. She has specific interests in executive functioning, ergonomics and assistive technology resources and tools.

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Murdena Kolenko

Nova Scotia Community College

As a Disability Resource Facilitator with the Nova Scotia Community College, Murdena carries a wealth of information related to disabilities and how they impact an individual in a learning environment and life. Through 31 years of service in the school system in Labrador West, Newfoundland and Labrador, Murdena worked with students who had various social, emotional and learning barriers to overcome. Currently, as a service facilitator for adults, Murdena continues to work with individuals who experience barriers to learning.

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Heather Korol

Reaching E-Quality Employment Services (REES)

Heather has been involved in the human service field for over 10 years. She has completed two degrees in the field and these studies include a Bachelor in Human Development: Development Studies and a Bachelor in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. Heather is the Manager of Programs and Operation at Reaching E-Quality Employment Services (REES) where she assists with the promotion, facilitation and maintenance of employment for people with disabilities.

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Sylvie Lirette

Université de Moncton

After working as an occupational therapist in the field of mental health for six years, Sylvie is returning to school to get a Master's and redirect her career toward social work. She would like to share the resources that have allowed her to successfully transition from university to the workforce.

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Nancy Moulday

TD Bank Financial Group

Nancy is Manager of Recruitment for TD Business Banking. She has held various positions with the organization during her more than 23-year career, including roles HR and recruitment where she was involved with hiring hundreds of staff from inside and outside the bank. Currently, Nancy manages recruitment for the Commercial Banking Associate program. Nancy is also the past president of The Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) and currently sits on its advisory committee

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Mai Nhu Nguyen

Adaptech Research Network

Mai received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Université de Montréal. She is currently working as a research associate for the Research Adaptech Network. Her research interests relate to the benefits of internet for students with disabilities, particularly those with hearing impairments.

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Merrick Pilling

York University

Merrick Pilling is a doctoral candidate in Women's Studies at York University. Research interests include theorizing madness, the intersections between critical disability studies and queer and trans studies, and the impacts of dominant understandings of mental health on the everyday lives of queer and trans people.

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Carolina Pineda

McGill University

Carolina is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at McGill University. Her research focuses on the experiences of individuals living with chronic illness in Montreal. This research builds on her experiences living with an autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus. Alongside her studies Carolina advocates for the rights of students with disabilities as the Project Manager for l’Association québécoise des étudiants ayant des incapactites au postsecondaire. She was awarded a NEADS Equity Through Education Award in 2007 and, more recently, a Student Leadership Award from Canadian Association of Disability Service Providers in Post-Secondary Education (CADSPPSE).

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Kara Quennell

McGill University

Kara is currently working on her undergraduate honours thesis in Medical Anthropology at McGill University. Her interest in health and disability stems from her work and volunteering in the inner city of Saskatoon as well as her own experience living with Systemic Lupus Erythrematosus (SLE).

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Jennifer Richardson

University of Regina

Jennifer was diagnosed with dyslexia in her third year of university and has gone on to obtain a Bachelors of Social Work and Bachelor of Health Studies through the University of Regina. Currently she is completing her Masters of Social Work, focusing on culturally appropriate cancer services and health care.

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Faisel Saeed

BMO Financial Group

Faisel has a PhD in Computer Science and has overcome several obstacles in academia faced by a person with a mobility disability. He has held several roles in technology, finance and risk management including scientific research at NASA. Faisel is currently working as a Senior Manager in Enterprise Analytics at BMO Financial Group where he manages a team of 8 people. He has successfully recruited and managed employees with and without disabilities. Faisel has served on the board of directors for several non-profit organizations. He is currently serving on the board of directors for March of Dimes.

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Margaret Sanderson

Brock University

Margaret is the University Accessibility Co-ordinator at Brock University. In this position Margaret has established the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance framework for the university, produces the Accessibility@Brock newsletter, advises academic and administrative areas on accessibility issues and acts as staff liaison to the Brock University Accessibility Advisory Committee. Margaret returned to university as a mature student with a disability and graduated from University of Waterloo in 2007 with a Masters in Planning; research concentration in the area of accessibility planning for persons with disabilities.

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Leah Simeone

University of Ottawa

Leah is a third year student-at-law at the University of Ottawa. She works with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Society as well as Reach Canada to promote disability awareness and accessibility in Ontario and Canada. She hopes to continue her work in disability rights as she establishes her legal career.

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Mahadeo Sukhai


Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai is a senior post-doctoral fellow in translational leukemia biology at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto and an associate researcher at the Centre for the Study of Students (CSS) in post-secondary education at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Dr. Sukhai has served on the NEADS board of directors for six years, as president and secretary. Dr. Sukhai has received numerous awards for his scientific, community and leadership achievements, and has multiple publications to his credit. Dr. Sukhai co-directed the NEADS-CSS financial barriers study.

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Carol Thiessen

Manitoba Hydro

Carol is the Employment Equity Specialist at Manitoba Hydro and is herself a person with a disability. She is responsible for coordinating, reviewing and enhancing employment systems that support the education, recruitment, development and retention of employment equity group members. Carol is the Chair of the Manitoba Employment Equity Practitioners Association, and is a board member of Reaching E-Quality Employment Services and the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW). She has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, a Master of Public Administration, a Master of Business Administration and is a Certified Human Resources Professional.

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Shari Thompson

University of Saskatchewan

Shari is an Employment Coordinator at the Student Employment & Career Centre, at the University of Saskatchewan. Shari works with students to facilitate a successful transition from education to employment and with employers to coordinate on-campus recruitment efforts. For the past nineteen years Shari has worked in the employment field, including four years as an Employment Marketer for people with disabilities. She has a passion for employment, job search and helping students or alumni find the work and the career that they love.

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Cara Wilkie


Cara leads Bakerlaw’s consulting practice and has conducted projects for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, and Disability Rights Promotion International. She litigates in courts and administrative tribunals, with a focus on human rights, employment, health, and civil litigation.

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Conrad Winn


Dr. Conrad Winn is founding CEO of COMPAS. One of Canada’s experts in public opinion and market research, Conrad has provided research to hundreds of clients over the last 30 years. He is currently engaged by the Government of Canada through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to explain to people with disabilities, and their caregivers, how the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) can benefit them. He is a Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, specializing in strategic communications and public affairs strategies.

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Jeffrey Zavala

York University

Jeffery has overcome obstacles of a learning disability to obtain an Honours Bachelors of Arts in Humanities and Communication studies. He is currently working on his second degree with a double major in Anthropology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies at York University and owns his own business. Jeffery has served as Chair of the board of directors for a community based radio station, and more recently began working for the Canadian Council of Rehabilitation and Work as a Project Coordinator for the YAST program.


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