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Join NEADS on their Hybrid State of the Schools Tour

Join the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) on their national hybrid State of the Schools tour as they visit disabled student groups and post-secondary institutions across Canada! As part of NEADS’ State of the Schools reports and Virtual Access for All project, the NEADS Team will be partnering with disabled student groups, by-and-for organizations, and local speakers to host hybrid events focusing on accessibility, accommodations, education, and employment in post-secondary settings.

In-person participants will be socially distanced and masking will be required. Online participants will join via zoom with closed captioning. For accessibility requirements, please use the upcoming event-specific registration forms or email carly.fox@neads.ca

Tour stop-specific media releases with more information on venue accessibility, guest speakers, and location will become available at least two weeks before each event. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, information is subject to change - your patience is appreciated!

NEADS’ Tour Stops

Ottawa – featuring CUCare - Carleton University & Zoom

St. John’s – featuring MUN Student Union - Memorial University Newfoundland & Zoom

Halifax – featuring Dalhousie Accessibility Inclusion Society - Dalhousie University & Zoom

Toronto – featuring Students for Barrier Free Access - University of Toronto & Zoom

Montréal – featuring AQEIPS -  Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) & Zoom

Victoria – featuring Society for Students with Disabilities - University Victoria & Zoom

Winnipeg – featuring Access Lounge & Disability Justice Collective - University of Winnipeg & Zoom

Meet the NEADS Touring Team

Carly Fox, Communications & Partnerships Director

Carly Fox (she/her/elle) is a queer, neurodivergent, and disabled young woman based out of Algonquin Anishinabe Territory (Ottawa, ON). Fox is NEADS' Communications & Partnerships Director, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities' International Chair, a disability advocate, and recently attended the 15th Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a member of Canada's Delegation. As a disability advocate and blogger, Fox aims to raise awareness on different types of invisible disabilities and the interactions between them, and aims to use her privilege to dismantle systemic forms of oppression to create space for others to share their lived experiences. Fox is currently in her third year at uOttawa, where she majors in International Development and Globalization and minors in Human Rights and Conflict Studies. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter (@ItsCarlyFox, @CarlyFox_DisabilityAdvocacy), or on her blog https://CarlyFoxDisabilityAdvocacy.ca 

Katja Newman, NEADS Student Awards Programs Director

Katja Newman (she/her/elle) is the National Educational Association of Disabled Students’ Student Awards Scholarship Program Director. A resident of Halifax Nova Scotia, she is in her final year of an online Masters in Grant Writing and Program Evaluation from Concordia University Chicago. Prior to her Masters, Katja received a Bachelor's of Social Work from Carleton University and a Child & Youth Work Diploma from Georgian College. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys hiking, tandem bike riding, baking, cooking and educating audiences on the accessibility and inclusion related highs and lows that come with living life as a blind post-secondary student who navigates the world with the help of a guide dog.

Elizabeth Mohler, NEADS Research Consultant

Elizabeth Mohler currently works for NEADS as a Research Consultant, where she leads the Virtual Access for All Project and writes its quarterly publication, State of the Schools. She also works for Left Turn Right Turn as an accessibility specialist; sits on the Canadian Institute for Health Research external advisory committee on systemic ableism and accessibility; and, is an experienced presenter, keynote speaker, lecturer, and published writer. Elizabeth is currently a doctoral candidate at Western University in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program. Her work explores how discourses and practices within Direct Funding shape how disabled persons access services, and in what ways service users resist and negotiate these discourses. Follow Elizabeth’s work at: www.elizabethmohler.ca 

Junique Gooden, NEADS Researcher

With her background in Communications and Media Studies and as a Researcher for NEADS, Junique Gooden (she/her/elle) works alongside various disabled student groups to compile data supporting research on current trends and difficulties caused by structural, systemic, and societal processes affecting students with disabilities. Junique curated NEADS' COVID-19 Guide for Students with Disabilities, which provides an in-depth look into programs and funding for students with disabilities at federal, provincial, post-secondary, and student union levels. Junique updates the events page, the disabled student group directory, and on-campus service provider contact information found on NEADS.ca, finds relevant job postings and resources for BreakingItDown.NEADS.ca, and is always looking for new research topics to bring attention to. Outside of NEADS, Junique runs Enfematic, a 100% natural and organic skincare business dedicated to making high quality goods accessible at low costs. Junique also enjoys playing with her newly adopted brown tabby cat Oscar.

Aliyah Petzak-Grant, NEADS Website Manager

Aliyah Petzak-Grant (she/her/elle) is NEADS' Website Manager, a creative and driven website designer, and a passionate disability advocate. As NEADS' Website Manager, Aliyah oversees multiple sites including disabilityawards.ca - the largest online directory of disability-specific financial aid. Past work experience includes Researcher for the Accessible Career Transitions Project (now ACT to Employ). While earning her degree in Psychology at Carleton University, Aliyah also volunteered with the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities. Outside of work, Aliyah enjoys playing board games, Dungeons and Dragons, and spending quality time with her dog.

Meet the Host Partners

MUNDISC, Memorial University

A Memorial University of Newfoundland's Student Union resource centre, the Memorial University of Newfoundland's Disability Information Support Centre (MUNDISC) offers peer support for disability-related topics, to advocate for the rights of students and raise awareness of these topics within the university and in the community. The centre works to remove barriers faced by students with disabilities, and aims to promote a more accessible education and campus. Find them on-campus at UC2002, through Facebook @MUNDISC, or by email at accessibility@munsu.ca and disc@munsu.ca

Dalhousie Accessibility and Inclusion Society, Dalhousie University

The Dalhousie Accessibility and Inclusion Society (DAIS) is a society dedicated to improving accessibility and accessibility services at Dalhousie University, and is supported by the Dalhousie Student Union.

Nova Scotia has the highest rate of disability across all Canadian provinces, and the lowest university graduation rates - a result of the lack of complete accessibility, support, and inclusion in their communities. The society aims to increase the accessibility services at Dalhousie for both the students and the community, and aims to hear their student population’s concerns about Dal’s accessibility - whether it be any physical constraints or technological concerns - and work together to make an impact.

Students for Barrier Free Access, University of Toronto

Students for Barrier Free Access (SBA) at the University of Toronto is a student-led, volunteer-driven, non-profit which advocates for intersectional access, equity and inclusion. SBA advocates for disability justice and shapes all of its programming and advocacy through this framework. SBA holds free, skill-building workshops for members to build their community’s expertise, while also giving members the ability to learn skills transferable to many workplace settings. At this time, SBA is working to support members virtually, with movie nights, workshops, and a food-sharing program. On campus, they run a community drop-in center where members can enjoy a respectful, social, political and creative space. 

Quebec Association for Equity and Inclusion in Post-Secondary Education (AQEIPS)

For the past 20 years, the AQEIPS has been advocating for equal opportunities in education for post-secondary students with disabilities. The association is made up of persons with disabilities who were able to attend regular classes in elementary and secondary school and who, as a result, had the option to pursue post-secondary education. The promotion of the Social Model of Disability and of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guides their efforts towards building a truly inclusive society, one in which the cycle of poverty and isolation can be broken by ensuring that students with disabilities have access to the same level of education as students without disabilities do. AQEIPS organizes many activities and collaborates on research projects to support collective advocacy for SWD, and manages a yearly scholarships program.

Society for Students with Disabilities, University of Victoria

The Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) is an advocacy group for University of Victoria students who self-identify as having one or more disabilities. Their goal is to reduce barriers faced by students with disabilities in all aspects of student life, and to promote full inclusion within academic and social environments. The SSD offers a range of programs and events, including a food security program, community care week, funding support, book club, peer support groups, speaker events and panel discussions, community outings, and more! Find them on Instagram and Facebook @uVicSSD or check out their website https://uvicssd.ca 

University of Winnipeg Access Lounge, University of Winnipeg

The Access Lounge is a University of Winnipeg Students' Association Initiative created in 2016 with the support of the Disability Justice Collective - a student group working to bring together, advocate for and support students with disabilities/disabled students/mad students/students who are mentally ill/neurodivergent students. The Access Lounge is a space on campus dedicated to students who are disabled by barriers. This space is for those students to study, hang out or complete course work. The Lounge offers power operated doors, powered window blinds, dimmable lights, a height adjustable desk, a computer with adaptive software, a sofa, and a kettle. Students with self identified disabilities are welcome, as well as allies and support system members.

About NEADS’ Virtual Access for All Program

NEADS' Virtual Access for All Project provides educational support and awareness aimed at students with disabilities transitioning into post-secondary education. Accessibility and accommodations resources are provided through our quarterly State of the Schools publications, while our regular webinar series addresses topics such as self-advocacy, accessing accommodations at work and school, and transitioning into the workforce. Further, financial support is available through NEADS' Student Awards Program and Accessibility Resilience Program. Virtual Access for All is generously supported by Employment and Social Development Canada's Goal Getters Program, and has recently received an upward amendment in response to positive reception. 

About NEADS' Back to School National Advocacy Campaign

As vaccine and mask mandates lift and online learning options are rolled back, the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) has launched a national advocacy campaign to support disabled post-secondary students' rights to safe and accessible education.

Disabled students are asked to provide written submissions detailing their thoughts, feelings, and anxieties as they prepare for an unsafe and inaccessible Fall term, and submissions will be shared in a final report and social media campaign. Submissions are being accepted on an ongoing basis for the social media campaign, and a follow up report will be published upon the completion of the campaign.

Carly Fox (she/her/elle), NEADS’ Partnerships and Communications Director, carly.fox@neads.ca

For further information:

National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), Rm. 514 Unicentre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6, tel. (613) 380-8065, ext. 201

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