Join the National Educational Association of Disabled Students, the University of New Brunswick (UNB), and UNB's Diversity Within Engineering on Friday, September 29th from 12-4pm AT

Join the National Educational Association of Disabled Students, the University of New Brunswick (UNB), and UNB’s Diversity Within Engineering on Friday, September 29th from 12-4pm AT at the Fredericton Convention Centre in Room Point St Anne C and on zoom for the Fredericton stop of our State of the Schools tour!

As part of NEADS’ Virtual Access 4 All Project and quarterly State of the Schools Reports, the NEADS team is partnering with UNB, UNB’s Diversity Within Engineering and local disabled students to host this hybrid event on post-secondary accessibility and accommodations while providing local students with critical advocacy and networking opportunities.

Participants can expect a presentation on academic accommodations best practices from the NEADS Team, a panel of disabled students sharing their lived experience navigating accommodations, presentations from the UNB Administration and UNB Diversity within Engineering, lively discussion sections, kiosks sharing important local resources, and exciting networking opportunities!

Contact tracing, social distancing, and masking will be enforced for in-person participants. A pre-packaged lunch will be provided to in-person participants, and closed captioning and ASL interpretation will be available online and in-person through zoom. Both in-person and online participants are encouraged to share their lived experience, questions, and concerns during the discussion period, and NEADS’ Researchers will be available for one-on-one interviews.

All participants must register for this free event – please register here. Please indicate any accessibility/dietary requirements through the registration form, or email

Meet the Speakers

Cassandra Pitchford, Senior Advisor to UNB Diversity Within Engineering & UNB Mechanical Engineering Student

Cassie is in her final year of mechanical engineering at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and is Senior Advisor of UNB’s Diversity Within Engineering Society. She will also complete her Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification this fall. Becoming disabled after starting her degree opened her eyes to the barriers students with disabilities still face with accessible education and inclusive extracurriculars. She has since become an ardent advocate on the local, regional, and national levels, propelling change resulting from several advocacy initiatives at UNB, Horizon Health and beyond. Also employed with the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Buildings Division, Cassie is excited to bring her expertise in accessibility in the built environment to government to continue improving equitable access to New Brunswick’s public spaces.

Sheridan Hamilton, UNB Science Student

Sheridan Hamilton (she/her) is a Bachelor of Science student majoring in Biology (Honours) and minoring in Anthropology at the University of New Brunswick. She is passionate about accessibility, advocating for women and other under-represented minorities in STEM, and healthcare, particularly end-of-life care. When she's not on campus, she loves playing softball, volunteering in long-term care, and watching Hallmark Christmas movies year-round.

Alexa Peltier, UNB Chemical Engineering Student

Alexa Pelletier (she/her) is a 5th year chemical engineering student at UNB Fredericton. She has been extensively involved on campus including the Mental Health Society, Student Union, Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Society, Engineering Undergraduate Society, All Abilities Club, and playing for the UNB REDS women’s rugby team. Alexa struggled with accessible health care coming from a small NB town. She was diagnosed with psychological illnesses in 2021 and this drove her to advocate for mental health, accessibility, inclusivity and disability awareness in her communities.

Melanie Green, UNB Psychology Student

Melanie Green (she/her) is set to graduate next month with a BA Honours in Psychology after having returned to school at the age of 40 following a late ADHD diagnosis and an even later, autism diagnosis. While her initial career aspiration was to launch a private practice dedicated to neurodivergent individuals, her focus took a significant turn following her honours thesis when she realized that accessibility offered proactive solutions that could help prevent or reduce many of the reasons disabled individuals need therapy in the first place. Her thesis, focused on autistic employment, presented employment not merely as a job but as a combination of interconnected ecosystems that involve all aspects of life - work, home, and leisure activities. Within this framework, accessibility, and universal design (UD) solutions are interventions with complex interactions and ripple effects across and between ecosystems. Melanie's work aims to map these effects, offering a more comprehensive understanding of how specific accessibility and UD measures can make a real difference. Currently residing in Fredericton, Melanie now contributes her expertise as an HR Consultant and Accessibility Specialist to the Government of New Brunswick where she continues to advocate for accessibility and inclusion in the workplace, and beyond. Melanie's journey - from being a disabled student in academia to becoming an accessibility professional offers a unique lens through which to understand both the challenges and the opportunities in post-secondary education.

Dr. Van Lantz, UNB Associate VP Academic (Learning Environment)

Dr. Van Lantz (he/him) is currently the acting Associate Vice-President Academic (Learning Environment), at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton campus. He is responsible for overseeing many aspects of student academic life at UNB relating to teaching & learning. He is the Chair of the Accessibility Committee that allocates funding to improve access of students with disabilities to the campus, he helps administer UNB’s Access and Success initiatives with the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, and he collaborates with UNB’s Student Accessibility Centre and Faculties to ensure student accommodation needs are met.

Kelley Bird, UNB Student Accessibility Centre Director

Kelley Bird (she/her) is the Director of the Student Accessibility Centre (SAC) at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton campus.  Kelley’s educational background is in Psychology and Exceptional Educational Learning.  Kelley has been working at the Student Accessibility Centre since August 1999 and has witnessed many changes to academic accommodations for students with disabilities over the last 24 years.  In her role as Director, Kelley provides leadership to the Student Accessibility Centre team, as they work together to provide students with their academic accommodation needs. She also has a caseload of students she supports and represents the SAC and Accessibility at UNB by participating on many committees in the university community, as well as, outside community resources, such as the NB Learning Disabilities Association.

Elizabeth Mohler, NEADS Research Consultant

Elizabeth Mohler (she/her) 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:

Chloée Godin-Jacques, NEADS Research Consultant

Chloée Catherine (she/they) is a white settler disabled queer person. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Education at Western University. Chloée is an activist and strives to generate awareness about accessibility, disability, and intersectionality and dismantle preconceived notions by sharing her own diverse lived experiences through the means of blog posts and social media posts. She is also a Lead Consultant at Chloée Catherine Consulting, where she supports businesses and other organizations to further foster inclusive spaces for disabled persons. Chloée’s personal and professional interests lie within the realms of accessibility, activism, community-building, disability, higher education, intersectionality, and sexuality. You can follow Chloée’s journey via @chloeecatherine (on Instagram) and

Carly Fox (she/her/elle),, NEADS Communications and Partnerships Director |Directrice des communications et des partenariats de NEADS, 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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