NEADS Membership Report 2010-2012
Reports from the Board of Directors
Diane recently completed a Master of Arts in Leadership through Royal Roads University while working full-time. Her volunteer work includes being founder and Past-President of the Edmonton Guide Dog Users Group and past member of the board for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Diane worked alongside the CNIB, Alberta NWT Division Executive Director to meet with provincial government representatives to advocate and help draft amendments to the Blind Persons Rights Act. She has also been a vocal critic of the failure of some Edmonton taxi companies to accept guide dogs in their vehicles. This issue, and the lack of wheelchair accessible taxis, led Diane to apply for, and be appointed to the City of Edmonton Vehicle for Hire Commission.
Diane demonstrates her commitment to lifelong learning, as she is an alumnus of both the Management Studies diploma and the Rehabilitation Practitioner diploma programs at Grant MacEwan University. Diane has also graduated from MacEwan’s Bachelor of Applied Human Services Administration program, despite working full-time and raising a family. Diane also volunteered her time as the graduate student representative on the Royal Roads University Academic Council. Diane currently serves as the National Director for Government Relations for the CNIB.
Nova Scotia Director
Emily is currently completing her Masters Degree at Acadia University. She was born with spina bifida and has been in a wheelchair for the past 10 years. She has always had fantastic support from family and friends and would not be where she is today without them. Emily has always been very interested in disability issues, and has done many public speaking engagements around the topic. She has been very active within the University community in an attempt to help the campus become more accessible. Most recently, she joined the Community INC Board which is an organization which helps people with disabilities enter the workforce.
Emily completed her honours thesis on the barriers within the post secondary education system for someone with a physical disability. She is currently completing her Masters thesis examining the disability policies at post secondary institutions from across Canada.
British Columbia Director
Debbie attends the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia and is currently working on her Degree in General Studies with a minor in Communications. Currently she is in her sixth year on the Student Union Board as the Disability Representative. She has been an active volunteer in her community and University. She sits on the Advocacy and Events committee and has been involved in many other committees. She has attended the University’s Leadership conference for students, from which she has acquired many skills. She looks forward to serving on the NEADS board, and invites members to be in touch with her if they have any concerns they wish addressed.
New Brunswick Director
Natalie is a first year student in the accelerated bachelor in Translation at Université de Moncton. In April 2010, she graduated from a multidisciplinary program in Arts with concentrations in Psychology, Information Communications and French Studies. Beside her academic work, she is part of many organizations for persons with disabilities, such as the Southeastern Blind Sports Association and the participants planning committee at the Angus Macdonald Centre. The rest of her work consists of being an active NEADS board member. Having been involved with the association since 2006, she is part of a number of committees, which helps her develop my leadership skills. Aside from her work, she has many leisure interests, such as listening to music, going to movies and music concerts, reading and writing. Her future goals are to work in the Translation or oral Interpretation fields. Braille teaching and motivational speaking are career options she has in mind on the side.
Daniella Levy-Pinto is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Toronto, specializing in Comparative Politics. Her research interests are the link between politics and the media, democratization processes, and political institutions. Her dissertation explores the role of the press in the Mexican transition to democracy.
Daniella began advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities since the 1990s. Currently, she also serves on the Board of Directors of Students for Barrier Free Access (SBA), a student-run organization at the University of Toronto that seeks the elimination of barriers faced by students with disabilities on campus. She has worked to improve accessibility of university buildings and university resources. She is actively engaged with the university community to increase awareness and has contributed to the implementation of specific initiatives to improve access to print content in alternative formats, to benefit students with print disabilities.
She has a B.A. in International Relations from the Universidad Iberoamericana and an M.A. in Pacific International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego. She has several years of work experience as a political analyst and policy advisor, and has worked for both, the private and public sectors.
Tim was born in Winnipeg where he attended St. Paul’s high school and graduated from the university of Winnipeg. He is a former paralympic swimmer who competed in numerous National and international competitions including 4 paralympic games. He was chosen as Canadian junior male athlete of the year, Manitoba athlete of the year, and is a member of the Manitoba sports hall of fame.
Tim completed a Master’s degree in Disability Studies at the university of Manitoba. He hopes to go on to a Master’s in public administration and complete his Canadian human Resources Practitioner designation. Tim currently works for the Manitoba Government at the council on post-secondary education as a policy analyst.
Newfoundland and Labrador Director
Ian Murley has served as Newfoundland and Labrador Director on the NEADS Board since 2007, and has held the executive offices of Vice-President Internal (2009-2010) and President (2010-present).
Christine Nieder was appointed to serve on NEADS’ board of directors in February of 2012 to fill the vacancy of the position of Director-at-Large. She has since then taken on the role of national treasurer and is actively involved on several committees and projects. She is a full-time student at Simon Fraser University studying in a Masters of Educational Leadership program with a thesis focus on issues surrounding employment and people with disabilities. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Adult Education along with a Teaching English as a Second Language certification, Special Education diploma with a specialization in Behaviour Intervention for kids with Autism, and Business certificate. Christine also works full-time as an Assistive Technology Specialist and is actively involved with many other initiatives in her local community; several which include an appointment to a City Hall committee and Access Transit. In her free time, Christine enjoys traveling to parts unknown, attending the theatre, reading a good book, and striving to find the perfect cup of coffee. In the future she plans to pursue her doctrine and move on to do more research in various areas of interest.
Julie completed a college degree in modern languages (Spanish and German), and is currently finishing a degree in Psychology at Concordia University. Julie works as a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant at eConcordia in criminal and discrimination law. Since an injury in 2005 and having acquired a couple of systemic autoimmune diseases the following year, she realized how much work still needs to be done to improve the situation for persons with disabilities. Julie’s goal is to pursue a combined LL.B/B.C.L. degree to become a lawyer specializing in human rights and disability rights law. Julie has had the honor of being the NEADS Quebec Director since January 2008 and serving a two-year term as Treasurer for the Association.
Agnes graduated from the University of Alberta with
degrees in Education and a BA in Native studies. She
has currently a student at arctic College in Yellowknife
studying Computers. She taught in Northern Alberta
for many years before returning to university to
obtain her second degree. After graduating, she spent
one year teaching in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. she
now teaches on an Indian reserve just south of the
territories boarder. She loves the North and she loves
working in Native communities.
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