Introducing Avesta Alani, Vice Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Kristen Tollan, Ontario Director

(Ottawa, October 7, 2021)

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) is proud to introduce new appointments to our Board of Directors, Avesta Alani and Kristen Tollan.

Kristen Tollan is a disabled scholar and doctoral student in the Communication and Culture program at York University specializing in critical disability studies and social media studies and their intersections with education, pedagogy and youth studies. She is also a teaching assistant for undergrad social science students, a research assistant studying social movements on social media, and the editor in chief of Monstering Magazine, a literary publication for gender diverse writers and artists with disabilities. NEADS eagerly anticipates the ideas and perspectives resulting from these experiences, and is eager to start work with our new Ontario Director.

Avesta Alani is a lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Toronto, where she practices litigation in areas including human rights, labour and employment, health, privacy, and cyber security. She is the author of “Diffability: The Liberation of Potential,” a book advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. Avesta is the winner of the Spirit of the Capital Youth Award and Celebrations of Peoples Youth Award, among other distinctions. A former Chair of the CNIB National Youth Council, NEADS knows Avesta will excel in her roles of Director at Large and Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

“We are so excited to have Avesta and Kristen join the NEADS team! Both individuals have such impressive and rich experiences in disability advocacy, and we look forward to learning from them and incorporating their perspectives.”  - Margaret Lyons-MacFarlane, Chair, New Brunswick Director and Co-Chair of Graduate Studies Committee

As NEADS carries out its mandate of supporting full access to employment and education for students and graduates with disabilities, we are eager to collaborate with Kristen and Avesta to further strengthen our capacity to serve the disability community.   

Carly Fox, NEADS Researcher and Communications Officer (
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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