NEADS Virtual Access for All Student Leaders' Panel

February 18, 2022

Algonquin Anishnaabeg Territory/Ottawa, ON

Virtual Access for All Panel III

Join NEADS on March 4th at 12 p.m. EST as we discuss student mental health, hybrid learning, self-advocacy, and safe return to campus plans with disabled student leaders across Canada! Our Virtual Access for All Panels are a main feature of our Virtual Access for All project and webinar series, designed to empower disabled post-secondary students to realize their full potential. We will be joined by Julia Denley (Society for Students with Disabilities, University of Victoria), Emilee Schevers (Mohawk Students’ Association, Mohawk College), Cassie Pitchford (Diversity Within Engineering, University of New Brunswick), and Cayley Hodgson (Invisible Disability Education and Advocacy Association, University of Calgary).

Closed captioning and simultaneous interpretation will be provided. Online registration is required - please register here. This event is supported by Employment and Social Development Canada and is a feature of our Virtual Access for All webinar series.

More About Our Panellists

Julia Denley

Julia Denley is a student leader and disability advocate at the University of Victoria. She has been on the Board of UVic’s Society for Students with a Disability for the past three years, and presently serves as the SSD’s Student Liaison. She also co-chairs the SSD’s Access4All campaign, which advocates for equitable access to higher education by maintaining online learning options that were implemented during the pandemic. 

Emilee Schevers

At 20 years old, Emilee Schevers is a disability advocate with a passion for sharing her story and challenging others to break disability stereotypes. After being diagnosed with a genetic condition that has caused her to be legally blind, Emilee is the co-founded of a social media campaign called Tru Faces, alongside her sister to create a community for individuals with disabilities. As an Early Childhood Education student at Mohawk College, Emilee has had to continuously advocate for herself and others and is passionate about working with children with disabilities to give them the same support that she received growing up. This has also led to her involvement with the college student association.

Cassie Pitchford 

Cassie Pitchford is a mechanical engineering student at the University of New Brunswick and the president of the Diversity Within Engineering Society. 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 and fighting for what is right. She is also this year’s recipient of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students’ Advocacy Award. She currently resides in Fredericton with her partner Alex and 6-year-old stepdaughter, Melody. 

Cayley Hodgson

Cayley is a fourth-year student in the community rehabilitation disability studies program at the University of Calgary. Throughout their degree they have gained a thorough academic background in the fields of disability studies, community organization, and social justice movements. Hodgson has also been fortunate enough to have taken part in many unpaid practicums, getting extremely valuable experience working directly with disabled people and service providers for disabled people. Cayley is the co-president and research coordinator with the Invisible Disability Education and Advocacy Association, which has allowed them to fulfill their passion for education and helping others. 

More About The Organizations

uVic Society for Students with a Disability

The Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) is a post-secondary student advocacy group under the University of Victoria Students’ Union that promotes the full participation and inclusion of students who self-identify as having one or more disabilities. The SSD provides a variety of programs and services to support students and reduce barriers in the social, emotional, and educational domains of student life. 






Mohawk Student Association

The Mohawk Students’ Association (MSA) is a non-profit organization built for and led by Mohawk College students through an elected Student Board of Directors. Though they are a separate entity of the college, they work collaboratively to support Mohawk Students. The MSA empowers Mohawk Students to create a community they can lean on for positive experiences, relevant supports, a listening ear, and a strong voice so they can achieve personal success in their college experience and beyond.




Diversity Within Engineering, UNB

Diversity Within Engineering (DWE) was established in 2018, after merging with UNB Engiqueers and the Women in Engineering Society. This society serves and supports minorities in engineering through inclusive events, ongoing advocacy, and outreach to local female-identifying students in middle and high school. DWE also partners with professional organizations like the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists New Brunswick, Brilliant labs, and the government. You can find them on Facebook ( and Instagram (@unbdwe). 



Invisible Disability Education and Advocacy Association (IDEAA)

The Invisible Disability Education and Advocacy Association, or IDEAA, is a student-run organization at the University of Calgary that seeks to reduce the stigma that surrounds invisible disabilities. Stigma can only be eradicated through understanding, and we seek to bring light to specific types of invisible disabilities in the hopes of creating more compassion for disabled people. We also fundraise for organizations that help to support invisibly disabled people, whether through research or direct aid. 






Carly Fox, NEADS Researcher and Communications Officer,

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