NEADS x SSD: Back to School - Advocacy and Access4All event September 9th on Zoom

Join the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) on September 9th at 3pm EDT for a very special Back to School Virtual Access for All Webinar, featuring Julia Denley of the University Victoria's Society for Students with a Disability and a special live announcement!

In this one-hour, online zoom event, Carly Fox, NEADS Communications & Partnerships Director, will discuss NEADS' Back to School National Advocacy Campaign, share submissions from disabled students across Canada, and discuss next steps for disabled student advocacy for the Fall 2022 term. Elizabeth Mohler, NEADS' Research Consultant, will discuss her work on the quarterly publication State of the Schools and its renewed relevance in analyzing accessibility and accommodations in post-secondary institutions across Canada. Julia Denley of the University of Victoria's Society for Students with a Disability will share her group's successes and experiences leading the Access4All campaign, and demonstrate the importance of on-campus disabled student groups for advocacy and mutual support.

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

Meet the Speakers

Julia Denley

Julia Denley (she/her) is a disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill 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 four years, and presently serves as the SSD’s Chairperson. She's also the Founder and Co-Chair of the SSD’s Access4All campaign, which seeks to increase equitable access to higher education; in particular, Access4All advocates for hybrid/hyflex course options to reduce barriers for students who struggle with in-person course attendance due to disability. 

Elizabeth Mohler

Elizabeth Mohler (she/her/elle) 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: 

Carly Fox

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 

Learn More about uVic’s SSD

About the University of Victoria's Society for Students with Disabilities

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. Our 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. We offer 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

About SSD's Access4All Campaign

Access4All is a campaign advocating for equal access to education and academic success for all students at the University of Victoria. UVic students, like many other post-secondary students across Canada, have lost access to the ample online course options that increased educational accessibility during the earlier stages of the pandemic. Solely in-person classes function as a significant barrier to academic participation and success for students whose disabilities make it hard or impossible to leave the house on a regular basis.

As well, while most of society seems to be moving on from the pandemic, immunocompromised and otherwise medically vulnerable students know that significant risk is still present; these students should not be forced to put their health at risk for their education. UVic Access4All leaders recognize that online classes don’t suit everyone’s needs, and the campaign thus advocates for hybrid/hyflex course access so that folks can attend their courses in whatever manner is most accessible to them. 

Learn More About NEADS

About NEADS' Virtual Access for All Project

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.

Students were asked to provide written submission 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 may be considered for the Winter 2023 term.

Carly Fox (she/her/elle), NEADS Communications and Partnerships Director,

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