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Join NEADS on the State of the School Tourís Victoria Stop! (March 31, 2023)

Join the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) and uVic’s Society for Students with Disabilities (SSD) on Friday, March 31st from 4-8pm Pacific Time at the University of Victoria’s Hickman Building (HHB-105) and on zoom for our Victoria State of the Schools Tour stop!

As part of NEADS’ Virtual Access for All Project and Back to School National Advocacy Campaign, the NEADS Team is partnering with SSD for this hybrid event focusing on accessibility, accommodations, education, and employment for disabled post-secondary students. Chloée Godin-Jacques, NEADS’ Research Consultant, will present on Inclusivity, Equity, Diversity, and Accessibility, and the uVic Society for Students with Disabilities will host a panel highlighting their Access4All Campaign.

- a presentation from Brooklyn Cribdon, SSD's Education and Administration Coordinator, about the UVic SSD

- an #Access4All panel discussion about the benefits of hybrid education and recorded lectures; this panel will feature four professors (Lindsay DuPré, Jim Tanaka, Chris Willmore, and Hannah Brown) as well as two disabled student panelists (Emma Levins and Julia Denley)

- facilitated group discussion (for anyone who is comfortable participating)

Accessibility Info: There should be plenty of space for folks to socially distance since the event is in a big lecture hall, and the organizers will require masks for in-person attendees; there will also be contact tracing for additional COVID safety. There are multiple wheelchair-accessible seats in the lecture hall. Near the lecture hall, there are two gendered washrooms and one universal washroom with a lift. Captioning and ASL will be provided over Zoom. Please refrain from wearing any scents to this event. Email Adrean at uvicssd@uvic.ca if you have any other access needs to discuss.

Contact tracing, social distancing, and masking will be enforced for in-person participants, and closed captioning and ASL interpretation will be available through zoom. Both in-person and online participants are encouraged to share their lived experience, questions, and concerns during the discussion period. Pre-packaged dinner and snacks will be provided to in-person participants.

All participants must register for this free event – please register here. Please indicate any accessibility requirements through the registration form, or email carly.fox@neads.ca

About SSD

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. Their 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. The SSD offers 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 https://uvicssd.ca  

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. 

Julia Denley, Chairperson

Julia Denley (she/they) is the Chairperson of the UVic Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) and is an undergraduate biology student. She is a neurodivergent and queer student leader and disability advocate living with multiple physical and mental health disabilities.

They have 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. 

About NEADS 

About NEADS’ Virtual Access for All Program

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.

Disabled students are asked to provide written submissions 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 will be published upon the completion of the campaign.

Meet the NEADS Touring Team

Carly Fox, Communications & Partnerships Director

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 https://CarlyFoxDisabilityAdvocacy.ca

Katja Newman, NEADS Student Awards Programs Director

Katja Newman (she/her/elle) is the National Educational Association of Disabled Students’ Student Awards Scholarship program manager. A resident of Halifax Nova Scotia, she is in her final year of an online Masters in Grant Writing and Program Evaluation from Concordia University Chicago. Prior to her Masters, Katja received a Bachelor's of Social Work from Carleton University and a Child & Youth Work Diploma from Georgian College. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys hiking, tandem bike riding, baking, cooking and educating audiences on the accessibility and inclusion related highs and lows that come with living life as a blind post-secondary student who navigates the world with the help of a guide dog.

Elizabeth Mohler, Research Consultant

Elizabeth Mohler 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: www.elizabethmohler.ca

Aliyah Petzak-Grant, Website Manager

Aliyah Petzak-Grant (she/her/elle) is NEADS' Website Manager, a creative and driven website designer, and a passionate disability advocate. Aliyah aims to educate others about online accessibility and assistive technology through her work. As NEADS' Website Manager, Aliyah oversees multiple sites including disabilityawards.ca - the largest online directory of disability-specific financial aid.  When time permits Aliyah also does freelance and on occasion volunteer website design and accessibility consultations.  Past work experience includes Researcher for the Accessible Career Transitions Project (now ACT to Employ) at Carleton University. While earning her degree in Psychology at Carleton focusing on Human Computer Interactions (HCI) and accessible technology user experience, Aliyah also volunteered with the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities. Outside of work, Aliyah enjoys playing board games, Dungeons and Dragons, and spending quality time with her dog.

Chloée Godin-Jacques, 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 chloeecatherine.com

Alan Bridgeman, IT Support

Alan Bridgeman (He/Him/Il) is the CEO & Founder of a Vancouver based tech start-up called Bridgeman Accessible that works to make technology in all formats from digital documents and media, to websites, to innovative technologies accessible for all. Alan's passion and expertise in digital accessibility has lead him to work with a wide variety of clients including Accessibility Standards Canada, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Shared Services Canada, and Manoverboard amongst others. Alan has been a disability advocate for a little over a decade contributing to organizations like MLPD, VIRN, Neil Squire Society, CNIB amongst many others and has been involved with NEADS in various capacities since 2016. When not coding, working with organizations or volunteering Alan can usually be found creating 3D art in Blender, video editing, listening to podcasts or trying out new technologies.

Carly Fox (she/her/elle), carly.fox@neads.ca, NEADS Communications and Partnerships Director |Directrice des communications et des partenariats de NEADS

National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
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