Navigating Employment Opportunities in Higher Education: An Honest Conversation

Join the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) on October 13, 2023, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm ET, via Zoom, for a bilingual conversation between individuals with experiential knowledges working in higher education.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month – and NEADS wishes to unpack employment experiences of disabled persons in the context of higher education. Academic ableism is not only prevalent for disabled students, but also for disabled persons who work within the institution. As such, individuals with lived experiences of disability, working in higher education institutions, enter into conversation to reflect on the challenging and empowering moments of their careers thus far. Our panelists will discuss professional experiences they encounter while navigating academia, as well as provide tips to disabled students who wish to pursue employment opportunities within academia.

Closed captioning and ASL interpretation and simultaneous interpretation will be provided. Registration is required – please register here. This event is a feature of our Virtual Access for All webinar series, which is generously supported by Employment and Social Development Canada's Supports for Student Learning Program. For further information and/or to discuss access needs, please contact Chloée C. Godin-Jacques, panel moderator, at

Meet the Panelists

Dr. Tammy Bernasky

Dr. Tammy Bernasky has life-long experience of disability and more than 20 years of experience working on disability inclusion efforts at the local, national, and international levels. Tammy has a PhD in Critical Disability Studies and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of L’nu, Political, and Social Studies at Cape Breton University. Using an intersectional lens, Tammy centers the stories of people with disabilities in her research on disability and gender-based violence. She is committed to advancing disability rights and working towards meaningful inclusion of diverse people with disabilities in all areas of life.

Stéphane Braney

Stéphane Braney (il/he/him) was a project manager for the Quebec Association for Equity and Inclusion in Post-Secondary Education (AQEIPS) before becoming the Executive Director in August 2022. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (B.A.A.) from TÉLUQ University and is currently enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Information Technology Governance of the same university. He was the founding president of the Stéphane Braney Foundation (1998 to 2013), a non-profit organization that helped people with impaired mobility who do not receive the benefits they need to acquire the equipment necessary for their well-being and independence. He is also the head of Braney & Associates Inc., a management consulting firm that offers start-up, expansion, recovery, training, and coaching services to self-employed individuals, NPOs and SMEs. He served as a municipal councillor for the City of Lachute where he worked with several committees (Human Resources, Roads, Finance, Retirement, IT and Communication, Société de promotion économique de Lachute, Lachute Airport, Conférence régionale des élus des Laurentides, Fire and Vigilance, and Odours for the Technical Landfill Site). He has several years of experience in the community sector as a speaker and motivator. He has been a volunteer in his local community for many years and has served on many boards. Stéphane is passionate about advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and is a strong defender of their inclusion in education, active life, and the labourmarket. Stéphane became quadriplegic following a diving accident in an above-ground pool on July 22, 1994, at the age of 27. He chose to focus on what he had left rather than what he had lost; the use of his four limbs. So only one year after his accident he gave his first conference under the theme “I chose life”!

Dr. Nancy Hansen

Nancy Hansen, Ph.D. is a Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. Nancy obtained a PhD (Human Geography) from the University of Glasgow. and her research interests in disability studies are varied including: disability in spaces of culture education, literacy social policy, employment, healthcare, MAiD, COVID-19, access and experiences of disabled and LGBTQ communities in post-conflict areas. She is co-editor of the Routledge History of Disability and Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader. In addition, Nancy has written numerous book chapters and contributed to various international academic journals.

Dr. Erika Katzman

Erika Katzman (she/they), PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King’s University college at Western University where she teaches classes on disability theory, policy, health care and systems navigation. A neurodivergent occupational therapist and former personal care attendant, Dr. Katzman learned about disability through experience before formal education. Her research focuses on the everyday ‘work’ disabled people perform to survive life in inaccessible spaces and in pursuit of rights and justice. Dr. Katzman strives to create safe and equitable spaces in teaching, research and beyond by centring disabled knowledge.

Elizabeth Mohler

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:

About NEADS’ Virtual Access for All Project

NEADS' Virtual Access for All Project provides awareness and educational support for disabled students transitioning into higher education. Resources pertaining to accessibility and accommodation are provided through our quarterly State of the Schools reports. Our 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 Supports for Student Learning Program (Goal Getters) – and a two-year extension has recently been granted for this project.

Chloée C. Godin-Jacques, M.A (she/they | elle/iel)
Education & Research Consultant | Consultante en éducation et recherche, National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
Rm. 514 Unicentre, Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6

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