Empower U Webinar: Ethno-cultural perspectives on the CRPD: intersectionality and disability rights, January 29th

Join us for an Empower U webinar on ethno-cultural perspectives on the Convention on The Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) to learn more about intersectionality and the rights of persons with disabilities in Canada, and how various organizations use human rights perspective to ensure rights, inclusion and equality of persons with disabilities.

Our first webinar is on Ethno-cultural perspectives on CRPD: intersectionality and disability rights on Wednesday, January 29nd from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST. Captioning will be provided.


Doctor Zephania Matanga, Representative, Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre (INC)

Meenu Sikand, Founder and CEO, Accessibility for All and Executive Lead, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Tammy Yates, Executive Director, Realize/Realise

Register for the webinar here:

On the day of the webinar access the session through this Zoom meeting link:   Meeting ID: 119-496-434 (No password needed)
Optional teleconference:  1-647-558-0588
Meeting ID: 119-496-434 (then press #)
Participant ID: None required  (just press #)

Description: A series of ten webinars will offer training for people with disabilities who are willing to make a commitment to share their knowledge in their communities / organizations with their peers for the purpose of increased awareness of how to remedy discrimination using more familiar (Human Rights Codes) and newer instruments (United Nations Convention on The Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) and the CRPD's Optional Protocol to train other people to do likewise.

Webinars will be held every Wednesday at 1.00 pm EST from January 22 to March 25, 2020. Recordings will be available to participants after webinars. 

Learning Objectives:

•        To increase the number of Canadians with disabilities, particularly youth with disabilities and people with disabilities from ethno-cultural communities, who are knowledgeable about available human rights remedies to discrimination and how to access these remedies
•        To increase capacity of Canadians with disabilities to share that knowledge with their peers so that more people across Canada (particularly with disabilities and multi-ethnic communities) will have the information necessary to navigate the systems where Canadians can seek redress for discrimination

Learning Outcomes:  At the end of the training participants will have:

•        In-depth knowledge of how to use United Nations Convention on The Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) and the Optional Protocol, as well as Human Rights Codes and the Accessible Canada Act
•        In-depth understanding of how to access and navigate the systems where Canadians with disabilities can seek redress from discrimination

About the Project:

The project Nothing About Us Without Us: Empower U, Learn to Access Your Disability Rights is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and implemented by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) in collaboration with the Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc. (CMDCI), Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO), the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) and the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS).


Meenu Sikand

Meenu Sikand is currently the executive lead, equity, diversity and inclusion at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Meenu brings with her a true passion to create accessible, inclusive and welcoming communities that embrace everyone. As Holland Bloorview’ s first ever executive lead for equity, diversity and inclusion, she is leading and advancing the hospital’s efforts in EDI across multiple dimensions including team culture and wellness, program design and delivery, employment, research, teaching and learning, community engagement and anti-stigma initiatives. Meenu’s role is integral in advancing the hospital’s No Boundaries strategy including its commitments to lead and model social change and be a model employer of people with disabilities. Since 2019, Meenu has been an active member of the UfT Faculty of Medicine Diversity Advisory Council and City of Toronto-Equity & Inclusion Advisory Group.

Meenu is the founder of Accessibility for All, a non-profit organization that works to identify, address and meet the needs of marginalized communities. Prior to Joining the Holland Bloorview, Meenu has worked in various management roles within corporate, government, non-profit and academic sectors. AfA is one of the founding members of the Canadian Alliance on Race and Disability (CARD) and advisor to the International Women’s Rights Project. A strong supporter of the organ Donation within South-Asian community, Meenu currently serves on the board of AmarKarma.

Meenu is an award-winning disability rights advocate, an educator and a sought-after speaker. She has travelled the world speaking on a wide variety of disability topics including mental health, cultural competencies, parenting, social exclusion, accommodation and race.
Her many volunteer roles underscore her commitment to diversity and creating environments where everyone can participate fully. She has been appointed as a member on the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council by the Minister of seniors and Accessibility. Currently she She has served as a board director for Punjabi Community Health Services, the Center for Independent Living and ARCH, among others.

Zephania Matanga

Dr. Zephania Matanga is a representative of The Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre. He holds a M.Ed. and a doctorate in the area of Special Education from the Department of Applied Psychology, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the same institute and he is a certified teacher in Ontario and Manitoba. He came from Zimbabwe in 1992 with a wealth of experience and first-hand knowledge about the debilitating effects of disability on professionals in his homeland and throughout Africa. His post-graduate studies in Canada and abroad are extensive. As a Special Education research leader, he has developed educational strategies that are most effective for children, youth and adults with disabilities, non-speaking students and those with seizure disorders, students with emotional-behavior disorders, and those with visual disabilities and other physical and perceptual disabilities. He also understands as to how such skills can be applied in both developing and developed countries. This is demonstrated by a series of projects he has implemented both in Canada and Zimbabwe. He also has just completed a book chapter entitled: A Comparison of Institutional Discriminatory Practices against People with Disabilities in North America and Africa: Cases in Zimbabwe and Canada. As the Executive Director of The Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre (INC) he has been very effective, working with engineers and physicians in the development of assistive devices for persons with disabilities.

Tammy C. Yates

In February 2015, Tammy C. Yates became the first black woman to be appointed as Executive Director of a national organization in Canada’s HIV and disability sectors when she was named to lead Realize. Tammy has served as the Chair of the national Episodic Disabilities Forum, as well as the Ontario Episodic Disabilities Network. Her résumé includes over 13 years of senior management, administration and communications experience in the non-profit and international development sectors. She originally joined the Realize Team in January 2013 and served as the Manager of Programs and Communications until her date of appointment. Prior to joining Realize, Tammy was the Officer-In-Charge/National Program Manager of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Trinidad & Tobago Branch Office.