Disability Awareness and Disability Justice

Event Type

DATE:             November 6, 2023
TIME:              9:00 am to 4:30 pm
LOCATION:    Virtual – Zoom details to follow

People with disabilities represent the world’s largest minority and the third largest economic power behind China and the United States. Yet disabled people still experience barriers, prejudice, and bias on a daily basis.

Our combination Disability Awareness/Disability Justice workshop challenges all to more fully address ableist notions of how we think about, and label, our bodies, minds, and senses.

In Disability Awareness, we will give you the tools to understand what disability is, the types of disability, the current language of disability, what ableism is, examples of ableism, how you can actively work to fight against ableism, and tips for disabled people and allies alike to better ensure equity in all that you do.

Disability Justice is a movement started by and meant to center disabled, Black, Indigenous, people of colour, 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Ableism encourages the centering of “normal” and “productive” and devalues disabled bodies, brains, and senses, seeing them as “invalid”, “unnatural”, and “unworthy”, leading to exclusion and oppression. Disability Justice works to move away from segregation, isolation, and ableism and move towards accessibility, equity connection, and interdependence.

Disability justice is an ongoing practice that recognizes the inherent worth of every person and sees us as whole beings with differing strengths and needs. Disability justice challenges the ways we think about, and label, bodies/minds/senses.

Increase your disability knowledge and engage in dialogue as we explore new ways of doing and perceiving, including the ten principles of disability justice and how they can be utilized in daily life. Also covered, how these practices and principles impact the daily lives of disabled people.

This workshop is co-facilitated by Heather McCain (disabled, neurodivergent, queer, trans, asexual, aromantic) and Harmony Bongat (disabled, queer, person of colour) who can speak to their lived experiences as well as to experiences of the broader disability and neurodivergent community.

Facilitator Bios:

Heather McCain (they/them) is Executive Director of Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods, a non-profit they founded in 2005. Heather is also a Crip Doula. This is a Disability Justice term for someone who helps disabled people navigate our complex systems, providing resources, support, and building community.

Heather’s own experiences with multiple types of disabilities, inaccessibility, and ableism led them to become a well-known and respected advocate, speaker, educator, and activist. Heather recognizes that those within the disability community have intersecting identities. In recognition of this, Heather works hard to ensure a multitude of voices and experiences inform their work. Heather is committed to centering decolonialization, using an intersectional lens and disability justice framework, and engaging in cross-movement organizing.

Harmony Bongat (she/her) is a researcher, facilitator, and workshop creator for Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods after attending Chronically Queer, a support group Heather facilitates for 2SLGBTQIA+ folk with chronic health conditions. Harmony is a disability justice advocate and educator. Harmony’s experiences as a disabled person with multiple intersecting identities informs her work. Harmony is passionate about disability awareness, queer + trans history, and sharing her lived experience to further conversation about how we can better meet the needs of disabled people, build community, and empower those currently pushed to the margins.

To register for this workshop log into My Events Registration using the prompts provided. Workshops are listed under Steward Education events. Please select ‘create a login’ through the Event Registration and click on the ‘here’ to receive your member ID by email or call the HSA office at 604.517.0994 or 1.800.663.6119 if you do not know your HSA member ID number.