Throughout my career I have been an activist, advocate, researcher and educator with strong roots in the disability rights movement and broad international experience. In November 2015, I was appointed the John C Eaton Chair in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and though it might not be characterized as social innovation much of my work has been rooted in community development and progressive social change. I was founding director of the School of Disability Studies from 1999-2011and instrumental in attracting a $1.2 million corporate gift from RBC. The exhibit on activist disability history in Canada which I co-curated, “Out From Under: Disability History and Things to Remember” started as a class project and is now on permanent display in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. My book, Disability, Mothers and Organization: Accidental Activists is a gendered history of activist mothering in the Canadian Association for Community Living (Routledge, 2008).
In our Faculty of Community Services I have been central to embedding social innovation in curriculum, and fostering international student engagement for social innovation. In collaboration with colleagues from our Faculty and the Ted Rogers School of Management I team-taught two ”Super-Courses”, pedagogical initiatives exploring social innovation, created the Minor in Social Innovation and launched the Community Transformation Café. I have a B.A. from the University of Manitoba, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of London, and a Masters in Social Work from Carleton University. I completed graduate work at the Hunter College School of Social Work, receiving a Doctorate in Social Welfare from the City University of New York Graduate Centre.