Vision, Passion, Action

And the winner is...

The results are out for last year’s faculty course survey, and the news is good. The School of Disability Studies received top honours in the 2008 Students’ Choice Award results! According to the Eyeopener, Ryerson University’s independent student newspaper, Disability Studies placed first in students’ university-wide rating of courses and faculty.

Faculty and Staff Bios


Full-time Faculty

Professor Emerita

Part-time Instructors


ELA Post Doctorate

Kathryn Church, PhD

Director and Associate Professor, School of Disability Studies

Currently teaching: DST 88 - Research Methods in Disability Studies, DST 99 - Independant Study

I am a middle-class, middle-aged able-bodied white woman who lives with chronic facial pain and hypersensitivity. I am an Albertan social democrat, a small town girl turned urban loft dweller, and a feminist who is interested in clothes. I am a sociologist who resists Grand Theory, a writer whose best stuff goes into email, and a lifelong learner whose job requires her to teach – which is how I discovered the joys of introducing undergraduates to the possibilities that academia still offers for personal transformation and social justice. 

I studied Psychology at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan (Masters 1983) and Sociology at OISE/University of Toronto (PhD 1993) during radical periods in the history of these departments. But it was psychiatric survivors who truly politicized me as I encountered them, their stories, and their activism while I was employed as an organizer in the mid-80s. These relationships propelled me into a decade of post-doctoral engagement as a “freelance” researcher working for and with psychiatric survivor organizations. Then, in 2002 I was drawn into Ryerson by the challenge of building a research program for the School of Disability Studies that would resonate with issues and debates in this emergent field.  

Research is my passion: learning it, doing it, teaching it. I am an ethnographer with a solid base in participatory process. I am a fieldworker committed to the unfolding of unexpected discoveries about the organization of social life. I ground my practice in a combination of institutional ethnography and arts-informed inquiry. I am fascinated with form as well as content, and particularly with forms that are self-reflexive and publicly accessible. I have experimented with narrative and auto/biography. I have worked with multi-media partners to translate research results into video/film. I have partnered with museum experts to use exhibiting as inquiry in two major projects: first, domestic sewing and women’s clothing practices, and secondly, the history of disability in Canada.  

Research Interests:

  • Mental health policy; psychiatric consumer/survivor participation
  • Psychiatric survivor movement; local economic development
  • The invisible work of doing disability in everyday life
  • Women and clothing practices; the invisible work of getting dressed
  • Work and learning; “carework” 

Recent Publications (Selected):

  • Church, K. 2008. Doing disability at the bank. Discoveries about the learning/teaching done by disabled bank employees. In Livingstone, D.W., Mirchandani, K., & Sawchuk, P. (Eds.) The Future of Lifelong Learning. Sense Publishers, 147 - 153. 
  • Church, K., Bascia, N., & Shragge, E. (eds.) 2008. Learning through Community: Exploring Participatory Practices. Amsterdam: Springer. 
  • Church, K., Shragge, E., Ng, R., & Fontan, J-M. 2008. While no one is watching: Learning in social action among people who are excluded from the labour market. In Church, K., Bascia, N. & Shragge, E. (Eds.) Learning through Community: Exploring Participatory Practices.  Amsterdam: Springer, 97-116. 
  • Ignagni, E. & Church, K. 2008. One more reason to look away? Ties and tensions between arts-informed inquiry and disability studies. In A. Cole & J. G. Knowles (Eds.) Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Social Science Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 625 - 638. 
  • Church, K. 2008. Exhibiting as inquiry: Travels of an accidental curator. In A. Cole & J. G. Knowles (Eds.) Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Social Science Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 421-434. 
  • Church, K. with Frazee, C., Luciani, T., Panitch, M. & Seeley, P. 2006. Dressing corporate subjectivities: Learning what to wear to The Bank. In Billett, S., Somerville, M., & Fenwick, T. (Eds.) Work, Subjectivity and Learning. Springer, 69-85. 
  • Mykhalovskiy, E. & Church, K. 2006. Of T-shirts and ontologies: Celebrating George Smith’s pedagogical legacies. In Frampton, C. Kinsman, G., Thompson, A. and Tilleczek, K. (Eds.) Sociology for Changing the World. Toronto: Fernwood, 71-86. 
  • Church, K. (2006) Working like crazy on Working Like Crazy: Imag(in)ing CED practice through documentary film. In Shragge, E. (Ed.) Community Economic Development: Building for Social Change. University College of Cape Breton. 

Regular Course Instruction:

  • DST 613 Strategies for Community Building
  • DST 88 A/B Research Methods in Disability Studies
  • DST 99 A/B Independent Study/Thesis Project (as required)


Melanie Panitch, DSW

Dr. Melanie Panitch
Associate Professor, School of Disability Studies (on sabbatical 2011-2012)

For over thirty years I have been an activist, advocate, researcher and educator, with strong roots in the community living movement. I have designed and taught courses on human rights and disability at the Universities of Guyana and the West Indies and lectured at international conferences in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador and Uruguay. During the eighties I launched a new inclusive post-secondary education program at Humber College. Throughout the nineties I was Coordinator of Social Development and Public Education at The Roeher Institute and part of a research team examining disability-related policies in Canada. In 2006, I received my Doctorate in Social Welfare from the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York. For my doctoral research I undertook a gendered history of the Canadian Association for Community Living which focused on campaigns led by activist mothers to close institutions and secure human rights for disabled people across Canada. This study was published by Routledge under the title: Disability, Mothers and Organization: Accidental Activists (2008).

My current and future teaching and research interests are in concert with the new disability history and its emphasis on the cultivation of activist disability oral history and disability-based archives. In 2006 the School of Disability Studies was offered the extraordinary gift of the library and personal papers of Dr. Tanis Doe, founder of the national Disabled Women’s Network (DAWN Canada). From April 18- July 11, 2008, Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember, our groundbreaking exhibit on activist disability history was mounted at the Royal Ontario Museum. (See the Activism segment of this website, under Exhibitions.) I hope that through these initiatives our students will be stimulated to explore the histories of significant leaders, important symbols and critical moments in activist disability history in Canada and beyond.

Research interests:

  • Disability History
  • Social Movements
  • Disability Studies
  • Activist Mothering
Selected Publications:
  • Disability, Mothers and Organization: Accidental Activists New York: Routledge, 2008
  • “Disability” in Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, (2 Volumes) California: SAGE, 2009
    Frazee, C. Church, K, Panitch, M. Out From Under: Disability History and Things to Remember”. School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, 2008.
  • “Motherhood Organizing: Disability and Resistance”. In Canadian Dimension, 40(5). (2005) Book Review. Miriam Edelson, Battle Cries: Justice for Kids with Special Needs, Sumac Press, 2005, and Susan Schwarzenburg, Becoming Citizens: Family Life and the Politics of Disability, University of Washington Press, 2005.
  • “Mothers of Intention: Women, Disability and Activism” in Stienstra, D & Wight-Felske, A. Making Equality: History of Advocacy and persons with Disability in Canada. Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Captus Press, 2003.
  • Disability Community and Society: Exploring the Links (1996) Toronto: The Roeher Institute. 

Teaching, present and recent:

  • DST 99 Capstone Course and Independent Study
  • DST 503: Exhibiting Activist Disability History


Esther Ignagni, M.Sc., PhD

Esther Ignagni

Assistant Professor 

Currently teaching: DST 501 - Rethinking disability, DST 725 - The Politics and Practice of Intervention, DST 99 - Independant Study

For the past ten years I have taught at Ryerson University; the last four in the School of Disability Studies. Working with students to ask different questions of our world, and to let go of old orthodoxies, remains one of my greatest privileges. 

A former community health worker, I was an organizer and advocate in the anti-violence and HIV/AIDS action movements during the late 1980s and 1990s. This shaped my understanding of difference and disability.  I gained an appreciation of the intersecting structural relations of disability, gender, race, sexual orientation and class. I also learned the challenge and necessity of integrating direct service, politics and critical analysis. 

Despite the strong criticisms of medicalization within Disability Studies, my academic training and work has been in public health, bioethics and allied health fields. I have conducted research within Bloorview Kids Rehab, Sunnybrook/Women’s Health Sciences Centre, the Joint Centre for Bioethics, and the Toronto Hospital. Being situated in these clinical settings with a disability rights analysis has allowed me to explore ‘the body’ as a site for evolving eugenics practice and the social production of impairment and disability.  As someone whose everyday life has been shaped by medicine, I am committed to directing critical inquiry towards and with this powerful institution. 

My graduate work has been within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, where I used sociological theories to explore citizenship as a determinant of young disabled people’s health.  My doctoral work (abd), The Poster Child Shoots Back, facilitated the creation of short digital videos produced by the young project participants.  Several of these have gone on to be seen by international audiences and to form the foundation of similar projects among other young disabled artists. This work has fuelled my interest in the use of new media in constructing new knowledges of disability and in constructing new ways for disabled people to transform their personal and collective realities. 

Research Interests:

  • Generational relations, particularly ‘youth’/adult relations
  • Care-work, the hidden work of receiving personal support
  • Social theories of ‘the body’
  • New forms of eugenic practice
  • Disability and citizenship
  • Media and arts-informed inquiry

Courses Taught:

  • DST 501: Perspectives on Disability 1
  • DST 725: The Politics and Practice of Intervention
  • INT 902: Disability Issues 

Recent Publications (Selected):

  • Ignagni, E. 2009. Taking license with autism. Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 15, 2.
  • Ignagni, E. 2009. Free Our People. Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 15, 1: 67-70.
  • Rice, C., Zitzelsberger, H., Porch, W. & Ignagni, E. 2009. Creating community across disability and difference. In T. Titchkosky & R. Michalko (eds.) Re-thinking normalcy: A disability studies reader. Toronto: UTP. 
  • McKneally, M.,  Martin, D. & Ignagni, E. 2009. Responding to trust: Surgeons’ perspectives on informed consent. World Journal of Surgery, 13,7:  1341-1347.
  • Ignagni, E. & Abbas, J. 2008. Media and messages: Exploring the old and new world of developmental disability and media. Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 14, 3: 86-94.
  • Ignagni, E. & Church, K. 2008. One more reason to look away? Ties and tensions between arts-informed inquiry and disability studies. In A. Cole & J. G. Knowles (Eds.) Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Social Science Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 625 - 638. 
  • Ignagni, E., Gladstone, B. and MacIntosh-Murray A. (in press). Beyond the science fair: conventional constraints and representational possibilities of poster presentations. The Qualitative Report.   


Catherine Frazee, D.Litt., LLD.

Dr. Catherine FrazeeProfessor Emerita

In three words, I’m a writer, an educator and an activist.  These three identities come together for me at Ryerson, where I happily indulge my activist inclinations and curiosities about disability rights, disability arts and the place of disabled people in moral and political culture.  Drawing from my own experience of disablement as point of entry, I seek to write and teach pathways into ethical and cultural dialogues about citizenship and personhood.  My present work is informed by many years of involvement in the equality struggles of disadvantaged and marginalized groups, most notably during a term as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission from 1989 to 1992. 

A primary preoccupation of mine is the cultivation, promotion and exploration of Disability Arts & Culture in Canada.  In seeking out opportunities to showcase authentic, provocative and non-sentimental accounts from disability experience, and in cultivating audience engagement and reflection through artist talk-backs, public lectures, research and scholarship, I believe we may begin to shape an ethic of the human condition in which disabled people can occupy our rightful place.

When I am not lolling about in the ivory towers of academe, I chair the Values & Ethics Task Force of the Canadian Association for Community Living and serve on the Board of Directors of the Abilities Arts Festival.  Other organizations, communities and social justice causes that I have been proud to serve in the past are featured in the “links” section below.

Research Interests:
  • Ethics & Bioethics
  • Justice & Human Rights
  • Disability Arts & Culture

Selected Works:
  • Review of Disability Studies, Vol. 5 No. 1. (Co-edited with Leslie Roman) 
  • Genius.  Introductory essay for Invisible No More; Pietropaolo, V. Rutgers University Press, New Jersey. 
  • Out from Under: A Brief History of Everything.  Sandell, R., Dodd, J., and Garland-Thomson, R., eds. Re-Presenting Disability: Activism and Agency in the Museum. (Co-author with Kathryn Church, Melanie Panitch and Phaedra Livingston) Routledge, New York.
  • Exile from the China Shop: Cultural Injunction and Disability Policy – Chapter in Disability and Social Policy in Canada, 2nd edition, Mary Ann McColl, Lyn Jongbloed, eds. Captus Press, 2006
  • Shameless: The Art of Disability – Documentary Collaboration with Director Bonnie Sherr Klein, National Film Board of Canada, 2006
  • Now You See Her, Now You Don’t: How Law Shapes Disabled Women’s Experience of Exposure, Surveillance, and Assessment in the Clinical Encounter – Chapter in Critical Disability Theory: Essays in Philosophy, Politics, Policy and Law.  (Co-author with Roxanne Mykitiuk and Joan Gilmour), Devlin, R. & Pothier D., Eds., UBC Press, 2006.
Available online: Teaching, present and recent:
  • PHL 507: Ethics, Disability & Justice
  • DST 503: Human Rights and Disability
  • DST 503: Exhibiting Activist Disability History
  • DST 501: Perspectives on Disability I

David Reville

David Reville

Part-time Instructor, School of Disability Studies

Currently teaching: DST 504 - Mad people's history

I came to Ryerson in the fall of 2004 to teach DST 500: A History of Madness. 

I didn’t know much about the history of madness; however, I had spent time in three different madhouses, had internalized the stigma of being mentally ill and had been “talking back to psychiatry” for almost forty years. 

 It took me quite a long time to get re-organized after getting out of hospital in l967.

Like many discharged psychiatric patients, I was disengaged from both the economy and the community.  Eventually, I found a way to earn a living – as a plumbing contractor – and a way out of my isolation – community action.  Community action led to political action, political action to electoral politics, electoral politics to two terms on Toronto City Council and two in the Ontario Legislature.  In 1990, when the Ontario NDP won the election, I went to work in the Premier’s Office.  My public service ended on March 29, 1996 when the Harris government repealed the Advocacy Act and the Commission that it had created;  I’d been appointed to chair the Commission in the fall of 1994.   In 1996, I began work as a consultant.  Most of my clients did something in the mental health field; some of them were organizations run by people who themselves had been labeled mentally ill.

I am a  member of the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses’ advisory  committee. For seven years, I was a co-chair of the board of A-WAY Express Couriers.  Below are links to some of the organizations with which I’ve worked.

My project is to bring mad knowledge into the academy both here and internationally. 

Research Interests:

  • The consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement; the politics of mental health madness and culture the involvement of marginalized people in the development of public policy

Selected Publications:

  • Reville, D. (2008) “Reflections on the consumer/survivor/ex-patient”. 25th Anniversary Report: Honouring the Past, Shaping the Future:  25 Years of Progress in Mental Health Advocacy and Rights Protection.  Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office.  Ontario.
  • Reville, D.  (2005) “Mental Health Reform:  Still Saying the Same Thing After All These Years.”  Canadian Public Policy, Vol. XXXI Supplement. 2005.
  • Trainor, J., Church, K., Pape, B., Pomeroy, E., Reville, D.. Tefft, B., Lakaski, C. & Renaud, L. (1992)  Building a framework for support:  developing a sector-based policy model for people with serious mental illness.  Canada’s Mental Health, 40 (1) 25-29.
  • Church, K. & Reville, D. (1990).  Do the right thing* right.  Canadian Review of Social Policy, 26, 77-81
  • Church, K. & Reville, D. (1989).  User involvement in the mental health field in Canada. Canada’s Mental Health, 37 (2), 22-25
  • Reville, D. and Trainor, J. (1989).  Guest Editorial.  Canada’s Mental Health, 37 (2) 1.

Book Chapter

  • Reville, D. (1988) Don’t Spyhole Me. In Burstow, B. and Weitz, D. (eds.) Shrink Resistant: the Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada. Vancouver: New Star Books.

Teaching, present and recent

  • DST 500 A History of Madness
  • CDST 504 Mad People’s History
  • DST 613 Strategies for Community Building
  • DST 727 Leadership for Community Action


Cam Crawford

Cam Crawford

Part-time Instructor, School of Disability Studies
Currently teaching: DST 502 - Disability and the State

Academic lead AODA certificate
Currently teaching: DST 506 - Making Ontario Accessible

Abiding concerns and passions of mine since the early 1970s have been the well-being, social inclusion, equality and human rights of people with disabilities. From the mid to late 1970s I lived for about 5 years in L’Arche in BC, which is an intentional community whose core members are people with intellectual disabilities. After that (late 70’s and early 80’s) I worked with a group of people who were trying to get their sons, daughters and siblings with intellectual disabilities out of large institutions in British Columbia. One aim was to help these individuals get established as self-determining equals in the community with individualized supports over which they had personal control. Their family members pioneered concepts of service brokerage, individualized funding and consumer control of social services. My involvement was in management and policy and program development. Another aim was to close institutions for people with intellectual disabilities. Owing largely to successful supports that were developed in the community, all large institutions for people with intellectual disabilities were eventually closed in BC. In the late 80’s I moved to Ontario and served as senior administrator and researcher at The Roeher Institute and eventually became President of that organization. Roeher was a research and policy think tank with a focus on issues of disability, public policy, human rights and social inclusion. I have subsequently served as Director of Research and Knowledge Management at the Canadian Association for Community Living and am presently a PhD candidate in the Critical Disability Studies program at York University.

Over the years I have conducted a lot of research in diverse areas but my driving interests keep bringing me back to issues of employment. Not that employment is the only thing that matters in life. However, I figure that the vast majority of people with disabilities want decent jobs for decent pay and good benefits. Yet about half of people with disabilities fare quite terribly in the labour market and have done for many, many years. Dealing with this issue requires addressing not only employer attitudes and practices but exclusionary education and training systems, disincentives and penalties in income security programs, measures that are needed to offset costs of job accommodations (especially for small and mid-sized employers), inaccessible transportation systems, measures to ensure that people have the disability supports (human, technological, procedural and other) that they require and a range of other factors – the works! To me, this is a matter of basic justice and requires thinking in new ways about people’s capacities and how to support their development and full social and economic inclusion.

My present and recent involvements in other research initiatives include: Disability Research Steering Committee (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada); Disability Rights Promotion International – Canada, Disability Rights Monitoring Project, (York University); Poverty & Exclusion, Disabling Poverty & Enabling Citizenship (University of Victoria and Council of Canadians with Disabilities); Interdepartmental Advisory Committee on the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (Statistics Canada).

Director, Research and Knowledge Management, Canadian Association for Community Living; PhD Candidate, Critical Disability Studies, York University.

Research Interests

• Employment
• Inclusive Education
• Personal Safety and Security (stopping violence and abuse against people with disabilities)
• Justice and Human Rights

Selected Works

• Inclusive Education: Considerations for Policy and Systems Development, in eds. M. Alur and V. Timmons, Crossing Boundaries, Sharing Ideas: Inclusive Education. Los Angeles: Sage, 2009.
• “Inclusive Education for Students with Developmental Disabilities: The General Situation and Implications for Advocacy”, in J. Lupart, Ed., The Challenges of Student Diversity in Canadian Schools: Essays on Building a Better Future for Exceptional Children. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2009.
• A Positive Difference: Statistical Report on Inclusive Education and Canadian Children with Intellectual Disabilities. Toronto: Canadian Association for Community Living, 2008.
Come Together 2008, Conference Proceedings, Final Report. Report based on the Come Together 2008 conference on the response of police and service agencies to violence/abuse against persons with intellectual disabilities. For Community Living Manitoba, 2008.
When Bad Things Happen: Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Other Mistreatments Against Manitoban Women with Intellectual Disabilities. Winnipeg: Community Living Manitoba, 2007.
Non-residential Supports and Intellectual Disability: A Review of the Literature on Best Practices, Alternatives and Economic Impacts. (With Dr. Tim Stainton, Dr. Rachelle Hole, Dr. Grant Charles, Dr. Carrie Yodanis & Dr. Susan Powell). Vancouver: University of British Columbia, School of Social Work and Family Studies, Community Living Research Project.) Vancouver: UBC, 2006.
• National Safety Symposium: Crime Prevention and Independent Living. Report based on the National Safety Symposium on Crime Prevention and Independent Living, Co-sponsored by the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres and the Ottawa Police Service, April, 2005.
Scoping Inclusive Education for Canadian Students with Intellectual and other Disabilities. Toronto: The Roeher Institute, 2005.
• Breaking the Mold: Furthering the Employment of People with Disabilities through New Policy, Program and Financing Arrangements – Disability Supports. Toronto: The Roeher Institute, 2005.
A View from the Summit: Inclusive Education in Canada – Key Issues and Directions for the Future (Report based on the Canadian Association for Community Living’s National Summit on Inclusive Education of November 2004). For the Canadian Association for Community Living, 2005.
Coming of Age: Securing Positive Futures for Seniors with Intellectual Disabilities (Outcomes of the Coming of Age Dialogue, Winnipeg, Manitoba). For Winnserv Inc., 2004. • Improving the Odds: Disability, Employment and Public Programs in Canada. Toronto: The Roeher Institute, 2004.
Supporting Teachers: A Foundation for Advancing Inclusive Education. With Dr. G.L. Porter. Toronto: The Roeher Institute, 2004.
• Undue Hardship and Reasonable Accommodation: The View From the Court. Policy Studies Journal, 29(4), 641 – 648, 2001.
Uncovering the Shape of Violence: A Research Methodology Rooted in the Experience of People with Disabilities (Co-author with Marcia H. Rioux, Miriam Ticoll, Michael Bach) in Doing Disability Research. Eds. Colin Barnes and Geof Mercer. Leeds: The Disability Press, pp. 190-206, 1997.


2006 – 2009 “Numbers that Count” component of Research Methods (DST 88)
2006 – 2007 Guest lecturer for a session of “Critical Disability Studies 5090 3.0: Public Policy and Disabilities” at York University.

Charles Silverman

Charles Silverman Part-time Instructor, School of Disability Studies
Currently teaching: DST 614 - Access and technology

Charles Silverman has been in the accessibility field for almost 30 years. For the last 10 years his main focus has been accessible media on the web, specifically captioning and descriptive video.

At Ryerson, Charles has been teaching the course DST 614, Community, Access, and Technology at the School for Disability Studies for the over 12 years. He focuses on accessibility, assistive technologies, and Inclusive/Universal Design. He is also the co-director of Inclusive Media and Design Inc (, a three year old startup that has been providing captioning, video description, and sign language for web media, web accessibility audits, AODA Information and Communication consulting and training. In addition, he is the author of CapScribe, the free captioning and video description editor for web media.

Previously, Charles managed SNOW (, a special needs/assistive technology student and teacher focused information website at the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto (now the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University). Working with CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) in Boston for a number of years, Charles collaborated on a number of projects related to access, communications, and literacy, including Wiggleworks, the first accessible digital book reading series creating for mainstream classrooms, with Scholastic Publishing, and Access Through Captioning, which put caption tools in the hands of teachers and students with hearing loss, with WGBH/PBS' National Center for Accessible Media.

Certified as a special education teacher of children with moderate special needs in Massachusetts, Charles has worked with children with severe to profound physical disabilities in several educational settings, including the Mass Hospital School, where he set up its Computer Access Center and provided workshops and trainings for teachers, specialists, and parents.

Charles has presented on accessibility issues at a number of international conferences, including CSUN, Closing the Gap, Computers Helping People With Special Needs, the SMC/IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man & Cybernetics and others. Locally, he is has presented at the University of Guelph Accessibility Conference, Innoversity, and

Charles' current community involvement includes serving on the Boards of the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT) and the Abilities Arts Festival.

Charles has a severe to profound hearing loss, which gives him a strong sense of the need for connection, as well as the passion and advocacy of captioned media, real time captioning, smart hearing devices, and many other technologies. He understands all too well the need for a fully accessible world.

Eli Clare

Part-time Instructor, School of Disability Studies
Currently teaching: DST525 Rethinking Images of Embodied Difference

White, disabled, and queer, Eli Clare happily lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont where he writes and proudly claims a penchant for rabble-rousing. He has written a book of essays Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation (South End Press, 1999, 2009) and a collection of poetry The Marrow's Telling: Words in Motion (Homofactus Press, 2007) and has been published in many periodicals and anthologies. Eli speaks, teaches, and facilitates all over the United States and Canada at conferences, community events, and colleges about disability, queer and trans issues, and social justice. Among other pursuits, he has walked across the United States for peace, coordinated a rape prevention program, and helped organize the first ever Queerness and Disability Conference. You can find him on-line at






Danielle Landry danielle landry

Part-time instructor

Danielle Landry is a part-time Instructor (DST 504: Mad People’s History) and Research Assistant in the School of Disability Studies. Her involvement with the School began in 2008, helping with the Out From Under exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. As a mad student and activist, she feels at home in the School. She is holds a BA in Sociology from Ryerson University and has completed a certificate in Advancing the AODA: Principles and Practices of Accessibility. As a graduate student at York University, she is researching psychiatric survivor-led research in Canada and the UK. She is also a community representative on the board of directors of the Empowerment Council at CAMH (the voice for consumer/survivors at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)







Paris Master-McRae Paris Master-McRae

Administrative, Student Affairs Coordinator, School of Disability Studies

I was born in Bombay, India and moved to Canada with my family in 1979.  I am married and have a lovely son named Matthew who most of you have met during the summer intensive.   

In spring 2002 I was hired part-time as a Program Assistant with the School of Disability Studies and the School of Child and Youth Care.  By 2006 I was working full-time with the School of Disability Studies in my current position.   

At present I not only work for the School of Disability Studies but I am also a part-time student in the program.  Being a student in the program, I have a better understanding of what is disability and what Disability Studies is about.  This experience has also enhanced my knowledge and ability to assist and advise students better as I can relate to some of their issues on a more personal level. 





Kim CollinsKim Collins

Student Engagement Facilitator, School of Disability Studies

Kim Collins is the student engagement facilitator for the School of Disability Studies. She is also a student and will be graduating from the program in June. She has plans to attend the Critical Disability Studies program at York University. Kim is interested in narrative as activism and has focused her work on the stories of survivors from Huronia Regional Centre. As a student, Kim has experienced the mentoring and relationship building that the Disability Studies community fosters. She is eager to help students and alumni stay connected with the program and each other.








Eliza Chandler eliza chandler

Post Doctoral Fellow

Eliza Chandler lives and works in Toronto and is interested in all things disability community. She is currently finishing up her PhD at OISE/UT where she is researching how crip community is enacted through a desire for disability. Eliza is a practicing disability artist. She sits on the board of Tangled Art + Disability and coordinates Project ReVision’s digital storytelling workshops for women and trans folks living with disability and embodied differences. Eliza teaches the Strategies for Community Building during the summer intensive and is very happy to be a part of the School of Disability Studies community.