1. CAN Connect Forums
    1. Upcoming CAN Connect Forums
    2. CAN Connect Forum FAQs

CAN Connect Forums

CAN Connect Forums are an opportunity to connect across Canada, discuss topics of interest related to accessibility, and learn from each other’s experiences and expertise.

Upcoming CAN Connect Forums

AccessAbility Day 2023: Developments in Accessibility Legislation and Policies

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023
12:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET
Language of delivery: English and French
Platform: Zoom Webinar
Accessibility: ASL and LSQ interpretation, bilingual captioning, and simultaneous audio translation in both English and French will be provided. Additional accommodations available as requested.

Join us in celebrating National AccessAbility Week and AccessAbility Day 2023, co-presented by the Canadian Accessibility Network, the City of Ottawa, and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada – National Capital Region. Our three organizations are proud to bring you a Canada-wide discussion on accessibility policy at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels, featuring top institutions and public administration leaders. We invite established and emerging accessibility champions across Canada to participate in this rich and informative discussion on key accessibility issues.

Pathways to Change: Indigenous Insights on Accessibility and Disability

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Tuesday, June 20, 2023
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET
Language of delivery: English
Platform: Zoom
Accessibility: ASL interpretation and bilingual captioning will be provided. Additional accommodations available as requested.

Join us for an engaging and thought-provoking panel discussion that aims to raise awareness about the unique barriers and realities faced by Indigenous persons with disabilities. We hope to foster a deeper understanding of the perceptions of accessibility and disability within Indigenous communities and explore how we can work towards reconciliation and take action to build more inclusive societies that celebrates and supports members of Indigenous communities who are disabled.

Our panel brings together speakers with a diverse range of lived experiences and knowledge of both indigeneity and disability.

Following the panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the panelists during a Q&A period, where questions, comments, and personal experiences will be encouraged. We believe in fostering dialogue and creating a safe space for open exchange of ideas is crucial for increasing awareness, understanding, empathy, and allyship.

Meet Our Panelists: 

Alyson Colón

Alyson Colón has a master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Toronto, and has experience connecting policy makers and industry leaders with leading research on gender and inclusion. Alyson is a Research Associate with Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society (NDMS) and is heading the first territory-wide study in Nunavut that specifically looks at the experiences of people with disabilities and their families. Prior to joining NDMS Alyson worked at the University of Toronto for 12 years, most recently as Associate Director for the Institute for Gender and the Economy, at the Rotman School of Management. 

Roy Pogorzelski

Roy Pogorzelski is Métis/Cree from Saskatchewan and his family comes from the communities of Green Lake, Meadow Lake and Flying Dust First Nation in the north.  Roy spent 4 years with the City of Lethbridge as the inclusion consultant representing the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) initiative and the Vibrant Lethbridge’s poverty reduction initiatives.  Roy represented Lethbridge at the Cities for All Woman’s Initiative and assisted in collaborating on the creation of a National Equity and Inclusion Guide for Municipalities. 

Roy also co-chaired the Reconciliation sub-committee and was instrumental in the creation of a Reconciliation Implementation Plan (2017-2027) for the City of Lethbridge in response to the TRC Calls to Action.  Roy was also selected to represent UNESCO Canada at the International Coalition of Cities Against Racism and Discrimination (ICCAR) for meetings on inclusion in cities in Nairobi Kenya. Roy has also worked as the former Director of Indigenous Student Affairs at the University of Lethbridge. Roy is an avid volunteer in his community and sits on many boards and committees. He was appointed to the Canadian Race Relations Board of Directors in 2017 and was reappointed in 2021 and has worked on their commitment as a Foundation to Truth and Reconciliation. As well, Roy was recently appointed to the Alberta School Board Association Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Indigenous Autism Inclusion Circle of Alberta. 

Paula MacDonald

Paula is a Saulteaux-Cree Deaf woman; sign language is her primary language. She is a member of Pasqua First Nation, originally from the Treaty 4 territory (Regina, Sask).  

Paula has recently completed her degree in Arts, Indigenous & Canadian Studies at Carleton University. Paula is a new advocate for the Indigenous Deaf youth community across Canada. She volunteers for the Deaf Indigenous of Canada committee and attends several talking circles with Indigenous organizations to share the voice of Indigenous Deaf youth. Her long-term goal is to continue working with Indigenous Deaf communities to improve accessibility so that we can provide better opportunities and expanded resources at home, school, health care, and community. 

CAN Connect Forum FAQs

Who can attend?

CAN Connect Forums are open to everyone, including individuals within and outside of the Network. CAN Members are highly encouraged to attend to learn about the great work happening within CAN Collaborator Organizations and connect with others interested in advancing accessibility for persons with disabilities.

When will the CAN Connect Forums take place?

CAN Connect Forums will take place every 1-3 months on Tuesdays between 12 and 3 p.m. EST. They typically last one hour. All CAN Connect Forums will be hosted on Zoom.

Is there a cost to attend?

No. CAN Connect Forums are free to attend! Please register in advance.

I would like to present at a CAN Connect Forum. Who should I contact?

If you are a CAN Member (a part of a CAN Collaborator Organization or an individual associated with CAN) who would be interested in presenting or participating as a moderator at a CAN Connect Forum, please email can@carleton.ca. We also welcome your ideas on topics for future CAN Connect Forums.