Canadian Disability Studies Association

Association canadienne d’études sur le handicap

Board Meeting Agenda

October 18, 2018

11am-1pm (ET)

Via Zoom


Present: Jen Rinaldi, Heather Willis, Madeline Burghardt, Evan Wicklund, Kim Collins, Caroline Kovesi, Laura Yvonne Bulk, Jeff Preston, Chelsea Jones


Regrets: Kaley Roosen, Charles Gaucher, Majid Turmusani, Patty Douglas, Maria Fernanda Arentsen


  1. Approval of Agenda Madeline moved to approve agenda. Heather seconded. All in favour.


  1. Introductions (Heather)


  1. Fundraising (Chelsea)

Important to start fundraising now.


Prospectus: currently a draft. Contains information that potential sponsors need to have. Please review and provide any feedback.


Sponsorship Letter template: Can use this to approach potential sponsors. Highlighted section: asked sponsors to help raise $11,000 for access costs and student bursaries. This helps sponsors to know where their money is going. Chelsea will update this section. We could add that we support students and others who experience barriers, including the precariously-employed, to attend the conference. Discussion: We could also approach unions, municipal governments, rehab association. Ask early, and ask Chelsea and Patty if you need support.


Sponsorship request form: Shared google doc. This is a list of who we can ask for sponsorships; includes universities we have asked in the past. Column D: we know how much they gave last year, so we can reference that. Put your name in the column for those places that you decide to approach, and feel free to add organizations to the list.

Discussion re: places where we can ask for sponsorships; besides university contacts, there are several corporations that could also be approached.


To do: People encouraged to sign up to ask people for sponsorships.


  1. Non-Profit/Charitable Status (Chelsea)

This could give CDSA an official presence that would allow us to move between institutions, would give us status, etc. Distinction between non-profit and charitable status: we are a non-profit; qualification for a charity is that you give the money back to a designated charity. Chelsea brought forward idea of consulting with a lawyer to learn how best to move forward in this.


Discussion: in the past: charities were not able to act as activists/advocates, and the money could not go to growing the organization or to pay for staff; the money had to go towards education. Previously, individual people within organizations could take on advocacy roles, but organizations could not. Under these definitions, it would be questionable if we could define CDSA as a charity. However, recent federal ruling states that charities are now allowed to do advocacy work. Right now, our money goes almost entirely to funding the conference. Pillar non-profit is a group that consults with groups like ours that can offer advice regarding how to move forward.


To do: Jeff to approach a representative from Pillar Non-Profit about joining a future meeting to advise us. Heather also suggested we look at the Ontario non-profit Network. Motion to consult with a lawyer not brought forward at this time.


Student Bursaries for CDSA: currently 5 x 200.00. Right now, first come, first serve. Discussion: we want to make sure that people can use the money to get to the conference. Add to a future agenda to finalize numbers once we know who will be coming as keynotes, costs, etc. Some in favour of not increasing numbers of bursaries, but increasing money, and having fewer keynotes to sponsor more students to attend.


To do: Discuss student bursaries at next meeting.


    1. Not-for-profit guide


  1. LAC Report (Laura): countdown to Congress meeting last week.

Big meeting: 3 weeks ago; other groups interested in doing partnerships with CDSA.

Countdown meeting: some items due Oct 19th; Heather and Laura working on these.

3 ppl in Vancouver assisting in planning CDSA: LAC people in Vancouver not responsible for planning program; will focus on booking rooms, catering, making contacts for interdisciplinary collaborations, etc. Looking forward to collaborating with the Board. Last year first time more than just president and LAC working on the conference portal.


Spaces being considered: Alumni Centre: open spaces with natural light, with breakout rooms on same (2nd) floor, and close to amenities and transit. Requests are due in Nov; not first come, first serve; Laura will explain why this space is ideal for CDSA. Good relationship with accessibility coordinator for Congress. Also Student Union building: has a large room. There are few ground floor spaces that will work. Sounds like Congress is aware of accessibility needs. Discussion: is there a plan B? We put in our first choice, second choice, etc. participation: approx. 80 people? Probably larger due to location this year.


Still questions regarding cost-sharing with Congress for accommodations. Right now, associations are approaching Congress individually. They have not promised to cover any amount at this point. Expectation that the host university will share the cost with each association, and the current expectation is 50%. Anything that UBC does already will be covered—for example—transcribing written work into mp3. Braille transcription may be covered. Laura will also speak with caterers about access at congress as well.


To do: make up an accommodation budget to submit to UBC. Laura and Heather to do.


Social events: CDSA needs to make decisions, as there will also be another conference taking place in Vancouver at the same time, as well as Congress. If we want to book any off-campus or on-campus events, we should plan it soon. On-campus sites can be booked for free, but we would have to pay for UBC catering if we do that.

Also need to plan a student event.


One idea for a social student event: Speed mentoring session: Student is paired with a mentor (prof, lecturer, etc). –10 minutes with each person and work their way around the room.


CCDS is planning to organize some kind of community, perhaps off-campus event at UBC. Panel not likely.


Events at Congress to which we can connect: e.g.: i) theatre conference overlaps with CDSA, and a disabled artist will be doing a performance; ii) gallery on campus (wingspan) with an art show put on by artists with visual impairments.


Discussion: not to have social event at a bar; makes communication difficult, sobriety, etc. Reaching the community has been emphasized at UBC, and at the Congress meeting. Arts can tie in. Perhaps keeping the CCDS event distinct from the student social event.


To do: Caroline and Laura will look at planning a student event. Laura will look into booking a room or space for a student event. Evan and Laura to discuss an event hosted by CCDS.


  1. Conference content proposals:
    1. Disability Arts initiative at UBC: (Laura). Board is encouraged to look at this link.
    2. Canadian Keynote Speaker Candidates (Heather)
  1. Tim Stainton
  2. Mary Bryson
  3. Michelle Stack
  4. Carmen Papalia

Discussion: International Keynote: we can still afford, if we have a Canadian keynote from Vancouver, and get some funding from Congress for an international. Also there is the possibility of having one keynote do a performance-type keynote. Discussion: Diversity is an issue in this list. If we have two keynotes, that uses a lot of funds that could be used to increase attendance from others who are more precariously-employed or are students. Discussion regarding if we can afford two keynotes. We can also consider that some people do not have to be keynotes, but can still be part of the conference (esp. artists and performers from Vancouver, etc.).


To do: we can approach possible international keynotes to

determine how expensive they are; discuss international keynotes at next meeting (cost, co-hosting with other associations, availability, etc.).  


Possibility for international keynote: Heather has an idea for one person (she will get the name for the next meeting); Jasbir Puar has also indicated interest (could ask her publisher if we allowed her to sell books at our congress, would this help alleviate our cost). We could share her with another association (eg. Women and Gender studies)


To do: determine if there is overlap with gender and studies, enhancing invitation for Puar (or others).


To do: vote on Canadian keynote at next meeting.


  1. Call for Papers
    1. draft

Heather will send out the draft, and then will send out to the CDSA membership for feedback by a certain date. This will have to be sent out by the end of October. Kaley will assist with getting the CFP out.

    1. Communication: Kaley to assist with this.


Discussion: encouraging people to submit proposals for arts-based presentations, and to set aside time for that. Should we be providing a separate call to local artists (i.e. an invitation) who might want to come and perform? Or should they be included in the CFP? What about paying for them?


To do: Heather will ask Fran, Eliza about their experiences of asking performers to come and perform at the conference, and how they got paid. This will be added to next month’s agenda.



  • Membership Feedback form draft (Caroline)


Student brochures: Caroline has drafted two informative brochures to assist students who might be interested in coming to congress but want to learn more about it.


To do: CDSA members to provide Caroline with feedback regarding her brochures about Congress, information for students, etc.


Caroline also put together a membership survey regarding inclusion and diversity. Discussion: Feedback is needed; will we send this out with the CFP? Discussion: to allow members to be more open in their responses, perhaps limit the survey to one question. Idea to have a discussion at the AGM next year regarding this kind of feedback, as well as the written feedback. One idea: work on the form before the next AGM so that members have a chance to think about it; this would help us to plan our membership meeting at the next AGM.


To do: work on feedback form for improving diversity in CDSA throughout the year, present at AGM for a facilitated conference. Provide feedback to Caroline as this is developed.


Equity officer role still vacant; needs to be filled.



  • Open Discussion (all)




  • Next Meeting; November 15th, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. EST.




  • Adjourned at 1:06 p.m.



Minutes submitted by Madeline Burghardt, CDSA secretary.