CDSA Executive 2017-2018

Meeting #1: Sept. 13th, 2017

Meeting Minutes:

In Attendance: Jen Rinaldi, Anne McGuire, Maria Arentsen, Charles Gaucher, Kaley Roosen, Anne McGuire, Randy Johner, Faith Savarese, Chelsea Jones, Kim Collins, Arielle Sugarman, Fran Odette, Patty Douglas.

Regrets: Madeline Burghardt, Heather Willis, Majid Turmusani

Jen: Welcome. Explanation of purpose of Board, primarily to prepare for Conference at end of May 27-29, 2018 at the University of Regina Campus. Meetings will adhere to Robert’s rules.

Motion: Jen moved to approve Agenda. Seconded: Anne. No additions requested. All voted in favour.

Executive introductions:

  • Jen Rinaldi, UOIT, president;
  • Maria Arentsen, Université St.-Boniface, Francophone representative;
  • Charles Gaucher, Université de Moncton, assistant Francophone representative;
  • Kaley Roosen, Hospital for Sick Children, communications officer;
  • Anne McGuire, University of Toronto, liaison with CCDS;
  • Randy Johner, University of Regina, program/congress Coordinator;
  • Chelsea Jones, Ryerson, treasurer;
  • Kim Collins, Ryerson, website coordinator;
  • Arielle Sugarman, Ryerson, student representative.

Summer updates:

Communication Strategy:

  • Zoom will be used for Sept minutes to see how it works.
  • Lots of CDSA-ACEH’s institutional memory and important documents have been uploaded onto the shared folder of the google drive. (eg.—governance folder has our Constitution & By-laws; financial folder has budgets, etc). Documents will be added to the Drive as the year progresses.
  • Communications strategy is being updated (Kaley, Kim). The CDSA-ACEH website, email (, facebook, etc. have been being updated to reflect name change to CDSA-ACEH, the last word now reading ‘handicapé’.
  • New software strategy for sending out our newsletter (Kaley)
  • Trying to increase translation work
  • Thus far, Majid has been translating our social media posts. Charles may be asked to do some translation as well.
  • Minutes for each meeting will be uploaded to the google drive files; also, website page will be set up with the minutes so that the Membership will have access.

Discussion regarding posting of minutes:

  • There is evidence that other organizations are posting minutes.
  • Some concern about posting discussions concerning sensitive topics. Concern also that Board members might refrain from saying things, knowing minutes will be posted.
  • Agreement that Board meeting minutes should be clear, direct, and indicate the decisions made.  Minutes should indicate when motions pass; individual names do not have to be used. Agreement that we will not post minutes from meetings prior to this one, as that was not an agreement that previous Boards had agreed to.
  • It was noted that if we have some issues that need to be discussed candidly, we can have an in-camera session, and prepare notes that come out of that session that are available to the membership.

Signing Authority:

  • Signing authority now rests with Jen, Heather (president-elect), and Chelsea (treasurer). Online banking has been set up. CDSA-ACEH now has a corporate credit card to make purchases and do financial transactions under $500.00.

Congress 2017-2018:

  • Over the summer, Heather, Fran and Jen had meeting with Guy Laforet, president of the Federation, and met with other members of the Congress Executive. Discussed issues that arose from the CDSA-ACEH AGM, especially with regards to accessibility. Letter prepared to the Federation as a follow-up (will be posted on Google Drive). The letter suggests: 1. Choosing a host university should include considering the access features of institutions. 2. Congress events need to be accessible. 3. Host universities need to commit to cost-sharing with association that have to pay for accommodations. (CDSA-ACEH still waiting on Ryerson to follow through on cost-sharing agreed to last year).


  • Motion: Be it resolved that the CDSA-ACEH 2017-2018 budget include a line item including purchase of a monthly subscription to ZOOM at $14.99 US per month from Sept to May for a total of 134.91 US. Motion seconded.
  • In previous years, Onstream was used. Zoom was tried once last year on someone’s personal account; Zoom has features that are useful to us; there’s a free basic version, but the upgrade allows meetings more than 40 minutes. Annual subscription brings the price down slightly, but we save approx.$10.00- $14.00 if we go this route from Sept- May.
  • Discussion: some members offered CDSA-ACEH to use their personal ZOOM accounts. It was agreed that it would be useful for CDSA-ACEH to have its own account. ZOOM is also useful for other things: Congress, committees, etc.
  • Jen moved to pass the motion. Charles seconded it. All voted in favour. No abstentions. Motion carried.

Budget: Chelsea:

  • Will try to send out budget reports in advance of meetings so that we have time in meetings to discuss budget items in mtgs. The membership will have access to the budget reports through Google docs.
  • Bank account total as of 18 Sept: $11,790.00.
  • Need to treat that number against our Congress costs, which tend to hover around $25-$27,000 per conference. Thus, right now, we can’t afford the kind of conference we have been able to have in the past.
  • Access is the biggest expense. Neither sponsorships nor our membership fees are enough to cover these costs.
  • Due to timing of conference, we don’t always know how much it is going to cost until it is done. We can make a guess about how much access will cost, but we don’t know total until we get receipts from interpreters, etc. This past year, our access cost more than anticipated, and our memberships drew less money than anticipated. Waiting to hear from Equity, Diversion & Inclusion office at Ryerson, who have offered to offset out costs—they will pay approx. 50%, ($5,000) but we don’t have an exact amount yet.
  • Numbers were on par with other years, but because Congress has a monopoly on catering and space, they took those costs right out of our membership fees, so we got back less than we expected to.
  • One idea to bring forward to the next AGM: possibility of a raise in membership fees, possibly across all categories. We have not kept a close watch on registration, in order to allow people to attend. However, we might need to raise membership fees, as fund-raising is usually long-term, and we need money soon. Perhaps also change the shape / length of our conference–perhaps three days to two. There is concern that within a few years, we wouldn’t be able to afford a conference.
  • The idea was brought forward, as was discussed at the AGM, similar to a fund at SDS, where members could donate a particular amount of money on top of the registration fee if you are able.
  • Jen: we would need to include a possible motion re: increasing fees in a future agenda.
  • Scholars who are invited to our conference could be invited to make donations as well.

Fund-Raising: Patty (fund-raising officer):

  • Would like to strike a subcommittee to discuss these issues, with a timeline. Sponsorship package (to be updated) includes one document that explains what CDSA-ACEH is; the other that explains where contributions are going and how they can get in touch with us. We used to wait until Feb to send out these letters; we plan to finalize the package by October meeting so Board members can begin to solicit sponsorships early.
  • Chelsea: Last year, not everyone on the Board received the fundraising documents, or responded to them. We need Board members to take this up this year.
  • Question: should we be raising the figures for sponsors? Currently: Gold: $500.00; Silver $300; Bronze: $200.00.
  • Question: Do these letters go out to the whole CDSA-ACEH membership? The package does go on the website and can be distributed via the newsletter and social media.
  • The sub-committee will begin with three members: Fran, Chelsea & Patty. This can be expanded as issues / needs are identified.
  • Decision: The subcommittee will decide on a final version of the sponsorship documents, and whether or not we have to increase the fees. (Decision does not have  to be voted on). The subcommittee will decide the monetary levels for gold, silver, & bronze, and will then send out these documents to Board members with instructions regarding how to disseminate them. Individuals will check in with subcommittee to ensure there is no overlap. Subcommittee will try to meet before the next Board meeting in order to decide next steps. Thus people should not use these documents before the Oct. Board meeting.

Conference Planning: Jen:

  • CFP based on the Congress theme (‘Gathering Diversities’) will be prepared by Jen and Heather in time for the October meeting. People will be asked for feedback and for copy-editing. CFP usually goes out in October for a December submission deadline. The CFP sometimes notes who the keynote speaker will be. Our CDSA-ACEH conference usually has two keynotes: one Canadian (usually region-specific, so they can speak to some of the local issues, and it is less expensive for them to travel to the congress), and international / interdisciplinary (which we can apply to congress for funding for, and we can pool our resources with another association). Jen will send an e-mail asking for input on this over the coming month.
  • Last year, the Executive had a conversation about the diversity represented among the membership and within the content of the conference. Discussed how to centre BIPOC scholars and diversity within our conference, disability studies in general, and as representatives as an association at Congress. From this conversation were some key points that we made as promises to our membership. Among them were that our CFP would reflect our interest in intersection and diverse scholarship. We also promised to target departments or organizations that would centre black studies or Indigenous studies, that might have an interest in disability studies so that we might bring in and invite into our space, disability scholars that we haven’t met, or engaged with, or elevated enough in the past. So, another point of discussion for the Oct meeting is to decide where to send the CFP as a promotional strategy. We also want to make sure that not all of our keynotes are white-identified; hoping to bring people who can speak from a diversified perspective and would bring something that enriches the congress conversation.

Anti-Oppression Training:

  • Another promise made to membership was anti-oppression training for the Board.
  • Motion: Be it resolved that the CDSA-ACEH 2017-2018 budget include a line item regarding the purchasing of facilitator services for CDSA-ACEH 2017-2018 Board members’ anti-oppression training for a total of $500.00 CND. Seconded by Arielle.
  • Arielle has found a facilitator candidate for a 2-hour anti-oppression workshop for anyone in the Toronto area (hoping to book a room at Ryerson); for those not in Toronto, we can use ZOOM media for real-time transmission, and can record it for later use. This would also be a community-building exercise, even if one has done it in the past. This is a common practice in other Boards.
  • An amendment to help us from using the Budget for this money: The facilitator is willing to reduce fee to $450.00 for a 2-hour, as opposed to a 3-hour session.
  • Jen can offer a $500 sponsorship, earmarked for anti-oppression training.
  • Proposed date:  Wednesday, 18th or 25th of October.
  • Discussion: It is felt that investing in anti-oppression training is integral for the Board. A The facilitator’s bio was read out. One concern: timing; October is a busy month for most people. Question was raised if another time or date is possible. Also a question if the training could all be online, so that those who cannot be online do not feel excluded. Arielle (contact person) said they could ask the facilitator to see if they might be able to do the training online. Jen suggests that the Board may not have as much work in November once the CFP is out; thus, we could  do the anti-oppression training on Nov 8th. Question was raised regarding whether the facilitator has experience doing anti-oppression work through the lens of disability justice. It was confirmed they do, as well as work through student organizing. Question raised whether any of our institutions might have someone who could do anti-oppression training, for no cost. The point was made that it might be that the membership objects if we don’t spend money on a facilitator, as part of the conversation last year had been about how to consult with BIPOC scholars on intersectionality and not pay them for that labour.
  • Decision: Jen and Arielle will draft questions to take back to the facilitator; details will be sent to Board when confirmed, tentatively booked for Nov 8th.
  • Motion with a friendly amendment ($450 not $500) read out again; seconded by Patty.
  • Vote: motion carried unanimously.

Any other business:

  • Thanks shared all around.

Tasks moving forward:

  • Board be prepared for emails moving forward. Fundraising documents will be sent out in October to be brought to faculties, departments, mentors, etc. Watch for email soliciting suggestions for keynotes, as well as the CFP.
  • Look at all documents prior to October meeting so that decisions can be made at that meeting, to leave room for the November training.
  • Ideas re: where to send the CFP before October also welcome.
  • Future considerations: motion to raise membership fees.

Jen moved to close the meeting. Anne seconded. All in favour. Meeting adjourned at 3:11 p.m.

Next meeting: Wednesday, Oct. 11th, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Madeline Burghardt, secretary.