Canadian Disability Studies Association

Association canadienne d’études sur le handicap

Board Meeting Agenda


September 25th, 2018

11am-1pm (ET)


Via Zoom

Acknowledgement of the Land


Laura Yvonne Bulk: UBC CDSA liaison (LAC) at UBC. PhD student, UBC.

Chelsea Jones: Treasurer of CDSA; post-doctoral fellow, University of Regina.

Evan Wicklund:  Canadian Centre on Disability Studies liaison officer.

Caroline Kovesi: CDSA student representative; MA student, CDS, York University.

Heather Willis: President, CDSA; Accessibility Coordinator, Ryerson.

Madeline Burghardt: Secretary of CDSA, LTA, Western University.

Jeff Preston: President-elect, Western University.


Regrets: Kim Collins, Kayley Roosen

Approval of Agenda Chelsea moved to approve the agenda. Madeline seconded.

Summer Update (Heather)

Board Meeting Structure

  • Zoom: Heather providing Zoom via Ryerson (thus saving CDSA some money)
  • Dates for meetings until December have been decided.
  • Google Drive: attachments will be done via links

Communication Strategy

  • Email, Website, Newsletter, Social Media: defer to next meeting, as our communication people could not attend this meeting (Kim & Kayley).

Communication with Congress Committee (re Accessibility); Laura to take the lead here. All-day meeting tomorrow; she will check in with Heather after the meeting.

Congress AGM 2018 Debrief (Heather)

Recommendations from membership emerging from AGM

Linked discussion from last year’s Congress has been grouped thematically.


  • Access:  Congress taking more responsibility for accessibility at the Congress. However, no real change was noted last year at Regina. Early 2018, a letter was written to U of Regina to ask about cost-sharing.


Discussion: should we provide numbers to UBC to help with planning? Laura will ask questions about access funding at tomorrow’s meeting, such as, “How is Congress supporting accessibility for Congress?” This year, the access coordinator (Janet Mee) for Congress 2019 has reached out; Heather will provide feedback to her. Currently, accessibility costs to CDSA are around $10,000. Currently host universities share the costs for access with the Associations.

To do: Laura will report back next meeting regarding Congress’ involvement in helping to fund accessibility.


  • Student awards: Point brought forward: 2nd and 3rd place should have the opportunity to present their work at the conference, even if there is not a monetary award.


Discussion: more clarification needed regarding student awards; what are they being evaluated on; make rubric available; students who were not accepted to the conference with an abstract can re-apply for the award; increase opportunities for students to present.

To do: Caroline to check in with Arielle Orah (last year’s student rep) about last year’s discussions/ideas. Executive to discuss increasing opportunities for students re: attendance and presentation at CDSA.


  • Hire longer-term consultant for anti-oppression training and look at the systemic structure of CDSA in order to increase diverse scholarship.


Discussion: CDSA has an equity officer position that is currently empty. This description can be posted as an attachment with the minutes. Currently the position involves forming a committee. An email will be sent to the membership. Heather trying to get an accurate list of the membership. Discussion regarding getting feedback (for example, through a google survey) from the membership regarding systemic structure of CDSA and to get ideas regarding more diverse presentations, etc. CDSA also needs to tap into people who are not currently members. CDSA could recognize intersectional work with awards; could also ensure there are meetings at Congress to facilitate this discussion there. CCDS could also have input here; has done work like this in the past and has some resources that may be of use. Structural supports needed to assist people to get to Congress, for example, a bursary for emerging / diverse scholarship. Promotion of Congress should be done more widely in order to promote diversity, not just to Disability Studies programs. At AGM next year, do brainstorming about sustainable, system change to facilitate diversity. This conversation to be continued.

To do: The Equity Officer role will be posted to the membership in attempt to get it filled. Caroline willing to set up a google forum or survey for people to give their feedback regarding increasing diversity, CDSA. Caroline will bring a draft of a feedback survey to the next meeting for input, feedback, prior to posting. Ensure that CDSA executive board members write a summary of their role at the end of each year and circulate prior to AGM to increase pool of people who might be interested in becoming involved with CDSA.


  • Faculty support for bursaries and Pub night at CDSA.


Discussion: some faculty could support students directly. Faculties and institutions, when asked for sponsorships, could be asked to direct funds to students (noting that not all faculty are securely employed). Could make it an option with the membership? Not sure if this is possible because our registration goes through Congress. Right now, donors do get the option of donating specifically for certain needs, but it all goes into the same pot, making it hard to channel those funds specifically. There are also other ways to fundraise outside of asking faculty. Idea to allow the faculty giving to be more informal; there is also the idea of ‘planned’ giving so that there are ongoing ways to enhance funding for students, etc. ‘Pub night’ could be changed to something more inclusive.

To do: Make some changes to the current donations letter. Determine what kind of giving we need and formalize the ‘ask’. Future discussions about alternatives to pub night for students; another example is a student caucus. All these ideas will be discussed at the next meeting. Chelsea and Patty will work on a revised prospectus for discussion at the next meeting.


  • Other Strategies / Ideas for fundraising emerging from the AGM: Journal advertising; cost-sharing with host universities; elections Canada kiosk; design contest for T-shirts, pins; hire an artist to do that also; allow option to pay more upon registration; approach accessibility-related businesses for sponsorship—Jeff has offered to take that on; approach Canada Council for the Arts for sponsorship; encouraging other groups to have a table at Congress.


To do: Chelsea will start a Google Doc for the Board to share about willing donors and contact information, who and what we are asking, etc. Jeff will assist. Some discussion re also having Union representation at Congress. Time to discuss fund-raising will be set aside at next meeting.


  • Disability Arts representation at Congress: Laura will reach out to Arts groups in Vancouver. Discussion re: assisting disability arts presentation at CDSA to be well-attended. One idea: encouraging arts / performance / non-traditional submissions for Congress, and making a block of arts-based presentations. To be discussed at future meetings.
  • Canadian Keynote


Local Area Coordinator Report (Laura)

    1. UBC “on the ground” team: (names to be provided).
    2. Indigenous Elder: Laura will learn if there is a UBC protocol or not; Laura also has a connection to an elder who could attend congress.
    3. Social events: do we plan on having any off-campus social events? Discussion: CCDS has helped organize these in the past and could offer assistance. More funds this year, so we could imagine some possibilities. This will be discussed at future meetings; decisions would have to be made soon in order to book transit.
    4. Congress planning meeting Sept. 26th: Laura will fill us in at next meeting.

Treasurer’s Report (Chelsea)

  • $26,000 our current balance—very good.
  • All expenses from 2018 conference have been settled.
  • Some of this money will be saved for future use.
  • CDSA has banked at TD for several years; chequing, credit card. Exploring Alterna Credit Union. CDSA had some difficulties with TD last year (i.e. no online banking).
  • Alterna banks with smaller organizations; also does sponsorships and thus a potential funding partner. Ongoing task re: finances: CDSA must switch signing authority every year to include treasurer, president, president-elect. This would be the same at Alterna, OR CDSA board members could sign a legal document verifying people’s identity so that people are granted signing authority. We could also include this verification step in the Treasurer’s role. CDSA would need charity / official number to register at Alterna. This would mean getting our books in order. Chelsea may need some help with this. There are pros and cons to registering as a charitable organization: involves a third party to protect information in a secure way and have someone overseeing the organization; ensures auditing (pros and cons); outside accountability; forecasting of future conditions from past records; more institutional support.
  • To do: Continue to discuss charity status options. Chelsea will find out what we need to do to register as a charity. People consider other ways to go forward (eg non-profit, etc). We will investigate our options re: non-profit vs. charity, and discuss in future. Goal is that books are in good order for next treasurer.
  • Heather made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report; Madeline seconded it

Fundraising (Heather) (see above points, emerging from AGM)

Conference Planning First Steps (Heather)

Congress Theme “Circle of Conversations”

Call for Papers:

Jen Rinaldi has offered to create the CFP with Heather. Heather will distribute to the board prior to next meeting. Aim to plan for some cross-disciplinary panels next year. One idea was to build on the theme of this years Activist Lecture which is part of the Ryerson’s School of Disability Studies’ Summer Institute. It combined Jay Dolmage discussing his book Academic Ableism with a young Indigenous scholar discussing barriers to education.

Canadian Keynote Speaker Candidates

Heather provided names and links to bios of three Canadian scholars that had been recommended:

        1. Tim Stainton
        2. Mary Bryson
        3. Michelle Stack

Discussion re: having both International and Canadian keynote. Currently, board members are in favour of trying to have both.

To do: people can look up the suggested keynotes and bring thoughts to the next meeting. Could get funding for an international speaker from Congress; funds are saved if we have a local Canadian keynote.

Open Discussion: no further items were brought forward at this time.

Adjourn: Meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.


Minutes submitted by Madeline Burghardt, secretary.