Patricia Seeley, President
Patricia is a visual artist and writer who supports her disabled partner full-time. She currently lives in Mi’kmaki, colonially known as Nova Scotia.
Vernon Jones, Secretary/Treasurer
Vernon is a musician who took up accounting to support his music habit. He has lived most of his adult life on the west coast, with his wife and son. Bill C-7 (the MAID expansion bill) is a matter of personal urgency for his family.
Brenda is a retired RNA, who worked in mental health settings and elder care for most of her working life. She is the mother of two daughters, one of whom works in elder care and another who lives in a group home with friends who live with cognitive, physical and/or behavioural challenges.
Elizabeth Sweeney is a visual artist, arts researcher and curator. She is also a neurodivergent queer of Acadian settler decent, who grew up in rural Nova Scotia. She has a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University (2001), a B.Ed from the University Of Ottawa (2005) and an MA in Critical Disability Studies from York University (2012), where she focused on disability art and contemporary curatorial practice. She has worked at The National Gallery of Canada, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and currently works at The Canada Council for the Arts. Elizabeth’s work typically touches on art criticism, contemporary disability arts and interdependent curatorial practices. She is a founding member of the Black Triangle Arts Collective, and the Tidal River Residency. In 2019, Elizabeth was awarded a two-year Chalmers Art Fellowship for her project Premise/Shift.
Elizabeth shares her time between the traditional unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg (Ottawa, ON) and Miꞌkmaq peoples (Mavillette, NS).
Bio to come …
David Roche, C.M. (photo by Kim Komenich)
David is a member of the Order of Canada and an inspirational humorist, keynote speaker and performer who has transformed the challenges and gifts of living with a facial difference into a compelling message that uplifts and delights audiences around the world. He has appeared in a number of films including the National Film Board’s Shameless: The Art of Disability and most recently was featured in Happy Face (2018). He is the author of The Church of 80% Sincerity and proud to be the father of Amy Roche.
In addition, David has a history of social activism that includes being one of the cofounders of The Childcare Switchboard and Single Parent Resource Center of San Francisco, which became a national model. In addition he and his spouse Marlena Blavin were cofounders of the first hospital massage therapy program in the US. His performing led him to chairing the board of directors for Vancouver’s KickstART Disability Arts, the first disability arts festival in Canada. His work as an advocate for people with facial differences is evidenced in the video Love at Second Sight (available free of charge at loveatsecondsight.org) which is based on hundreds of school presentations done by David and Marlena Blavin across Canada and the US. He and Marlena live in Roberts Creek in the rain forest on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.
He is proud and honoured to continue his social activism as an advisor to the board of Living With Dignity.
Meenu is a Canadian immigrant of South-Asian origin. She brings 30 years of personal and professional experience advancing the disability agenda nationally and globally with a passion to remove barriers impacting women with disabilities, youth and seniors with a focus on racialized and immigrant communities through accessibility planning, policy changes and public education.
Meenu is an avid traveler and reader. She lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her family and dog Archer.