Advocates for Advocacy

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 DEAM Advocates for Advocacy at Mount Royal University

We welcomed members of the disability community: Dick Averns (Artist/Teacher, Mental Wellness Advocate), Derek Morgan (Self-Advocate), Kiran Dhaliwal (Marketing Automation Manager & “Efficiency Queen”), Cheri Cleyn (EA & Agency Project Lead, Calgary Alternative Support Services), and Crystal Proctor (Director at Large, Lupus Society of Alberta) as the event’s panel speakers. Sean McEwen was a fantastic moderator that carried the conversation and shared the audiences questions.



Each person shared their first-hand experiences as a person with a disability in the world of employment. We learned of  challenges, successes, facts and myths about disability and employment.

The event hosted Question & Answer throughout the discussion, so the audience was able to participate in the panel conversation and topics.

Below are some of the questions that were asked by the attendees. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get to all of them because of the conversation time limit, but we did our best 🙂

What advice would you give to a youth entering the working world who deals with a disability?

What do you feel is the best way to handle a dispute with an employer regarding reasonable accommodation or eligibility for employment as it pertains to having a disability?

Has anyone on the panel experienced a time when asking for accommodation opened the door for universal design within the workplace? ie; did others without disabilities want the same accommodation?

How might Universities and Colleges expand the agency of student living with disabilities (rather than diminish agency)? *Including advocacy skills*

What strategies/tips do you have combating unspoken and often well-meaning biases within management that may have impact on your ability to have equal access to career advancement opportunities?

How do I get started finding the best strategies and accommodations for me in the workplace?
(I’m a recent graduate and looking for work)

Is it hard to get a promotion for those on the panel who have worked a long time?

What does Disability Pride mean to you?

Thanks to our panelists Kiran, Derek, Dick, Crystal and Cheri, our moderator Sean,  MRU’s Institute for Community Prosperity, The Calgary Employment First Network, The people of DEAM, SAMRU and The Hub.

Cheers to Advocating for Advocacy! Onward.

Advocates for Advocates Event Info and Agenda

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