The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.
Questions about the Walrus Talks? Read our FAQ here.
General Admission: $20
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema,
149 West Hastings St.,
How design, technology, education and more can remove barriers for people with disabilities
- Rich Donovan, CEO, The Return on Disability Group, author of Unleash Different
- Neil Belanger, executive director, B.C. Aboriginal Network on Disability Society
- Rick Hansen, founder, Rick Hansen Foundation
- Vivian Ly, executive director, Autistics United Canada
- Shelley Moore, UBC PhD candidate and inclusion advocate
- Jewelles Smith, chairperson, Council of Canadians with Disabilities
- Ricardo Wagner, Microsoft Accessibility Lead, Microsoft Canada
As CEO of the Return on Disability Group, Rich Donovan advises businesses and governments on how to create value within the disability market. A former Wall Street trader, Rich created the Barclays Return on Disability ETN listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Rich shares his vision for people with disabilities as a force in the global economy in his book, Unleash Different. Rich founded Lime Connect, a global non-profit taking a new approach to recruiting people with disabilities. Rich holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Neil Belanger is a member of the Lax Se el Clan of the Gitxsan First Nation. Neil is the executive director of the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society and has worked within the disability and health sectors for thirty years. Neil also works with provincial and federal governments in Canada, through advisory committees relating to disability, accessibility, inclusion, poverty, etc., to ensure the needs of Indigenous peoples living with disabilities are known and acted on.
Rick Hansen (CC, OBC) is a Canadian icon who has dedicated his life to awakening the world to the potential of people with disabilities. He is best known as the “Man In Motion” for undertaking an epic twenty-six-month, 40,000-kilometre journey around the world in his wheelchair. Rick is also a three-time world champion, nine-time Pan Am gold medalist, and six-time Paralympic medalist. He is the founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation, an organization committed to creating an inclusive world where people with disabilities are living to their full potential. Currently, Rick and the Foundation are rethinking how people of all ages and abilities access spaces where we live, work, learn, and play. The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) is the only program that rates, certifies, and showcases accessible buildings.
Vivian Ly is the co-founder and director of Autistics United Canada (AU Canada). Established last year by autistic activists, AU Canada is a multi-chapter organization that aims to improve the lives of autistic people in what is colonially known as Canada through self-advocacy. Vivian’s work on unceded Coast Salish territory focuses on intersectional disability justice, collective community care, and autistic-led policy and research. While studying behavioural neuroscience at Simon Fraser University, Vivian is the founding president of SFU Autistics United.
Shelley Moore is a highly sought-after teacher, researcher, speaker, and storyteller, and has worked throughout both Canada and the United States. Her first book, One Without the Other, was released in July 2016 to follow up her TEDx talk hosted in Langley in January 2016. Shelley completed an undergraduate degree in special education at the University of Alberta, her masters at Simon Fraser University, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. She is also the recent recipient of the Engagement award, a national competition highlighting research through story.
Jewelles Smith is a strong voice for human rights in Canada; she is a feminist disability activist, scholar, writer, and artist. Her work focuses on topics such as mental health, disabled student rights, mothering, voter rights, housing, and ending violence against women. Jewelles is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. Her dissertation will document narratives of disabled mothers in Canada. Jewelles is chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and is an advisor to the board of directors of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students. Smith is the policy and political affairs coordinator, Kwantlen University Student’s Association. She resides in British Columbia with her service dog, DaVinci.
Ricardo Wagner is the accessibility lead for Microsoft Canada, and he works with people and companies trying to make the world a better place. He believes technology elevates the education, employment, and living standards for billions of people around the world, especially people with disabilities. It’s his personal mission to play a role in that transformation. He is passionate about technology, corporate volunteering work, and travelling.
– Live captioning and ASL interpretation are available for this event
– A wheelchair accessible entrance with street level ramp is located on West Hastings St. All washrooms are wheelchair accessible, and the venue is equipped with elevators.
– To provide a fragrance-free event, we request that attendees refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes or other scented or chemical products to The Walrus Talks.
If you require special accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 971-5004, ext. 247.