About us

Steering Committee for Barrier-Free Canada:

Donna Jodhan

Jutta Treviranus

Brent Page

Diane Bergeron

Chris O’Brien

Robin East

Brad Saunders

Brief bios of the steering committee members:

Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is the founder and chair of Barrier-Free Canada. She is passionate about making the world more accessible for the children of tomorrow. She works on removing barriers to education and job opportunities. In 2000, she started a charter challenge with the Federal Government to ensure that Canadian government websites are accessible to persons with disabilities, which culminated in a landmark victory in 2012. Donna is a motivational speaker, presenting to academic and professional audiences across Canada. She also takes on community leadership roles, and spreads her positive energy through motivational writing on her Sterling Creations blog.

Affiliations:

Awards:

Jutta Treviranus

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) in Toronto, formerly the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre. The IDRC conducts proactive research and development in the inclusive design of emerging information and communication technology and practices. She is a professor at OCAD University, where she established and directs an innovative Master of Design program in Inclusive Design. Jutta also heads the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI), a multi-university regional centre of expertise on inclusive design, which is also Canada’s first research hub focused on digital inclusion. Jutta is the Co-Director of Raising the Floor International. She has led many international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented technical innovations that support inclusion. These include the Fluid Project, Fluid Engage, CulturAll, Stretch, FLOE and many others. Jutta and her team have pioneered personalization as an approach to accessibility in the digital domain. She has played a leading role in developing accessibility legislation, standards and specifications internationally (including WAI ATAG, IMS AccessForAll, ISO 24751, and AODA Information and Communication).

Brent Page

Brent is the National Manager for Conductive Education & Community Services, Western Canada at March of Dimes Canada. He has been involved in disability and inclusion advocacy since first volunteering for the Canadian Red Cross in the late 1970s. Brent wrote Ontario Red Cross’ position paper on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and sat on the Province of Ontario’s Built Environment Standards Development Committee that worked to harmonize the AODA with the Ontario Building Code. Brent is a Member-at-Large with the Barrier Free BC Steering Committee and lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Diane Bergeron

Blind since childhood, Diane Bergeron has been defying stereotypes all her life. Now the executive director, strategic relations and engagement for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Bergeron’s career has been dedicated to advocating for the rights of people with sight loss in Canada. Bergeron caught the challenge bug while tandem skydiving for the first time. She moved on to stock-car racing, and once even rapelled down the side of a 29-story building in a superhero costume as part of a fundraiser. When the opportunity arose to compete in a triathlon, Bergeron jumped at the challenge.

Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a young child, Bergeron was declared legally blind at the age of ten, later losing all her sight before turning 30. Much of Bergeron’s recent work at the CNIB has involved ensuring equal voting rights for the visually-impaired; as Canadians we all have the right to mark one’s own ballot.

Bergeron has been a leader in advocating for the creation of alternate formats titles by working with the Federal Government for Canada to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty.

Chris O’Brien

As Accessibility Officer for Accessible Media Inc (AMI), Chris is a passionate advocate within the accessibility community. In addition, Chris is the Chair of the Described Video Best Practices Committee, co-founder of the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) , Accessibility Strand Advisor for the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) , and member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) Video Programming Subcommittee in the United States.

Robin East

I am a strong advocate for Persons with Disabilities. I have been involved in many advocacy organizations for the blind as well as cross disability organizations. I have been involved Nationally, regionally, and locally. I currently Chair the City of Saskatoon Accessibility committee for persons with Disabilities.

I have a degree in Social Work University of Regina, Personal Development rehabilitation Worker Certificate from Saskatchewan Institute Of Applied Arts and Science (Saskatoon campus)Assistive Technology Certificate from the California State university Northridge, and a Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility compliance from the university of South Australia (UniSA)

An advocate is like a catalyst that mixes with an ally and inspires empowerment

Brad Saunders

As Chief Executive Officer for Community Living Toronto, a position he assumed in November, 2015 Brad brings over 20 years of experience to the developmental services sector. Brad is currently responsible for the largest organization of its kind in Ontario, supporting Individuals who have an intellectual disability.  Community Living Toronto supports thousands of individuals and their families with programs and services offered in the community and more than 76 locations in Toronto and a camp in Stouffville, supported by over 1,300 staff, 1000 volunteers and 800 members. Brad joined Community Living Toronto in 2011 as the Regional Executive Director for Etobicoke/North York, where he introduced a number of  innovations to improve and broaden services for children with autism, respite services and clinical supports.

Prior to joining Community Living Toronto Brad was a Program Supervisor with both the Ministry of Children and Youth and the Ministry of Community and Social Services where he provided oversight to ministry funded service providers for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Brad was  Executive Director of the Bob Rumball Associations for the Deaf.