About us

Steering Committee for Barrier-Free Canada:

Donna Jodhan

Robin East

Anthony Tibbs

Charlene Young

Louise Gillis

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:

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

Anthony Tibbs

Anthony Tibbs is a lawyer at Merchant Law Group LLP in Montreal, Canada. 

He is a graduate of McGill University of Montreal and practices both Civil and Common Law. Prior to this he completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), graduating magna cum laude from the University of Ottawa. Anthony is also the Treasurer of Braille Literacy Canada, Chairman of Media Access Canada, and a past president of Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians.

Charlene Young

My name is Charlene Young, and I have been completely blind since birth.  I have a very rare eye condition called Degenerative Anophthalmia, where the eye starts to form and then it degenerates due to lack of blood supply.  Currently, there is no treatment option for regaining eyesight, but only cosmetic options. I have had prosthetic eyes since I was a baby.
 
I grew up in Rosetown, Saskatchewan and graduated high school in June of 2005.  I stayed on in Rosetown for a few more years and did additional schooling, taking the Computer Works course through the Great Planes Community College.  I then graduated from the Office Administration Program through Saskatchewan Polytechnic in May of 2016. I moved to Saskatoon in 2010, where I worked for five winters as a seasonal Highway Hotline Clerk for the Ministry of Infrastructure for the Government of Saskatchewan.  I also worked as a part-time/casual Switchboard Operator for the Saskatoon Police Service since 2011.  I have recently started a new job as the Assistive Technology Specialist for Vision Loss Rehabilitation, a CNIB organization in Saskatoon.
 
I am a strong advocate for persons with disabilities. I believe in equality for all people and work on breaking down barriers relating to misconceptions and stigmas that people like myself face on a day-to-day basis.  I have been a member of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) since November of 2015 and I am currently the Secretary for the AEBC Saskatoon Chapter. I am also one of the founding members and a Director At Large for Barrier Free Saskatchewan.  I look forward to bringing my skills to the board for Barrier Free Canada.

Louise Gillis

Louise Gillis is the Current President of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB). She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.
 
In 1997, Louise became involved with the CNIB following sudden vision loss and served on their Advisory Board, Sydney District for many years. She became a member of the CCB Sydney Chapter in 1998 and served CCB at all levels and on several committees advocating for accessibility for blind/vision impaired Canadians. In 2010, she was elected to the position of National President and re-elected in 2014 and 2017. Louise has won several advocacy awards and believes in improving the lives of all Canadians.
 
Louise has served on a number of committees such as Library Committee; Accessible Media Inc.; Media Access Canada (MAC), Coalition of Blind Rights Holders (CBRH) – of Canada; Consumer Access Group (CAG); WBU – World Blind Union; WBU – Women’s Committee, ILNS – Independent Living Nova Scotia; Society for Accessible Transportation – Sydney; Marine Atlantic Accessibility & Inclusive Advisory Committee; She represents the blind community at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Innovative Medicines Canada / Médicaments novateurs Canada, International Federation on Aging (IFA), and CADTH (Canadian Agency on Drugs & Technology in Health, 
 
Louise formed the first curling team for persons with vision loss in Nova Scotia out of Sydney Curling Club. She is a member of the Sydney Harbour Dragon Boat Club and her summer activities include hiking and Dragon Boat paddling.