Disability Working Group

“relay doll” from Persimmon Blackbridge’s Constructed Identities
Image by Della McCreary.
“relay doll” from Persimmon Blackbridge’s Constructed Identities
The Disability Working Group is an initiative of the Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy. Its current members are active within a number of disability, health, human rights and bioethics academic clusters. It welcomes collaborations with researchers, activists, artists and students of any affiliation.

The Disability Working Group offers a collaborative platform for disability projects, work and research understood very broadly. For instance, research and projects may be focused on exposing and addressing social inequities and obstacles that persons with disability face, on examining the history and theory of disability or ableism, and on exploring emancipatory endeavours, from policy-making to artistic proposals and technological innovations.

Our goals are to:

  • Foster a community of researchers, students, members of the disability community, allies and other stakeholders interested in disability studies, culture and policy.
  • Provide opportunities to disability scholars and students, activists and practitioners from different backgrounds to present their research, work and projects in the area of disability studies and reform, broadly understood.  
  • Provide a platform for collaboration across disciplines and universities, and facilitate grant application, and community and policy involvement in relation to disability, broadly understood.  
  • Connect prospective students with disability researchers in Montreal and facilitate inter-departmental supervision.  
  • Keep members informed of other academic events related to disability in other research clusters at McGill or elsewhere in Montreal or online, through our mailing list.

How to Join or Participate

Feel free to contact the lead convenor, Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry, at jonas-sebastien.beaudry [at] mcgill.ca:

  • if you want to be added to the mailing list, or if you have questions;
  • if you are interested in presenting your disability research or project to the group, either to disseminate your findings, or propose collaborative endeavours;
  • if you research, teach or practice in the area of disability and would like to become an affiliated member of the Group or advertise your courses below, or if you belong to a yet unrepresented McGill school or department amongst our co-convenors and would like be become an actively participating co-convenor.


In order to expand its reach throughout McGill, the Group is co-convened by representatives of different faculties:

Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry (lead convenor) — Faculty of Law & Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

Stefanie Blain-Moraes (co-convenor) – School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University

David Covo (co-convenor) – Faculty of Engineering, McGill University

John Mac Master (co-convenor) – Schulich School of Music, McGill University

Kevin McDonough (co-convenor) — Department of Integrated Studies in Education & Faculty of Education, McGill University

Jonathan Sterne (co-convenor) — Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

Faculty Members Affiliated to the Disability Working Group

Philippe Archambault – School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University

Agnès Berthelot-Raffard — School of Health Policy and Management, York University

Marie-Christine Beshay — School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University

Emilie Dionne — Scientist/Researcher, Mary’s Research Centre

Tara Flanagan — Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University

Matthew Hunt — School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University

Sébastien Jodoin – Faculty of Law, McGill University

Patrick McDonagh — Department of English, Concordia University

Karyn Moffatt — School of Information Studies, McGill University

Nathalie Myara — Faculty of Education, University of Montreal

Elizabeth Patitsas — Department of Integrated Studies in Education & School of Computer Science, McGill University

Shawn Wilkinson — Department of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University

David Wright – Department of History and Classical Studies &  Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University 

Community Partners

Inclusion Canada (formerly Canadian Association for Community Living)

The Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society

Quebec Intellectual Disability Society

Société Inclusive

Courses Related to Disability Studies Offered at McGill*

BMDE 525: Design of Assistive Technology: Principles and Praxis

COMS 411: Disability, Technology, Communication

ENGL 318: Theory of English Studies 2 – Disability in Literature

EDEC 575: Critical Disability Studies for Education

FMED 511: Introduction to Art in Healthcare: Making Art Accessible

GSFS 303: Gender and Disability

LAWG 533: Disability Law

LAWG 534: Law & Body

PUB2 500: Law and Psychiatry

OCC1 625: Functional Environments

POTH 625: Design of Assistive Technology: Principles

RELG 571: Ethics, Medicine and Religion

*If you would like your course to be added to this list, please contact the group convenor.

Disability Symposium Series

In addition to co-hosting a variety of yearly events and talks, the Disability Working Group holds an annual symposium.

  1. January 29th, 2021 -  Disability, Justice and Care Symposium from 12:30-2:30.
  2. March 18th, 2022 -  Disability & Well-Being: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives from 12:30-2:30.
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