ARCH Board of Directors

ARCH is guided by a dedicated and committed volunteer Board of Directors. ARCH’s Board of Directors is consumer-controlled and more than half are people with disabilities.

Douglas Waxman, President

Douglas Waxman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Critical Disability Studies program at York University. He has a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, and Masters in Public Administration at Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

He has an interdisciplinary grounding in human rights, social policy and critical theory, informed by sociology, psychology, law and history. His work has included a range of policy research including social policy, employment policy, education policy and disability policy.

He practiced law, was the National Insolvency Manager at Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), and has published on Insolvency and commodity tax issues. He has 15 years business experience in the environmental industry.

He has fifteen years of progressive voluntary policy, management and governance experience in various roles with the Learning Disability Association of Ontario (LDAO), ranging from working on various Committees, to ultimately being President of LDAO.

Wade Poziomka, First Vice President

Wade practices human rights law at Ross & McBride LLP in Hamilton, Ontario. Prior to practice Wade obtained his juris doctor degree from the University of Toronto. During law school Wade interned with the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, working directly with Guido Raimondi (currently Judge and Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights). Prior to articling with Ross & McBride LLP, Wade worked for Justice Robert Sharpe of the Ontario Court of Appeal. In 2013, Wade completed his LL.M. at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he placed within the top three students in his program. While studying at Cornell, Wade traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina as  part of a four-member fact-finding team to explore the causes, conditions and consequences of female imprisonment in the federal prison system. This study resulted in an extensive report which was presented in collaboration with the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Women. 

Wade is an applicant-side representative on the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s Practice Advisory Committee, and sits on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton, Grimsby Affordable Housing Partnership and Volunteer Hamilton. Wade also volunteers as an officer on the Ontario Bar Association’s Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section Executive.

Bonnie Quesnel, Second Vice President

Bonnie presently is  2nd Vice-President and has been 1st Vice-Chair of ARCH for a couple of years. She is also the Chair of London´s Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the London Muscular Dystrophy Chapter and works part time at  MPP Deb Matthews London North Centre office for a couple of hours a week. She is Secretary for the Independent Living Centre London and Area and Chair’s their fundraisers sub committees. Bonnie is presently Chair of Neighbourhood Legal Services.  Presently she is on Participation Support Services Human Rights sub committee. Co-Chair of Transit for Age-Friendly Network. Do sensitive  training for new drivers on  London Transit.

Past Years - Bonnie has been Chair and Vice Chair on the London Accessibility Advisory Committee.

In early 2016 I was awarded the Mayor’s Honor’s list for people with disabilities. On November 2014 Bonnie received the Ontario Volunteer Award. In March 2013 Bonnie received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award.  On January 18, 2003, Bonnie received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Award and on September 30, 2003, she received an Ontario Volunteer Service Award.

Roxanne Mykitiuk, Secretary

Roxanne Mykitiuk, BA (Alberta), LLB (Toronto), LLM (Columbia), JSD (Columbia) is an Associate Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, where she teaches in the areas of Health Law and Bioethics, Law and Disability and Family Law. She is the Director of the Disability Law Intensive clinical program at Osgoode Hall.  In 2009 she was scholar in residence at the Law Commission of Ontario working on the Disability and Law Project. From   2013-2015 she was Chair of the Senate of York University. Roxanne is the author or co-author of numerous books, articles and book chapters investigating legal, ethical and social implications of new reproductive technologies and the new genetics and the legal construction and regulation of embodiment and disability. She holds major research grants from CIHR, SSHRC and the Australian Research Council.

Monica Ackermann, Treasurer

Monica Ackermann is the IT Accessibility Lead at Scotiabank. Based in Toronto, Monica and her team work to embed accessibility best practices into the development of information and communication technologies used by both customers and employees.

Monica is a Professional Engineer and has a Masters in Critical Disability Studies from York University where she explored the intersection of accommodation and accessible software design through both her research into Accessible Technology Infrastructures and as a Research Associate for the DIS-IT research alliance (dis-it.ca). Monica has served on the board of ARCH Disability Law legal aid clinic for over 6 years and was a member of the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act Employment Standards Development Committee. She has also been volunteering with Disability Rights Promotion International for the past 2 years on an employment program for persons with disabilities in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Monica has a career long passion for inclusive digital spaces and the inclusion of persons with disabilities into the workforce.

Sandi Bell

Ms. Sandi Bell is the President of EMPOWWORD Inc, a mediation and training & development firm.  She has extensive background dealing with interpersonal and organizational conflict, strategic planning, change management, human rights, social justice, anti-racism and anti-oppression, child welfare, education, youth matters, accessibility, disability issues and equity/diversity/access/inclusion. 

Throughout her terms as a Canadian Human Rights Commissioner, Sandi has been proud to engage in various levels of the National Aboriginal Initiative which is a multi-faceted set of strategies to assist members of the Aboriginal community to utilize their rights under the CHRC. 

Ms. Bell advocated for and has provided extensive consultation services and training around the ODA, AODA, the Standards and the links to the Ontario Human Rights Code and has been a coach with the Windsor Law School Mediation Program and a guest lecturer with numerous educational facilities, including Osgoode Hall Law School.   Sandi taught one of the Business Programs at Mohawk College and Community Development at Ryerson University’s Disability Studies Faculty. 

Sandi was a school trustee in Hamilton for 12 years and served the education community as an appointed member of Ontario’s College of Teachers. She also served as a Member of the Appeal Division of the Immigration & Refugee Board. 

Ms. Bell’s proudly self-identifies as an African-Canadian/Indigenous woman with a disability.  Her passion to rid society of and prevent racism, discrimination and oppression is not a topic or research project; it is a way of life.

Susan Docherty Skippen

Susan is a PhD candidate and instructor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University. She has a master’s degree in administration and leadership in education, and bachelor’s degrees in adult education, clinical research, and biochemistry. Susan has over twenty years of work experience in the areas of education, patient advocacy, health research, and pharmaceutical quality compliance. Susan has served as a volunteer Board Member for the Hamilton Literacy Council (a community-based organization that provides basic language and mathematics literacy training for English speaking adults) and L’Arche Hamilton (a community home for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities). Susan was appointed, through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, to the College Council of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario where she served on the Patient Relations, Quality Assurance, Fitness to Practice, Discipline, and Inquiries and Complaints Committees.

Susan is passionate about developing new ways to teach and assess learning in underrepresented populations. She has studied the complex process of professional identity formation set against the backdrop of stigma, discrimination, and marginalization in the presence of mental illness. She has published and presented her work in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences. She has also published articles about the ethical possibilities of student success set against the backdrop of 21st century post-secondary education leadership theory and practice. In her doctoral work, Susan is researching ways that self-care competencies are textualized and enacted in professional care education programs that require regulatory licensing (e.g., nursing, medicine, and teaching), where issues of capacity for self-assessment are linked to the professional role.

Sandy Gdycznski

Sandy Gdyczynski , CHRL, B.A. (University of Toronto), Human Resources Specialist Certificate (McMaster) is the Human Resources Director at Lansdowne Children’s Centre located in Brantford, Ontario. Lansdowne Children's Centre (LCC) provides rehabilitation and respite services to children and youth with developmental and physical challenges. With over 20 years of leadership experience in Human Resources, Sandy holds the designation of Certified Human Resources Leader and is an active member of the Human Resources Professionals Association. She also holds  Certification in Disability Management (NIDMAR).

With a keen interest in the application of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act especially in the employment setting, Sandy leads the accessibility committee at LCC. Sandy is also a member of the City of Brantford's Accessibility Advisory Committee, providing direction and vision towards the attainment of a universally accessible city including input in the review of municipal policies, programs and services. As an active supporter of community engagement, Sandy also volunteers on the Boards of several local arts and war veteran organizations.

Emily Gillespie

Emily has a Master’s Degree in Critical Disability Studies from York University. They are invested in intersectional approaches to thinking about disability issues with a strong focus on the social determinants of health. They are passionate about the moving beyond individual models of accommodation towards a more accessible society. They identify as a person with multiple invisible disabilities and they are particularly interested in mental health advocacy.

Gillespie’s work at non-profits as well as volunteer work often focuses on the intersection of disability and Gender Based Violence. For instance, they volunteer on the Accessibility Advisory Committee for Take Back the Night. Gillespie is also a published author, and seeks to explore advocacy and representation through fiction and increase accessibility in the Toronto art community.

Gillespie has also worked as a research assistant on projects that examine obstacles to an accessible Canada, ranging from barriers to accessible afterschool programming, to barriers Aboriginal people with disabilities experience accessing healthcare and education. They have also worked at post-secondary institutions, focusing on accessibility for students with disabilities. Gillespie currently works as a freelance accessibility consultant and writer.

Jennifer Hiseler

Jennifer is an accessibility specialist at an architecture firm, in a division called Human Space. There she leads large-portfolio audit projects and provides in-house support and training, including on the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Previously she has held business development and finance roles with AccessAbility Advantage (March of Dimes) and Variety the Children's Charity.

Other experience with accessibility, disability, and inclusion comes from her education as an Orthotic and Prosthetic technician, work as a custom seating technician for high technology wheelchairs, and volunteer involvements with various organizations such as the StopGap Foundation, Pride Toronto, and the CNIB. Jenny also wears a prosthesis and always has. This lived experience brings insight and depth to her professional and volunteer work.

Effie Prattas

Effie C. Prattas, B.Sc., LL.B. is a lawyer in private practice with the firm of Prattas & Prattas in Toronto. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario Bar Association), the Toronto Lawyers Association, the Medico-Legal Society, and has been a past member of the Board of Governors of Toronto East General Hospital, the Equity Advisory Group of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Executive of the Women's Law Association of Ontario, Toronto. She has been involved with/active in the creation and organization of the Hellenic Hope Center for Persons with Special Needs here in Toronto. She has received an award from the Ontario Ministry of Culture & Communications and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship in honour of her volunteer work.

Yvonne Simpson

Yvonne Simpson is a PhD candidate at York University, Faculty of Health Policy Management. Currently she works as a Teaching Assistant at York University, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LAPS), Department of Human Rights and Equity Studies. She also works as a part-time faculty member in the York/Seneca Rehabilitation Certificate Program. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Calgary with a specialization in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies as well as a certificate in rehabilitation counselling. She has worked as an educator, practitioner and advocate in the disabilities field for many years, and has held various leadership roles in the private sector insurance industry, public sector education and social service agencies.

As a social justice advocate, Yvonne has worked to build strategic alliances with workplace stakeholders including academic and non-academic administrators, employees, unions, and external business partners. As a graduate student, her research focuses on human rights and social justice in the context of acquired workplace disability among immigrant workers. Her dissertation occurs at the intersection of race, immigration and WSIB policies.

Research Interests: Immigrant Workers, Acquired Disability, Race, Intersectionality, WSIB, Immigration Policy

Laura Upans

Laura Upans, BA (UBC), MPhil (Cambridge), JD (Ottawa), LLM (Columbia), is a human rights lawyer with a longstanding commitment to disability rights.  She currently practises law at the Canadian Department of Justice (DOJ) and, at the international level, she has experience contributing on disability rights related matters for an international disabled persons’ organization (DPO), the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Labour Organization and Human Rights Watch.  Disability-related topics on which she has focussed in her work at the DOJ and academically include accessibility, inclusive education and employment, involuntary commitment and treatment, and disability rights advocacy strategies.  Laura sits on the Board of Directors of Tamir, an Ottawa-based DPO, and has contributed to disability rights panels convened by the Government of Canada, UN DESA and Columbia University.