New Osgoode program assists law students to meet needs of people with disabilities

December 14, 2012

Written by the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)

New Osgoode program assists law students to meet needs of people with disabilities

York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, which has been a leader in “law in action” for several decades, has approved the creation of a new experiential education program to assist law students in understanding the issues of people with disabilities.

The Disability Law Intensive Program, the first of its kind in Canada, will provide second- and third-year Osgoode Juris Doctor (JD) students with a unique opportunity to learn about a vast scope of law that mostly affects people with disabilities.

Osgoode Professor Roxanne Mykitiuk will co-direct the new course

In partnership with ARCH Disability Law Centre, a specialty community legal aid clinic dedicated to defending and advancing the equality rights of people with disabilities in Ontario, the students will engage in the practice of disability law through involvement in individual client advocacy and systemic policy-based advocacy.

Starting next September, up to 12 students will participate in the program throughout the 2013-2014 academic year.  A skills training week will be held in August at ARCH, after which the students will begin their clinical placements.  Every two weeks throughout the academic year, the students will participate in an academic seminar at Osgoode and they will also be required to complete a major research paper as part of the 15-credit program.

“The Disability Law Intensive Program is a wonderful opportunity for Osgoode, and its students, to make a positive difference within the disability community,” said Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin.  “We are grateful for collaborative partnerships with organizations such as ARCH because they expose our students to law in action.”

Marian MacGregor, an adjunct faculty member and director of Osgoode’s Community and Legal Aid Services Program, will co-direct the course with Mykitiuk

The program, which was approved by Osgoode Faculty Council on the International Day of Disabled Persons (December 3), will be co-directed in 2013-2014 by Osgoode Professor Roxanne Mykitiuk, an internationally recognized expert in disability rights, and Marian MacGregor, an adjunct faculty member and director of Osgoode’s Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP).

MacGregor was awarded a Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship in 2011 from the Law Foundation of Ontario that allowed her to take an eight-month leave of absence from CLASP to help develop the Disability Law Intensive Program.

“The impact of disability, often combined with poverty, can create serious access to justice barriers,” said MacGregor, who has practised extensively in the area of poverty law.  ”This new program will produce lawyers who are better equipped to meet the distinct needs of clients with disabilities, as well as involve students in the systemic change that needs to take place.”

Mykitiuk added that the Disability Law Intensive Program, which was designed with student consultation and input, will provide a first-hand opportunity to see “how law applies in concrete ways to people, problems and issues and how the practice of law can be very different than the study of law.”

The Disability Law Intensive Program is the latest in a growing number of clinical and intensive programs that form part of Osgoode Hall Law School’s celebrated experiential education offerings.

Osgoode is the first law school in Canada to introduce an experiential education requirement – referred to as a “praxicum” – into its JD curriculum.  Commencing with the Class of 2015, which arrived in September 2012, every Osgoode JD student will be exposed to law in action through an experiential course or program as part of their legal education.

In addition, Osgoode has opened an Office of Experiential Education to serve as a catalyst for the development of new courses, programs and clinics, and provide support to the faculty, students and staff.


A blog on the Practicing Law with a Disability: Experiences from The “Real World” Event

November 13, 2012

    On Thursday, November 1, the Disability Law Association (DLA) at the University of Ottawa hosted its first discussion panel on the subject of Practicing Law with a Disability.

                 Overall, I was extremely impressed with the conference. The sheer number of people who showed up for the event demonstrates that an interest for disability issues exists among current University of Ottawa law students and aspiring law students. In fact, our speaker Laurie Letheren told us that the...

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The Thirteenth Annual Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion & Disability:

October 22, 2012

Intersections and Independence:

The Thirteenth Annual Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion & Disability:

April 16 - 17, 2013

Held on The Ohio State University’s Columbus Campus

This year’s theme focuses presenters on the frictions, synergies and synthesis that occur at the boundaries of multiple roles, identities and perspectives within individuals and between them.  Some possibilities to consider:

·      Exploration of the simultaneous influences of models of disability ...
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Monday Oct. 29 - Please Help make Ontario More Accessible to People with Disabilities

October 16, 2012
This post  is a call to action; an action that will take you less than 5 minutes.
 * On Monday, October 29th, please take a few minutes of your time to make a phone call to the Ontario Premier's Office to ask that this province take seriously the issue of accessibility for people with disabilities.

There is lots of information below, but basically the problem is that while the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act looks good on paper, it won’t be of much use if the government doe...

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Minds that Matter: release of the report on human rights, mental health and addictions

October 1, 2012
The Ontario Human Rights Commission and
the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre
invite you to the release of:

Minds that Matter

The OHRC’s consultation report
on human rights, mental health and addictions

Please join us for the release of the report in-person or via webcast.
We are grateful to all those who participated in the consultation and contributed to
the report.

Date: October 10, 2012
Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Place:   Tabaret Hall room 112
University of Ottawa, 550 C...

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THATCamp on Accessibility

September 27, 2012

There is an interesting THATCamp happening at Carlton Universities ResCommons.   

THATCamp stands for “The Humanities and Technology Camp.” It is an unconference: an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot. 

The theme this year is accessibility - check it out at:

I am techno accessibility junky so I may go myself!


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Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

September 8, 2012
September 5, 2012
SUMMARY - Written by the AODA Alliance.

On August 19, 2011, Premier McGuinty made 12 important election commitments on what his Government would do, if re-elected in the 2011 Ontario election, to ensure that Ontario becomes fully accessible to over 1.7 million Ontarians with disabilities by 2025. Those commitments were set out in a letter to the AODA Alliance.

The non-partisan AODA Alliance here makes public its detailed Report Card on how well Premier McGuinty is doing in the ...
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Shermeen Khan: News Anchor and Law Student

August 22, 2012

Among the many cool things she does, Shermeen works for Accessible Media. Here is her latest assignment: 

AMI's Shermeen Khan visits the Americal Council of the Blind Convention in Louisville Kentucky. She learns about why people come from all around to attend, and experiences some of the developments that are improving accessibility to media and technology.

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First post to come...

August 22, 2012

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