Navigating Ableism Every Day

September 28, 2023
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

This free thought-provoking webinar delves into the impact of ableism on health research and care. Ableism, the discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities, can often create barriers that hinder their access to essential healthcare services and opportunities for research participation. Our esteemed presenters, Rae Martens, Amanda St. Dennis, and Sam Micsinszki, will share compelling stories that shed light on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. Through partnership and collaboration, Rae, Amanda, and Sam will showcase innovative practices like co-production that have the potential to break down barriers and make research and health services more accessible and equitable for all. By sharing their expertise, experiences and insights they aim to inspire change and encourage a more inclusive approach to healthcare.

Healthcare professionals will gain valuable knowledge to introduce inclusive practices, while adults with disabilities and caregivers will find empowerment and support in navigating the healthcare system and advocating for their needs and rights.

Join this insightful and empowering event to amplify voices and build bridges towards a more compassionate and inclusive healthcare environment. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of an important discussion that seeks to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities. Register now to secure your spot!


Amanda St. Dennis

Amanda St. Dennis, a dedicated advocate for equity and inclusion, brings over 12 years of experience working with youth with disabilities. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in Child Studies with a minor in Disability Studies from Carleton University (2020) and a Developmental Services Worker Diploma (2011). Amanda’s professional roles include being a research co-investigator for the Youth Engagement in Research project, an advisory committee member for CP-NET and the steering committee youth representative for Children’s Healthcare Canada’s Transition in Healthcare Hub.

Beyond her professional contributions, Amanda embraces a rich personal identity. Diagnosed with mild/moderate spastic, right-side hemiplegic cerebral palsy, anxiety, ADHD and autism, she exemplifies resilience and determination in her life’s journey. Her passions extend beyond her advocacy work; Amanda finds solace and joy in activities such as horseback riding, immersing herself in literature, exploring the vibrant city of Toronto, and giving back to her community through volunteering efforts.

Rae Marten

Rae Martens is a Knowledge Broker affiliated with CanChild, Kids Brain Health Network, and UCalgary. Based in Calgary, she is a disabled writer with a keen interest in health policy, politics, and public health. Rae is dedicated to empowering individuals with knowledge and promoting community innovation. Her strong belief lies in making knowledge and partnerships accessible to everyone.

Sam Micsinszki

Sam Micsinszki is a registered nurse and a postdoctoral researcher at CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research and the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Her primary focus lies in patient and family engagement in research, along with knowledge translation and research impact. Throughout her work, she aims to include patients and families with different backgrounds and experiences and strives to conduct research that is relevant and impactful.

By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO