Paula is the Provincial Executive Director of Consumers' Health Awareness Network Newfoundland and Labrador (CHANNAL). Paula brings both personal and professional experiences in mental health, involved in the Understanding Changes Everything campaign Paula shares her own amazing story, her fairy tale and powerful recovery journey. Paula is involved with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Department of Health and Community Services' Recovery Project and Bell's National Mental Health Advisory Committee.
Dennis is a retired high school teacher and administrator who has a son who has disabilities. He is president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living since 2011, participating in meetings of the Canadian Association for Community Living throughout the country. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for volunteer work in Pilley’s Island, and dedication to various committees and associations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to help better the lives of people with disabilities. Dennis is a strong advocate for inclusive communities, where everyone belongs and everyone has something to contribute.
Paula has a lifelong connection for inclusion personally and professionally. She have been a member of the Board of Directors of the Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation for 30 years, ten of which she served as a chairperson. Throughout her career and community involvement, Paula promotes the philosophy of inclusion, the importance of disability-related supports for students in school and post-secondary education. She is an accessibility services coordinator at the College of the North Atlantic and a member of the Association for Community Living.
Vikas immigrated to Canada in 1962, moving to NL in 2007 to work as a Crown Attorney with Special Prosecutions. Vikas, as Chair of the project management team for the building of the First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan brings professional experiences, an understanding of accessibility and the built environment. Vikas also shares a personal connection within the Deaf community which he feels has broadened his worldview and will be an asset for his work with the Council.
Nicole is Deaf and proud of it; she runs a successful social media consulting business in Newfoundland, and is an active member of numerous deaf advocacy groups including the Deaf Wireless Canada Committee (DWCC) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for the Deaf (NLAD). She studied sociology at Gallaudet, the only Deaf university in the world and has travelled Canada to advocate for Deaf rights. Recently she presented on behalf of the DWCC at a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (CRTC) hearing regarding Deaf friendly wireless service plans, and also participated in two CRTC hearings for 9-1-1 accessibility and a review of the Wireless Code. Nicole is also involved with Inclusion NL, a provincial organization that promotes accessible workplaces throughout the province.
Patti has over 25 years’ experience working as an occupational therapist with people of all ages and has held various positions in health care. She has served as a member of the board of directors for Labrador West Association for Community Living and Labrador West Employment Corporation and has volunteered on many professional and community initiatives. Patti is passionate about creating opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate as active members of their communities and is particularly interested in inclusion as it relates to the built environment.
Bruce, a retired Superintendent of Regional Operations with Newfoundland Power Inc., has been a Safety Trainer for many years. Bruce maintains a keen interest in worker safety and supports efforts to ensure injured workers and individuals with disabilities have opportunities for rewarding careers and productive lives. Bruce has a long history modifying his own work and personal life environment to remove barriers as the result of a chronic auto-immune disease and uses this learning to support others and advance inclusion in his community. Bruce lives in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Cyril is a retired teacher who lives in Happy Valley-Goose Bay currently working part time for 5 Wing Goose Bay teaching English as a Second Language. He is a member on the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities and founder/president of the Happy Valley -Goose Bay Branch of Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. Cyril hopes his experience with various organizations that focus on inclusion and accessibility will be an asset to the Council.
Fraser is retired and a Canadian Armed Forces veteran who has professional experiences in business and community in supporting and advancing the lives of individuals who have intellectual disabilities. Fraser brings vast experiences from work with numerous associations and boards including St. John’s Board of Trade, NL Road Builders Association, Eastern Residential Support Board, Canadian Association for Community Living, NL Association for Community Living and Vera Perlin Society. Fraser currently sits as a vice chairperson of Avalon Employment Inc.
Nancy has personal lived experience with disability and is a parent of a young adult who has multiple disabilities. She has a passion for advocacy and has worked in various related roles. Today, Nancy uses her professional and personal experience in her work with the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities - Newfoundland and Labrador.
Katarina is a gold medalist of Rio Paralympic Games. She is active in War Amps Canada, Canadian Paralympic Team, Canadian Para Swim Team and Swimming Newfoundland and Labrador-Swimmer with a Disability. Katarina promotes athletes with disabilities through speaking engagements in schools and other organizations.
Marie Ryan, Chair
Marie, partner with Goss Gilroy Inc., is a long-time advocate of social justice and inclusion. After acquiring her disability, she immersed herself in working with organizations of and for persons with disabilities locally, regionally, provincially and nationally, including eight years as Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.