Category Archives: News & Events

POSTPONED: Panel – Queer & Trans BIPOC Disability Activisms

Due to unforeseen circumstances this panel discussion will be postponed. We are committed to making sure that this panel takes place and will announce a new date as soon as we can. Thank you all for your support and interest and we hope that you will join us then.

 

Queer & Trans BIPOC Disability Activisms

 

Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous and People of Colour’s (QTBIPOC) perspectives are commonly missing from mainstream accounts of disability activism and organizing in Toronto, despite being a critical and driving force in disability movements. This panel will centre the voices and experiences of disabled QTBIPOC community organizers and activists. Speakers on this panel will discuss the ways in which ableism is complicit with anti-black racism, settler colonialism, homophobia and transphobia, racism and imperialism. They will also discuss their experiences with disability activism and how these intersecting structural oppressions are being challenged through community organizing.

 

Date: Monday September 21st

Time: 6:00-9:00PM

Location: Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Room 108

 

Everyone welcome!

Wheelchair accessible. ASL and live-captioning will be available.

Accessible and gender-neutral washroom located on the same floor as the event room.

Please note that this will be a scent-free space.

SBA Open House

SBA invites all students, alumni, and community members to join us at our Open House. Come by and check out office, resource library, lounge, computer lab, and study room that are all free to use during our regular office hours. Come meet our awesome coordinators and our amazing and dedicated board members!

Hang out, eat some yummy food, and learn about our new advocacy campaigns and upcoming events!

Find out how you can get involved by becoming an SBA volunteer!

When: Monday September 28, 11am – 5:30pm

Where: 215 Huron Street, Room 924, 9th floor

Free!! Everyone welcome!!

Wheelchair accessible. Gender-Neutral Washroom located on the same floor. Vegan and Gluten-Free food options will be provided.

Please note that SBA strives to create a scent-free space.

 

Scholarship Extension

We are currently in our summer semestre edition of Get Your Access On! scholarship program. We have extended our deadline to July 22nd, 2015. Remember, if you are a disabled student at UofT, you are eligible to apply to the student scholarship. Also make sure to check out our conference travel bursary and event fund! For more information, visit: http://uoftsba.com/sba-scholarships-bursaries/

Volunteer and Advocacy Coordinator Position!

Students for Barrier-Free Access (SBA) is a student-funded, volunteer driven, non-profit that advocates for equity, access, and the rights of graduate and undergraduate disabled students. SBA operates a drop-in centre with bookable study rooms, a computer lab with accessible software (Dragon, Kurzweil, Jaws, ect.), and a social space for students and community members. Through our programming, workshops, and events we challenge everyday ableism and systemically work towards eliminating physical, informational, and attitudinal barriers on campus as well as in the community.

The role of the Coordinators is to provide continuity and stability within a continually changing environment. The Coordinators carry out responsibilities that maintain the integrity of the organization, support SBA members through peer support, workshops, and training as well as assisting with their activism and networking.

This is a full-time position and is pending unionization.

Application Deadline: July 17th, 2015

Position Status: 35 Hours Per Week, occasional evenings and weekends. 12 month contract, with a 3 month probation period.

Starting Salary: $20/hr, plus benefits and vacation.

Start Date: August 12th, 2015

How to Apply

SBA practices equity hiring. We welcome the contributions that individuals from marginalized communities bring to our organization, and invites aboriginal people, people of colour, women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queer-orientated people, transgendered people, transsexual people, intersexed people, working class people, single parents, members of ethnic minorities, immigrants and disabled people to apply. We strongly encourage people who are surviving ableism, racism, poverty, transphobia, homophobia, and sexism to send in their resume/CV, cover letter, and a single-spaced, one page statement by July 17th, 2015. The one page statement is based on the following question:

“How would you ensure that both the SBA Centre and SBA events provide an accessible space for everybody? Our members and allies include disabled students, students with various psychiatric differences or chronic illnesses, people who may be in the process of receiving a Learning Disability diagnosis, or people who do not necessarily identify with a disability but would like to learn more by engaging meaningfully with SBA.”

Complete applications can be mailed, emailed or dropped off at:

Students for Barrier-free Access:
c/o of the Hiring Committee
215 Huron St. Suite 924
Toronto, ON M5S 1A
E-Mail: sba@utoronto.ca

Be sure to reference the position in the subject section of the email. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Only successful candidates will be contacted.

For more information about the SBA Centre or programs, visit www.uoftsba.com

Qualifications

  • Life and/or work experience or equivalent post-secondary degree in Social Services, Disability Studies or related field;
  • Experience in events and campaign coordination;
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple demands;
  • Excellent facilitation skills and experience in developing workshops, events and training;
  • Experience working with varied communities;
  • Experience training and supervising volunteers;
  • Knowledge and understanding of anti-oppression or the political dimension of disability framework /issues;
  • Knowledge of community/campus issues an asset;
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, and;
    Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Responsibilities

Advocacy Campaigns and Programming

  • Coordinate advocacy campaigns as determined by the board of directors, such as BSWD, TATP
  • Liaise with campus groups for planning joint activities and coalition building for campaigns
  • Coordinate annual events such as the Great Barrier Hunt, Reclaiming Our Minds and Bodies and Challenging Ableism

Outreach

  • Act as a liaison between neighbouring Access Centres , campus and community groups, U of T Administration and Student
  • Governments, and allied organizations
  • Maintain and facilitate communication with other groups on campus and in the community
  • Represent SBA at various meetings and coalitions
  • Conduct general outreach for SBA
  • Maintain website, bulletin boards, displays and tables

Volunteer Management

  • Organizing new members orientation meeting and SBA Open House
  • Maintain SBA Co-Curricular Record volunteer program
  • Meet and interview new volunteers
  • Provide reference letters for volunteers as needed
  • Facilitate/coordinate training for volunteers, including anti-oppression
  • Identify training needs and opportunities for volunteers
  • Provide ongoing support for board and volunteer skill development
  • Maintain and update training and volunteer manuals and other text-based training resources
  • Ensure that volunteers maintain the integrity of the organization, understand and adhere to SBAs policies and procedures
  • Encourage volunteers to provide ongoing feedback about the organization

Board support

  • Coordinate anti-oppression training
  • Attend board meetings
  • Assist board and committee initiatives
  • Follow up on decision in meetings
  • Identify training needs and opportunities for new board members

General duties

  • Maintain office hours
  • Participate in training initiatives that are relevant to your duties at the Access Centre
  • Ensure the general upkeep and cleanliness of the Access Centre
  • Assist Finance, Administration Coordinator

2015-2016 AGM and Board Nominations

It has been a busy year of organizing workshops, an inter-campus disability conference,  a successful GSU levy campaign, and providing our membership with scholarships and bursaries! Furthermore, we’ve expanded our in-house programming and continue to provide a great space to meet and network with fellow students and peers. If you would like a chance to direct some of these great initiatives, consider joining the Board of Directors!

If you would like more information on what it means to be on the Board and help make SBA grow in the upcoming year, join us at the SBA Centre (215 Huron Street, Suite 924) on April 27th, 2015 from 3pm – 6pm. Current board members will be available to answer questions and chat about their experiences so grab some food and join in on the conversation.

All nomination applications are due on Wednesday May 13th, 2015 by 5:30PM.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on May 15th, 2015 at the Multi-Faith Centre, Main Activity Hall, from 6PM to 8PM. All candidates will be required to make a five minute speech as to why they wish to join the SBA board. All current UofT students, faculty and alumni will be eligible to vote in the elections.

If you require any accommodations, please email sba@utoronto.ca.

 Thinking about Joining SBA Board 2015

Board Nomination Form 2015

Game Night!

From March 10th to March 12th, UTGSU held its elections and this year SBA sought a graduate student levy. We are proud to announce that our referendum question garnered nearly 82% yes votes! If you wish to celebrate our successful levy campaign, join us on Monday, March 30th for a great night of video, board, and card games! And if you have a favourite game, let us know. And don’t forget to bring  your appetite!

Reminder: SBA no longer provides alcoholic drink tickets.

When: Monday March 30, 2015 from 6:00PM to 10PM

Where: Fox and the Fiddle, 280 Bloor Street

Who: Everyone is Welcome!

Why: Play, eat and socialize!

Claim Your Spot Today at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/game-night-tickets-16238710420

For more information on the results of the GSU election, please visit: https://www.utgsu.ca/2015/03/17/results-elections-2015/

If you require any accommodations, shoot off an email to: sba@utoronto.ca

 

 

 

Graduate Student Union Levy

Students for Barrier-Free Access are seeking a Graduate Student Union Levy in this years referendum! With this, we hope to increase our staff, our programming, and our financial scholarships and bursaries for students at the University of Toronto! Please see below for our question.

Preamble

Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) is a University of Toronto student organization that advocates for equity, access, and the rights of undergraduate and graduate disabled students both on and off campus. SBA has a drop-in centre where students gather to socialize and access resources and support. SBA also provides study space, printing, a library of disability-related resources, computers with assistive software, and a new $16,000 yearly scholarship initiative for disabled undergraduate and graduate students.

Currently, SBA receives no funding from the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU). SBA receives a levy from undergraduate students as a refundable part of the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) fee.

Pending support of the general membership, implementation of the fee would be subject to the UTGSU and SBA reaching a formal Memorandum of Agreement concerning payment of fees, member refunds, accountability for student fee revenue, and the terms and conditions related to the fee. The fee and the agreement between the UTGSU and SBA would be subject to review by the UTGSU Council every two years.

With increased funding they will:

(1) increase staff hours to include an additional full-time staff person;
(2) create more funding opportunities for graduate students and ensure long-term financial feasibility for their scholarship program;
(3) maintain the accessible computer lab—a unique resource on the University of Toronto campus;
(4) expand their capacity to liaise with a diversity of campus-based groups and offices to better address issues around accessibility for disabled students; and
(5) extend their reach to include cross-college/university initiatives in order to address larger systemic barriers to education for disabled students.

The UTGSU is seeking consent from its members to establish a new designated portion of the UTGSU fee for the fall and winter sessions. The proposed increase is $2.00 for full-time students per semester ($1.00 part time) paid by all graduate students, beginning in the fall 2015 session.

Question

Are you in favour of establishing a new refundable designated portion of the UTGSU fee for Students for Barrier-free Access as described in the preamble and subject to the terms and conditions above?

Yes / No / Abstain

Levy campaign poster
Levy campaign poster

SBA Statement of Solidarity with CUPE 3902

March 10th, 2015 Update

On March 09, 2015 SBA implemented a strike protocol and therefore will be operating with reduced hours as follows:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we will be open from 1-5pm.

March 1st, 2015 Update

On Friday, February 28th, 2015 CUPE 3902 membership voted to not accessible the proposed bargain and therefore are now on strike. As such, the SBA centre will be closing in solidarity with 3902 members for the duration of the strike. Please see the below statement of solidarity.

The members of Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) at the University for Toronto are committed to working in solidarity with the workers of CUPE 3902 as they fight for better working and learning conditions for everyone at the University of Toronto.

As graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Toronto, we know that many CUPE 3902 members are living below the poverty line. We understand the necessity of an increased graduate funding package, wage increases, equitable access to healthcare benefits, and better support for students in unfunded cohorts for Unit 1 members. We also support job security, better wages and health benefits for Unit 3 members. We recognize that poor working conditions and weak collective agreements negatively impact the learning conditions of students and make quality education increasingly inaccessible, particularly for poor and disabled students. We know that there is significant overlap between the SBA and CUPE 3902 memberships and that the labour struggles of CUPE 3902 workers are not unrelated to the social justice interests of poor and disabled students both on and off campus.

Because of this, SBA members are committed to taking all reasonable measures to support picketing employees if an acceptable agreement is not reached by the strike deadline, February 26, 2015. These measures will include closing our Centre, working with CUPE 3902 to make all picket lines accessible, and ensuring all SBA members have frequent, accessible and accurate strike updates and information for the duration of the strike.

Reclaiming Our Minds and Bodies: Intermingling Disability Communities

Mark your calendars: February 27th, 28th, and March 1st the Reclaiming Our Minds and Bodies: Intermingling Disability Communities Conference will be taking place. This three day conference brings together activists, academics, community members and service providers to explore and honour multiple understandings of disabilities. Join us for a large variety of workshops, panels, and performances!

Registration is Free. For more information or to reserve your spot visit: https://reclaimingourbodiesandminds.wordpress.com/