SBA Newsletter [November 21, 2016]

SBA Programming and Events

  • #NotUpForDebate; SBA responds to the University of Toronto forum on Bill C-16
  • Around the Kitchen Table; An Evening of Community Cooking – Tonight!
  • Crafternoon
  • Monthly Lunch
  • QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night

Community Events and Resources

  • NoDAPL Solidarity Info
  • BLM-TO Presents: Love is the Cure
  • Play the Game: The Paralympic Way
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities – Alliance of Equality of Blind Canadians
  • Student UofT Library Job Opportunity
  • Lived Experience Advisory Group

SBA Programming and Events

#NotUpForDebate; SBA responds to the University of Toronto forum on Bill C-16

Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) is an organization led by mad and disabled students at the University of Toronto (U of T), an institution located on the territories of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca and the Mississaugas of New Credit.  SBA advocates for the removal of barriers to accessing education. As mad and disabled students located at the intersections of multiple identities, we are committed to creating safer spaces with marginalized students on campus. We believe in the right to gender self-determination and the right to access post-secondary education free of transphobia, anti-black racism, racialized and gender-based violence. As an organization committed to actively resisting transphobia, anti-black racism and settler colonial violence on campus and within the larger community we condemn Jordan Peterson’s anti-black statements and his hate speech directed at trans, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and two-spirit students, staff and faculty.  Attempts to reduce these statements simply to a speech act is a violent erasure of the material impacts of Peterson’s and his supporters’ oppressive practices.

Over the past few weeks, Peterson has continued to assert that the refusal to use people’s pronouns will result in the criminalization of individuals under Bill C-16 and the Canadian Human Rights Act. This privileged position taken by Peterson, a middle class cis-white man, clearly indicates his lack of understanding of the criminal code and the prison industrial complex. As illustrated through the work of Black Lives Matter, the criminal code is enforced in a way that specifically criminalizes genderqueer, gender non-conforming, trans and two-spirit people. Black, indigenous and people of colour are disproportionately targeted through these processes of criminalization.

Gender self-determination which includes the right to use and demand that others refer to us by our pronoun is an act of survival in the face of societal violence that forces all people to conform to a binary notion of gender. In fact, this violence has always been at the core of the colonization of Turtle Island, where settlers enforced conformity to a gender binary and Western gender roles and tried to erase indigenous beliefs and systems of gender.  Transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people who do not fit into colonial cis-heteropatriarchal notions of gender often face violent repercussions, including death.

As illustrated clearly in many of Peterson’s comments, transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming and two-spirit people are often pathologized, where gender non-conformity is seen as a symptom of an illness that is in need of diagnosis and cure. Through this framing, transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming, and especially black, indigenous and racialized transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people are represented either as objects of pity to be saved or as dangers to our society that need to be punished. In either case the proposed solutions are incarceration either in the prison system or in psychiatric institutions. Peterson’s hate speech and refusal to recognize non-binary pronouns works to further pathologize, medicalize and criminalize communities who are disproportionately labeled as ‘mentally ill’, putting them at further risk of criminalization, incarceration and death.

Peterson has grossly misrepresented his comments as “free speech” creating an environment that is unsafe and violent for Black, Indigenous, and racialized trans, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and two-spirit students, staff and faculty on campus. He has defended his resistance to what he refers to as nonsensical calls for ‘political correctness’ by claiming that the duress of a so-called politically correct (PC) culture (for example, of having to respect gender self-determination) can lead to ‘insanity’ in immigrants and Muslims in particular. We reject this claim as a racist, Islamophobic, transphobic and sanist representation of our communities which simultaneously erases our members that are located at these intersections and our radical history of collectively reimagining community and organizing spaces and movements that honour and uphold the complexity of peoples’ existence and lived experience.

As a direct result of the anti-black, racist, and transphobic public comments made by Peterson and his supporters, and the violence at the protests held in support of  so-called ‘free speech’, students at U of T are concerned for their safety when attending classes. The University of Toronto administration, despite requiring that Peterson  respect pronouns, have actively contributed to this unsafe environment by hosting a public forum which will allow for hate speech to continue under the guise of a debate on “free speech” and Bill C-16.  As stated in the Open Letter released  by the Queer Caucus of CUPE 3902, “We object to the basic premise of this event. Human rights are not up for debate. 

The demand for the use of our pronouns is not an issue of free speech, nor does it infringe upon any rights associated with free speech. The refusal to use the pronouns of  trans, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and two-spirit people is a direct attack on those bodies and on the right to gender self-determination. To claim otherwise is not a defence of free speech. To claim otherwise is a practice of racialized, gendered, and colonial violence.

In Solidarity,

Students for Barrier-Free Access

Below are various resources including crisis services for students who require emotional support during this unsafe campus climate. We are also linking some resources to encourage the U of T community to learn more about gender, and the barriers affecting non-binary and binary transgender communities. In addition, we are sharing resources on anti-black racism. We strongly encourage the U of T community to learn more about anti-black racism and the barriers affecting black communities. We will continue updating these resources over the next few days.

Crisis Teams Across the GTA:

  • The Gerstein Centre: 416-929-5200
  • Youthline 1800-268-9688
  • Scarborough Mobile Crisis Program: 416-495-2891
  • Trans Lifeline: (877)-330-6366 (CANADA)
  • Distress Centre Peel: 905-278-7208
  • Barrie Crisis Team: 705-728-5044
  • Crisis Services of Waterloo Region: 519-744-1813
  • COAST (Hamilton area): 905-972-8338
  • Durham Mental Health Services: 1-800-742-1890/905-666-0483
  • 4 County Crisis Community Mental Health Crisis Response Program: 705-745-6484/866-995-9933; serves Peterborough, City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton and Northumberland. Short-term crisis counselling and crisis bed available.
  • Peel Crisis Services: 905-278-9036
  • Mental Health Chat Rooms

Peer Support and Referral Services:

  • Students for Barrier-free Access

215 Huron St, Toronto, ON M5T 1R2

Phone: (416) 967-7322

Binary and nonbinary Trans Resources:

  • Trans Girls/Guys Against Violent Assault

  • Emotional First Aid

  • Find local resources

  • Sherbourne Health Centre – LGBT Health

Statements by U of T community members challenging Peterson’s arguments

Beyond the Binary; Resources on gender and gender self-determination

Resources on anti-black Racism


Around the Kitchen Table; An Evening of Community Cooking

Join Students for Barrier-free Access and the Centre for Women and Trans People for a fun, participatory evening of community cooking. We’ll cook and share a delicious meal, and help clean up together. You don’t have to have any experience with cooking to join us and everyone can join in with food preparation in whichever way they are comfortable. The recipes are affordable and easy to make, and we will be cooking vegan and gluten-free dishes.

Date: Monday November 21st, 2016

Time: 5pm-8pm

Location: Centre for Women and Trans People, North Borden Building, 563 Spadina Avenue, Room 100, Accessible Entrance off of Bancroft Avenue

This is an anti-racist, anti-ableist, queer and trans positive and family friendly space.

The Centre for Women and Trans People is an accessible venue. Accessible, single-user, all gender washroom located on the same floor as the event space. Please note that this will be a scent-free space.

***If you have any food allergies, including nut, coconut, and soy allergies, please let us know by 8pm on Monday November 14th so that we can plan accordingly. Contact Nadia at with information about allergies, access needs, or any other questions/concerns.***



Join us for another craft session at SBA next Thursday November 24th from 4:30-6:30pm! We will be making cards for all occasions. Want to try using embossing powders? We’ll have the supplies at hand!

Location: 215 Huron Street, Suite 924

If you arrive after 5:30, please call 416 967 7322 and someone will pop down and let you in. Gender neutral washrooms on the same floor and please note that this is a scent-free space.


Monthly Lunch

We have our monthly lunch coming up next Monday November 28th, 2016 from 1pm to 3pm! So join us at the SBA Centre (215 Huron Street, Suite 924). Gluten-free, vegan options available. Gender neutral, single user accessible washroom on the same floor.


QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night

Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) and the Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP) at U of T invites you to join us for the first night of a new series of events that works to create space for community building, critical conversation, and support for Queer, Trans and Two-Spirit, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (QT2SBIPOC).

As organizers of this space, we recognize that this event will be taking place on the territories of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca and the Mississaugas of New Credit. We are here because this land is occupied. As organizations located within the University of Toronto, it is our responsibility to acknowledge that we are all treaty people that live, work and organize on occupied land.

We also recognize that this University is a space that many of our community members experience violence, including the violence of settler-colonialism, anti-black racism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, ableism, sanism, classism, Islamophobia and the violence of rape culture. Recent events on campus have highlighted the ongoing presence of these forms of violence. As a collective, we work to challenge these forms of violence in our communities and in our everyday practice.

We have a strong commitment to creating anti-colonial community space that rejects ableist and sanist ways of relating. We are committed to building meaningful and reciprocal relationships between Indigenous, Black, and POC communities and to acknowledge that this requires difficult conversations to be had. Through the QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night Series, we strive to hold a space for these conversations.

Our first meeting will focus on collectively creating community care guidelines, deciding on topics of discussion for upcoming events and deciding on a name for this discussion series.

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Location: SBA Centre, 215 Huron Street, Suite 924, on the 9th floor.

Please note that the front doors to 215 Huron Street lock at 5:30pm. Event organizers will wait at the entrance to let people in from 5:45pm-6:00pm. If you arrive later, please call 416-967-7322 and one of us will let you in.

Wheelchair accessible. Accessible and all-gender washroom located on the same floor as the event room.
Please note that the SBA Centre is a scent-free space.
Snacks, including vegan and gluten-free options will be served.
If you require ASL to participate in the event, or if you have any other access needs please contact Nadia at

***This is a QT2SBIPOC only space. As always, we appreciate the support we receive from our white allies by respecting this space and by sharing this event information with their networks.***

Community Events and Resources

NoDAPL Solidarity Info

1) support the camps by donating funds or requested supplies to the Camp of the Sacred Stones and the Red Warrior Camp:

2) join the camps on the ground at Standing Rock by coordinating your presence and support with those leading and facilitating the efforts:

3) organize solidarity direct actions (irl or online) aimed at
highlighting the institutions that support the dakota access pipeline:…/

4) sign the petition demanding that the white house stop the construction of the DAPL:…/stop-construction-dakota…

5) if you are in the U.S. call/email/fax your local governmental representatives to express your concerns with the DAPL, to express your NoDAPL Solidarity, and to inquire about their actions in response to the state facilitated crisis.


Play the Game: The Paralympic Way

The Equity Movement student team at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education presents

Play the Game: The Paralympic Way

An opportunity for individuals of all abilities to experience a variety of adapted sports, hear from a Paralympian keynote speaker, and eat great food!

Friday November 25th from 11am to 4pm,


This event is open to all U of T students, faculty and staff.

Register at


BLM-TO Presents: Love is the Cure


On Saturday December 3rd, join us for a LITUATION! Thats right, BLMTO is bringing the heat for you! We love you so much, we are throwing you a party. Time to unwind,recline, and catch the wickedest whine! Ah ah Ah!

We have curated a performance showcase of Toronto’s freshest artists in a dope array of artistic expressions from dance, singing, spoken word, ciphers, live painting, rap, theatre and story telling – a fire line-up to celebrate our Toronto artistic community that will turn into a 19plus party with 4 of Toronto’s hottest Dj’s spinning us into the night.

ARE YOU EXCITED! You know its only a #DressToImpress flex. Do you feel us?!

This event is about community! We are fundraising money to secure the Watah Theatre, which is a space that has nurtured the growth of hundreds of artists across race, gender, class and orientation under the artistic direction of world renowned black genius Dbi Young. For more info:

Db’i has worked to develop the most powerful artists in Toronto that have profoundly impacted our community through their talent and contributions to our movement. We are honoring and celebrating the incrdible impact D’bi has on our different black communities, as we support the only infrastructure that Dbi has created within this city which develops black artists intentionally.

The Watah Theatre is in danger of closing due to consistent lack of funding which is reflection of the ways in which black art is consumed and funded in the Toronto arts community. As we are aiming towards to goal of fundraising 15k to secure the funds to keep the school running, we are advocating for the Toronto arts community to step up and support black artist in this city meaningfully. We are calling for systemic changes in funding and support for black artists to be able to continue to create without having to worry about being resourced. Funding for equipment, space, skill development is there, it is just not funded or funelled into our communities.

JOIN US FAMILY! This event will have multiple opportunties to fundraise money for the Watah Theatre! We have vendors, raffles & give aways, silent auctions and lots of exciting things to unveil – stay tuned! We got some dopeness cooking for you!


*The tickets will cover the cost of refreshments, child minding services, acess to performance showcase and party

Community Early Bird Ticket Price $15
Regular EarlyBird Ticket Price – $20


8:30pm – Doors Open for Performance Showcase

9:00pm – 11:00pm – Performance Showcase includes refreshments, Child Friendly Space with child care & programming and a show to see Toronto’s hottest artists perform! This portion of the event will be a dry (no alcohol) zone. ASL & Gender Neutral washrooms available!

11:00pm – Doors open for Party

11:30-2:00am – 19plus party with 4 of Toronto Hottest Dj’s. Please note that this is going to be an adult party with the serving of alcohol. We will be checking for underage attendees. Coat check available!

Are you or somebody you love having a birthday coming up? We are here to celebrate and turn up for you! You can order a Birthday booth for you and your crew! We have a wonderful birthday special package prepared for you that comes with a BOTTLE SERVICE – birthday shoutout included! Email us at headline: BirthdayBooth Dec 3

If you just feel like stunting, hit us up and we can make that happen for you too . To order a Squad Booth that comes with a bottle service for you and your crew email us at headline: SquadBooth Dec3

If you cant attend the event, and want to support this fundraiser, please donate to:


International Day of Persons with Disabilities – Alliance of Equality for Blind Canadians

You are cordially invited to come to this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities event in Toronto focused on employment. This is Goal 5 of United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, on decent work and economic growth.

Elected representatives from all three levels of government are invited to come and speak on government employment initiatives, as well as persons with disabilities to share their employment success stories. Employment agencies are also invited to come and network with job seekers.

Date:          Saturday, December 3, 2016
Time:         2 to 4 p.m.
Venue:       Metro Hall, 55 John St. Room 308 and 309.


2 – 2:10           Welcome

2:10 – 2:45      Government Speeches

2:45 – 3:15      Panel Presentation

2:15 – 2:45      Question and Answer Period

3:45 – 4:30      Networking with Employment Agencies

Refreshments, attendant care and ASL will be provided.

Please RSVP by October 28 at Voice Mail: 647-947-9022



Student UofT Library Job Opportunity

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes. For more information, please see

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Position: SLA

Department: Information Technology Services – Web Development Group

Period of Employment: As soon as possible to April 30, 2017


Required qualifications:
– University of Toronto undergraduate student
– Comfortable with computers (Google Drive, Microsoft Word, Excel, wikis, web-based content editing)
– High-level of confidence in using the web and web-based applications
– Able to communicate effectively through written formats (e.g. report writing, drafting emails) and in person (e.g. speaking with users of our website)
– Detail oriented

Preferred qualifications:
– Experience or familiarity with qualitative research and data
– Experience or familiarity with user experience concepts, including usability testing and writing for the web


Assisting the User Experience Librarian, this position supports the maintenance of library websites and digital projects in the Information and Technology Services Department at the University of Toronto Libraries.

The User Experience Assistant will facilitate the first line of support for library websites and digital projects via a web-based ticketing system (JIRA), including editing ticket details to match content, applying labels to tickets, removing spam from the ticket queue, updating statuses, and assigning tickets to appropriate staff members.

The position includes involvement in monthly usability tests, including supporting the test facilitator with logistics (e.g. location set up) and recording (e.g. observing and note taking). The assistant will also perform routine maintenance of content on various library websites in Drupal, as needed.

Hours per Week:

Approx. 10 hours per week. Hours of work: Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm only.

Hourly Rate:

$16.68, $17.18, $17.87, $18.53, $19.22

University of Toronto Students interested in applying for this position must submit their applications via the Electronic Application Service.

The Electronic Application Service is available at:

Applications for this position will be accepted until November 25, 2016

This position is in the CUPE Local 1230 – Student Casual Bargaining Unit


Shared on behalf of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Office

For hardcopies of the attachments, please contact Poverty Reduction Strategy Office, (416) 416.392.3999,


Help ensure that the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy makes a strong impact.

The City of Toronto is seeking individuals who have lived experience with poverty to join the Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG). Understanding that poverty affects people differently, this is an open call to everyone who can inform the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy based on their firsthand experience with poverty.

The LEAG is supported by the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Office.


  • Two year term beginning January 2017
  • Two day orientation session, January 13th and 14th (full-day)
  • Two day training, February 25th and 26th (full-day)
  • Monthly meetings (3 hours long, day and time to be determined)
  • Attend and/or participate in local community meetings and activities


  • Two day orientation
  • Training and skills development opportunities
  • Recognition
  • TTC fare, child care and food
  • Honorarium $50/meeting and $100/full
    day activities
  • Attendant care (upon request)
  • Other activities as identified


Application forms will be accepted until December 3rd, 2016.


All City of Toronto residents


ONLINE (click to access application form)

FAX Attn: Poverty Reduction Strategy Office



An electronic copy of the application form is attached to this email and can be used if you wish to submit an application by fax.


For more information on the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Lived Experience Advisory Group please


Poverty Reduction Strategy Office

(416) 416.392.3999

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