How to do Accessibility in the Classroom

Presenters: Students for Barrier Free Access (SBA) - Nadia Kanani

Students for Barrier-free Access believes that standardizing accessible teaching practices leads to inclusive and accessible classroom content. This workshop is a ‘how-to’ session about practical ways current and future educators in the audience can develop accessible practices which they can use in their classrooms for the benefit of all students. We will discuss some of the barriers to access that exist in traditional and non-traditional classroom settings. We will then collectively brainstorm ways in which those barriers can be addressed. This workshop will engage participants in a productive dialogue on accessible teaching methods. Workshopfacilitators will share resources to help educators brainstorm accessible practices in their own classrooms. Students for Barriers-free Access believes this workshop will leave attendees with the tools to create change in educational practices and pedagogies that improve accessibility and inclusivity for all students.


Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) is a disabled student led non-profit organization at the University of Toronto that advocates for equity, access, the removal of barriers to accessing post-secondary education. In addition to facilitating educational workshops for the University of Toronto community SBA also operates a drop-in space for University of Toronto students, staff, and faculty to meet, hang out, study, and learn about accessible education and disability justice.

Making a Semester Plan: Setting and Meeting Writing Goals

Presenter: OISE Student Success Centre - Velta Douglas

Do you have difficulty accomplishing what you set out to do in a semester? Constantly writing at the last minute? This workshop will walk you through the process of completing a semester plan that will allow you to set and meet realistic writing goals and prioritize your most important projects. Based on the webinar from the National Centre for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), the workshop highlights key components of the semester planning process while combining peer engagement and working individually. You will 1) identify and prioritize your research and personal goals; 2) learn how to backwards plan; and 3) use your calendar to make concrete decisions about how to spend your time. In this hands-on workshop, you will work individually and with other participants to identify and outline steps in common graduate program requirements (eg. scholarship and grant applications, journal publications and writing a chapter of your dissertation) while tailoring the plan to suit your individual schedule and commitments. You will leave the workshop with a flexible semester plan and a clear idea of how to make your writing goals while meeting your other commitments and maintaining life/work balance. Please bring with you: all to do lists, calendars/planners (electronic or paper), and any other tools or information on your commitments from September to December.


Velta is writing coach and academic advisor with the OISE Student Success Centre. She works with students to develop accountability structures to meet their writing goals through daily writing and planning. After being introduced to writing accountability in Prof. Esmonde’s Writing Research course, and subsequently seeing her own productivity skyrocket, she began coaching in the course. Velta is the co-coordinator of the Dissertation Success Program.

Conducting an effective literature search

Presenter: Monique Flaccavento (BA, BEd, MISt), Director, OISE Library

This hands-on session will help you develop a search strategy to conduct an efficient and effective literature search. The workshop will cover:

· Selecting the “best” search tool(s) for your research (i.e. when should I search Google Scholar? The catalogue? Databases? Other?)
· Selecting key words for your research topic
· Advanced tips and tricks for improving searches
· Narrowing searches to find the “best” articles
· Accessing books and articles not available at UofT

By the end of the session, you will have developed a list of search tools and key words that you can use to search for literature on your research topic.

Note: Students may either use one of the desktop computers in computer labs 1 and 2, or their own laptops or tablets.


Monique Flaccavento is the Director of the OISE Library. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she coordinates and delivers library research skills workshops for graduate students; provides support for faculty members and graduate students with their research and publishing; and purchases resources for the OISE Library Children’s Literature collection. Prior to her career as an academic librarian, Monique worked as a pastry chef, and before this as an elementary school teacher. She is also a part-time graduate student at UofT's Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. Her current research interests include labour relations; employee engagement and motivation; student engagement in e-learning environments, and improving instructional practices through mentorship and peer observation.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE IN-BETWEEN? Exploring the potential of Contemplative Arts Based Data Analysis

Presenter: benjamin lee hicks

This workshop will explore the development of a unique approach to qualitative research that combines visual arts-based data analysis and contemplative practice. Contemplative Arts Based Data Analysis (CABDA) recognizes the particularly complicated ways that data collection, data analysis and data representation can interact for qualitative researchers whose subject matter overlaps with their personal life experiences. It offers one possibility for remaining more present and connected with the people, processes and potential of our academic work. The visual component of this workshop will help to demonstrate how CABDA has functioned in practice for me as a teacher/researcher whose transgender identity intersects with the queering-spaces work that I do with educators. Examples from my MA thesis project will demonstrate how I use a cyclical process of drawing, painting and reflective writing combined with compassion meditation (Tonglen) to trouble my own academic analysis. During the workshop, there will also be opportunities for group participation in various aspects of these processes. My visual examples include multi-media inquiry questions as well as the graphic stories that develop alongside my academic writing. These visual translations correspond to my written analysis, but they also honour the ways in which research is emotional, that emotion involves memory, and that memory always impacts our present perceptions as researchers.


benjamin lee hicks is a visual artist, elementary school teacher and PhD candidate in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development at OISE/University of Toronto. benjamin’s current research considers the way that teachers feel about “not-knowing”. They are interested in how uncertainty affects the willingness of teachers to act publically on their felt-desire to support trans/gender diverse youth in schools, and the potential of holistic professional development to help teachers shift their own relationship to fear/inaction.



Ojibwe Traditional Women's Circle

Presenter: Ojibwe Traditional Kokomis(Grandmother)/Teacher, Jacqui Lavalley

Since time immemorial Ojibwe Women have always relied on the powers of the Sacred Circle. These Circles were held once a month or as requested, it was essential to 'living in good way'. Healing Circles were most often requested for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual disease/discomfort. The 'old way' of teaching and learning were employed as well strict observance of Circle Protocol.Participation of all is encouraged and appreciated.


Jacqui is Ojibwe of the Shawanaga First Nation. She is an exceptional Traditional Storyteller. Jacqui is a singer, dancer, songwriter and a Traditional Ceremonial practitioner.

Knowledge Mobilization through the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER)

Presenter: Dr. Carol Campbell, Dr. Katina Pollock, Kelly Bairos

The Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) is an innovative approach to mobilizing evidence of effective school and classroom practices across Ontario to improve education policy and practice. Established as a tripartite agreement between the Ministry of Education, the University of Toronto, and Western University, KNAER builds strategic cross-sector networks and partnerships to leverage research and other forms of knowledge to support policies, programs and practice to support to student achievement, equity, and well-being. It also acts as a knowledge broker to facilitate and lead the spread of established and new evidence through networks across Ontario’s policy, education and research communities, and connects with national and international networks.

Strategic knowledge networks and partnerships are key to the work of the KNAER, as they leverage research, and other forms of knowledge, to support policies, programs, and practices that contribute to equity, well-being, and student achievement. To support the activities of thematic networks, the KNAER model includes communities of practice that involve educators and researchers who collaborate, co-create, and mobilize knowledge on priority themes and questions.

The presenters will share how KNAER networks generate, manage, and disseminate bodies of knowledge, with the goal of increasing evidence use in the public education system. Presenters will share practical strategies that will be useful for graduate students and teachers to incorporate knowledge mobilization into their own research and professional practice. The session will invoke thought-provoking questions to guide discussions and audience participation around knowledge mobilization and education research.


Dr. Carol Campbell, KNAER Co-Director (OISE/UT), Associate Professor of Leadership and Educational Change, OISE
Dr. Carol Campbell is Associate Professor of Leadership and Educational Change at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto and Co-Director of KNAER. Carol has held education, academic, and policy roles in Canada, USA and UK. She is currently an appointed Education Advisor to the Premier and the Minister of Education in Ontario and a member of the International Council of Education Advisers to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in Scotland. Her current research projects include: the state of educators’ professional learning in Canada; Ontario’s Teacher Learning and Leadership Program; and an international study of teacher identity. Carol’s recent co-authored books are: Teacher Learning and Leadership: Of, By and For Teachers (Routledge), Empowering Educators in Canada (Jossey-Bass) and Empowered Educators: How High-Performing Systems Shape Teaching Quality Around the World (Jossey-Bass).

Dr. Katina Pollock, KNAER Co-Director (Western), Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy, Western University
Dr. Katina Pollock is an Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy in the field of Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies at the Faculty of Education, Western University and Co-Director of the KNAER. As a scholar in leadership and policy, Katina has been awarded several research grants and contracts. Two of these projects are funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). In addition to her traditional scholarship efforts, Dr. Pollock has also been involved in large-scale knowledge mobilization initiatives that connect research to practice. Katina is also the inaugural Director for Western’s Centre for Education Leadership. This Centre focuses on supporting aspiring, new, and experienced education leaders by reducing the gap between applied educational research and leadership practice. Katina’s recent co-authored books include How School Leaders Contribute to Student Success (Springer).

Kelly Bairos, KNAER Knowledge Mobilization and Project Manager
Kelly Bairos has studied Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) since 2011 in both professional and academic capacities. As the Network Manager for the first phase of KNAER, Kelly created connections between projects and organizations across Ontario, in addition to working as part of a team that created multiple KMb resources and workshops for a variety of audiences and stakeholders. Kelly has a Master’s degree in Education from Western University, which focused on decolonization as a non-Indigenous person looking at Indigenous education and the integration of Indigenous Knowledge in the public school system.

Davoud Sarfaraz, ERESB, Ministry of Education (Biography forthcoming)

Queering the Ontario Curriculum with members of Queer at OISE

Presenter: Queer at OISE - Callie Bowman, Andrea Smith, Dan Gal

This 55-minute workshop is geared towards educators and future educators.  The focus of the workshop is on queering the curriculum.  The topics covered will include:
• A critical look at various curriculum documents and strategies to work within them to incorporate queer perspectives;
• An examination of various policy documents in regards to supporting the work of queering the curriculum;
• A sample of classroom activities for building compassion and empathy within students as a means to embrace diversity, and;
• A take-away resource list for educators providing tools to incorporate queer perspectives in the everyday classroom.


Queer at OISE, which is funded by the Centre for Urban Schooling, is a group for LGBTQ2SI+ identified OISE students. We meet bi-monthly throughout the school year to build community and discuss topics that are relevant to us as students at OISE, as well as future teachers and educators.

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