BCTF Workshop: Addressing Ableism

Ableism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities and often rests on the assumption that disabled people need to be ‘fixed’ in one form or the other. In this workshop, participants will learn more about the way we view disability and learn how to identify and fight the stigma that people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities face every day. Teachers will discuss and reflect on how an understanding of ableism can guide their practice to cultivate disability pride, in ourselves, our students, and beyond.

Target Audience

Elementary and Secondary

To Bring/Important Notes

A copy of the participants handouts either paper or digital.


10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

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  • Debra Swain

    As an experienced inclusive educator, I was excited to work the team writing this workshop for the BCTF.  Learning about the history of ableism, the ways to recognize ableism in schools and sharing this information with other teachers has been an exceptional professional learning experience.  I value the dedication that teachers show to their own professional learning.  I have been a BCTF facilitator for a number of years and continue to learn and grow as a professional each time I facilitate a workshop. 

  • Leah Kelley

    Leah M. Kelley is a neurodivergent educator, writer, disability rights activist, and poet, who resides in British Columbia with her wonderful neurodivergent family. She is a teacher in School District 33, and has experience as a primary teacher, an inclusion resource teacher (K-12), and more recently, an SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Helping Teacher. Leah is a Doctoral Candidate in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, where her research is focused upon connected ideas of Disability Studies to education practice in British Columbia.  She has presented nationally and internationally on topics such as Autism, advocacy, and inclusion, and is the Co Producer of the award-winning documentary, Vectors of Autism. Along with other social justice projects that focus on strength-based perspectives for supporting neurodiversity, cultivating advocacy, acceptance, and social understanding in the disability community, Leah also doodles, sings, and authors the Blog 30 Days of Autismhttp://30daysofautism.wordpress.com/ . 

  • Bonnie Mackwood