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Abilities Centre Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) Council provides advice and assistance to the management team on matters related to IDEA strategy.

IDEA Council members are recruited from a broad cross-section of backgrounds to provide a mix of expertise and diversity of perspectives, including lived experience. Professional background includes disability studies, communications, sports and recreation, education, policies, research and advocacy.

The Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month throughout the year, except July and August.  Each term lasts two years.

Amira Gill
Amira Gill
Amira Gill

Amira
Gill


Amira holds a B.A.Sc and an M.A.Sc both majoring in Civil Engineering. She was involved in her school diversity and inclusion chapters and carried that into her professional work. She works at Defence Construction Canada and is also a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces. Amira spends her free time volunteering and raising money for indigenous students to go to school. She enjoys the outdoors and loves to bake.
 

Paul Gabay
Paul Gabay
Paul Gabay

Paul
Gabay


Paul has been in the fitness industry as a professional since 1999. As a Brock University graduate, they have paired their education in Sport Management with experience as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Paul enjoy long runs on the beach, roads and or trails. My company www.ResolutionFitness.ca offers expert fitness advice and professional equipment, for commercial and home settings. In addition to traditional health club machines,  specializing in adaptive and wheelchair-accessible products. Improving Inclusion, Diversity Equity, and Accessibility in the health and fitness space is a driving force behind what they do as a business owner. Paul wants to see all health and fitness facilities, better cater to those with varying levels of ability.
 

Candace Allixendir
Candace Allixendir
Candace Allixendir

Candace
Allixendir


Candace Allixendir is an award-winning public relations professional with over 15 years’ experience in the field. A purpose-driven and high-energy leader, she works with executives and organizations to deliver creative and compelling narratives that inspire people to act.

Candace is currently the Director, Communications at Element Fleet Management, and has held progressively senior roles in corporate communications across the private sector. She has deep experience in internal communications, employee engagement, DE&I communications strategy, and purpose and organizational change communications.

Candace has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English, History and Women’s Studies from the University of Toronto and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. Dedicated to lifelong learning, Candace has recently completed the McKinsey Black Executive Leadership program and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate from the University of South Florida.

Candace resides in the Greater Toronto Area with her two sons, and is passionate about Pilates and cycling, a novice runner, and an avid reader. Connect with Candace on LinkedIn.

Vivian  Ghazarian
Vivian Ghazarian
Vivian  Ghazarian

Vivian
Ghazarian


Vivian Ghazarian is a first-generation Canadian with both of her parents being of Armenian descent. Currently she is a Senior Policy Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services where she contributes to the government’s strategy to support children and youth with autism. Vivian was born and raised in Whitby and has spent many years being involved in the community in a variety of capacities. Her experience includes time volunteering with several Durham-based organizations, including the Oshawa Grandview Children’s Centre, Sunrise Youth Group, Durham Region’s Children’s Wish Foundation, and Lakeridge Health Oshawa, and most recently, the Abilities Centre. She has always been passionate about advocating for diversity and equity, and actively seeks opportunities to support inclusion and accessibility.
 
Vivian has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto as well as a Master of Public Administration degree from Queen's University
Lauren Tristani
Lauren Tristani
Lauren Tristani

Lauren
Tristani



Lauren Tristani is the Research and Evaluation Specialist at Autism Ontario. Prior to obtaining this position she completed a postdoctoral fellowship under Dr. Rebecca Bassett-Gunter and the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability. While Lauren’s research has ranged from understanding physical literacy within school settings to physical activity messaging, the main focus of her PhD research was to identify psychosocial predictors that facilitate physical activity and health behaviours for individuals with a disability. Lauren has a particular interest in health promotion and behaviour change for individuals with disabilities.
 
Mona Khan
Mona Khan
Mona Khan

Mona
Khan


Mona (She, her, hers) is located in downtown Toronto and is a Master's student in the field of Urban and Regional Planning with a background in public policy. Interested in sustainable and accessible planning, she is also an active volunteer within her community. 
 
Mahboobeh Hosseinian
Mahboobeh Hosseinian
Mahboobeh Hosseinian

Mahboobeh
Hosseinian


Mahboobeh has a master’s and a Ph.D. in Health Sciences. She also holds a bachelor’s and master’s in Physical Education and Sport Sciences. She has held scholarships and honours at the provincial and national levels for several years. She has worked at Ontario Tech University, Canada, as a research project manager and sessional lecturer in addition to managing sports programs and events in her home country of Iran. She is currently in charge of coordinating graduate admission and registration at Ontario Tech University.
 
Mahboobeh is a member of the IDEAL council at the Abilities Center. Being a person of a visible minority, she respects the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility) principles and has a strong interpersonal skill set that enables her to connect with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities to support them in realizing their full potential.
 
Tammy Bernasky
Tammy Bernasky
Tammy Bernasky

Tammy
Bernasky


Tammy Bernasky received her PhD in Critical Disability Studies from York University. She specializes in gender-based violence and disability, processes of empowerment, and social movement organizing. Using an intersectional approach, Tammy is committed to storytelling as a way to raise awareness of the experiences of diverse people with disabilities. Tammy has worked at the local, provincial, national and international level on disability rights and inclusion issues. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of L’nu, Political, and Social Studies at Cape Breton University and considers it a privilege to serve on the IDEA Advisory Council from her hometown in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
 
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