The Province has appointed the:
- Provincial Accessibility Committee (PAC)
- Technical committees for standards development
On this page:
The PAC is an advisory committee to government established under the Accessible British Columbia Act.
The PAC works to improve accessibility for people with disabilities and supports the implementation of the Act by:
- Developing and recommending accessibility standards to the B.C. government
- Engaging with the public on accessibility standards
- Providing general advice to the Minister about the Province’s efforts to promote accessibility
PAC members reflect the diversity of British Columbians.
- People with disabilities
- Individuals from organizations that support people with disabilities
- Indigenous Peoples
The PAC must act in accordance with the Act and any applicable Regulations. The PAC is subject to direction by the Minister.
PAC terms of reference
These committees will assist the PAC in developing recommendations for accessibility standards. They're subject to direction from the PAC and Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
The committees will consider a range of factors that can create barriers, like:
- Non-inclusive policies and technologies
- Inaccessible infrastructure
- Workplace recruitment practices
- Lack of appropriate training
Technical committee terms of reference
- Employment accessibility
- Accessible service delivery
Debra Maria Abraham
Debra Abraham is the founder of Unique Get Together Society. She is of Caribbean, Cree and Sioux descent. She has over 20 years of experience working in social services. This includes working:
- In group homes
- In women’s shelters
- In detox centres
- In foster homes
- With the Ministry of Children and Family Development
- With children who live with autism and extra needs
Active in her community, she is a board member with Global Access Foundation. She has also been a secretary for the Coquitlam Foundation. She holds a bachelor of arts in child and youth care with a specialization in child welfare from Douglas College.
Sheryl Burns is president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1936. She has also worked as a legal advocacy program coordinator for the Battered Women’s Support Services. Active in her community, she is an elected “persons with disabilities” representative on the BC Federation of Labour Executive Council. She is also a general vice-president for CUPE BC and the CUPE BC representative for the City of Vancouver Joint Childcare Working Group. She has also been a board member of Disability Alliance BC and a member of the City of Vancouver Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. She holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Saskatchewan.
Vinu Abraham Chetipurackal
Vinu Abraham Chetipurackal is Deaf and works as a commercial banking analyst for an international bank headquartered in B.C. Active in his community, he is co-founder and co-chair of the Deaf Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Council BC under the Greater Vancouver Association of the Deaf.
Spring Hawes incurred a spinal cord injury 15 years ago and is a tetraplegic. She is an entrepreneur and has served as a councillor for the District of Invermere. She is on the boards for the Interior Health Authority and Accessible Okanagan. She is also a volunteer peer for Spinal Cord Injury BC. She has also served as a president of Access in the Community for Equality.
Ken Kramer, Q.C., TEP, is the founder and principal of KMK Law. The law firm specializes in the areas of:
- Elder law
- Estate litigation
He is on the boards of the Vancouver Airport Authority and the College of Chiropractors of British Columbia. He co-chairs the Choices in Support for Independent Living Working Group, chairs the Association of Choices in Support for Independent Living Employers (“ACE”), and is a founding director for Technology for Living. He has also been chair of Seniors First BC, chair of Muscular Dystrophy Canada and chair of the British Columbia Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board. He has a bachelor of laws from the University of British Columbia and a bachelor of business administration from Simon Fraser University.
Michael McLellan lives with a visual impairment and developmental disability. He is president of Empowering Self Advocates to Take Action where he teaches the course People Planning Together. He chairs the Self Advocate Leadership Network Committee and co-chairs the Self Advocate Committee for Inclusion BC. He has been a president of BC People First and a member of the Accessibility Comox Valley Committee. He works with Community Living BC and other community services. He makes presentations to spread the importance of self-advocacy and inclusivity.
Kirsten Sutton is the chief technology and information officer at Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. She is the chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, a director for Science World and BC Tech and a member of the federal government’s task force on Women in the Economy. She is also a member and past co-chair of the Presidents Group, which champions accessible and inclusive workplaces. She has also served:
- As board chair of Minerva BC
- As a member of Inspiration Lab Advisory Council for the Vancouver Public Library Foundation
- On the Faculty of Arts, Communication and Technology Dean’s Advisory Committee for Simon Fraser University
She holds a bachelor of arts in linguistics and creative writing from Western Washington University and a bachelor of arts in English with honours from the University of California at Irvine.
Rheanna Robinson is an Indigenous scholar of Métis ancestry and an assistant professor in the Department of First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). She is a director and an ambassador for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. She has also served on the executive committee for ALS/SLA Action Canada, as vice-chair for Carney Hill Neighbourhood Centre, and as a director for the Prince George Métis Community Association. She holds a doctor of philosophy in educational studies and Indigenous education from the University of British Columbia. She lives with mobility impairments due to Multiple Sclerosis.
Rob Sleath is a seminar facilitator with Blind and Sight Impaired Consumers. He is founding president for Access for Sight Impaired Consumers and a director for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Division Advisory Board. He has also been a director for the CNIB National Board, president of the Committee for the Promotion of Accessible Conventional Transit and founding chair of Access Transit Users Advisory Committee for the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority.
Mary Teegee (Maaxw Gibuu) is Gitxsan Carrier from the Takla Nation. She belongs to the Lax Gibuu (Wolf) Clan from the House of Ngyuup. She is the executive director of Child and Family Services at Carrier Sekani Family Services. She has also been deputy chief and treaty Negotiator for Takla First Nation. She is president of the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society and chair of the Indigenous Child and Family Services Directors. She is also a B.C. board representative for the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and a member of the National Advisory Committee for Child and Family Service Reform. She holds a master’s degree of business administration from Simon Fraser University.
Jessica Vliegenthart is a trial lawyer for Fulton and Company LLP and a Canadian paralympian in wheelchair basketball. She is a board member of Spinal Cord Injury British Columbia and is an ambassador of the Rick Hansen Foundation. She is co-founder and a director for Kamloops Adapted Sports Association. She has also been an athlete representative on the Revenue Generation and Government Relations Section of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. She has also served as vice chair for the Victoria Wheelchair Sports Club, a board member of the Wheelchair Race Series, and founder and president of the University of Victoria Law and Disability Club. She holds a doctorate of laws from the University of Victoria and a bachelor of arts in communications from Simon Fraser University.
Christine Buchanan (Chair)
Christine Buchanan has over 18 years of experience in employment counselling and vocational rehabilitation. She is currently the regional director of employment services and training at Open Door Group. She has over ten years of experience training staff, the public, employers, and social service agencies on serving and employing people with disabilities.
Ms. Buchanan is also on the board of directors for the BC Career Development Association and a member of the:
- Province-wide low-barriered employment network – Shift
- Urban core committee in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside
- City of Vancouver's Community benefit agreement working group
- Employment advisory group with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism at the University of British Columbia
Ms. Buchanan is enrolled at Royal Roads University and has completed a fine arts diploma at the College of the Rockies.
Gary Edward Birch
Gary Birch’s specific areas of expertise are assistive technologies, direct brain-computer interface, digital signal processing, human-machine interface systems and service delivery programs for persons with disabilities. He is currently the executive director at the Neil Squire Society. He is also an adjunct professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Birch is the chair of the national advisory committee on assistive devices at Industry Canada and a member of the:
- Board of the Canadian Administrator of Video Relay Services
- Technical committees for information and communications and the B651.2 (Accessible design for automated banking machines and self-service interactive devices) for the Canadian Standards Association
- International advisory committee for NeuroAbilities
- Technical committee on accessibility for B651.2 (Accessible design for automated banking machines and self-service interactive devices)
- Research advisory and review committee at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
- Advisory committee at Disabilities Health Research Network BC
Dr. Birch is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. He was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame in 1998. Dr. Birch has a doctorate in electrical engineering, specializing in biomedical signal processing and a bachelor of applied science in electrical engineering from the University of British Columbia.
Sheryl Burns is president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1936. Previously, she was vice president of CUPE Local 1936 and a coordinator of the legal advocacy program at the Battered Women’s Support Services. Ms. Burns is:
- An elected persons with disabilities representative on the executive council for the BC Federation of Labour
- A general vice president for CUPE BC Executive Board
- The CUPE BC representative on the Provincial Community Social Services Sector roundtable
- A member of the Government of B.C.’s Provincial Accessibility Committee
Previously, Ms. Burns was a member of Disability Alliance BC and a committee member of the advisory committee on Disability Issues for the City of Vancouver. She has a BA from the University of Saskatchewan.
Alexis Chicoine has lived experience as a C6 quadriplegic. She is the chief consultant at Diversability Consulting. Previously, she was a project coordinator with the Rick Hansen Institute and a disability management coordinator at the BC Centre for Ability. Ms. Chicoine is a director on the advisory design panel and the vice chairman of the North Shore Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. She has a B.Sc. in nutritional sciences from the University of British Columbia and a diploma in rehabilitation and disability management from Simon Fraser University.
Tarita Karsanji Davenock
Tarita Karsanji Davenock is the chief executive officer at Travel for All and World Tourism Network. Previously, she was a director of Accessible Travel. Ms. Davenock is:
- Vice chair at Barrier Free Canada Group;
- A member of the leisure committee advisory council at Destination Canada;
- A board member at the Social Planning Research Council of BC; and
- Vice chair at the Standards Council of Canada
Ms. Davenock has a MA in behavioural sciences, a BA in psychology from the University of Victoria and a graduate certificate in social services work for complex trauma from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.
Tanya Fawkes is the regional director of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the owner of DesignAbility. Previously, she was an occupational therapist and clinical education lead for Symmetry Injury Rehabilitation. Ms. Fawkes is a member of the:
- Spinal cord injury technical committee for the Health Standards Organization
- The health care providers advisory group for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
- The registered disability savings plan action group with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Ms. Fawkes is a registered occupational therapist. She has a masters of occupational therapy from the University of British Columbia and a BA from Simon Fraser University. She is currently working on her PhD with research focused on accessibility and aging in place at the University of British Columbia.
Jasroop Singh Gosal
Jasroop Gosal is the policy and research manager at Surrey Board of Trade and an insurance advisor at Central City Insurance Services Inc. He is an executive member of the policy review committee for the BC Chamber of Commerce and the business representative to the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership. Mr. Gosal has a master of public policy from the University of Saskatchewan and a BA in political science from Simon Fraser University. Mr. Gosal has written policies in support of accessible workplaces that were submitted to the B.C. government.
Wai, iskist (Hello!). Glenda Louis was born and raised on the traditional and unceded territory of the Sylix Okanagan Peoples and resides at nkmaplqs (Head of the Lake, Vernon). She is the community employment lead with the Okanagan Indian Band. Previously, she was the food security coordinator and program lead for pre-employment supports with the Okanagan Indian Band.
Ms. Louis is the secretary of the BC Native Woman’s Association and a director with the North Okanagan Friendship Centre Society.
Ms. Louis has certificates for career development practitioner from Douglas College, event management from Mount Royal University and Aboriginal healthcare administration from the University of British Columbia.
Melissa Noelle Lyon
Melissa Lyon was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She just created her own consulting company, Accessibility and Inclusion Matter Consulting, where she provides disability awareness courses/workshops, consulting, and mentoring. She also works as a disability consultant and blog writer with the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC and as an instructor for the Open Door Group where she teaches her course on accessibility and inclusion in the workplace.
She is an instructor and course developer for Vancouver Island University and an Instructor and mentor with the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion course at the University of Capilano. Previously, Melissa was a learning experience designer for accessibility with the University of Victoria and a student researcher for the Centre for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Vancouver Island University.
Ms. Lyon has a masters of education, specializing in special education, from Vancouver Island University, a bachelor of education and a certificate in information communication technology from the University of Victoria.
Brad McCannell is a quadriplegic and a full-time wheelchair and service dog user. He is currently vice president of access and inclusion for the Rick Hansen Foundation and founder of Canadian Barrier Free Design. Mr. McCannell is a:
- Board director at the Accessibility Standards Canada
- Member of the advisory committee to the accessibility advisory group to Airports Council International
- Member of the access working group for the International Paralympic Committee
Mr. McCannell is a recipient of the:
- Access and Inclusion Award from the City of Vancouver
- Award of Distinction from the Canadian Paraplegic Association
- Rick Hansen Accessibility Award for Leadership
Mr. McCannell holds designations from the International Association of Access Professionals and the Access Professionals Network.
Marco Giovanni Pasqua
Marco Pasqua was born with Cerebral Palsy. He is currently:
- A provincial spokesperson for the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC
- The chief executive officer and founder at Marco Pasqua Enterprises
- Co-founder and accessibility consultant at Meaningful Access Consulting
- An accessibility consultant at Accessible Media Inc.
- A former accessibility consultant at Presidents Group and the Vancouver Airport Authority
Mr. Pasqua is a:
- Committee member for Measuring Up at the City of Surrey
- Ambassador at Variety – The Children’s Charity of BC
- Telethon host at BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities and for Easter Seals BC
- Ambassador at Sunshine Foundation of Canada
- A member of the board of directors at Easter Seals BC/Yukon and at the Sunshine Foundation of Canada
Mr. Pasqua is a Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification Professional. He has a diploma in game art and design from the Art Institute of Vancouver.
Patricia Pokorny has lived experience of being a Type 1 diabetic who is blind and travels with a guide dog. She is the program lead for Come to Work with the BC-Yukon region’s for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind Foundation. Previously, she was the senior manager for accessibility at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Ms. Pokorny was the chair of the accessibility advisory committee for the City of Burlington, Ont. She has a BA in applied languages studies, specializing in the communication disorders stream, from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., a certificate in diversity from the Society for Human Resource Management, and an executive program credential from the University of Toronto.
Cameron Clark Stockdale
Cameron Stockdale is the president and chief executive officer of the Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute and a senior associate professor at City University of Seattle. Previously, he spent 25 years in emergency health services working as a paramedic before becoming superintendent of operations for the BC Ambulance Service. Dr. Stockdale is:
- The vice chair of executive Health at Safety Council BC
- Inquiry committee member of BC College of Pharmacists
- Research committee member of the Alpha Sigma Iota Academic Honour Society
Dr. Stockdale has:
- An Interdisciplinary doctorate of education from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska
- A master of laws from the University of Edinburgh
A MA in leadership from the University of Guelph
- A post-graduate certificate in organizational behaviour from Harvard University
- His paramedic credential from the Justice Institute of British Columbia
Joshua (Josh) Vander Vies
Josh Vander Vies is the sole practitioner at Versus Law Corporation and provides legal counsel to the CHIMP: Charitable Impact Foundation (Canada). Previously, he was on the governance review working group for the International Paralympic Committee and was Team Canada ombudsman at Commonwealth Games Canada. Mr. Vander Vies is a:
- Member of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough’s Disability Advisory Group and Employment Equity Act Review Task Force
- Director for the Neil Squire Society
- Founder at Canadian Disability Foundation
Mr. Vander Vies is the recipient of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2016. Mr. Vander Vies has a Juris doctorate from the University of British Columbia, a BA in political science and BA in French language and literature from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.
Ruth Warick is the director of programs and services for Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility. She is the first vice-chair of the International Disability Alliance. Dr. Warick is also president of the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. Previously, she was a member of the steering committee for the global business and disability network with the International Labour Organization. Dr. Warick has a:
- PhD from the University of British Columbia
- Masters of Education and a MA from the University of Regina
- BA from the University of Saskatchewan
Christopher T. Sutton (Chair)
Christopher Sutton is bilingual and fluent in American Sign Language and English. He is currently the chief executive officer at Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility. Among others, he is a member of accessibility standards, diversity and inclusion committees for the Canadian Standards Association, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, Elections Canada and the National Research Council of Canada. He is also a director at the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Foundation. Mr. Sutton has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. and a BA in political science from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Lisa Anderson identifies as someone with lived experience as a Deaf person. She currently is an instructor/facilitator of American Sign Language at Douglas College Program of Sign Language Interpretation and Surrey School District #36. Previously, she was the ASL director on the board of the Canadian Administrator of Video Relay Services and a workshop coordinator for the deaf well-being program at Vancouver Coastal Health. Ms. Anderson is:
- Chair/telecommunications accessibility consultant at Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee
- Chair of the technologies accessibility standards advisory council for the Canadian Association of the Deaf
- Co-chair of the accessible emergency standards advisory council also for the Canadian Association of the Deaf
- Accessibility director on the board of directors of the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund
Ms. Anderson is the recipient of the BC Video Relay Services Committee’s Award of Recognition, the Canadian Association of the Deaf’s Arthur Hazlitt Award, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She has a BA in geography from the University of Victoria.
Sana Aziz is currently the provincial coordinator of dementia-friendly communities for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. She is:
- British Columbia’s lead/project partner for the Dementia-Friendly Canada project
- A member of the accessibility strategy committee and senior advisory committees for the City of Vancouver
- A member of the transit users advisory committee for TransLink
- A volunteer with the Aga Khan Council for Canada
Ms. Aziz has a MA in gerontology from Simon Fraser University and a bachelor in business administration (human resources) from the University of Texas.
Linda Bartram has lived experience of disability for over 50 years. She is currently a program coordinator and homestay host at Pacific Training Centre for the Blind. Previously, she was co-chair of the provincial equipment and assistive devices committee for the BC Equipment and Assistive Technology Initiative, and community relations officer at Elections Canada. Ms. Bartram is a member of the accessibility advisory committee for the City of Victoria and a board member of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. She has a diploma in physiotherapy from London, England and a certificate in gerontology from Mount Royal College in Calgary.
Helaine Frances Boyd
Helaine Boyd is currently the executive director of Disability Alliance BC. Ms. Boyd was previously with the HALO Trust in a number of positions that focused on championing a culture of inclusion and working alongside people with disabilities to bring positive change. She is also a board member with Mines Action Canada. Ms. Boyd has a BA in political science and history and a post-graduate certificate in international development from the University of British Columbia.
Tara Cleave is currently the manager of support services and accessibility for the City of Surrey. She is an emerging leader in accessibility and inclusion with outstanding involvement in providing universal access to all civic facilities and properties. Ms. Cleave is a designated Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Professional and has a BA in criminology from the University of the Fraser Valley.
Thomas (Tom) Edward Conway
Tom Conway identifies as someone with non-visible disabilities and as a member of the LGBTQ2+ community. He has over 30 years of experience advocating for people with disabilities through his work with the White House Commission on Veterans with Disabilities while at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is currently the chief executive officer at Small Business BC and a board member of the Presidents Group. Previously, Mr. Conway was the executive director of the BC Schizophrenia Society as well as Easter Seals Central California. He has a MA in public administration and BA in political science and international relations from the University of Illinois.
Jackie Isaan Gruber
Jackie Gruber identifies as someone with a disability. She is currently the director of respect, diversity, and inclusion at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Previously, Ms. Gruber was the director of equity, diversity and inclusion for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and human rights and conflict management officer at the University of Manitoba. She has served on the resource advisory committee for the Manitoba Disabilities Issues Office and the Human Rights Committee Council for the City of Winnipeg. Ms. Gruber has an M.Sc. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Manitoba and a BA in conflict resolution studies and philosophy from the University of Winnipeg.
Tracy Dawn Humphreys
Tracy Humphreys identifies as autistic, has been diagnosed with ADHD, and has three children with disabilities. She is currently the chair and executive director of BCEdAccess Society, president of the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils and owner/general manager and chief executive officer of Salon Label Inc. Ms. Humphreys has served on parents’ advisory councils for schools and school districts and was a representative on the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils. She studied French linguistics at the University of Victoria, and French and Japanese at Camosun College.
Heather Lamb is currently the lead of Infoline Services for Spinal Cord Injury BC. She was previously the information resource specialist with Spinal Cord Injury BC. She is:
- A member of the technical committee on accessibility for the Canadian Standards Association
- Editor of Perspectives, the newsmagazine of the BC Association of Social Workers
Ms. Lamb has a masters in social work from the University of Northern British Columbia and a bachelor of journalism and history from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Richard Roger Joseph Marion
Richard Marion is currently an accessibility consultant for the Assembly of First Nations and an accessibility analyst at Fable Tech Labs. Previously he was the access transit coordinator at TransLink and a production assistant and accessibility tester at the National Network for Equitable Library Services. Mr. Marion is a board member for Blind Beginnings and the president of Vocal Eye. Mr. Marion is a certified professional in accessibility competencies from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. He has a diploma in business administration from Douglas College.
Madoka Anthony (Tony) Ota
Tony Ota has worked to make service delivery more accessible for persons with disabilities for over 10 years. He is currently the manager of standards and innovation at BC Transit. Previously, he was the operations manager and Lean specialist at Steel Container Systems, and the production manager at Forest Technology Systems and Viking Air. Mr. Ota is a Certified Lean Green Belt. Mr. Ota has an MBA and a bachelor of mechanical engineering from the University of Victoria.
Mia Elizabeth Schartau
Mia Schartau is a nonbinary person with multiple disabilities. They are currently the accessibility coordinator for the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition. Previously, they worked as a child support worker for KidSafe Society. They are a co-founder of Autistics United Canada and an advisory board member for Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility’s Therapeutic Activation Program. They were previously a board member with DeafBlind Planning Committee of BC and Phonak. They hold a classroom community support diploma and are completing a degree in Child and Youth Care at Douglas College.
Richard Joseph Welland
Richard Welland is a registered speech-language pathologist. He is currently the owner/operator of Talk in Action, a private practice in speech-language pathology, and a sessional lecturer at the University of Victoria. Previously, he was an associate professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. He is a member of the education committee for Speech-Language & Audiology Canada. He has served:
- On the health care standard development committee for the Government of Ontario
- On the board of ARCH Disability Law Centre
- The accessibility advisory committee for Metrolinx
Dr. Welland has a doctorate in communicative disorders and sciences from the State University of New York, a masters in health sciences in speech-language pathology from the University of Toronto and a BA in psychology from Western University in London, Ont.