Ryerson Annual Activist Lecture

Find Photos of the speakers (Kathryn Church, Navi Dhanota, Reema Khawja, Dianne Wintermute) and some Mad Pride Organizers.

Deemphasizing psychiatric diagnosis in postsecondary academic accommodation: A radical reimagining


Presented by the School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University


Feature Speakers


Navi Dhanota is a PhD candidate in the Critical Disability Studies program at York University whose research focuses on the imposition of disability as a function of bio-power.


Dianne Wintermute
Lawyer, ARCH Disability Law Centre


Reema Khawja
Counsel, Legal Services and Inquiries
Ontario Human Rights Commission

This important discussion will begin with Navi Dhanota who describes her presentation as follows:

Like many universities to date, the Counseling and Disability Services (CDS) department at York University, required any student registering for academic accommodations for their mental health concerns, to attain and disclose a DSM-IV psychiatric diagnosis. When I learned that the majority of Canadian universities request students to disclose their diagnosis in order to be considered for accommodation, I realized there was a larger systemic framework that was upholding the registration process. By utilizing York University as an example of systemic discrimination that has a reliance on psychiatric diagnosis, I chose to file a human rights complaint that would interrogate the Human Rights Code’s protection of my rights, as well as others who are students. The Ontario Human Rights Commission intervened in the case and it was settled in my favour, setting the wheels in motion for a system wide change.



When: Monday, July 11, 2016: 9:30a.m. coffee, 10:00a.m. presentation

Where: Ryerson University, TRS 1067 (7th floor) / 55 Dundas Street West, Cara Commons, Ted Rogers School of Management, (roughly Dundas and Bay, Dundas is the closest subway stop)

Who: This is an annual event in the School of Disability Studies. It is open to the public/community and to celebrants of Mad Pride Week

Accessible venue; ASL interpretation; Real-time captioning; Livestreaming to podcast