About the Author

A picture of the author in black and white

Fighter for social justice, public speaker, writer, researcher, and proud disabled woman working with youth, women, & other disabled people in Toronto.

Melissa is the founder and one of the key organizers for the Toronto Disability Pride March, which began in October 2010. She is an activist involved in disability issues throughout Ontario and has written for publications such as Abilities magazine and The Monitor. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social justice. Melissa is also a very proud aunt and cat parent with way too many books to read. She can often be seen at social justice events or enjoying the occasional wheelchair bungee jump.

Find Melissa on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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15 thoughts on “About the Author”

  1. So I am thinking of becoming an advocate as well…I am also thinking of sharing tons of info – I wanted to speak with you somehow to discuss – gain insight etc…

  2. Your blog is wonderful, and was brought to my attention today by a colleague. Apparently, your blog link is being circulated on Facebook. I wish to post your blog on the Facebook page for the Disability Cultural Center at Syracuse University. My only concern is that, as some have asserted (including bell hooks), reclaiming the word “bitch” is less problematic for white women and other individuals with white privilege than for Women of Color, especially African American women, given the historical usage of the “b” word to dehumanize women, and Women of Color, in particular. I am in no way criticizing your blog title, nor am I asking you about your identity. In my role at Syracuse, I wish to consider all of these issues of reclamation, activism, and education (FYI, I already posted a link to your blog on my personal Facebook page). Thanks for writing this outstanding blog, and thanks for reading this comment. In solidarity, Diane in upstate NY.

    1. I appreciate your comments about the title of my blog, and I’ll be honest and say I didn’t take that into consideration when choosing that title. For me it was about choosing a title that encouraged the reader to focus less on my disablement, and consider that a woman with a disability can be provocative, but again I’m thankful for your comments, and thank you for sharing my blog.

  3. Hi Melissa,

    Not sure how long you’ve been publishing this blog, but I just found it and I’m so happy! I’m in the field of emergency management — with an emphasis on empowered full-inclusion. Would love to interview you in 2012. Not sure how to best contact you.

    Thanks very much for your blog; you made my day.

    Ana-Marie

  4. Hi Melissa,
    I have been following your blog for quite sometime as managing editor of Abilities magazine. I would love to work together to get your word out to our readers. Can you email me so that we can discuss? I have left my email address for you in a message on your Twitter account. Hope to hear from you soon.
    Jennifer Rivkin
    Managing Editor, Abilities Magazine

  5. be careful of sharing your notes and speeches with laura at wmtc. shes a snake. she ‘s talking about you today on her blog. wmtc.ca

  6. Thank you so much for publishing your Invisible Backpack of Able-Bodied Privilege Checklist, and for giving permission to share it. I hope and trust that permission extends to those of us still able-bodied, remembering that almost all of us, if we live long enough, will confront the physical and mental challenges to our abilities, often very difficult challenges, that aging so often brings. (This truth likely being the underlying cause of ageism as well…)
    How would you want the attribution written, if I were to use this as a handout in training? Strictly non-profit work, related to topics like sexuality, diversity. and aging. Again, thank you!

    1. Yes, please! Share it far and wide. If you could reference where you found it on this site that would be great.

  7. Hi Melissa! I am so appreciative of your blog, and glad I found it today. I wanted to get in touch with you to ask some advice on how to go about complaining/writing/advocating about a particular incidence of ableism that really shook me. I figured maybe you would know what platform would be appropriate in order to get heard. Thank you for your time!!

  8. Hello Melissa,
    I would just like to say that I appreciate your blog and what you stand up for. As someone who struggles with mental health and has seen the discrimination against people with disabilities, I was inspired to do a project on ableism. After discovering this blog and reading a few articles, I see that you are very informed on the subject. I have actually had a bit of trouble finding useful information for my project, so I was wondering if you could possibly share any helpful resources that you know of, if you are willing to of course. Thank you in advance if you do, and thank you for being an advocate.

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