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International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually on December 3 to spread awareness and understanding of disabilities. This year we invite you to learn more about what it’s like to live and work with spinal cord injuries. Speakers will debunk some of the widely held beliefs about individuals living with spinal cord injury and provide insight on ways to ensure a disability-inclusive research environment.


Dr. Cathy Craven is a Senior Scientist at KITE Research Institute, Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Rehab Program and a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her research program is focused on the prevention and management of osteoporosis and health service innovations for individuals living with spinal cord injury. She is a mother and sister of someone with a disability.

Lubna Aslam is the provincial Peer Program Manager for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. She has a degree in Mathematics and Statistics and is also a certified Constructivist Career Counselor. She has a keen interest in developing strategic solutions for eliminating barriers faced by persons with disabilities. Recently, she was the Keynote Speaker at the Canadian Helen Keller Centre’s Annual General Meeting. Lubna has lived with a spinal cord injury for 18 years and is a proud mother of two.

Randy Upper has a Master’s degree in Social Work and is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Randy is a Clinical Research Associate at Lawson Research Institute in London, Ontario. Randy is the proud father of a 22-year-old daughter who he raised as a single Dad. Randy has had 32 years of fabulously lived experience with a T6 complete spinal cord injury.

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