The knowledge we create and share is focused on human rights and done with an intersectional reflexive approach. Our research is focused on providing knowledge and sustainable solutions to emerging issues in the disability community and tackling stubborn problems and human rights issues both nationally and internationally. Most importantly, what we create here is a reflection of our commitment to community-based research that embraces and honours the diversity of knowledge that comes from unique social locations and experiences.
Eviance is best known for its contributions in the subject matter of poverty, inclusive education, employment and decent work, human rights and equity, and psychosocial disabilities. Further, our knowledge contribution is characterized by the use of a solutions network, who together builds a strong base of information that can impact change. Our solutions network approach acts on the following areas:
We produce diverse knowledge collectively with a variety of partners and people in the community. For us, collecting this knowledge is a horizontal, rather than hierarchical, process.
We focus on finding the right partners to build capacity around emerging issues that help us all better understand, document and tackle these issues and the unknowns they come with.
We believe that mobilizing knowledge is as important as building it. We share our knowledge in a creative and wide-reaching way so that it gets in the hands of those influencing equitable decision making.
Evaluation knowledge is important to the advancement of programs, processes and initiatives that impact our communities and people with disabilities directly. This section highlights some of our important evaluative projects.
Independent Evaluation of International Disability Alliance’s Disability Catalyst Programme: Realising the rights of persons with disability through the Sustainable Development Goals was commissioned by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and worked on in partnership with Emmanuel Mournier. This work examines programs that support the leadership development of persons with disabilities and their allies, including training on the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030. This work included a literature review, key informant interviews with IDA members, donors and partners, including a diversity of activists with disabilities and activist from underrepresented groups, survey data collection, participant observation, reflexive meetings and a secondary analysis of pre-existing survey data.
Developmental Evaluation: ARCH Respecting Rights Pilot was a multi-year developmental evaluation on the My Voice, My Choice program (MVMC) through ARCH Disability Law Centre. The MVMC program focuses on promoting rights for people labelled with an intellectual disability and was part of the Respecting Rights Project with ARCH. Our evaluation focused on qualitative and quantitative analysis of group interviews, participant questionnaires, and analysis of participant drawings.
CUPW Program Evaluation: Special Needs and Moving On Projects was commissioned by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). This work evaluated their Special Needs (SNP) and Moving On (MO) Projects. These Projects provide support to CUPW and PSAC-UPCE members who have children with special needs and disabilities. The evaluation included interviews with key stakeholders and a questionnaire that yielded 400 responses. The evaluation showed a positive experience of project outcomes and implementation and assessed the needs of members by identifying key opportunities to guide future growth.
Co-created community-based research is our core activity. We partner with a variety of members in our solutions network on these projects and root all of our reports in sustainable solutions. This section highlights some of our important collaborative research work and findings.
Understanding the Intersectional Forms of Discrimination that Impact Persons with Disabilities was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program (Disability Component) and completed alongside the Disabled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN Canada), Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, The National Network for Mental Health (NNMH) and the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS). This report explores the intersectional forms of discrimination that impact persons with disabilities in Canada with a focus on how intersectionality may be applied in legislation, policy and practice to address social inequities experienced by persons with disabilities in Canada.
Disability, Human Rights, Access and Research to Support Learning was commissioned by the Canada School of Public Service and done in collaboration with York University, School of Health Policy and Management. This project focuses on developing and rolling out intersectional accessibility training to Canadian public servants related to Bill C-81. Our literature review and environmental scan was collaboratively developed by subject matter experts on human rights to focus on cross-disability rights and the meaningful engagement of people with disabilities, intersectionality, and accessibility.
The State of Accessible Shared Mobility for Persons with Disabilities in Canada was commissioned through Transport Canada. This report will contribute to a larger focused piece of work on accessible shared mobility in Canada that involves a detailed review of the literature and community consultations with knowledgeable people with disabilities and other stakeholders. Our report focused in on ride-source services, accessibility, availability and straight-forward booking processes.
VisitAble Housing in Canada was funded through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This project aimed to identify unique perspectives of key stakeholder groups within the housing system in order to determine the possible barriers and enablers to the increased adoption of VisitAble Housing (VH) in Canada. Using interviews with key informants we found that there was general support for VisitAble Housing because of its simplicity and broad applicability, its potential cost-effective way of increasing access, and its versatility in providing accessible solutions beyond the physical environment to increase feelings of inclusion, socialization and human rights.
The Shadow Reports from Canada under the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) were internal reports completed in 2019 and 2020 by Eviance. These reports provide a summary of concerns that civil society organizations expressed in the Shadow Reports (Parallel Reports) they submitted to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities in the fall of 2016 and first half of 2017. The content analysis explores which Articles received the most attention, what kinds of governmental actions organizations call for, and which issues are most important to stakeholders.
The Experiences of People Who Use Guide and Service Dogs is a grassroots research project funded by Eviance and done in collaboration with the National Coalition of People Who Use Guide and Service Dogs. This project documented the experience of a number of critical issues relating to the needs and human rights of guide and service dog users/handlers in Canada. These issues included a sense of public confusion around the legitimacy of the dogs, the human rights of handlers and a current lack of information and understanding about issues and challenges faced by guide and service dog handlers in Canada. Key informant interviews from people across Canada were conducted and research outcomes emphasized the need for public education and further legislation and monitoring to foster stronger inclusion during broader consultative processes.
Research on the National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) and Recommendations for the Future was commissioned by Economic and Social Development Canada and informed the development of a longer-term multi-year strategy for NAAW that aims to raise the profile of accessibility nationally and encourage Canadians to promote inclusion and accessibility in their communities and workplaces. This work merged government and grassroots through a special focus on engaging stakeholders from provincial and territorial disability organizations on what they think are the key components of a successful NAAW in Canada.
Inclusive Education in Ukraine was completed in 2016 in partnership with The Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation and the Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Ukraine Project. This project looked to strengthen the capacity of government, education and civil society sectors to implement inclusive education and inclusive practices in two pilot regions (Lviv and Simferopol/Crimea). This project was the catalyst for 25 legislative and policy changes and helped develop the Ukrainian Index of Inclusion. This work won Eviance a Zero Project Award for Innovative Practices and Policies.
Video Relay Service Research—International Comparison Project was commissioned by the Canadian Radio‑television and Telecommunications Commission and included a comparative analysis of international Video Relay Services (VRS) to help inform advancement options to the VRS system in Canada. This research recorded VRS services offered by other countries, identifying providers, features, services and functionality. This international comparative analysis will be used by CRTC to draw upon best-evidence approaches to further enhance the VRS system available in Canada.
Knowledge translation and the development of tools allows us to root our knowledge in change making. This section showcases a variety of examples of how we have translated knowledge into action through knowledge-to-action activities and the development of practical tools.
Communication Tools: A User-friendly Guide of Tools in Winnipeg that Can Help People Communicate with First Responders in Emergencies (affectionally dubbed The Emergency Card Project) was funded through the Winnipeg Foundation and the Thomas Sil Foundation and done in collaboration with Inclusion Winnipeg. This multi-year project featured a robust engagement process with surveys of over 100 First Responders, a literature review and environmental scan, focus groups, and interviews. During the third phase of the project, we are working on a communication tool guide for persons with disabilities and developing training workshops for stakeholders.
Voting with a Difference was commissioned through Election’s Canada. This project focused on creating a social media resource to assist people with various disabilities who were at risk of not voting to become more aware of the supports that are available to make voting more feasible. The project aimed to help prospective voters make informed decisions about their voting options for the 2019 federal election.
Key issues for Canada under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Priority Articles, needed actions, and people of concern is an internal report completed in 2020 by Eviance. For this data report we analyzed and coded four reports which civil society organizations submitted to the UN Committee in 2019. One of these was a lengthy document (78 pages), which 55 organizations jointly submitted as Canadian Civil Society Organizations (CCSO). This report reviews what subject matters received the most attention and which issues called for priority attention, as well as an analysis of governmental actions and how they lined up with the priority issues identified.
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As researchers, knowledge mobilizers and community builders, we believe in taking the time to share knowledge we gain along the way. Whether it be reflecting on trends in our research or diving deeper into an emerging issue, our team knows that knowledge is more powerful in the hands of many. This section on thought leadership is a collection of entries and essays from members of our team.
Eviance is more than a research organization, it is a community of peer leaders who work together to highlight and realize disability human rights issues. Tammy Bernasky, PhD., is one of those team members whose background and interests have led her to join this community dedicated to creating lasting positive change.
Tammy has been working in the disability field for more than 20 years; serving on boards, working with community groups, and participating in international projects focused on advancing disability rights and equality.
We are thrilled to launch “Communication Tools: A Guide”, a user-friendly guide of tools in Winnipeg that can help people communicate with First Responders in emergencies. The Guide is available in English and French, in both digital and printed formats. Please contact Kate Grisim at email@example.com to request a printed copy.