Disabilities and Human Rights Video Project

DHR Video Project

The Disability and Human Rights Group is a forum for those with lived experience and their allies to raise awareness of issues as they relate to disabilities and human rights.  Started in 2008, it has provided a friendly space for the participants to advocate with their own voices.   


The group provides a platform to address issues of inclusion and accessibility and to organize events for the United Nations Day of Persons with Disabilities. They also have put their support behind issues relating to income security, sidewalk clearing as a human rights issue, social assistance reform, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, pedestrian access along LRT,  and VisitAble Housing Task Force.  Their efforts have included advocating towards elected officials at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels, and providing their input at budget consultations and addressing legislative issues such as the changes to the Ontario Building Code or the Social Justice Tribunal.   

While always in touch with the current issues, the group is a friendly and welcoming space with a respect for inclusion that understands that group members have different abilities, skills and needs.  They are willing to allow members to contribute to the group at their own pace and as they feel comfortable.  

This film project was created to provide a glimpse of the energy and advocacy of a group that is led by a passionate and active membership.  Each group member has their own story, but within those stories common issues can be found, and a collective voice can get behind the issues.  Too often decisions are made for people with disabilities without taking into account their lived experience and the value that provides.  The Disability and Human Rights Group values that lived experience and provides a safe, comfortable, and lively forum for this experience to be shared.  

If you are interested in joining the group, or know someone who might benefit from it, we encourage you to reach out.

More information can be found at the group webpage at:


or by email at: admin@waterlooregion.org

This film was created in collaboration with the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region and the Commons Studio.  The group would like to acknowledge their support behind the project.

You can also hear individual testimonies from the group participants in the video playlist on Social Development Centre Youtube Chanel.

Matthew Lago, 2019 Placement Student & participant in the Disabilities & Human Rights Group
May 2019

    Michael Savage    

"When you have lived experience, you do not have to dig for an answer. Lived experience comes in a number of ways, integrating other people's lived experience." 



    Susan Bowmans     

"Just something you feel when you know that the group is the friendly place to go to and they all want to help you as much as they can. I met a lot of people, there are not always the same people..." 



    Jeff Beckner     

"It was the first time that I, as someone with disabilities, had a voice, was included as equal and was heard... that made me confident enough to take this experience into other parts of my life." 



    Brad Ullner     

"There really have been some classic discussions that you get from looking from the perspective of people with disabilities, that is the perspective that you do not usually get. " 



    Jackie Prada     

"Disability populations are diverse but being with someone who is remotely similar was an interesting idea, and that is the reason I went to my masters, a chance for social change. " 



    Calyton Lynch    

"I listen to the people talk, because it makes me see the picture. and when you are talking to the group, you want to know where they are coming from." 



    Myron Steinman     

"With lived experience, our goal is to try to advocate for ourselves... I ran for the mayor of Kitchener which I would not have had courage to do at all if I wouldn't have had the cumulative build up with the Disabilities and Human Rights Group."