Alise de Bie is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in McMaster’s School of Social Work, where they work in the area of Mad(ness) Studies and Critical Disability Studies, with a dissertation focus on Mad Knowing, Teaching, and Learning. They have been involved in Mad/psychiatric survivor and disability community organizing and peer support work for nearly a decade, most significantly as coordinator of the Hamilton Mad Students Collective, a peer support group of and for Mad students/students with mental health disabilities, and Mad Pride Hamilton, an annual arts and culture celebration. Alise has taught undergraduate courses in Mad Studies, and is involved in several accessibility-related teaching and learning research projects that are paying attention to the educational experiences of graduate students with disabilities, and the experiences of disabled/Mad social work students during field education and the completion of disciplinary-specific assessments (e.g. process recordings, role plays, self-reflections). Alise joined the FLEX Forward team in the Spring of 2016.
Kate Brown has been involved in the FLEX Forward project since its inception in the Fall of 2015. She self-identifies as disabled and has contributed to several accessibility and disability-related projects, such as acting as the Accessibility Projects Coordinator in McMaster’s Equity and Inclusion Office, volunteering with the McMaster Students Union’s new peer support and advocacy collective of and for students with disabilities (Maccess), and fundraising for Hamilton’s 2017 Ability Walk and Roll event. Kate’s other pedagogical and knowledge translation work has included coordinating a grant for Mohawk language preservation, promotion and revitalization within McMaster’s Indigenous Studies Program, and contributing to an introductory German textbook focused on language teaching through storytelling. Kate has a community organizing background in anti-poverty work, and an academic background in Indigenous Studies and Linguistics.