Board of Directors

Meet the current DABC Board of Directors.

 

Julia Lamb (Chair)

Photo of Julia Lamb. She is sitting in her power wheelchair on a dock in front of a lake and mountains. She is wearing a white toque and has long brown hair.

Julia joined the Board in 2020. Living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), she has been volunteering since childhood alongside organizations such as Cure SMA Canada and Muscular Dystrophy Canada. She recently served on the City of Chilliwack’s Mayor’s Task Force for Inclusiveness, Diversity and Accessibility and led in the creation of the City of Chilliwack’s Accessibility Advisory Panel where she currently sits as Chair.

Personal and community experiences are what fuels Julia’s intersectional advocacy, with a passion for improving day-to-day lives of persons with Disabilities in progressive and meaningful ways.

Julia lives in Chilliwack with her partner and their cat. She likes to spend time on local accessible trails and writing poetry and short stories.

Jake Anthony, CCIP (Vice-Chair)

Portrait photo of Jake Anthony. He has short brown hair and is posing against a black background.

Jake was elected to the DABC Board in October 2020. He has been an advocate for people with disabilities for over fifteen years and has a lived experience with a disability (specifically autism, with co-occuring mental health challenges.) He works as a non-profit governance expert, accessibility consultant, motivational speaker, licensed BC Security Worker and he holds his professional designation as a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP) from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Jake also currently serves as a Council Member on the BC Arts Council, a Board Member of Realwheels Theatre, a Resident Representative on the City of Burnaby Access Advisory Committee and as a member of Destination BC’s Accessibility & Inclusion Committee. He is a Past President of Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture and Low Entropy Foundation, as well as being a past member and chair of TransLink’s Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee. Jake has been a guest lecturer and departmental advisor for Capilano University’s Applied Behaviour Analysis-Autism Program since 2017.

Michelle Hewitt (Director)

Photo of Michelle Hewitt. She is sitting in her power wheelchair in front of mountains and other picturesque nature. She has medium-length brown/gray hair and is wearing a black shirt and multicoloured leggings

Michelle Hewitt has a long history of volunteerism and advocacy. In 2008 she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of MS and has been in a wheelchair since 2009. Since then, she has turned her volunteerism and advocacy to disability issues, including being a member of the member of the MS Society of Canada Government Relations committee and the Chair of Disability Without Poverty. Michelle is a PhD candidate at UBC Okanagan where her research questions the societal values that leaves working aged disabled adults with chronic illness no option than to live in long-term care facilities.

Prior to her disability, Michelle was a principal in School District 23. Michelle lives in Kelowna with her husband and dog.

Liss Cairns (Treasurer)

Photo of Liss Cairns. They are smiling and their long hair is multicoloured. The Board of Directors welcomed Liss to the team in September 2022. Liss is a neurodivergent nonbinary person who has had lifelong mental health related disabilities and is currently their wife’s caregiver. They graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Psychology from SFU and were provided their first disability-centered experience through the university’s cooperative education program in 2017. Through the various personal and professional experiences with disability Liss has had, their passion for impacting meaningful change and supporting an intersectional and holistic approach to disability management and services has only grown stronger.Liss is currently one of the Project Managers at Plan Institute (PI), a national nonprofit devoted to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Their work includes managing PI’s free national Disability Planning Helpline Service, supporting the Access RDSP program in collaboration with DABC and BCANDS, and assisting with the Disability Without Poverty movement wherever possible. Liss continues to be a health mentor for the UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors Program, which they first joined in the fall of 2022.Outside of their work and volunteering, Liss enjoys spending time with their family, playing Dungeons and Dragons, being out in nature, and working on their spiritual and healing journey.

Sarah Cheung (Director)

Photo of Sarah Cheung, who is sitting in her wheelchair in front of a waterfall. She is wearing sunglasses and has medium-length dark hair.

Sarah Cheung joined the Board of Directors in March 2019. She was born with a degenerative condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and this sparked her passion for improving the lives of persons with disabilities. Sarah graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of British Columbia in 2018, and she uses her education and experiences to eliminate barriers in society, improve accessibility, and advocate for the health and well-being for persons with disabilities (i.e., affordable, specialized health care, increased funding for personal care and medical support, more subsidized, accessible housing, and easy access to accessible transportation). In addition to working with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, she has served on numerous advisory committees over the years, such as the City of Vancouver’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, TransLink’s Users’ Advisory Committee, and the Board of Directors for Cure SMA.

In her spare time, Sarah loves to explore local coffee shops and bakeries (she is a foodie!), go for walks along the seawall, and watch reality TV.

Elizabeth Lalonde (Secretary)

Photo of Elizabeth Lalonde standing, holding her white cane. She has blonde hair.

Elizabeth Lalonde, blind since birth, is a single mother of two teenaged sons. She has served on the Board of DABC for six years.

She has been an advocate and mentor in the blindness and disability communities for over 25 years.

In 2011, Elizabeth founded the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind (PTCB) – a grassroots nonprofit organization run entirely by blind people that teaches blind adults independence skills. She is now the Executive Director of this Centre. Currently, the PTCB team is partnering with COBD: Camp Bowen to build a facility that will provide campus-style intensive non-visual training, camps and other services to blind Canadians.

In 2009, Elizabeth attended an intensive nine-month blindness immersion program at the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB); she learned the blind-lead, positive-solving model of teaching, now used at the Pacific Training Centre.

Elizabeth also teaches grant writing, served as president of the Canadian Federation of the Blind for nine years, worked as a communications coordinator in the early 2000s, and was a self-employed property developer for the Province of BC from 2005-2009.

Elizabeth works hard to promote social justice, human rights and a greater awareness of the abilities of blind people and all people with disabilities.

Alyssa Vincent (Director)

Photo of Alyssa Vincent. She has long brown hair and is standing in front of an easel, holding a paintbrush and smiling

Alyssa (she/they) joined the board in September 2023, bringing with her a unique perspective shaped by a life-changing experience in 2012—a severe motor vehicle collision that resulted in permanent disability.

Her experience as a long-term neurodiverse patient and person living with disabilities has fueled a commitment to community empowerment and advocacy, which is evident through her various patient advisory roles as the Island Health Patient Advisory Counsel Co-Chair, Mental Health Substance Use Clinical Operations Excellence Committee Member, Schwartz Rounds Steering Committee Member, and a Combined Quality Oversight Council Member at Island Health. To Alyssa, disability advocacy means amplifying diverse voices, fostering inclusivity, and dismantling barriers. While pursuing her MSc in Clinical Counselling, emphasizing Somatics and trauma therapy, Alyssa co-founded a university disability advocacy group to challenge and dismantle accessibility and accommodations barriers experienced by students within academia and higher education systems.

Beyond her advocacy and graduate work, Alyssa can be found cooking with her partner, tending to her many indoor plants, walking neighbourhood dogs, practicing Qigong, and exploring art through photography, painting, and sculpting.