Board of Directors
Meet the current DABC Board of Directors.
Jennifer Campillo is a peer support program coordinator at Richmond Mental Health Consumer and Friends’ Society (RCFC) and a freelance writer. She is passionate about advocacy for mental health and disability. She holds a Master of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature.
Sarah Cheung works for the BC Public Service and has a Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. In addition to being a lifelong learner, Sarah is passionate about human rights and the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Over the years Sarah has served on numerous committees, such as TransLink’s Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee, the City of Vancouver’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, and the Board of Directors for Cure SMA.
She is committed to advocating for persons with disabilities and hopes to use her experiences to improve the well-being of all individuals.
Pat Danforth (Past Chair & CCD Representative)
Pat Danforth has more than 30 years of governance and board experience in a wide variety of government and not for profit sectors. She is committed to embracing and leading change that makes a difference.
Pat has worked on rights based issues since becoming reliant on a wheelchair in 1970. She has taken a leadership role with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD). She represents the Disability Alliance BC on CCD’s board. She also volunteers on CCD’s Transportation Committee and is a member of its Human Rights Committee.
She is a founding mother of the Disabled Women’s Network [DAWN]. Pat’s career includes work for provincial and federal governments, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, as well as the Canadian Labour Congress. Her varied background includes the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission Board of Commissioners, Regina Health District Board, National Transportation Agency and CUPE National’s Disability Working Group. She has specialist knowledge of rights and disability issues, policies and programs.
Pat currently serves on a variety of committees including:
- BC Ferries Accessibility Advisory Committee,
- Chair, Disability Alliance BC,
- Transportation Committee and human rights committee, Council of Canadians with Disabilities,
- Working Group for development of Saanich Accessibility Committee
Past committee work includes Vice Chair, Accessible Transportation Advisory Committee, BC Transit and Member, Advisory Design Panel, District of Saanich.
Pat recognizes that volunteer work is essential in making a difference to the lives of people living with disabilities.
Tamara is a former Marketing Analyst turned Corporate Trainer who believes strongly in volunteerism, and active membership in the community. Tamara has been involved in a number of initiatives including committees for young professionals, outdoor organizations, a food recovery organization, and as a volunteer facilitator for VANOC in the year and a half leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Tamara holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University as well as a Train-the-Trainer certificate and Provincial Instructor Diploma from the School of Instructor Education at Vancouver Community College.
Tamara is proud to call Vancouver home and is looking forward to being able to contribute to the disability community through serving on the DABC Board.
Michelle Hewitt (Vice Chair)
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 committees at a provincial and national level, the Accessible Transit Working Group in Kelowna, and various projects through the Patient Voice Network. In Kelowna, Michelle has developed the Central Okanagan Disability Coalition (CODC) as a mechanism to inform disabled people about issues and opportunities available to them.
Prior to her disability, Michelle was a principal in School District 23.
Michelle lives in Kelowna with her Bernese Mountain dogs.
Pam Horton (Chair)
Pam was the first coordinator for this organization and moved us into our offices on West Broadway. She is
currently Vice Chair of the Board. Pam has served on municipal committees such as The City of North
Vancouver Adaptable Design Working Group and North Shore Coordinating Committee to End Violence Against
Women in Relationships. She has recently completed a term on the Integrated Transportation Committee for the
City of North Vancouver. She is presently the Vice Chair of TransLink’s Access Transit User’s Advisory Committee.
Pam lives in a purpose-built, fully accessible apartment in North Vancouver.
Johanna Johnson (Secretary)
Johanna is a special education and classroom teacher with a long history of volunteer involvement with the disability community through the BC Paraplegic Association, TETRA Society, and a support group for women with disabilities.
A member of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association, Johanna is passionate about education and health issues. She currently teaches Kindergarten at Nootka Elementary.
Johanna was the 2005 Courage to Come Back award recipient in the Physical Rehabilitation category.
After obtaining a BA in Anthropology, MA in Anthropology (Aboriginal Education), Certificate in Human Rights, Civil Law degree and Common law degree, Conni worked as a professional anthropologist for the Cree of Northern Quebec, 3 years as a lawyer in private practice, then spent 28 years in the labour movement in BC working for the 3 largest public sector unions, mostly as in-house legal counsel. During her labour time, she also taught at the Labour Studies Program for more than a decade and as a Labour representative on the BC Workers Appeal Board. She won the CLC’s Carole McGregor Award for Disability Rights Activism in 2013.
Conni’s last decade at CUPE was spent as an Equality rep, which was a bit of a cross between a human rights lawyer and a human rights organizer. She has been teaching various human rights courses (Accommodation of Disabilities in the Workplace, Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace, Bullying and Harassment in the Aboriginal Workplace (developed with an Aboriginal elder), and Human Rights in the Workplace. She has taught these courses primarily to joint union-management audiences across the country.
Since Conni’s “retirement” in April 2016, she has been facilitating courses (including 2 new courses: “Accommodating Medical Marijuana at Work” and “Labour and the Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation Process”), mediating human rights disputes, conducting policy audits and reviews, and assisting with human rights/diversity events. She is a volunteer facilitator at the Vancouver District Labour Council, a Director on the Surrey Food Bank, and enjoys travelling internationally.
Elizabeth Lalonde, mother of two young sons, has extensive personal and professional experience in the field of blindness and disability issues. Ms. Lalonde, blind since birth, founded the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind – a grassroots, empowering organization that teaches blind people independence skills – run entirely by blind people; she is now the director of this Centre.
In 2010, Elizabeth completed a nine-month intensive blindness immersion training program including Braille, travel with the long white cane, adaptive technology, industrial arts, cooking and other life skills at the Louisiana Center for the Blind in Ruston, Louisiana. This training center is world-renown for its positive approach to blindness; its problem-solving, or structured discovery teaching method; and its promotion of complete independence for blind people.
Elizabeth served as president of the Canadian Federation of the Blind for nine years and has been an advocate and mentor in the blindness and disability communities for over 25 years. She completed a course called EntreActive, a self-employment program for persons with disabilities run through Business Victoria, and taught grant-writing for this organization. She served as president of the Society for Students with a Disability for three years, where she organized several awareness and advocacy-related events and activities.
She earned a BA in journalism and anthropology from the University of Victoria and worked for several years as a communications coordinator for the Province of British Columbia.
Elizabeth has a positive, can-do attitude and strongly believes in the importance of promoting a positive approach to disability and the abilities of all people with disabilities.
Jill Stainsby (Treasurer)
Jill Stainsby has been involved with mental health services since age 5 when her mother was diagnosed with a mental illness, and she was herself similarly diagnosed in her early twenties. After completing a Masters at SFU in Women’s Studies she was employed by Riverview Hospital for five years and then by the Vancouver Community Mental Health Services for six years. She was the recipient of the 2003 Courage to Come Back Award for Mental Health from Coast Foundation.
In the spring of 2006, Jill completed a Masters of Social Work Degree at UBC and then briefly taught in the Thompson Rivers University Human Services Program in Lillooet, followed by terms in Prince Rupert, Abbotsford and Chilliwack. She is now on leave from the Fraser Health Authority and is living in Lillooet where she volunteers with the local Friendship Centre. She has built a cabin there, and has settled into it happily.
Jill has enjoyed being a member of the DABC Board and working with DABC’s staff, volunteers, membership and other community activists, and hopes to continue to do this.