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Investigator for the National Survey

Ms. Melanie Panitch has been a “founder” of the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson, first as Coordinator to develop the new program proposal and since 1999 as Director of the School. She was instrumental in attracting a lead campaign gift from the Royal Bank to establish the Institute for Disability Studies Research and Education, which she co-directs. For thirty years she has been an activist, advocate, researcher and educator, and has strong roots in the community living movement. She has designed and taught courses on human rights and disability at the Universities of Guyana and the West Indies. She has lectured at international conferences in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador and Uruguay. Throughout the nineties she was Coordinator of Social Development and Public Education at The Roeher Institute; she was also part of a research team examining disability-related policies in Canada. Her work focused on child care, literacy, violence and abuse, and care-giving from which she published numerous articles, chapters, reports and books. In 2000-2002 she was the Research Coordinator for the Liberated Learning Project (Ryerson site). Ms. Panitch has a Masters in Social Work and is completing a Doctor of Social Welfare (DSW) from Hunter College, School of Social Work, at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York.

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