Terry LeBlanc is an active advocate for accessible transit and housing. He first joined the Disability Foundation community as a sailor with Disabled Sailing Association of BC. He has since become more involved, most recently as Board chair for the Vancouver Adapted Music Society and ConnecTra.
Cody is a leading Canadian mouth-painter creating vibrant artworks for more than 30 years. He turned to Tetra when he wanted to improve on the artistic details of his works. In an interview with CBC he offered advice to those struggling on the journey: surround yourself with supportive friends and family, talk to others who have had similar experiences, and pursue a passion.
Kristina has been a musician since she first learned to use her voice. She studied music full time, busked and performed regularly. She was introduced to VAMS after her accident in 2008 and learned that a disability does not stop your ability to play music, it only changes it. Through VAMS she has worked with Canadian legends such as The Odds and Chin Injeti and found her own way back on the stage performing as a VAMS musician. She is committed to VAMS’ mission to help people regain their connection with – or introduce the magic of – music, and to support the organization in growing its program and capacity.
Art Jonker is a multidisciplinary artist and sits on the Boards for ConnecTra and Vancouver Adapted Music Society. In addition to helping guide the vision of the two organizations, Art also attends as many ConnecTra events even generously providing one of his artworks as this year’s Abilities Expo and Job Fair prize, and VAMS events. He believes in the importance of having an organization that stands for encouraging and facilitating social life, employment and entrepreneurism in the disabled community.
Certified through Royal Roads University, Ernest Joseph “EJ” is an executive coach working with a variety of unique individuals and teams from human rights to NHL coaches. He also works as an artist, teacher and has credited the integration of coaching, teaching and art (mainly film) to his success. Using an interdisciplinary approach has usually been EJ’s process and says that diversity in process, people and people’s processes lies somewhere within the perfect way. “The joy is exploring all the possibilities and listening to all the voices. It builds community and allows persons to feel included, responsible and happy with the changes and initiatives going on in that community”
E.J. spent most of his 20’s and 30’s travelling far from his birthplace in New Brunswick. North America, Europe, Asia and New Zealand where he worked as a PA and had an appearance on Xena Warrior Princess. After almost twenty years in the film industry his career was cut short by, at that time, an unknown degenerative condition of his optic nerve causing him to lose a lot of his vision. Integrating his skills as a leader in film and directing actors he discovered executive coaching because of it’s techniques and themes are similar in that trust is at the core of creativity and discovery. Along with coaching an NHL coach, infectious disease doctor and a CEO of a large government organization, EJ lends himself to Organizations like the CNIB, The David Suzuki Foundation and the Foundation of Glycosolation.
“My disability has serendipitously provided me with an ability to recognize options and turn them into opportunities that I can hopefully share or at least inspire others dealing with adversity” This ability he says is the way he is able to spot people’s gifts and talents then injecting them into a common vision for a team and Organization”.
Currently EJ is living in Victoria where he is back at Royal Royals enrolled in the Change Management professional certificate which will complete his Master of Arts degree.