Advisory Board

The Distinctability Advisory Board is formed from notable individuals in the Disability and Employment space across Canada and the UK.

The aim of the Board is to help advise and steer the Distinctability team with both our strategy and our services.

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Angela Hoyt, CEO of Evolution Group Inc

Angela Hoyt, CEO of Evolution Group Inc, has over 30 years of experience in the employment service sector as a job developer, director and consultant.

Angela is considered a subject matter expert in employer engagement and job development for persons with employment barriers.

Angela has her MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Royal Roads University. Her thesis research aimed to define the characteristics of successful Job Developers.

We are so pleased to have Angela on board as one of the supporting team.  Her influence and expertise, along with her reputation as one of Canada’s most prominent figures in the Job Development and Disability Employment field, will provide an essential reference and ear for our thoughts and ideas.

 

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Dave Banes, Assistive Tech & Inclusivity Consultant

Dave is an internationally recognised expert and adviser in the field of Assistive Technologies, working across the globe advising public and private sector organisations on technology options, and hard and soft “infrastructure”, from policy to practice.

Recent projects include the development of a response to disruptive innovation in the access industry, identifying solutions to meeting the needs of refugees with a disability, and building a business case for public investment in Assistive Technology, whilst supporting entrepreneurs to bring products and services to market. David supports those working in Assistive Technology through a series of publications and resources, all under open licence and free. These include “Voices” a magazine format dedicated to the thoughts and opinions of disabled people and those that support them.

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Gerry Moan, International Business Investor, Advisor, Coach and Mentor

Gerry Moan is an extremely well known entrepreneur and strategic business coach and mentor in Ireland and the US.

He is a much sought after adviser to many companies in Ireland and  is deeply embedded in the entrepreneurial community North and South.

Gerry has worked with Pete Bennett for many years on a variety of collaborations in educational technology and learning.

He has for several years been responsible for both investment and strategic support for Technology  and Assistive Technology services start-ups and initiatives both in Ireland and internationally.

 

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Sinéad Brophy, Digital and Social Entrepreneur

An award winning digital and social entrepreneur, CEO, NED and Health and Social Care specialist adviser. Proven success in leading digital transformations, large scale social impact programs and leading multi-million pound operations in both the public and social business sectors.

A respected thought leader, keynote speaker, disruptive business innovator and a passionate believer in using peer-to-peer services and technology to do good work while doing good business.

Sinead has founded successful tech led businesses in the UK and Australia in the field of disability and health an is an innovator and international leader in the field of “Peer to Peer” advisory support models in the sector.

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Stephen Hall, CEO Makaton

Stephen is the CEO for The Makaton Charity. He has recently featured in an extensive interview on BBC National News discussing the rising awareness and adoption of the Makaton communication language.

Stephen has a track record as a Board Director of other leading charities in the Disabilities and Learning Disabilities space, with a background in education and learning disabilities, and it is clear that this has been a golden thread throughout his career.

He is passionate about both education and supporting people with special educational needs and learning disabilities, and is a powerful national and international advocate for Makaton having a powerful role in influencing people’s lives and opportunities.

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Maralyn Ellis, Autism LifePath

Maralyn Ellis of Autism LifePath is one of the most active and visible figures in the Autism support space in Ontario, Canada.

For more than twenty years she has been helping people reach their potential in their preparation for employmnt and in their careers, working tirelessly to find solutions to tackle the high unemployment rate for young people with autism spectrum disorder.

She and her team are facilitating an ongoing Autism Job Club, a Getting Ready for Work program, and a new Hire Autism demonstration project.

Maralyn recently completed The Right Fit pilot study with Futures Found, helped put together Everyday Heroes, a short film on transitioning to employment, presented Dr. Temple Grandin in Halton, and spearheaded Hire Higher, an annual autism conference.

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Mudassar Khan, Inclusivity Advocate

Blind from birth, Mudassar Khan inherited an approach to work and to his disability that has astounded those who work with him but not those who know him!

He was the first out of five children to get a college diploma and after graduating immediately found part-time work, but wanted to work in the Human Resources field.

Entry level positions in Human Resources are far and few in between and opportunities are not always readily available, but undaunted his career and working path still moved significantly forward.

That career has seen a progression through a succession of part time roles and full time roles, 7 day a week working, to establishing his own Marketing Services Company and to his current work as a successful and prominent Business Advisor with The Royal Bank of Canada

He is a role model, advocate and speaker on disability and inclusivity matters.

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Rich Allen, Ed-Tech Consultant

Richard W. Allen, Ed.S. holds several graduate and specialist degrees in Psychology and Educational Leadership, Theory, and Policy, and has served as an educator for over 35 years. He is well known in the US for his influence as an educator and for his special interest an involvement in supporting initiatives around disabilities and neurodiversity.

His work as a Principal was featured in Eric Sheninger’s book, Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids(Corwin Press, 2016). He is a contributor to several educational books, and his innovative academic programming has been featured in several professional journals and on NJTV. News 12 NJ, CEO Chat, and on ABC TV’s show 7-Above & Beyond.

He is an Adjunct Professor at Brookdale Community College in the Humanities and Education Department. He is the founder and President of Rigor and Relevance, LLC, an educational consulting group, and the Co-Founder of DisruptED TV (www.disrupt-edtv.com) and serves as the Executive Director.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Music Hall of Fame for student with disabilities. He serves on the Advisory Board for Fablefy, an innovative company that brings mindfulness practices into the classroom.

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Karena de Souza, Strategist and Mindset Coach.

With an 18-year career on Wall Street behind her, Karena is Founder of Tilt the Future and FUTUREcasting, and is establishing a name for herself across Canada.

Quite simply Karena de Souza encourages the you to think differently – strategically and personally.

She works with employers , coaches, educators, and parents – developing their personal models for control and agency, especially in these uncertain times. She helps her clients search for  the opportunities or the people in a Future of Work that is technology reliant, and offers key mindset strategies for transitions to a new normal.

She recently launched a podcast ‘Tilt the Future’.  She is a sought after presenter at events serving both youth, educators and business and was a feature facilitator at the recent national Cannexus Conference.

We look forward to her contributions and support to the Distinctability team both internally and eternally.

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Daniela Wilson, Accessible Education Advocate.

Daniela has had a lifelong interest in supporting children with exceptionalities in the elementary school age group, with experience in both the private and public education sectors. She is actively engaged in supporting children inside and outside of the classroom promoting the transformative nature of education and the adoption of new technologies and psychosocial strategies in child development.

Daniela has created customized development activity programs for children of working parents and is a literacy coach for 4-10 year-olds.

She is an active member of the community in Peel Region, advocating for increased support for accessible education and is a member of the local school council.

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Kevin Wilson, Executive Director, Coalition for Persons with Disabilities.

Kevin has over 20-years experience as an educator, in research and leadership roles. He has spent the past 15 years supporting persons with disabilities, in particular, the removal of societal barriers and the creation of accessible environments.

He is currently the Executive Director for the Coalition for Persons with Disabilities, a non-profit organization supporting job seekers and employers in the area of accessible employment. A huge supporter of assistive technology, Kevin aims to encourage people to “re-think” living and working environments to see opportunities, not barriers.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of a Family Health Team medical practice in Peel Region.

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