An activist with a vision of a Canada which makes room for women with disabilities and Deaf women where they have been otherwise excluded.

Did you know that women and children with disabilities form the largest minority group in the world? Indeed, according to a 2010 World Health Organization report, this group is more than half a billion strong. Quebec’s Bonnie Brayton is well aware of those numbers and has been waging a campaign for inclusion rights for Canadian women with disabilities.

Ms. Brayton, a strong leader in both the feminist and disability movements, has been the National Executive Director of DAWN-RAFH Canada (DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada) since 2007 when she established a national head office in Montreal. This national, cross-disability feminist organization has focused on advancing the rights of women with disabilities and deaf women in Canada and Internationally for the past 30 years.

During her tenure with DAWN Canada, Ms. Brayton has worked diligently to highlight key issues that impact the lives of women with disabilities in regards to healthy equity, housing, employment and violence. For example, she has strongly promoted the representation of women with disabilities in policy changes from the employment sector to the justice sector, and is at the forefront of addressing systemic barriers at all levels.

Ms. Brayton’s commitment to women with disabilities spreads further than her office. She is also the President of Coup de Balai – Clean Sweepers, an innovative social economy organization providing home care services to people with disabilities and seniors in her Montreal community while creating employment, income and job security for women who were previously unemployed (primarily, immigrant and racialized women).

Bonnie Brayton credits her leadership success to being passionate about and inspired by her cause and the women who benefit from her tireless work. As she says, being able to push for what you know is right is fun (most days!) Learn from Ms. Brayton’s wisdom and experience at the conference as talks about overcoming roadblocks, listening to advice and, when it comes right down to it, going with your gut.

How often have you been asked how (or whether) you achieve work-life balance? In a candid conversation we will give audience to Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne, DisAbled Women’s Network Executive Director, Bonnie Brayton and Climate Change scientist, Dr. Catherine Potvin as they discuss the questions, “do we need work-life balance or can we strive for blend?”