Part Eight (VIII)

Inclusive pedagogies, evidence and activist practices

Chapter 26:

Zimbabwean disability activism from a higher education perch: an uncertain present but exciting future

Martin Musengi

Associate Professor

Martin Musengi is Associate Professor of Deaf, Special Needs and Inclusive Education at Great Zimbabwe University (for the last 14 years), where he was Chairperson of the Jairos Jiri Centre for Special Needs Education from 2015 to 2018. He is currently the Director of Quality Assurance and Academic Planning. He taught in a special school for the deaf for 15 years. He is a keen supporter of disability rights and has published 22 empirical studies in the field of Deaf Education and Zimbabwean Sign Language and has authored 16 book chapters and two books.

To learn more:

To access his academic works:

To read one of his articles: or

Watch a demonstration of Zimbabwean Sign Language:

Watch a Deaf Zimbabwe Trust sign language workshop:

Read about Deaf education policies in Zimbabwe:


Chapter 27:

Research as activism?: perspectives of people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities engaged in inclusive research and knowledge co-production

Ann Fudge Schormans

Associate Professor

Ann Fudge Schormans is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at  McMaster University (Ontario, Canada). She was a practicing social work for many years, working with people with intellectual disabilities in the Community Living and Child Welfare sectors. This practice background, combined with ongoing activist work and her experiences parenting her daughters with intellectual disabilities influence her teaching and research. She uses inclusive, co-researcher methodologies in her research work, along with arts-informed methods (such as forum theatre, documentary film-making, photography, and mapping). Much of this research has focused on issues that co-researchers with intellectual disabilities who have worked with her have identified as needing attention.

To learn more: 

To access an easy read version of her chapter:Easy Read Research as Activism

To find out about Ann Fudge Schormans’ work:

To access her academic work:

Kareem Elbard

Disability Activist

Kareem Elbard works in various capacities, promoting awareness about disability and in-timacy issues and supporting others labelled/with intellectual disabilities. He presented at an international conference on Disability and Diversity in Rome (2008). His presentation highlighted how supports, societal and institutional discrimination, form his possibilities as a disabled man in relation to employment, intimacy and health. As a co-researcher with the Re-imagining Parenting Possibilities Project, he interviewed key informants and people with lived experience of parenting and intimacy stories to share across Ontario; and participated in the development of forum theatre scenes as a means of sharing lessons learnt.

To Learn more:

The Re-imaging Parenting Possibilities:

To read an academic article:



Rainbow Hunt


Rainbow Hunt is recognised as a trans-activist and a person labeled/with an intellectual disability working to help bring awareness to the discrimination and isolation that trans and disabled people face. Rainbow is an experienced co-researcher with the Re-imagining Parenting Possibilities Project presenting in conferences, academic settings and to community organizations. Rainbow draws on personal experiences of intimacy and intimacy rights in her work as a peer facilitator, delivering workshops across southern Ontario on sexuality and disability. She coordinates events for isolated youths to network and learn about community resources.

To learn more:

The Re-imaging Parenting Possibilities:

Kevin John Head


Kevin John Head  is a self-advocate who recognises the importance of educating non- disabled people in order to work towards change. As a co-researcher with the My Life in the City Research Project, an arts- and technology-informed qualitative study looking at of how people labelled/with intellectual disabilities use and give meaning to their experiences of public city space, Kevin is very involved in sharing information about the research with a variety of audiences, in many different ways. He is particularly proud of the documentary the co-researchers have made, and is now actively involved in the creation of the project website.

To learn more:

My Life in the City Project:

Rex Marchi


Rex Marchi  has a job which he enjoys. He will have a pension when he retires which he is very happy about. Rex has been an active co-researcher with the My Life in the City  Research Project. The project is important to Rex because it has created opportunities for him to connect with other people and to make new friends. He contributed to the project by  sharing his experiences, helping to create the project’s artwork, and interviewing people during the making of the project documentary.

To learn more:

My Life in the City Project:


Tyler Henderson


Tyler Henderson  is a co-researcher with the Partnering for Change Research Project. He is an active member on many Hamilton (Canada) Councils. He actively engages in public speaking and workshops for youth audiences. Having faced adversity in his own life around issues of mental health and addiction, he is committed to supporting other youth in similar situations and give back to the community. To fulfill this commitment, he recently started in a Bachelor of Social Work programme.

To learn more: 

The Partnering for Change Project:


Nathan Gray


Nathan Gray is a member of the Voyager project, which aims to improve the  educational attainment of crown wards by encouraging young people in care to pursue their educational aspiration. He was also involved in directing a peer mentoring video. He is a rhythm and blues (RnB) singer. He is a co-researcher with the Partnering for Change Research  Project. He  hopes the knowledge generated from this research on the systemic barriers faced by homeless young people with learning, developmental or mental disabilities will reach a wider audience and inform change in policy and practices that serve this population.

To learn more:

The Partnering for Change Project:


Karrissa Horan-LaRoche


Karrissa Horan-LaRoche  is a co-researcher with the Partnering for Change Research Project. She is currently on the Social Planning Research Council Street Youth Planning  Collaborative Youth Leader’s Committee (Hamilton, Canada) whose goal is to improve the system that supports homeless youth. She is also working with a team of individuals to identify barriers in access to services that help youth find employment and find solutions to break down those barriers. She enjoys helping people and wants to enable equal opportunities for all people. Her future goal is to become a Child and Youth Worker in residential housing.

To learn more:

The Partnering for Change Project:


Donna McCormick


Donna McCormick has been a self-advocate for many years and actively involved in disability activism for people labeled intellectually disabled. She is a founding member of The PhotoChangers, a co-researcher group facilitated by Ann Fudge Schormans. As such, Donna has been involved in numerous presentations, exhibits and guest lectures of the group’s two projects: the first being a critical engagement with public photographic images of people la-beled/with intellectual disabilities, the second a photo project exploring issues of importance to people labeled with intellectual disabilities, including intimate citizenship, parenting, belonging, and employment.

To learn more:

About the PhotoChangers:

Romeo Dontae Tresean Biggz Pierre’s


Romeo Dontae Tresean Biggz Pierre’s passion is for the performing arts and trans- activism. He has co-presented and co-produced work in national and international  contexts. He has writ-ten and performed his own music at Pride and numerous arts and music festivals. He uses his experiences of growing up with an intellectual disability and being a trans man to inform his activism. Romeo brought his storytelling skills to his work as a co-researcher with the Re-imagining Parenting Possibilities Project, an Ontario-wide project  using a co- researcher model that explores the parenting experiences and aspirations of people labeled/with intellectual disabilities.

To learn more:

The Re-imaging Parenting Possibilities:


Sean Rowley


Sean Rowley has been a self-advocate for many years and actively involved in disability activism. He is a member of The PhotoChangers, a self-advocate research group facilitated by Fudge Schormans. This group’s most recent work uses photography to explore issues of intimate citizenship. Sean brought this knowledge to his work with the Making Space for Intimate Citizenship Project. Sean is also a co-researcher on the My Life in the City Research Project, and was involved in filming the project’s documentary, a documentary developed by the co-researchers with support from a film crew.

To learn more:

The Re-imaging Parenting Possibilities:

My Life in the City Project:

To learn more about other online projects:

Rightful Lives:


Chapter 28:

Reinventing activism: evidence-based participatory monitoring as a tool for social change

Marcia Rioux


Marcia Rioux is a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Health Policy and Management and teaches Critical Disability Studies, Health Policy and Equity at York  University in Toronto, Canada. She is the Director and PI of Disability Rights Promotion International, a multi-year group of projects to monitor disability rights (including employ-ment rights, indigenous rights, socio-political rights) nationally and internationally. She has recently developed Indicators under the CRPD and the SDGs that recognise the importance of the input of grassroots voices in the way we measure progressive realisation. She has been a member of the Order of Canada since 2014.

To learn more:

To read about Marcia Rioux: and

About Disability Rights Promotion International:

Who We Are

To access academic work:

Twitter: @DRPI_global

Paula Campos Pinto

Associate Professor

Paula Campos Pinto is an Associate Professor at the School for Social and Political  Sciences/ University of Lisbon, and a researcher at the Center of Administration and Public Policies and the Interdisciplinary Center on Gender Research. Since 2013 she coordinates the Observatory on Disability and Human Rights, a platform that brings together academics,  disability organizations and decision-makers to support disability research in Portugal. Member of ANED, an academic network of experts who conduct analyses of public policies affecting persons with disabilities at EU level, and research associate with Disability Rights Promotion International (DPRI), a worldwide initiative to monitor disability rights.

To learn more:

To read about Paula Campos Pinto’s work:

The Disability and Human Rights Observatory:

To access her academic publications:


Watch a video about DPRI and why it is important:

About ANED:

Rados Keravica


Rados Keravica was working for the United Nations Human Rights Team in Serbia as a human rights project associate, where he coordinated the joint United Nations project on the rights of persons with disabilities, autonomy, voice and participation of persons with disabilities in Serbia with the focus on legal capacity regime reform, empowerment of women and girls with disabilities and development of innovative models of employment of persons with disabilities. From 2011–2016, he worked for Disability Rights Promotion International as a Regional Officer for Europe. He is a Board Member of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and the President of the ENIL Youth Network. He is currently a researcher at the University of Leeds. 

To learn more:

To read about his current work:

To read articles:

To read academic articles:

European Network for Independent Living:

To watch a video:


José Viera


José Viera was born in Argentina. Blind since he was 8 years old, José says that My disability has never stopped me in developing all of my activities, it has only made me achieve my goals from a different view with the permanent support of my family and closest friendsJosé has a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a Masters Degree in Management of Development. Currently, José holds a post as a professor at a local Argentinean university in the Department of International Studies. He has recently completed a research project related to Strategies for Local Development and is now writing his PhD thesis on development. José has been President of the Blind Federation of Argentina. José began working for DRPI as Regional Officer in September 2011. He is currently the CEO of World Blind Union.

To learn more:

Watch or listen to a video about José Viera: 

World Blind Union:

Read his articles:


Disability Rights Fund: 

The United Nations and monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD):


Daganchew Wakene


Dagnachew (‘Dag’) B. Wakene has his first degree in Law (LL.B) from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; and his second degree is a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) majoring in Rehabilitation, Disability and Development, which he completed at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape, South Africa. Dagnachew has been working for the past ten years as a researcher, educator, projects coordinator and advocate locally, regionally and internationally with a particular focus on Inclusive Development, Human Rights and Law. While doing his Masters studies, he severed as a Research Assistant in an inter-regional, multi-partnership research initiative known as the African Policy on Disability and Development (APODD) – jointly led by the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies (CRS) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) of Ireland. Since 2011, he has been working as a Research Associate at World ENABLED – a non-profit initiative created by persons with disabilities based in Berkeley, California. Over the past two years, Dagnachew has actively been involved as a Campaign Associate in the ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda’ deliberations representing the disability cause and his continent at various regional and global fora, including the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) to the UNCRPD and the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, among others. He is also serving as a Board Member at the African Disability Alliance, formerly known as the Secretariat of African Decade of Persons with Disabilities.  Dagnachew is a Polio survivor.  His writings and other contributions on different topics related to disability can be accessed online.

To learn more:

Read about Dagnachew B. Wakene:


Read and listen to Dagnachew B. Wakene:

Access academic work:

Africa Disability Alliance: