“One of the core objectives of the CDPA is to train future scholars in disability policy who will carry on the legacy of the CDPA well beyond its funding cycle.”

Children in a classroom using sign language

The CDPA has built capability by engaging students in several ways:

  • Student research assistants: We have hired more than 20 graduate and undergraduate students to act as research assistants on the teams.  These students have participated in every aspect of the research and knowledge mobilization, and gained experiences that are invaluable to them as they pursue both their academic and professional careers.  We have been extraordinarily fortunate in attracting high calibre students from a variety of different backgrounds (eg., English Literature, Engineering, Gender Studies, Geography, Sociology, History), several of whom have gone on to pursue disability-related graduate work or employment.  All have developed a commitment to disability and equity that will influence their future endeavours.
  • Scholarships:  From 2009 – 2014, we annually awarded scholarships to support graduate students conducting research on topics compatible with our goals.  Eligible students presented their work to the Alliance and participated in the knowledge mobilization activities of the CDPA.  **This was a five year program with support from SSHRC. Unfortunately, there will be no future calls for scholarships as the SSHRC funding cycle is now complete. For information about our scholarship recipients and their research supported by the CDPA, click here.
  • Classroom teaching:  A number of CDPA investigators are university faculty who have teaching responsibilities that overlap with the mandate of the CDPA.  Eleven courses have been developedon disability policy and disability issues at the four participating universities (Queen’s, UBC, U Regina and McMaster) as well as guest lectures at other universities (U Laval, U Western Ontario, York U).
  • Grad student supervision and support:  Investigators contribute to graduate supervision in their respective university departments for students with programs of research connected to the goals of the CDPA. They also act as comprehensive examiners or thesis examiners for students whose research is associated with disability policy or disability issues.
  • Development of international certificate program:  With leadership from the CDPA, a program entitled Global Health & Disability Studies was developed for undergraduate students from more than 20 universities around the world at the Bader International Studies Centre in Herstmonceux, England.