Jewelles Smith Welcomed to CCD Staff

Today, Roxana Jahani Aval, Chairperson, and Shari Hildred, National Coordinator, announced that Jewelles Smith ( has joined the staff of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) as the organization’s first Communications and Government Relations Coordinator.  The Communications and Government Relations Coordinator is responsible for CCD’s related objectives in the general categories of monitoring, relationship management, communication and coordination.

“Ms. Smith brings to CCD a wealth of expertise on human rights, Canadian disability policy and legislation, the international United Nations human rights monitoring system and intersectionality,” stated Roxana Jahani Aval, CCD Chairperson. “In addition to her strong background in disability rights advocacy and experiential knowledge of disability, Ms. Smith is a scholar and academic researcher, who is completing her Ph.D.”

“Ms. Smith is an experienced policy analyst who employs a feminist disability and human rights lens to all her work,” stated Shari Hildred, CCD National Coordinator.  “Through her academic training in Gender Studies and Critical Disability studies, her work as a researcher investigating violence against women with disabilities, mental health services and inclusive research practices, and her experiential knowledge of disability, Ms. Smith has developed in-depth expertise in a wide range of areas affecting the disability community,” continued Shari Hildred.  “Ms. Smith is a trained disability human rights monitor through Disability Rights Promotion International at York University.”  

Ms. Smith is a highly regarded Canadian human rights expert.  The Government of Canada appointed Ms. Smith as a member of the Canadian delegation that took part in the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), which occurred in New York City in March 2019.  The disability community included Ms. Smith in the 2017 delegation that appeared before the UN Committee on the CRPD in Geneva for the first review of Canada.

“The Accessible Canada Act is a key piece of legislation that will be bringing down barriers for Canadians with disabilities.  The Act’s approach to intersectionality was influenced by interventions made by Ms. Smith with M.P.s and Senators and during Committee hearings on the Act,” stated Roxana Jahani Aval.  “In the coming months, Ms. Smith will be applying her feminist disability human rights lens to current initiatives promised by the Federal Government in the Throne Speech: a Disability Inclusion Plan, focused on a guaranteed income supplement for people with disabilities, an employment strategy, and a streamlined eligibility process for Federal benefits for people with disabilities.”

“CCD’s motto is “A Voice of Our Own” and Jewelles Smith will be assisting us to amplify our voice,” stated Heather Walkus, CCD 1st Vice Chair.  Ms. Smith is strong communicator who emphasizes open, respectful and democratic communication practices in all her work.”


For more information, contact:

Roxana Jahani Aval, Chairperson:

Heather Walkus, 1st Vice Chair:

Shari Hildred, National Coordinator:

About CCD

CCD is a national human rights organization of people with disabilities working for an inclusive and accessible Canada.


The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a social justice organization of people with all disabilities that champions the voices of people with disabilities, advocating an inclusive and accessible Canada, where people with disabilities have full realization of their human rights, as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) unites advocacy organizations of people with disabilities to defend and extend human rights for persons with disabilities through public education, advocacy, intervention in litigation, research, consultation and partnerships.  CCD amplifies the expertise of our partners by acting as a convening body and consensus builder.