Photo illustrant une équipe chercheurs-partenaires au travail

News from two Inclusive Society projects

Inclusive Society informs you about our ongoing projects. Thanks to our teams of researchers and partners! We wish you successful continuation.

February 10, 2020

Co-construction of a Community-based Adapted Dance Class for Children Living with Cerebral Palsy: Breaking Down Barriers

Principal investigators: Sylvie Fortin and Martin Lemay

Partners: Les Studios des Grands ballets canadiens

As part of a research project funded by Inclusive Society, dance classes were offered at Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre, during fall, to a group of 10 teenagers living with cerebral palsy. Under the research direction of Sylvie Fortin, Martin Lemay, the objectives of the program we’re co-defined by the youth involved, their families as well as rehabilitation and dance specialists. Among these objectives: to move, to have fun, and to connect with others.

The project was part of a larger research initiative funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec, whose goal was to offer dance to people for which access to dance is limited (adults with physical disabilities receiving rehabilitation services, women who experienced homelessness, people living with Parkinson, children living with neuro-visual disorders, etc.). On December 8, 2019, all participants meet to share their experiences at les Studios des Grands Ballets Canadiens, the main partner of the research project. The event was a huge success with more than 200 persons present.

An article documenting the challenges and obstacles of the program’s co-construction process is being written. The main challenge today is to find a way to maintain the program, which is greatly appreciated by the youth and their families. In this regard, the National Centre for Dance Therapy of Les Grands Ballets is offering this winter dance classes to youth living with cerebral palsy, a promising first step toward a better access to dance classes for youth living with disabilities.

A video about the experience of two young dancers is now available on the web site La Fabrique

December 7, 2018

Reflecting and Acting Together about Training and Awareness

An initiative aiming at a more inclusive society for persons with functional limitations

Principal investigators: Annie Rochette and Patrick Fougeyrollas

Partners: AQLPH, Kéroul, Fondation Mirella et Lino Saputo, Formation AlterGo, RIPPH, OPHQ

The project focuses on training and awareness activities regarding people with disabilities. Based on a participatory approach, the project has two consecutive phases: 1) an environmental scan of training and awareness activities targeting the general perception about people with disabilities, 2) a strategic planning.

On October 26, 2018, the research team marked an important milestone with the presentation of the results from the environmental scan. The scan aimed at gaining a global and accurate portrait of the training and awareness activities currently offered in Quebec, in order to inform the strategic planning. Jacqueline Roberge-Dao, PhD student in rehabilitation sciences at McGill University, who collected the data during the summer and the fall, presented the key results. She conducted 45 interviews and identified 129 activities (71 training activities and 58 awareness activities).

The partner’s reactions were very positive:

“These data are very rich. They will be useful for this research project, but for our organisations as well, to help guide our actions.”

– François Bellerive, Association pour l’intégration sociale-région de Québec

Further analysis of these data will be carried out in Phase II of the project, yet they already reveal an underrepresentation of municipalities as a targeted public, which is pretty disappointing considering that cities are key actors to foster social inclusion of people with disabilities. This is also true for government departments and public organisations: there is, it seems, a lot of work to be done in this regard.

What is to come promises to be highly stimulating! The strategic planning phase was launched with a first working session on November 23. Supported by two mentors, Lara Evoy and Judith Gaudet, the team will have to draft an Intended Impact statement and a Theory of Change: what is the impact we want to achieve? How are we going to achieve it? How are we going to measure our success?

“The challenge for us is to be able to go beyond the missions of our organisations and to set common priorities.”

– Lise Roche, Fondation Mirella et Lino Saputo

 The whole team and its collaborators will be taking up this great challenge in Winter and Spring 2019.


December 7, 2018

Improving the quality of life and social participation of people with disabilities: identifying needs to integrate in mobile applications

Principal investigators: Dahlia Kairy and Mir Mostafavi

Partner: Catherine Blanchette-Dallaire,

The research project is centered on the idea of ​​access to information for people with disabilities through the development of new technologies. It aims to develop a mobile application, linked to the Website (the main partner of the project), which will help users to have the most relevant information, at the right time, to enable them to make choices that will optimize their social participation.

To do so, Soukaina Paquin, professional master’s student in physiotherapy at the Université de Montréal, took care of the data collection, thus identifying 1) The barriers and facilitators to the social participation of people with disabilities as well as the needs of potential users of the tool and 2) Identifying features to be included in a mobile application.

To this end, Soukaina has already completed and transcribed 11 interviews; 10 with people with disabilities, the majority of whom have motor disabilities and are using a manual wheelchair, and another interview with a gym owner. The next step for Soukaina will be to interview caregivers.

Since she must complete her master’s project in April 2019, 4 other students, students directed by Barbara Mazer and Dahlia Kairy, respectively researchers at McGill University and at the Université de Montréal, will take over and continue the project based on the results analyzed by Soukaina.

From these results, the 4 students will work in partnership with Catherine Blanchette-Dallaire, founder of the Website, and Mir Mostafavi, researcher at Laval University and his students in engineering and programming. Their role will be to create, from an iterative process, interactive models (examples of mobile applications) and to verify, with the people interviewed previously, which integrated functionalities are helpful and which ones need to be modified.

Furthermore, last November, two team members, Catherine Blanchette-Dallaire and Mir Mostafavi, presented the project at les entretiens Jacques-Cartier in Bron, France

The whole team will then meet before the holidays to plan the next steps of the project.