Siblings Canada

Siblings Canada Panel: Unloved – Disability, Siblings and Institutionalization

April 04, 2023
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT

Many of us think of institutionalization as a thing of the past and that people with disabilities are no longer at risk of the cruelty, isolation and harm.  But is this true?

Institutionalisation may look different but it is alive and well. People living with disabilities, especially as they age or during transitions, may find institutionalisation in various forms is a reality.

Join is on Tuesday April 4, 2023 at 7 p.m. EST for a conversation about modern institutions and how to ensure the safety of people with disabilities in their living environment.

This discussion will be framed in light of the documentary “Unloved: Huronia’s forgotten children” by Barri Cohen, filmmaker and sibling of two brothers with disabilities institutionalized at the Huronia Regional Centre (HRC) in Orillia in the 1950s.

About the participants:

The discussion will be moderated by:

Liv Mendelsohn is the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence. Over the course of her career, Liv has founded and helmed several organizations in the disability and caregiving space, including the Wagner Green Centre for Accessibility and Inclusion at the Miles Nadal JCC, which she led for seven years, and the ReelAbilities Toronto Film Festival, where she served as founding artistic director.

Panellists include:

Barri Cohen is a veteran award-winning producer, director, writer, mentor and cultural, disability, and health social justice activist based in Toronto. She’s a passionate enabler and mentor to diverse talent, and a co-founding member of Hot Docs International Documentary Festival.

 Patricia Seth is a disability advocate who has spoken out about disability rights and the history of Huronia. She gives presentations at universities & organizations throughout Canada. Patricia was a Representative Plaintiff in the HRC class action. She believes in the importance of justice for all Huronia survivors.

Marilyn Dolmage is a sister, parent, writer, consultant and advocate. She works alongside people with disabilities and their families to end segregation, promote effective inclusion and create new support relationships. She was a Litigation Guardian in the class action concerning abuses at Huronia Regional Centre,  where she had once been a social worker.

Helen Ries is the co-Founder of Siblings Canada and a sibling of a person with a disability.