Tanis Doe Award

Named after activist and professor Tanis Doe, the CDSA-ACÉH Tanis Doe Award was first awarded in 2009. The award honours individuals who dare to “speak the unspeakable” while advancing the study and culture of disability, and whose research, teaching, and/or activism has enriched the lives of Canadians with disabilities. Though not necessarily awarded each year, up to two Tanis Doe Awards may be offered in a given year recognizing both an English recipient and Francophone recipient. 

Dr. Tanis Doe did innovative work on participatory action research, disability, abuse, women, employment, assistive technology, and advocacy. She was a professor of Social Work and Disability Studies at the University of Victoria, and taught at Royal Roads University, Ryerson University, and the University of Washington – where she was a 2003 Fulbright Scholar in Bioethics. She conducted research for innumerable organizations in both Canada and the United States, and acted as a consultant for organizations world-wide.

A Métis (Ojibway/French Canadian) Deaf woman with other disabilities as well, Tanis Doe was widely respected as a disability rights advocate and educator. Active in disability, queer, and feminist movements internationally, Tanis provided leadership training and personal mentorship to untold numbers of scholars and advocates across North America.

In Tanis’ words (1998), “Most of the non-disabled people who are afraid of the Otherland, or the nightside, haven’t been there much. Those most afraid include doctors, parents and close friends of people who have visited…We resist the definition that Otherlandishness is necessarily less preferable…For those of us who live (and breath) Disability Culture or Deaf Culture, the “nightside” can actually be FUN! Some of us like the Otherland, but it is the dominant perception that this Otherland is less desirable and therefore to be avoided. Our children with disabilities are learning that their lives have value, and that they have something to offer to those not experienced in our ways of being, orientation to Otherland.”


  • Nominees for the Tanis Doe Award must be Canadian or Permanent Residents who work in Canada.
  • Any individual (or group) can submit a maximum of one nomination for the award  in any award-cycle year.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted. 
  • There may be two recipients of the award each year recognizing an Anglophone and a Francophone. 

Letters of Nomination should be 1-3 pages in length and include the following:

  1. Name and contact information for the person submitting the nomination.
  2. The nominee’s: 
    • Name
    • Affiliation
    • E-mail
    • Phone number
    • Complete mailing address 
  3. Relevant information about the nominee’s research, teaching, art, service, or advocacy achievements that merit consideration.
  4. A brief biographical sketch of the nominee.

Nominations will be adjudicated on the following criteria:

  • Research and connection to disability justice and scholarship.
  • Teaching and scholarship in disability studies and related areas.
  • Engagement in advancement of equity and disability justice.
  • Achievement within disability studies communities or disability justice movements.

Award Recipients

The winner of the 2021 Tanis Doe Award will be acknowledged at the 2021 CDSA-ACÉH conference and will receive:

  • 2021 CDSA-ACÉH Conference registration fee (applicable only if the recipient attends the conference).
  • Membership in CDSA-ACÉH for 2021-2022.
  • Invitation to submit a paper to peer-review for the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies for possible publication in the journal.
  • Invitation to write an article for the CDSA-ACÉH Newsletter.

Nominations for 2020 Tanis Doe Award

Please send your nominations to cdsa.aceh@gmail.com. The deadline for nominations is March 21, 2021.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2019: Pamela Cushing, King’s University College at Western University
  • 2018: Esther Ignagni, Ryerson University
  • 2017: Gregor Wolbring, University of Calgary
  • 2016: Shelley Tremain, non-affiliated
  • 2015: Patricia Seth and Marie Slark, non-affiliated
  • 2014: Tanya Titchkosky, University of Toronto
  • 2013: Marcia Rioux, York University
  • 2012: Roy Hanes, Carleton University
  • 2011: Jerome Bickenbach, Queens University
  • 2010: Heidi Janz, University of Alberta
  • 2009: Diane Driedger, University of Manitoba/Independent Living Canada

Past Francophone Tanis Doe Award Recipients

  • 2019: Marie-Eve Veilleux, University of Montreal
  • 2017: Normand Boucher, Laval University
  • 2016: Laurence Parent, Concordia University
  • 2015: Patrick Fougeyrollas, Laval University