Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Self Advocacy: Your voice matters

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About Event


Self-advocacy is important in educating others about your needs and empowering yourself to achieve your goals, whether it is to get information, change legislation and policy, or to obtain a service. We understand being a self-advocate can be a stressful and overwhelming process, especially for those living with a disability. This webinar will provide information and guidance on how to be an effective self-advocate, including advocating for yourself through government channels and the medical system.

The session is hosted by the MS Society of Canada. It is offered free of charge and is funded in part by the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

Date: Wednesday, October 21st 2020

Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm PST


This webinar topic is open for all. Registration is FREE!

Click here to register:

You can also register by calling 1-800-268-7582 ext. 7248



Linda McGowan, Ambassador for the MS Society

Linda McGowan has been a long-term volunteer with the MS Society of Canada Lower Mainland Chapter. She has been a member of the Shared Voices newsletter committee since 1995. As a contributing writer, she educates readers on current MS research and treatments and offers information about activities in the community, encouraging people with MS to be “out and about”. Linda is a strong advocate for people with disabilities. As the Community Outreach Liaison for First Transit, the provider of HandyDART Services in Metro Vancouver, she is a critical link to TransLink. Linda provides effective two-way communication on transportation options and management of quality of life issues for the disabled community. She speaks as an ambassador for the MS Society, and promotes accessibility both at home and around the world. Linda is the recipient of the 2012 Division President’s award.


Denise Kendrick, Occupational Therapist at University of British Columbia MS Clinic

Denise Kendrick, OT Reg (BC) is an occupational therapist (OT) and graduate of the Master of Occupational Therapy program, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the University of British Columbia. She has spent the last 5 years developing a student-enhanced OT program in the UBC Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinic. With the help of more than 30 students, Denise has harnessed the intersection between her clinical practice and research work to develop OT programs built upon the principles of self-efficacy. These programs provide clients with the tools and strategies needed to effectively self-manage their MS and mitigate the impact of symptoms on their daily life. Denise also holds a position as Clinical Assistant Professor within the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy which has provided opportunities to teach and supervise students in a classroom learning and research capacity. She considers herself lucky to work in this unique role where she learns every day from her research, clients, and students, and applies this into practice to help improve daily function for persons with MS.


Mary Lang, Social Worker at University of British Columbia MS Clinic

Mary Lang, Social Worker has a Master’s of Social Work from UBC. Mary is new to the M.S. clinic at UBC, with an exstensive experience in Mental Health and Addictions, Individual, Couple and Family Therapy, through many work settings in health Care and private practice. Mary has received much training outside of her University Education. Over the past 10 years she has encorporated Mindfulnes into her work and had lead many groups such as Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression.She is enjoying the opportunity of integrating her years of experience with her clients who have M.S.


Michelle Hewitt, Ambassador for the MS Society

Michelle is a long-time ambassador for MS. Diagnosed in 2008, Michelle deals with an aggressive type of MS that limits her daily activities to mornings, before fatigue sets in. Winner of the MS Society Advocacy Award and Kelowna’s 40 over 40, Michelle is an active member of the MS community and is the administrator of a Facebook group for Canadians with MS. Advocating for MS is extremely important to her, as is letting people with MS know that they are not alone. She says she has found a new life in advocacy, and is currently the volunteer lead of the BCY MS Society Government Relations Committee and a member of the National Government Relations committee. Michelle is currently working on her PhD, researching care for working age people with progressive chronic illnesses - and away from that, she spends all her time with her two Bernese Mountain dogs Busy...busy…

Host Speaker:


Ray Miller, Ambassador for the MS Society

Maintaining an active lifestyle In whatever way I can has been one of my most important habits while living with #MyMS.” ~Ray Miller

Ray was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2003. Volunteering with the MS Society since 2009 in various roles from fundraising event organizing committees and as an ambassador for the MS Society, Ray shares what life has been like since being diagnosed with MS. Ray has been an advocate for living an active life with MS. After learning to run, he has completed several running races and triathlons of varying distances while raising awareness of Multiple Sclerosis to provide an example to others who are with diagnosed with MS that an active life does not stop after diagnosis.

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