tools representing house constructionLaw professor Tess Sheldon will talk about the right to housing for people labelled with intellectual disabilities during a webinar Friday.

Housing for people with developmental disabilities subject of webinar

A free webinar Friday, April 29, will explore housing design for people with developmental disabilities.

Tess SheldonLaw professor Tess Sheldon, who specializes in disability and human rights law, will be a panellist at the online event. She will discuss what the right to housing means for people labelled with intellectual disabilities.

“There is a really important step to narrow the gap between law on the books and law in action,” said Dr. Sheldon. “So often policies get made and tools get crafted but there’s no follow through.”

The webinar is the last in a series funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. It’s part of a project led by University of Toronto professor Yani Hamdani that Sheldon has been part of for the past year.

Dr. Hamdani’s research group has founded SHEDD, short for Successfully Housing Elements and Developmental Disabilities. The group has developed tools that can be used by architects, administrators and managers, frontline support workers, therapists, and others who design housing for or care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Funding through SSHRC allowed for the development of a website to share the group’s research, and the webinars to discuss ways to put those principles into practice.

Sheldon, who spent much of her professional career advocating with and for people with disabilities, said access to appropriate housing is paramount for this population.

“Housing is one of the most important social determinants of health, so this project is all about how to make these changes on the ground.”

The webinar will take place over Zoom and runs noon to 1:30 p.m.

To learn more about the webinar and to register, visit the SHEDD registration site.

—Sarah Sacheli

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