Board of Directors
Elaine imigrated with her family from Ireland in 2008. The Keenan's initially lived in Vancouver, B.C. and in 2011 moved to Toronto, Ontario. Elaine is the mother of four children, three of whom have been identified as having dyslexia.
Elaine joined the board of the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association in 2012, and in May 2015 she was elected President. Elaine is also a founding member of Dyslexia Canada.
Given Elaine’s personal experience seeking services and advocating for her own family, she understands what needs to be done in Canada to better service the needs of Canadians dealing with dyslexia.
Keith is a retired executive of the TD Bank and is dyslexic himself. He is also retired from a number of corporate and volunteer boards. He is past chair of the Ontario Judge's Pension Board and an Honorary Life Governor of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.
Stuart is a Canadian serial entrepreneur founding eight companies over the past two decades. As someone with Dyslexia himself, Stuart understands the challenges that those with Dyslexia face early on in their educational and throughout their lives. Stuart is currently Chief Executive Officer of FIRST Insurance Funding of Canada and an active member of the insurance industry in Canada.
In 1995 Stuart obtained an Honors Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. In 2001 Stuart obtained a Chartered Accountant designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Stuart has been a member of the Canadian National Sailing Team competing at the national and international level and was a member of the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team for the 1992 games.
Christine van de Vijsel, M.Ed.
Christine is certified as a Reading Clinician by the Province of Manitoba. Prior to her clinical assignment with The Winnipeg School Division, Christine taught elementary grades 2 - 6 for many years. She continues to enjoy working in private practice as a reading clinician, language therapist, and dyslexia specialist for and with children with reading, writing and spelling challenges. She has pursued extensive specialized training in the area of specific learning disability in reading or ‘dyslexia’. Christine a certified instructor in the Hill Learning System which specializes in teaching individual lessons within a group setting. Christine has earned her Dyslexia Specialist Certificate from Adam State University, Colorado. She has been certified by the International Dyslexia Association as a Tier 3 Dyslexia Therapist.
Christine is also the co-founder of Dyslexia Champions of Manitoba, Inc., a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights children and their families to fair and equitable access to effective education, and that supports teachers through professional development opportunities which are evidence-based effective best practice for teaching children with learning differences.
Corey has been in the field of education for over 25 years. She has taught in colleges, elementary schools, private clinics and community facilities. Corey is a regular conference and workshop presenter world-wide. Since specializing in the field of learning difficulties and multi sensory language remediation using the Orton-Gillingham approach, Corey has served on several non-profit boards in executive, board and advisory positions. She holds a Masters of Education degree from SFU, a Provincial Instructor’s Diploma, and has been recognized and accredited as an Orton-Gillingham Master Trainer for the Canadian Orton-Gillingham Academy (MT/ CATT, OG), an Honorary Fellow of the American OG Academy (HF/ AOGPE) and a Certified Dyslexia Therapist through the International Dyslexia Association (CDT/IDA). Corey lives in North Vancouver, Canada and is the daughter to a person with dyslexia, as well as a parent to a son with dyslexia.
Raffaela is an Ontario physician and mother of 2 children with dyslexia. In her personal experience advocating for her own children and seeking evidence based interventions, Raffaela has come to realize that more needs to be done across Canada in this regard. She is passionate that every child with dyslexia be given equal opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential.
Sheriden as studied extensively in the areas of aboriginal history and law, principled negotiation, multi-party consensus building, mediation and cross-cultural peace building, both at the internationally recognized International Conflict Research Institute at the University of Ulster (INCORE), Northern Ireland, and at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) where she earned a Master of Laws (ADR) degree in 2004.
Since 1988, Sheriden has worked across the country with federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations governments in advancing and resolving historic treaty, land claims, and human rights disputes, including as the convener and mediator of the inaugural Treaty Discussion Forum between the Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Canada.
As the Senior Director, Aboriginal Relations and Land Use, AMEBC Sheriden was instrumental in the development of the Aboriginal Engagement Guidebook for Mineral Explorers (2014). As the Program Director for Resource Development and Land Use for the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, Sheriden led many national initiatives on federal, territorial and provincial regulatory and legal issues affecting the mineral exploration industry. Sheriden played a pivotal role in the development of Ontario’s Mining Act aboriginal consultation policy, advocating clarity on the duty to consult and accommodate during early exploration.
Sandra holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree, in curriculum studies, elementary education from the University of Alberta. She was supervised by D.J. Clandinin. The title of Sandra’s doctoral dissertation is Literacies and Three Women's On-Going Stories to Shift Identities: A Narrative Inquiry (2012). This research inquired into the shaping influences of dyslexia on identity. Prior to commencing her doctoral work, she owned and operated The Wingate Literacy Clinic. She used the multisensory language remediation approach of Orton-Gillingham when working with students struggling to learn to read. Presently, Dr. Jack-Malik is an assistant professor in the
Department of Education at Cape Breton University; she teaches English Language Arts and curriculum studies courses. Sandra is a member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians, Cape Breton Branch. Sandra is blessed in that she lives, works and plays in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Sandra is mother to two adult daughters.
Dr Rachel Engler-Stringer
Dr Rachel Engler-Stringer is an associate professor in Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan who does research on nutrition inequities. She is also the mother of two children with dyslexia. The social determinants of health are central to her research and teaching and they have now become the lens through which she views advocacy for children and adults who have dyslexia. She firmly believes that as a society if we can ensure everyone has access to education that meets their needs then many social problems can be prevented.