OUR STORY

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At Accessibrand™, we truly believe that strength comes from adversity. So much so, we have built our business model on this belief. We describe ourselves as a disability collective. All of our team have lived disability experience and are proud inclusion advocates. We know this makes us stronger as individuals and agile in business. 

 

With our disability experience, we have the knowledge to help you expand your market – 22% of the Canadian population has some form of disability. We can help your business become more accessible and inclusive.

 

We are not looking for charity. We are skilled designers, writers, marketers, communicators and strategists. This is social enterprise!


We are ready to do amazing work to help your company reach its goals.

 

a group of phones, tablets and computers

Jolene MacDonald photo in black and white

JOLENE MACDONALD


FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR


Jolene is the Founder of Accessibrand™. For over a decade, she has known that people with disabilities needed a different work model to be able to give their full potential to their careers. 

 

Accessibrand™ is based on Jolene’s 20+ years of knowledge in the graphic design and marketing industry, as well as her 17 years as a successful entrepreneur and award-winning designer, creative director and illustrator. Top that all off with her own personal disability experience, and out comes an innovative model for a design, marketing and communications agency.

 

Jolene is an advocate, wife and mother of three. She has volunteered with Little People of Ontario, Rare Disease Foundation, and sits on the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee. She helps other parents advocate and find their voices.

 

CONTACT JOLENE

Jeff Percival photo in black and white

JEFF PERCIVAL


ASSOCIATE PARTNER/SALES

 

Jeff is well versed in the marketing communications industry. With over 17 years as owner of Jaz Visuals Solutions Inc. in Kitchener, his company changed the large format landscape with his innovative approaches, customer service and cutting edge equipment. Jeff has been a creative person since he was young and has many kudos to his 33 year career for both design and art. Jeff currently teaches part time at Conestoga College, completed training in accessible documents and brings great knowledge and customer service to Accessibrand.

 

CONTACT JEFF

Gillian Lynne-Davies photo in black and white

GILLIAN LYNNE-DAVIES


DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

 

Gillian has decades of experience developing, implementing and achieving strategic marketing and communications approaches for provincial and national level non-profits.

Gillian has been overseeing website development since 1995. She has written content for many websites, campaigns and e-newsletters. She is formally trained in integrated marketing digital strategy.

 
Gillian has a playful and creative approach to successfully deliver memorable campaigns. Her strength is in idea generation, taking a “go big or go home” approach to the execution of projects. She also has a strong background (over 20 years) in accessibility and inclusion.

 

CONTACT GILLIAN

Carlos Martins photo in black and white

CARLOS MARTINS


SALES & PROMOTION

 

Carlos is a relationship builder and an exceptional communicator. His 15 years of work in the employment field highlighted for him the difficulty people with disabilities can have in finding job placements. Most often, the typical work model of seven hours at a desk every day, simply does not work for many people with disabilities. Carlos is also a shark attack survivor and has a prosthetic leg, so he understands the difficulties some people can have.

 

Carlos knew people with disabilities could work – wanted to work – but the business model had to be different. He founded Tee Talent, a promotional company that was run and owned by people with disabilities. This business venture gave him invaluable marketing and sales experience. Tee Talent is now part of  Accessibrand, all under the one name.

 

Carlos is skilled in social media, including content development for YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. He has also created and delivered multiple workshops and events.
 

Carlos is bilingual, speaking both English and Portuguese (Brazilian).

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

Andrew Tutty photo in black and white

ANDREW TUTTY


TESTING/AUDITOR

 

After graduating from George Brown College and the CNIB Business Computing course, Andrew was involved with the use of personal computers and peripherals in the business environment. He has developed and facilitated employee Lunch and Learns, training for parallel systems, audited large financial institution’s computer systems for security compliance, tutored students at The Canadian National Institute for the Blind in the computer program and the list goes on!

 

Andrew has also sat on many boards and committees including; The Physically Handicapped Citizen’s Association, Halton Hills Accessibility Advisory Committee, and most recently sat on the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee where he met Jolene.

 

Andrew has Retinitis Pigmentosa but this hasn't slowed down his sense of humour or his dedication to helping others. Andrew is our lead auditor and tester at Accessibrand and he brings a wealth of knowledge to our team.

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

Tanya Murphy photo in black and white

TANYA MURPHY


ART DIRECTOR

 

Tanya brings 18 years of passion and dedication as an art director, and is known for her clean design solutions. She is a strategic creative thinker with a background in advertising and corporate identity, developing brand suites for local, national, and global accounts. She is proud be part of the Accessibrand team, leading the development of creative solutions for diverse, accessible, and inclusive design for our clients.

 

Tanya is a painter and photographer in her spare time, and is a passionate believer of the power of fine art and design to create positive change. She has Art Directed Toronto’s ReelAbillities Film Festival for the past six years, and lives in downtown Toronto with her wife and two children.

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

Sebastien Gemin photo in black and white

SEBASTIEN GEMIN


SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

 

Having been born four months premature, Sebastien had to be in an incubator, had too much oxygen, and ended up being completely blind in his right eye (retinopathy of prematurity) and legally blind in his left eye. He went through grade school and high school like everyone else despite his visual impairment and graduated from Conestoga College (Doon Campus) with a diploma from their Software Engineering Technician program four years ago.

 

He is also a huge car enthusiast - even though he cannot drive, he could probably tell you what car you drive without even noticing the badge up close.

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

Picture of Jessica Oddi in her wheelchair in black and white

JESSICA ODDI


DESIGNER & ILLUSTRATOR

 

Jessica is a disabled graphic designer in Canada with versatility to spare. She specializes in crafting pieces tailored to exceed the desires of her clients.

 

She undertakes projects on every scale — her work has even been featured in the New York Stock Exchange! She delivers quality designs with prompt turnarounds for clients in every industry, with a limitless and adaptable style.

 

Jessica is particularly interested in collaborations involving much needed representation, inclusivity and empowerment. You can find her on The Disabled List, and has also been featured in Canadian Women in Design. She also runs (or rather: rolls) The Disabled Life with her sister, Lianna. Her work is widely recognized and adored in the disabled community and makes an amazing team member for Accessibrand.

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

Alexandria Ditner photo in black and white

ALEXANDRIA DITNER


DESIGNER & ILLUSTRATOR

 

Alexandria is a recent graduate of the Graphic Design Advanced Diploma program at Conestoga College, where she also previously graduated from both the Media Foundations and Design Foundations programs.

 

She has a passion for industrial design, often applying those skills to fine woodworking and metal fabrication projects. Some of her passions are music, photography, anime and illustration.

 

What she doesn't talk about enough is her woodworking talents (she built an electric guitar and documented it for her thesis), illustrations and the fact that she is a stock car racer! Alexandria is the first to offer help and stay up way too late making sure she gets the job done just right!

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

Anna Moriarty photo in black and white

ANNA MORIARTY


DESIGNER & ILLUSTRATOR

 

Anna, also known as just Moriarty, is also a recent grad from Conestoga College's Graphic Design Program. Anna is passionate about design, helping others and making contributions to society through volunteering and has been involved with organizations in the past such as: WAYVE -Working Against Youth Violence Everywhere and Creative Day for Social Good.

 

Anna is also a talented illustrator and has experience in several fields of design based on her education. Having lived with dyslexia her entire life, she hopes to be able to help others having similar experiences through accessible design and advocacy.

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

 
 
 

Farshid Sadatsharifi photo in black and white

 

 

FARSHID SADATSHARIFI


OPERATIONS PROJECT MANAGER

 

Farshid is an entrepreneur, writer, project manager and unshakable optimist dedicated to ensuring that the communities he belongs to are working towards being more accessible for all. 

 

He was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP), which has given him a lifetime living with limited mobility, but - at the same time - a dream and passion for battling the barriers of an inaccessible world. He has joined the Accessibrand™ team to help with communications, content, projects and activities. 

 

Farshid is bilingual, speaking both Farsi/Dari and English, with some Arabic and French. He is a newcomer to Canada, having moved to Montreal in 2016 and then more recently to Kitchener-Waterloo. When he’s not busy working, you can find him riding his scooter around the Waterloo region exploring local cafes, podcasting, or enjoying quality time with friends and family!

 

 

 


CONTACT FARSHID

 

Jenny Novak photo in black and white

JENNY NOVAK


ACCOUNTS ASSOCIATE / HR MANAGER 

 

For many years, Jenny has been the owner and operator of her own wedding and event planning business, Simple Sunshine Events which is based out of the beautiful Muskoka region. Due to recent life changes, Jenny has decided to take a break from working on events and has now taken what she has learned as a planner and put these skills to use here. Being a planner, you need to be able to multitask, problem solve on the fly, have a thorough understanding of your clients needs. Her genuine empathy and compassion is the perfect fit for our team and for our clients. She is the organizer extraordinare! These components are vital to Accessibrand and to fulfill her role as Accounts Associate / Human Resources Manager.

 

Jenny oversees various behind the scenes operations such as invoicing, payments, timesheets, client payment plans, developing polices and procedures, and working alongside our managers and Founder. She is always willing to lend a hand to our team members and we are not sure what we would do without her!

 

In her spare time, Jenny enjoys being out on her boat fishing, hanging poolside with her family, going hiking on her property, painting, drawing and loves a good puzzle and a cup of coffee.  

 

CONTACT ACCESSIBRAND

Karen Harnock photo in black and white

KAREN HARNOCK


MARKETING MANAGER

 

Karen is a creative and analytical marketer who loves all areas of marketing, especially digital marketing and social media. She graduated from three marketing programs at Conestoga College, including the Business Marketing Diploma, Social Media Marketing Post-Grad Certificate, and Integrated Marketing Communications Post-Graduate Certificate.

Living with various disabilities, she knows that accessibility is essential for all marketing documents. She joined the Accessibrand team to help with various areas of marketing.

Outside of work, she loves playing Pokémon GO and other games. She enjoys listening to music and being out in nature to think of new creative ideas for various projects.

 

Dan Lajoie photo in black and white

DAN LAJOIE


ACCESSIBILITY SPECIALIST

 

Dan Lajoie is an award-winning advocate for inclusion and accessibility. He is a website accessibility and document remediation specialist. For over 25 years, he has worked with corporations and organizations from all sectors helping to develop their digital marketing platforms. As an individual with lived experience of disability, Dan understands the importance of ensuring that environments, both physical and digital, are accessible for all individuals. Dan’s professional and personal experience are an incredible asset to Accessibrand along with his dedication to his community.

 

Van Thompson photo in black and white

VAN THOMPSON


WRITER

 

Van Thompson studied English Language & Literature with an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing at the University of Western Ontario, and also holds a Diploma in Advertising Copywriting from Humber College. Diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and a Non-Verbal Learning Disorder at a young age, Van understands how disability can impact one’s life and wants to help make the world a more equitable place for all. When he’s not writing, Van can be found playing Tabletop Roleplaying Games, painting miniatures, or practicing his golf swing.

 

Mike Coles photo in black and white

MIKE COLES


DESIGNER & ILLUSTRATOR

 

Mike is in his third-year from Conestoga College’s Graphic Design Program. Mike is passionate about design and helping people in need. He has participated in organizations such as The Humane Society, Pride Toronto, Animal Shield and Camp Winston.

 

Mike has the talent of an illustrator and photographer, and has experience in various design fields based on his education. Having suffered a head injury in the past that has had lingering effects and suffers from learning disorders, he hopes to be able to help others having similar experiences through accessible design and advocacy.

 

Mike Coles photo in black and white

ED SHILLER


COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE

 

Ed Shiller is a get-things-done, problem-solving, strategic communications and marketing expert. His resolve to overcome challenges only increases as the stakes

get higher. Ed is an expert in media relations, public relations, marketing communications and crisis and reputation management. He consults for major corporations, governments, and non-profit organizations and is a trainer, workshop leader, college and university teacher, mentor, author, and publisher. Ed is also a former editor, reporter or stringer for the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, Reuters, Newsweek, the Sunday Times of London, the Toronto Star and dozens of other newspapers and magazines. His wealth of experience brings a bright light to Accessibrand and incredible opportunities for our clients.

 

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

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At Accessibrand™, we all acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Waterloo region is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
 
Our active work toward accessibility is also committed to raising awareness for our colleagues toward appreciating and respecting reconciliation and community-building.

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LET'S CHANGE THE WORLD TOGETHER

Contact us to talk about
your projects and get
to know who we are!

Headquarters located
in Waterloo Region
519-580-7967