By: Brooke Downey
The third woman we are highlighting in our Toronto the Just series is Fran Odette (1962-). We are honouring Odette for her lifelong commitment to exploring the intersections of gender and disability.
While a student at Carleton, she was the only one in her program with a visible disability. At the time, there was a lack academic work and literature discussing how gender and disability relate. Odette continued her work in this area by joining the DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) which spurred a commitment to both understanding the barriers that exist and working on ways to dismantle them.
Odette has served on a number of different boards and agencies across the city, working on supporting and understanding the intersections between gender, disability, and sexuality especially when as it relates to violence against women. Currently she is a faculty member of George Brown College. You can learn more about Odette’s work in the book she co-authored with Miriam Kaufman – The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability.
Portrait by Emma Jenkin