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The 17th Annual BRI Symposium

Rethinking Childhood Disability: Imagination, Innovation, Inclusion

The Bloorview Research Institute is pleased to host the 17th Annual BRI Symposium on Monday, November 14th.

Held virtually this year, Canada’s largest hospital-based research conference on pediatric disability will shine a bright light on how scientists, researchers and trainees are advancing this field through ground-breaking research, discovery, innovation, family engagement and action.

The symposium has been generously sponsored by the Ontario Brain Institute and SADA (Bronze Partner).


Register now

Thanks for your interest in attending the 17th annual BRI Symposium. The symposium will be held virtually this year on Pheedloop, a secure event management platform. 

Click on this link to register:

Event Agenda
Time    Event     
9:00 to 9:15 am  Welcome Remarks    
9:15 to 10 am

Re-imagining the Future of Childhood Disability Research


  • Dr. Kate Einarson, Knowledge Translation Specialist, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital


  • Zachary Rayment, current client and Holland Bloorview ambassador
  • Maria Walker, Registered Practical Nurse, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and a former client at Holland Bloorview
  • Dr. De-Lawrence Lamptey, Postdoctoral fellow, York University 


10 to 10:05 amMorning Break
10:05 to 10:30 amQuick Hits Research Presentations  
10:30 to 10;40 amHands-on application of sky-high technology: How biometrics and AI combine to improve patient outcomes
Presented by: Michael Ames, Senior Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences, SADA
10:45 to 11:30 amBreakout Sessions

Re-imagining the Possibilities of Inclusive Play Infrastructure and Programming


  • Dolly Menna-Dack, Clinical Bioethicist and Youth Engagement Strategy Lead, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital


  • Dr. Tim Ross, Scientist, EPIC Lab at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital's Bloorview Research Institute, and an Assistant Professor (status) with University of Toronto's Department of Geography and Planning
  • Dr. Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Associate Professor of Disability and Physical Activity within University of Toronto's Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
  • Jennifer Leo, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation - The Steadward Centre, University of Alberta

Bootle Blast - On the Journey of Gamifying Therapy 


  • Sharon Wong, Director of Commercialization, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital


  • Dr. Elaine Biddiss, Senior Scientist, PEARL Lab at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital's Bloorview Research Institute
  • Gavin Brauer, CEO, Pearl Interactives
  • Iveta Lewis, Manager, Health Sciences Library and Corporate Archives, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Daniela Chan Viquez, University of Toronto PhD student and research trainee at PEARL Lab

    Sponsored by SADA
11:30 am to 12:30 pmVirtual Poster Sessions & Industry Exhibitor Booths
12:30 to 1:15 pm

Mickey Milner International Professorship Keynote: Autonomy through Research & Design: Imagination, Innovation & Inclusion

Presented by: Dr. Jamie Borisoff, director of British Columbia Institute of Technology’s MAKE+ Applied Research, and former Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering Design

1:15 to 1:25 pm   Afternoon Break
1:25 to 
1:35 pm     
Sound.colLAB: A unique co-creation project that celebrates neurodiversity through music                                                                                           
1:35 to 2:00 pmTribute to Dr. Tom Chau's Leadership as VP, Research & Director, Bloorview Research Institute
2:00 to 
2:30 pm
Awards Ceremony & Closing Remarks


Accessible Event Program

Check out the fully accessible BRI Symposium Event Program to learn more about this year's speakers, panel sessions, our industry showcase, research posters and lots more!

Quick Hit Research Presentations

Each year, the Bloorview Research Institute welcomes over 100 graduate and doctoral students, otherwise known as trainees, from universities across Canada and beyond to study alongside some of the world’s leading scientists and gain first-hand knowledge on the latest advancements in childhood disability research. The BRI symposium is one of several events where these trainees can showcase their research to a broad audience. This year, a committee comprising family leaders, scientists and staff chose the top five students ‘quick hit’-style research presentations from over 22 submissions. These students will present their compelling research in three minutes as a research pitch. Audience members, pay attention! You’ll have a chance to test your memory with a fun pop quiz!

  1. Research on the sexuality of youth with physical disabilities focuses on sexual abuse - but misses so much more! 
    Presenter: Madison Giles
    Authors: Madison Giles and Drs. Clara Juando-Prats, Amy McPherson, and Dionne Gesink
  2. CyKey: See-through, Gaze-optimized Text Entry in augmented reality head-mounted display as an Alternative and Augmentative Communication System 
    Presenter: Mahya Mirbagheri
    Authors: Mahya Mirbagheri, Tom Chau
  3. The feasibility of transcranial direct current stimulation as an adjunct to inpatient physiotherapy for children and youth with acquired brain injury 
    Presenter:  Jennifer Ryan
    Authors: Jennifer Ryan, Virginia Wright, Darcy Fehlings, Danielle Levac, Deryk Beal
  1. Evaluating the reliability of a shape-capturing process for transradial residual limb using a non-contact scanner 
    Presenter: Calvin Ngan
    Authors: Calvin Ngan, Harry Sivasambu, Sandra Ramdial, Jan Andrysek
  2. Exploring the extent and nature of disordered eating in adolescents and young adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus: An interim analysis
    Presenter: Revi Bonder
    Authors: Revi Bonder, Shauna Beaudoin, Paige Church, Marie Hooper, Melissa Thorne, Alene Toulany, Amy C. McPherson
Research Poster Presentations

At the Bloorview Research Institute, scientists, researchers and trainees are co-creating innovative research with clients and families to unlock a world of possibilities and create healthier and meaningful futures for families.

Here are this year’s research poster presentations featured during the symposium from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please stop by and have a chat with our presenters to learn more about their incredible research.






Kristina Fuentes, Shaelynn Hsu, Stuti Patel, Sally Lindsay

More than just double discrimination: A scoping review of the experiences and impact of ableism and racism in employment

Kristina Fuentes



Hiba Al-Hakeem, Andrea Hickling, Tess Bardikoff, Brendan Lam, Danielle Duplessis, Kylie Mallory, Christine Provvidenza, Andrew Lovell, Carlin Miller, Shannon Scratch


Exploring the Feasibility of Move&Connect: Experiences of Youth with Prolonged Post-Concussion Symptoms and their Caregivers with a Virtual Group-based Interdisciplinary Intervention


Hiba Al-Hakeem



Maria Falcon Obregon, Marlie Clark, Virginia Wright, Sandra Ramdial, Ilana Naiman, Lisa Artero


Getting the Prosthetic Upper Limb Functional Index (PUFI-2) into clinical use: examining international clinicians’ experiences using the new web-based version of the measure.


Lisa Artero



JA Brian, E Dowds, K Bernardi, A Velho, M Kantawalla, N deSouza.


Piloting a Sustainable Parent-Mediated Intervention for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Goa, India: Partnership, Training Model and Initial Outcomes

Kate Bernardi



Revi Bonder, Shauna Beaudoin, Paige Church, Marie Hooper, Melissa Thorne, Alene Toulany, Amy McPherson

Exploring the extent and nature of disordered eating in adolescents and young adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus: An interim analysis


Revi Bonder


Jessica Brian, Erin Dowds, Kate Bernardi, Ian Roth, Sara Daoud, Sanne Jilderda, Stacey MacWilliam, Abbie Solish, Isabel Smith, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Susan Bryson


Active Ingredients of a Parent-Mediated Intervention for Toddlers with Emerging Autism Spectrum Disorder or Related Social Communication Challenges


Jessica Brian



Isabelle Caven, Melanie Penner


Clinician Perspectives on the Acceptability of Pediatric Autism Therapies: A Mixed Methods Study


Isabelle Caven



Nurin Chatur, Christina Ippolito, Laura McAdam


Experiences of and perspectives on bullying in youth with Myopathies



Nurin Chatur



Erin Dowds, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Isabel Smith, Jessica Brian


A descriptive case series of the infant Social ABCs parent-mediated intervention for babies with emerging signs of autism spectrum disorder or related social communication challenges




Erin Dowds



Danielle DuPlessis, Emily Lam, Lucy Xie, Nick Reed,  Virginia Wright, Elaine Biddiss, Shannon Scratch


Multi-Domain Assessment of Concussion Recovery: a Scoping Review

Danielle DuPlessis



Kathleen Einarson, Yasmin Elliott, Gillian King, Lisa Chiarello, Matthew McLarnon


Self-Report Measures of Engagement for Children and Youth: An Integrative Review


Kate Einarson



Aliaa Gouda, Dr. Jan Andrysek


Development and Evaluation of Rhythmic Stimulation Based Biofeedback Systems for Lower-Limb Amputee Gait Training


Aliaa Gouda



Nilou Hashemi, Deryk Beal, Trina Mitchell, Tom Chau


The Brain during Movement Execution and Movement Observation in Children


Nilou Hashemi



Shaelynn Hsu, Vanessa Tomas, Sally Lindsay


Discovering autistic youth and young adults’ experiences of workplace disclosure


Shaelynn Hsu



Christina Ippolito, Emilie Hill-Smith, Marco Deguise, Hanns Lochmuller, Hugh McMillan, Laura McAdam


Bullying experiences of youth with Myopathiesor Spinal Muscular Atrophy and their well-being: A survey study

Christine Ippolito



Jason Leung, Masuma Akter, Tom Chau


Mindset – A Practical and Affordable General-Purpose BCI Access Solution


Jason Leung


Sally Lindsay, Shaelynn Hsu, Sharmigaa Ragunathan, John Lindsay


The impact of climate-change related extreme weather events on people with pre-existing disabilities and chronic conditions: A scoping review


Sally Lindsay, John Lindsay



Sally Lindsay, Kristina Fuentes, Sharmigaa Ragunathan, Luiza Lamaj, Jaclyn Dyson


Ableism within health care professions: A systematic review of the experiences and impact of discrimination against health care providers with disabilities


Sharmigaa Ragunathan, Luiza Lamaj, Jaclyn Dyson



Sally Lindsay, Kristina Fuentes, Vanessa Tomas, Shaelynn Hsu


Ableism and workplace discrimination among youth and young adults with disabilities: A systematic review


Sally Lindsay, Kristina Fuentes, Shaelynn Hsu



Avery Longmore, Danielle Baribeau and the POND Network Investigators

Predictors of Depression in Autism–A Longitudinal Study using Data from the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) Network


Avery Longmore



Rayan Magon, Lisa Kanigsberg, Melanie Penner

Evaluating Project ECHO Autism’s Effectiveness: A Content Analysis of Community Physicians’ responses on the uptake of recommendations


Rayan Magon



Mahya Mirbagheri, Tom Chau


CyKey: See-through, Gaze-optimized Text Entry in augmented reality head mounted display as an Alternative and Augmentative Communication System


Mahya Mirbagheri



Christine Muscat, Sarah McCabe, Iveta Lewis, Angela Morgan, Deryk Beal


Neural mechanisms driving speech and language recovery following childhood stroke: A scoping review.


Christine Muscat



Ilana D. Naiman, Jessica Brian, Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Virginia Wright


Personalized Enjoyment Questionnaire (PEQ): Exploration of the usability of a new self-report tool for children with ASD in relation to motor skill performance


Ilana Naiman



Calvin Ngan, Harry Sivasambu, Sandra Ramdial, Jan Andrysek


Evaluating the reliability of a shape capturing process for transradial residual limb using a non-contact scanner


Calvin Ngan



Laura Bowman, Dolly-Menna Dack, C.J. Curran, Laura Thompson, Jean Hammond, Jan Magee, Ivona Novak, Anna Oh


Co-creation of a Transition Resource for Youth, Families, and Partners for the Transition to Adult Life


Laura Bowman, Anna Oh




Diana Tajik-Parvinchi, Kate Einarson, Amy C. McPherson, Shauna Kingsnorth, Jan Willem Gorter, Gillian King


Personal Growth in Youth with Disabilities: The role of residential immersive life skills programs


Diana Tajik-Parvinchi



Tithi Paul, Paige France, and Azadeh Kushki


Strategies for Increasing Diversity of Representation in Autism Research: A Rapid Review


Tithi Paul



Gillian King, Eric Smart, Laura Bowman, and Madhu Pinto


Social participation program principles: Synthesizing evidence regarding programs and services for young people with disabilities

Madhu Pinto



Marija Pranjić, Michael Thaut & Tom Chau


Moving to the beat: Examining the role of auditory perception in motor coordination abilities among children using a multimodal neuroimaging approach


Marija Pranjić



Sabine Sanchez, Calvin Ngan, Harry Sivasambu, Elaine Ouellette, Neil Ready, Jan Andrysek


Design of a diagnostic forearm for transradial prosthesis


Sabine Sanchez, Calvin C Ngan



Shalaine Sedres, Zehra Kamani, Dr. Tim Ross


Program Options for Accessible Playgrounds in Education and Pediatric Health Care Settings


Shalaine Sedres



Michelle Servais, Gillian King, Patricia Baldwin, & Sheila Moodie


Exploring Solution-Focused Coaching Conversations to Develop Clinician’s Listening and Communication Skills


Michelle Servais



Lambert, M., Sheldrake, E., Deneault, A-A., & Scratch, S. E.


Depressive Symptoms in Individuals with Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis


Elena Sheldrake



Josh Shore, Danielle DuPlessis, Emily Lama, Fanny Hotze, Ajmal Khan, Stephanie McFarland, Andrea Hickling, Michael Hutchinson, F. Virginia Wright, Nick Reed, Elaine Biddiss, Shannon Scratch


R2Play Development: Fostering User-Driven Technology that Supports Return-to-Play Decision-Making Following Pediatric Concussion


Josh Shore



Eric Smart, Anna Oh, De-Lawrence Lamptey, Alana Armas, Alex Neff, Steph DeMartino, Melissa Thorne, Heather Keating, Mikayla Hjorngaard, Holly Yip, Gillian King


Strengthening friendships and sense of belonging for young persons with disabilities: A holistic framework


Eric Smart



Daniela Testani, Heather Shearer, Flora Wan, Darcy Fehlings


Investigating predictors of participation from pre-school to school age in children with cerebral palsy


Daniela Testani


Vanessa Tomas, Shaelynn Hsu, Shauna Kingsnorth, Evdokia Anagnostou, Bonnie Kirsh, Sally Lindsay


Co-design and usability testing of a disability disclosure decision aid tool for Canadian autistic youth and young adults


Vanessa Tomas, Cameron Lau



Clarissa Yu, Emi Wong, Juliana Gignac, Meaghan Walker, Tim Ross


Experiences of Paediatric Healthcare Built Environments among Children with Disabilities and their Families: A Scoping Review


Clarissa Yu