About

Goals

Our mission is to ameliorate discrimination against Deaf people in critical situations by:

  • Ensuring that front-line staff and emergency services have the capacity to understand and interact with the Deaf community with positive outcomes and a respectful approach.
  • Working  towards changing the unemployment levels within the Deaf community by providing Deaf experts and people in the Deaf community with employment and business.
  • Showing  the wider community that the Deaf are capable of working, teaching, being professional, and have skill and expertise.

Brí

Brí is an Irish word, and depending on the context it can be used in several ways:  energy, expression, meaning, fight, go, life, might, sense, significance

Our People

Caylan McMullan

Caylan McMullan

Founder/Owner

Caylan is the founder of BriConnect Caylan McMullan was born in Northern Ireland. Born deaf in 1 ear and hard of hearing in the other, he was exposed to deaf culture at an early age. Caylan’s youngest brother had cerebral palsy, and Caylan was exposed to the world of accessibility needs for all.

Having studied Professional studies in Learning Difficulties, in Manchester, England, combined with his personal experiences, Caylan works towards providing accessibility for all. Having moved to Canada in 2011, and entering the ASL program at George Brown College, he graduated from the ASL and Deaf-Studies program, and entered the AEIP for 2 years, before transferring to the Community Worker program.

Since then he has been working for the Ontario Association of the Deaf, helping to facilitate and provide leadership, activities, and resources that promotes equality and access, and protect rights of Deaf Ontarians, as well as to collaborate with government ministries, institutions, and community organizations to ensure a better future for Deaf Ontarians.

Justine Fagan-Bywater

Justine Fagan-Bywater

Presenter/Consultant

Justine Fagan-Bywater was born in Sarnia, Ontario. Raised in a hearing family, it wasn’t until Justine was 4 years old that her profound hearing loss was discovered. Justine acquired no first language in her first four years. Hearing aids helped her to speak her first words at age 5. Throughout her childhood, Justine struggled educationally as well as on a social level with her peers. There was consistent training implementation in her daily routine for speech therapy. She was first introduced to American Sign Language at the age of 17 years.

Justine was able to take co-op year-round during Grade 12 at Quinte Secondary School in Belleville Ontario Canada. Her placement was at Sir James Whitney Deaf School in 2006. She attended George Brown College in 2007 and graduated in August 2009 with an Ontario College Certificate for American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program. Shortly thereafter, she applied to another program and graduated in June 2013 with an Ontario College Diploma as an American Sign Language and Literacy Instructor. Currently, she is working as a freelance ASL Instructor.

Sage Lovell

Sage Lovell

Presenter/Consultant

Sage Lovell is a fourth generation Deaf Queer Canadian settler who grew up in Southern Ontario. They grew up using sign language as their primary mode of communication and that impacted their outlook on life, especially after attending the only post-secondary institution in the world that was designed for the educational needs of  Deaf people – Gallaudet University – where they studied psychology. After obtaining their bachelor’s degree,

Sage moved back to Canada to increase visibility and rights for the signing Deaf communities in Ontario. They are also one of the founders of Deaf Spectrum, a collective to promote the increase in the usage of sign language to make community spaces more accessible and inclusive.

Currently, Sage is working on a project called “Deaf, what?” alongside with Deaf Photographer Alice Lo to capture fifty deaf personalities across Canada through film and photography. They also established a workshop series under Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (ORAD), called “Healthier Selves, Healthier Relationships, Healthier Communities.” Aside from their community work, they do theatrical and music sign language interpreting for the local Deaf communities: incorporating their passions of film, language, theatre, accessibility into pieces of art.

Carlisle Robinson

Carlisle Robinson

Presenter/Consultant

Carlisle Robinson was born in U.S. to Canadian parents. Carlisle stayed in U.S. due to U.S. having better legal rights and accessibility for deaf people than Canada. Carlisle graduated from Gallaudet University, the only university in the whole world that is designed for deaf students, with faculty and students all using American Sign Language. Carlisle majored in International Government with minor in History and Deaf Studies.

After graduation, they worked at a deaf school in Massachusetts as a teacher aide for both deaf students with special needs and deaf students with mental illness and/or traumas. After that, they obtained their Master of Fine Art from the Center for Cartoon Studies with focus on comics and artwork combined with images. Then in 2016, Carlisle decided to move to their family roots: Canada. They wanted to help to make Canada a better place for deaf people, so future generations of kids won’t feel like they have to move to U.S. for better opportunities.

Currently, Carlisle is working as Director of Deaf Outreach Program (DOP), a program under Ontario Association of the Deaf. DOP is focused on supporting deaf people living with HIV, educating deaf communities about HIV/STI, and educating hearing service providers on how to work with deaf patients.

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Testimonials

Caylan has a great passion to empower Deaf youths for their future. Not only that, he wants to build bridges for people to accommodate Deaf community by educating them to be aware of their capabilities and increase their knowledge about Deaf culture.

Alice Lo

I've known Caolan since we were kids back home in Ireland. He is a generous person who cares a lot about social justice and community rights. He wants to make the world a better place for the deaf community. I have admired his energy in running deaf children’s camps and youth exchanges. That shows you that he is very passionate about our community’s future, fighting for ASL and deaf community rights, making it easier for our deaf children to live in today’s contemporary Canada.

Shane Gilchrist

bri connect

empower. learn. connect.

© 2018 Caylan McMullan.

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