Dr. Lynn LeVatte: Promoting Inclusion and Accessibility at CBU and Beyond


May 28-June 3, 2023 is National Access Ability Week in Canada and we’d like to highlight a dedicated CBU employee who puts inclusion and accessibility first in all that she does. Dr. Lynn LeVatte, Assistant Professor of Education, recently visited the United Nations in New York to share the University’s research on community inclusive programming. 

What made this trip particularly unique was that Dr. LeVatte was accompanied by her son, Charles who has Down Syndrome and thus understands the importance of accessibility advocacy. Dr. LeVatte says the experience was incredibly meaningful for both herself and her son, as they were able to highlight the importance of inclusive education and the positive impact it can have on individuals with disabilities. Dr. LeVatte presented the results of her Participatory Action Research Project funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. 

The project consisted of Dr. LeVatte leading the exploration of experiences of youth with Down Syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Kristin O’Rourke and Robyn Neal, members of the Education department at CBU, were also involved with the project as well as McGill Doctoral student, Natasha Bellows. The resulting project, called The ZoomTimers, included six members aged 15-20 who formed a group through a community partnership with the Cape Breton Down Syndrome Society and CBU Education Department in 2020.

“Our visit to the United Nations and presentation of the ZoomTimers project highlights CBU’s commitment to promoting community inclusion and advocating for individuals with Down Syndrome on a global scale,”, says Dr. LeVatte. 

  Dr. LeVatte’s work in CBU’s Education Department focuses on inclusive education, health promotion and wellness, professional development, and Down Syndrome. She is an active member of the Cape Breton Down Syndrome Society and is dedicated to making positive change for individuals with all abilities. 

During the conference, Dr. LeVatte and had the opportunity to share their research project, which focuses on creative and visual arts for communication, to international advocates such as Robin Gibson from Down Syndrome International and Chris Rees from the Down Syndrome Association UK. Dr. LeVatte’s presentation highlighted the important work being done at CBU to promote inclusivity and support individuals with Down Syndrome.

“As a faculty team member, I was honored to share our research at the World Down Syndrome Day Conference at the United Nations,” says Dr. LeVatte. “It was an incredible experience to network with advocates from around the world and participate in conference proceedings relating to healthcare, education, employment and inclusion for individuals with Down Syndrome.” Dr. LeVatte expressed her hope to continue this important work and invite these international advocates to visit Cape Breton University to witness the impact of their inclusive programming firsthand.


We are proud of Dr. LeVatte for representing CBU at the United Nations, and for her continued work on advocacy and accessibility. Her work and dedication to promoting inclusivity at Cape Breton University serves as an example of the University’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world.