Communication & Accessibility Services Bio

Throughout her career, Marla Gilsig has been a consistent and valued contributor to the disability rights movement in Canada. She has championed equal access to our healthcare, legal, and education systems and professional bodies for people with disabilities, and she has published extensively on access to justice issues.

Most recently, Ms. Gilsig managed equality rights litigation as part of the legal committee for West Coast Legal Education & Action Fund. This included a precedent setting family law and disability law case: Rick vs. Brandsema, 2009 SCC 10. Ms. Gilsig also served as a Member of the Advisory Committee on Disability Issues with Vancouver City Council. While there, she helped restructure how the municipality and the police process complaints made by disabled passengers of city-licensed transportation companies.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Gilsig served on legal committees for:

  • The Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver,
  • The Disabled Women’s Network Canada and
  • The Council of Canadians with Disabilities, where she helped prepare barristers for Eldridge vs. British Columbia (AG), (1977) 3 SCR 624, a Supreme Court of Canada case that advocated and won the right of deaf patients to receive sign language interpretation from the BC Medical Services Plan.

Additionally, Ms. Gilsig served as President and Director of Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and as an Advisory Committee Member to Langara College’s Faculty of Realtime Reporting. She has also served as Branch Liaison to the Judiciary on disability issues for the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch.

Ms. Gilsig received her law degree from University of Victoria in 1978. She was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1979. Currently, she chairs a section and delivers continuing professional development credit courses for the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch. She provides confidential training to lawyers and legal organizations on how to provide accessible legal services to clients with special needs.

Read further information about Marla’s Communication & Accessibility Services.


For more information regarding her services, please send a note.