Valerie Doumani was a student in York’s Critical Disabilities Studies Program

Valerie Doumani, 42, a master’s student in York’s Critical Disability Studies Program, died suddenly on Jan. 13 in Toronto. Ms. Doumani was a graduate of St. Clair College and held an honours degree from the University of Windsor.

Left: Valerie Doumani

Throughout her life, she worked as an advocate for better accessibility practices. Ms. Doumani was a volunteer for many cultural festivals and events in Windsor, Ont. While a student at the University of Windsor, she served on the University of Windsor’s Special Needs Advisory Committee. Ms. Doumani was an active participant in auditing and identifying various physical facilities at the university, and offered advice about the removal and prevention of barriers for persons with disabilities on campus.

Ms. Doumani brought that experience to York and was active in the University’s Graduate Students’ Association. She was committed to self-improvement through education. Her ultimate goal, according to her family, was to help others through her education, knowledge and skills.

Her friends describe her as being a good friend and someone who was passionate about critical disability studies. She worked hard to make the world a better place and had a “big sense of humour”. She also loved music and was a fan of American singer Bette Midler.

Ms. Doumani was very proud of her five nephews and one niece. She leaves her parents Joseph and Vivian Doumani and her brothers Alex and Peter and sisters Theresa and Desiree; she was predeceased by her sister Michelle Jane.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Our Lady of the Atonement Roman Catholic Church, 2940 Forest Glade Drive in Tecumseh, Ont., from 9:30am until the Mass of Christian Burial at 10am. Cremation to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations to Community Living-Essex County would be appreciated. The family invites Ms. Doumani’s York colleagues and friends to share their memories. Click here for an online Book of Condolences. The York University flag will fly at half-mast today starting at sunrise until tomorrow, at 1pm, in honour of Ms. Doumani.