Welcome to Citizens with Disabilities - Ontario (CWDO)

Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario (CWDO) actively promotes the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of persons with disabilities through community development, social action, and member support and referral.  Our primary activity is public education and awareness about the social and physical barriers that prevent the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in Ontario.

CWDO is proud to be a full member of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.


Assisted Suicide Cross-Canada Webinar

CWDO hosted a cross-Canada webinar on assisted suicide on April 26, 2015, moderated by Michele Gardner, CWDO



Summary:  Scott Allardyce provided an Ontario perspective and the current position of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario.  Amy Hasbrouck, presented a global overview.  Jim Derksen gave us the Canadian context, and Catherine Frazee, spoke about the vulnerability of people with disabilities and critical factors for resilience.



Real-time captioning provided by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (Thank you, CCD!)


  • Presentation by Amy Hasbrouck, Founder and Director of Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet, a project of CCD
    • Refer also to transcript pages 18 - 31
  • Presentation: Jim Derksen, CCD, Advocate, Canadian disabilities movement on life-and-death issues
    • Refer to transcript pages 31 - 40
  • Presentation: Catherine Frazee, former Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
    • Refer to transcript pages 41 - 52
  • Discussion: Refer to transcript pages 52-94

Wanted: Public Education Assistant - Thunder Bay

Thanks to funding from Service Canada, CWDO will be able to hire a student in Thunder Bay for 8 weeks this summer to assist us with public education projects such as planning webinars and assessing how welcoming local businesses and organizations are for people with disabilities.


Application deadline: May 29, 2015.


Read the job description.

CWDO Submission to the Independent Reviewer on the AODA, 2014

CWDO submitted recommendations to the Independent Reviewer on the AODA, 2014. We also enabled consultations to take place across Ontario using our online web conferencing system.  Following a survey of our members, CWDO made recommendations on municipal accessible advisory committees; AODA reporting and compliance mechanisms; suggested ways to strengthen the customer service. employment, information & communication and transportation standards. We recommended new standards in healthcare, education and elections. standard; and made recommendations regarding new legislation.  Thank you to all our members who contributed comments. A number of our recommendations found their way into the Independent Reviewer's report.

Meet CWDO's Board Members for 2014-15!

Here is a list of CWDO's Board Members for 2014-15 who were elected or re-confirmed at our Annual General Meeting on June 19, 2014.


Welcome to new board members Michele Gardner and Cher Monteleone joining us for three-year terms!


  • Pat Seed, Chairperson (Thunder Bay)
  • Sousan Zaribaf, Vice-Chairperson (Scarborough)
  • Scott Allardyce, Secretary (Markham)
  • Tracy Odell, Treasurer (Scarborough)
  • Michele Gardner, (Toronto, NEW!)
  • Terrance Green (Ottawa)
  • Cher Monteleone (Thunder Bay, NEW!)
  • Jeffrey Stark (Ottawa)

Read more about our board members on our Bios page.

2014 All Hands on Braille Camp - A success!

The All Hands on Braille Camp went on this summer, it was  a week-long summer camp dedicated to bringing the exciting world of braille to children 8-12 years old who are blind.


It was A fun, exciting and intense braille instruction.  We recieved positive feedback from all involved!


Thanks go out to all involved.


CRTC announces that Canadians who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired will have access to a new telecommunications service

 – Ottawa – Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)


The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced April 22, 2014 that video relay service will be made available in Canada for users of American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ). When it launches, this free service will facilitate conversations between people who are Deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired and other Canadians, and vice versa.

Source -

Rose Centre Announcement

The Rose Centre is a charitable organization that focuses on positive representations of love, sex and disability. They recognize the multiple barriers to participation in love sex and relationships for disabled people and the lack of positive discussion around disability and sexuality. They also believe that sex and relationships can be fun and enjoyable for anyone.  The organization provides programming and events which support this mission and that are open and welcoming to everyone.  For more details and information, please visit the "Board of Directors" page of our website at 

NEW! Members Speak Out

Read and comment on our members' blogs:

  • Mobility Plus Left Me Minus Mobility - member Fiona Watson's blog documenting her struggle to be accommodated on specialized transit.
  • "We asked CWDO's President, Terry Green, to write a blog.  "Keep it brief" we said.  Being a lawyer, he wrote a brief instead.  So we worked with him a bit. (Everyone is trainable.)   Find out what's on Terry's mindthis week."
  • Jeffrey Stark's Blog "Jeffrey's Soapbox" covers topics of technology, accessibility, adaptive technology and disability.



CWDO welcomes blogs from members.  Contact us if you are interested in writing one.

Worth Knowing...

  • CWDO became recognized as Ontario's representative on the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) in June, 2009.  We're honoured and proud to represent our members at this national table.