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.


Remembering Sousan Zaribaf

Sousan Zaribaf joined CWDO's Board of Directors in June 2012. In that time, Sousan immersed herself in most of our work: saving door-to-door mail delivery for people with disabilities; protecting people with disabilities who need attendant services or who might be coerced to request assisted suicide. 



Her main passions were transportation and employment  and she took every opportunity to connect people with disabilities to jobs.



Sousan facilitated two webinars bringing CWDO members together with officials who were reviewing accessibility legislation to bring our ideas forward.  She planned Annual General Meetings for our organization and sought out new talent to join our board. 



Sousan left us too soon on December 15 when she passed away due to respiratory difficulties. All of us at CWDO thank you for your many contributionsto our board and on behalf of people with disabilities. We will miss you.




Inclusion Matters! Access and Empowerment for People of ALL Abilities

Today, December 3rd, people and organizations around the world are celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.


Celebrations of this day, with various themes, have taken place since 1992. All of the yearly themes, however, have had a universal theme within the descriptive words for the day: the inclusion of ALL peoples and the respecting of the rites and dignity for ALL Persons, enAbling them to participate fully in their communities, country, society and the world.


Instead of providing Historical or "nice to read" information, CWDO is asking you to search your own thoughts today, discovering your own answers to these questions about disability.


  • Can you name five physical disabilities?
  • Can you name five invisible disabilities?
  • If you were to become temporarily disabled for one month, what disability would you be willing to accept?
  • If you were to become permanently disabled for the rest of your life, what disability would you be willing to accept?
  • If you were to become temporarily disabled for one month, what disability do you fear the most?
  • If you were to become permanently disabled for the rest of your life, what disability do you fear the most?
  • What daily living activities would upset you to have help in doing?
  • Is there a possibility that you will ever become temporarily or permanently disabled?


There is an important positive word within the word disability. It is the word "Ability". Maybe we should be talking about Persons with disAbilities today.



What are your thoughts?


Please read our IYPD issue of our CWDO Newsletter for today. Follow the progress and get involved in working towards a Barrier-Free Canada!

CWDO's Submissions on Physician-Assisted Suicide

CWDO has been actively engaged in promoting safeguards for people with disabilities when new legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide becomes law in the new year.



Read our submission to the federal government's External Panel on Legislative Options in Response to Carter vs. Canada.




Read the results of CWDO's members' survey on physician-assisted suicide.



Read Bakerlaw's draft legislation on physician-assisted suicide (Accessible PDF).



Did you miss our webinars? Information will be posted online soon.



  • CWDO webinar April 26 – transcript and presentations (check back soon!)
  • CWDO webinar October 4 – transcript and presentations (check back soon!)

Meet CWDO's Board Members 2014-15

At our Annual General Meeting on June 18, 2015, we elected a new board.

  • Michele Gardner (Toronto)
  • Tiffany Gervasi (Thunder Bay)
  • Terry Green (Ottawa)
  • Alexander Jackson (Thunder Bay)
  • Chloe Johnson (Thunder Bay)
  • Cher Monteleone (Thunder Bay)
  • Tracy Odell  (Scarborough)
  • Sam Savona (Toronto)
  • Pat Seed (Thunder Bay)
  • Jeff Stark (Kanata) 
  • Sousan Zaribaf (Toronto)

Please go to our bio page for information about our board members' interests and backgrounds.

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.

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 -

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.