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.


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Asking the Toronto Transit Commission NOT to break the AODA Law

Hello everyone.

This concerns mostly to the people in Toronto.

I've been asking around about if now that the provincial government budgeted for infrastructure, has the TTC reverse their decision not to meet the requirement 2025 deadline to have the whole system fully accessible. Although I didn't get a defiant no, the answer was no. I was reminded that four or five years ago, the city of Toronto insisted that the TTC reduce it’s capital budget. This made the TTC rethink their priorities, in my view.

Now I attended the TTC board meeting on July 23rd and they were discussing building a new multi million dollars garage. To my surprise Karen Stintz, a city councillor/ TTC board member/mayoralty candidate in the upcoming city elections, put forward a motion that said instead of using that money to build a garage, they should use that money to meet the AODA requirements. That motion was defeated. Another motion was put forward directing staff to bring a report to next month's meeting which will suggest which projects could be delayed in order to redirect the funds towards finishing making the whole system fully accessible by 2025. That motion passed.

Now I really would like to see the disability community to a) organize a rally around this on the day this report is tabled and b) As many people/organizations making deputations in favor in completing making the whole system fully accessible by 2025. If we can do this we're be sending a clear message to the candidates! The next TTC board meeting is on August 19 at 1:00. They usually start to hear from the public by 2:00. If people would like to make a deputation on an item on the agenda, they must contact the TTC before to put your name on the speakers’ list. You will be given 5 minutes to say your piece then board members may ask you questions. The following is taken right off of the TTC web site regarding making a deputation:

“The TTC belongs to all of us and the Board encourages people to provide input into decisions that may affect them, their business or their neighborhood.
Requests to appear as a speaker for action items on a meeting agenda will be accepted in writing until 12:00 noon of the business day immediately before the meeting day. Please note that the public may only make a deputation on an information report if, at a previous meeting, the Board has given notice of its intention to hear deputations on that information report.
Some important facts to know prior to making your appearance include:
• Each appearance is limited to five minutes to give as many people as possible an opportunity to speak.
• Members of the Board may ask you questions.
• A written submission may be submitted when you make your deputation, but it is not necessary.
• Written comments may also be given or sent without speaking to the Board.
If you would like to appear before the Board, contact the Coordinator – Secretariat Services who is responsible for coordinating the meeting process. You may do this by sending an email to”

I would like to encourage EVERYONE to do all, some, or at least one of the following,

• Pass this along to EVERYONE you know, especially those in Toronto and encourage them to do the same thing

• Attend the August 19th meeting just to show your support,

• Write to all board members stating that you wish that they obeyed the law under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to make all transit systems fully accessible by the year 2025. Please go to the TTC website ( to see who is on their board.

Take care!
Sam Savona

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A letter from Elections Ontario's CEO to Ontarians with disabilities.

Dear Administrator or Elector,
In the 2011 general election, we at Elections Ontario made it our mission to make voting easy and put voters first. We introduced new methods and features to help remove barriers for all eligible Ontario voters. The recent
2014 general election was the next opportunity we had to showcase these methods and features created to improve voter experience at the polls.
In our efforts to continue improving our services, we are asking for feedback on the voting experience, particularly on features such as accessibility tools at voting locations, customer service, easy-to-read signage, and voting by Special ballot.
We would like your help in making the 2014 Elections Evaluation Survey available to people in your network. We are partnering with Ipsos Reid, a leading global market research firm, to collect data that we will use to make future decisions about accessibility at the polls.
Please forward this email to voters with disabilities who can provide us with insights on their voting experience in the 2014 provincial general election.
Notes for survey participants:
. This online survey should take about 20 minutes to complete. The
survey can't be restarted, so it has to be completed at one time. Please begin the survey as soon as possible, and no later than July 14th..
. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential.
Results will be reported in one combined summary so individual comments can not be identified.
. To complete this online survey, please click on the following link:
Or if you prefer, by phone:
1-888-999-9370 (TTY compatible).
Any questions can be directed to Michelle Goland at Elections Ontario,, or by telephone at 1-888-246-3335; or Lauren Hilderley, Research Manager, Ipsos Reid,, or by telephone at 416-324-2301.
Thank you for your assistance in helping us to improve voting in Ontario!

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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, Cher Monteleone and Sam Savona joining us for three-year terms!


  • Pat Seed, Chairperson (Thunder Bay)
  • Sousan Zaribaf, Vice-Chairperson (Scarborough)
  • Scott Allardyce, Secretary (Markham)
  • Tracy Odell, Treasurer (Scarborough)
  • John Szczygiel, Member-at-Large (Ottawa)
  • Michele Gardner, Member-at-Large (Toronto, NEW!)
  • Terrance Green (Ottawa)
  • Cher Monteleone (Thunder Bay, NEW!)
  • Line Nyangezi (Thunder Bay)
  • Christina Ranieri (Toronto)
  • Sam Savona (Toronto, NEW!)
  • Jeffrey Stark (Ottawa)

Read more about our board members on our Bios page.

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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.


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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 -

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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 
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Support The All Hands On Braille Camp - July 28th to August 1st, 2014

The All Hands on Braille Program introduces blind and low vision children to the beauty of braille through a one-week summer curriculum that is fun, creative and comprehensive. CWDO is working with Braille Literacy Canada, Citizens with Disabilities Ontario, The Alliance For The Equality Of Blind Canadians and CNIB to deliver this exciting new program. We need your help to get the word out, please share this information across your social networks. If you can donate, please consider doing so, even small donations like $5 or $10 help. 

 Kids will have a unique opportunity...Kids will have a unique opportunity to:

  • Be immersed in braille for a week
  • Be paired up with a mentor who also is blind
  • Recieve 1-on-1 intense braille instruction
  • Be introduced to peers with the same needs as they have
  • Have a year long interraction with their mentors in braille and related topics


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OPWHL Wheelchair Hockey Athletes Gala

The OPWHL is hosting the first Awards Banquet & Gala to honour wheelchair hockey athletes in the Nation's Capital. The "Eric Jamieson Memorial Cup" will be presented to the championship team in addition to various individual player awards. There will be a silent auction and live entertainment.

Where: San Sala Marco, 215 Preston Street, Ottawa.

When: June 23, 2013 - 5:30 pm

Attire: Semi-Formal

Please visit the OPWHL website at for additional details or call 613-225-9204.

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.

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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.
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Top Contributors

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