Race & Disability in Canada – A Virtual National Town Hall

Register now for the final ‘Real Talk with Realize’ Virtual Town Hall session for 2020!

Topic: When We Know Better, We Do Better?

Race & Disability in Canada – A Virtual National Town Hall will take place on December 16th from 1:00pm – 2:15pm ET. Register via www.realizecanada.org

Please identify your accessibility needs upon registration.


Panelists will include:

Neil Belanger, BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society

Sophia Sahrane & Bonnie Brayton, DisAbled Women’s Network – Canada

Zephania Matanga, Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc.

Meenu Sikand, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Moderated by: Tammy C. Yates, Realize

Statement by CILT’s Wendy Porch to Mark the International Day of People with Disabilities 2020

By Wendy Porch, Executive Director

Today is the UN’s International Day of People with Disabilities (IPDP). This is an important day to celebrate the accomplishments of disabled people, which are achieved despite living in a world that was not built for us. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the community of people with disabilities. We have seen the COVID-19 pandemic unearth ableist beliefs and structures. Unlike everyone else, people with disabilities in Ontario may be subject to a Triage Protocol that could see them de-prioritized for life-saving treatment in the event of a COVID-19 surge due only to having a disability.

Mobile COVID testing and flu shots for people with disabilities living in the community are not widely available. Access to PPE for people with disabilities who are not in receipt of community services remains difficult.

In the City of Toronto, many of the initiatives rolled out to address COVID-19 were implemented without consultation with the community of people with disabilities. Many were not accessible.

CILT works to amplify the voices of people with disabilities.  We believe ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ must also be the case for Building Back Better.

Help us to envision ‘a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World’  together through CILT’s IDPD Campaign starting today on Twitter and Facebook.

Throughout this week, CILT’s social media channels will feature videos from people with disabilities addressing the question “What does Build Back Better look like when it includes people with disabilities?”

Each day we feature a video produced by a person with a disability on topics of relevance to our community, including poverty, housing, healthcare and resilience.  We hope these videos help to elevate our voices and show that we have a lot to say about how ‘Build Back Better’ could be more inclusive of our community.

We encourage you to view, retweet and comment on these videos in the context of the IDPD and the UN’s goal to “Build Back Better”.  Add your voice to the discussion and help the world to see what we think an inclusive and accessible world, post COVID-19, looks like. Tag your posts with #IPDP2020 and #BuildInclusion to join in the conversation.

Wishing you and yours a glimpse of a post COVID world where we are all included.

For more information about CILT, please visit www.cilt.ca


Wendy Porch, M.Ed

Executive Director

Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT)


Zoom Event – Inclusion Canada and People First Canada’s 11th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion

This year’s forum will explore how we can sustain and build on the learnings and innovations that have emerged in the midst of this pandemic to create the inclusive society we want to see. All panels include a series of interactive Q&As and perspectives of lived experience from people with an intellectual disability and families, as well as research and policy expertise from both government and community. Participants are welcome to join for all or some panels.

The event will take place on December 3, 2020 at 11am EST.

To register, please click here.

Virtual CART services and ASL will be available. Please inform of any access needs by requesting the Access Form. If you require additional information or supports to register, please contact forum@inclusioncanada.ca .

Zoom Event – Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians for International Day of Persons with Disabilities Conference

If you have been frustrated or frightened at the way the disability community has been disproportionately left behind during the pandemic, then this event is for you! The organizers have an inspiring group of leaders sharing their perspectives on inclusion and an exciting panel session with leaders sharing best practices, getting youth engaged, sharing lived experiences during the pandemic and getting government leaders to recognize and address systemic change for people with disabilities in a time of crisis. Do not miss out and count yourself in!

The event will take place virtually through Zoom on December 5, 2020 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm EST. 

To register for the event, please click here.

This is a Zoom event, and all registered attendees will be emailed meeting details 24 hours before the event.  If you require ASL or Closed Captioning, please e-mail AEBCToronto@gmail.com  and they will be happy to accommodate you.

Do you have questions for the speakers or panelists? Please email AEBCToronto@gmail.com  and they can ask them live during the conference. The organizers look forward to meeting you virtually!

Zoom Event – Origins of the Independent Living Movement on December 3, 2020

As part of International Day for Persons with Disabilities 2020, the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region is hosting a Zoom event titled, “The Origins of the Independent Living Movement.”

The event will take place on Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 2:00pm EST. Join for a presentation and discussion about the Independent Living movement, its origins, and how it has shaped the services offered by IL Canada and the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region.

You can register for the event by emailing dan@ilcwr.org for the Zoom link.

Zoom Event – United Nations International Day of Persons With Disabilities on December 4th, 2020

The United Nations will be hosting a Commemorative Event for the International Day of Persons With Disabilities. The theme this year is “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post COVID-19 World”. 

The event will take place on December 4, 2020 from 11:00am – 12:45pm EST through the Zoom Webinar virtual platform.

To register, please click here.

This event is organized by the Executive Office of Secretary-General (EOSG), UNDESA, UN Women, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, the Permanent Missions of Philippines and Tanzania and co-sponsored by UNPRPD/UNDP, the World Bank, the Permanent Missions of Mexico and New Zealand and the Asia Pacific Forum on Women and Girls with Disabilities (Civil Society).

For more details about the event, you can visit the event website here.

CILT Peer Connect: Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 from 1:00pm – 2:30pm

The final session of CILT Peer Connect in 2020 will feature a seated yoga class with yoga teacher, Joanne Lowe. Join us to breathe, stretch and relax our way into this holiday season.

To register, please email rebecca.wood@cilt.ca

For more about Joanne visit https://www.bigstretchyoga.com/


CILT Peer Connect is a biweekly peer support opportunity for adults with disabilities.  In every session we will check in and connect around how we are coping with stress and isolation as a result of COVID-19.  Please be ready to participate in activity and discussion and let us know if we can support with any accommodations.  CILT Peer Connect is presented with generous funding support provided by The City of Toronto, The United Way of Greater Toronto, and Independent Living Canada.

Webinar – Self-Advocating for Accessible Mental Health Supports for People with Disabilities During COVID-19

CILT invites you to “Self-Advocating for Accessible Mental Health Supports for People with Disabilities During COVID-19.” This is a Zoom webinar that will focus on building self-advocacy skills for accessing mental health supports, responding to ableist attitudes and policies, and inequitable access historically experienced by people with disabilities in Ontario.

This webinar will expand awareness of potential challenges to accessing mental health care and will develop skills for self-identifying support needs and self-advocating to have those needs met during and beyond the pandemic.

When: Thursday December 10, 2020 from 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern Time (Canada)

To register for this virtual webinar event, please click here.

This workshop will have following objectives:
1) Includes knowing when to seek mental health support
2) How to determine a provider’s disability lens
3) How to ensure your access needs are being met
4) Question and Answers
5) Resources

Workshop Presenters:
Samantha Abel, PhD, RSW, Social Worker, Flemingdon Health Centre
Janet Rodriguez, Lived Experience Advisor; Health Mentor for Inter professional education

Workshop Facilitators:
John Mossa, Independent Living Skills Coordinator, Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT)
Rebecca Wood, Peer and Parenting Program Coordinator, Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT)

If you need assistance with registering please e-mail rebecca.wood@cilt.ca or call 416-599-2458 ext 291.

Please note, you will not be able to join the session without registering first. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Virtual Conference – Moving Beyond Repair: Upstream Approaches to Public Health Emergencies

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health is pleased to present the 13th Annual Student-Led Conference, Moving Beyond Repair: Upstream Approaches to Public Health Emergencies. This multi-day virtual event will be held on November 12th to 14th 2020. Click here for more information.

Food Access and Insecurity in Adults with Mobility Disabilities