TTC accessibility advocate dies

  Roger Roberts, a well-known local advocate who campaigned for greater accessibility on TTC buses, has died. He was 61 years old.   Roberts, the longtime chair of the TTC’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT), died of natural causes after suffering from long-term health complications.   During his career as a lifelong volunteer and supporter of community issues and causes, he earned awards, plaques and citations, including the City of Toronto’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003.   Although intimately concerned with the operations of the Wheel-Trans service, Roberts told Metro he preferred to travel on the regular network. “The conventional system is spur-of-the-moment – you don’t have that with Wheel-Trans.”   When asked why this was so important, in light of the high cost and slow progress, he replied, “I would say that it makes you feel less disabled.”    

Terri Schiavo Dies

  Terri Schiavo, the American woman who acquired disability and was caught in a bitter debate on euthanasia, died this morning at the age of 41. Her death comes 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.   Schiavo, from Florida, sparked a major legal battle that reached all the way to the White House. Her feeding tube was removed at the request of Michael Schiavo, her husband and legal guardian. Her parents, disability advocates and a number of political and religious conservatives protested this decision, creating a continental debate on right-to-die issues.   Terri Schiavo acquired brain damage in 1990 when she temporarily lost consciousness brought on by an undiagnosed eating disorder. The legal battles began a decade later when Michael filed a petition to have his wife taken off life support. He claimed he was trying to exercise his wife’s wish to not be kept alive artificially, contrary to the beliefs of her Roman Catholic parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.   The news of her death came one day after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the latest in a string of appeals by Schiavo’s parents to have her tube reinserted.   “Schiavo has become a tragic figure… that in itself is a tragedy,” says William G. Strothers, deputy director of The Center for an Accessible Society in San Diego and a former Toronto Star reporter.   An autopsy is planned, with both sides hoping it will shed more light on the extent of Terri’s brain injuries. She will then be cremated as requested by Michael Schiavo.    

Creating a Will: A Workshop for Adults with Disabilities and Their Families

  CILT, in partnership with ARCH (A Legal Resource Centre for Persons with Disabilities), presents a workshop on Creating a Will: A Workshop for Adults with Disabilities
and their Families.   This workshop will focus on: * Why is it so important for us to have a will? * What is a “Power of Attorney” and how does it work? * Choosing guardianship of our children * How much does it cost to create a will?   Please welcome Lana Kruzner, a legal representative from ARCH, who will be talking about the importance of creating a will and who will provide us with answers to the questions listed above.   We invite you to come with your own questions as well. The workshop will take place Saturday, June 11, from 1-3:30 PM, at the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, 205 Richmond Street West, Suite 605.   To register for this event, please call 416-599-2458, and ask to speak to Nancy or Kimberly or by TTY at 416-599-5077 by June 3.    

Personal Growth & Well-Being Workshop Series

  Bellwoods Centres for Community Living is hosting a workshop series on Personal Growth & Well-Being for adults with a physical disability.   Join Bellwoods for the following:   Session 1: define self-esteem, determine your desired area of personal growth,   Session 2: participate with guest speakers to address techniques to strengthen confidence, self-respect and success,   Session 3: practice self-acceptance and expand your social being.   This workshop series will take place Wednesdays, April 20, 27 & May 4, from 2-4 PM, at Bellwoods Park House Lounge, 300 Shaw Street (Dundas & Ossington).   Workshops are free of charge. Registration is required. Call Yoli at 416-530-1448.   Refreshments will be provided. Attendant service can be available if requested in advance.    

2005-2006 Global TV Scholarship-Internship Award

  The Global Television Network is accepting entries for its 2005-2006 Scholarship-Internship Award for a Canadian with a Physical Disability.   This annual Scholarship-Internship Award is offered to a Canadian with a “mobility impairment” (sic), and provides educational assistance as well as an opportunity to work in private television, in pursuit of a career in broadcasting. The Award, valued at $15,000, covers all tuition fees and textbooks for one full scholastic year of a radio and television arts program or journalism program at a recognized Canadian university or college beginning in Fall 2005. The Award also includes a three- or four-month internship at any Global Television station in Canada for Summer 2005 (includes moving expenses). The Award covers transportation, hotel and attendance expenses at the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention in November 2005, where the award will be presented.    Eligibility criteria:

  • Canadian student with a physical disability
  • Secondary school graduate or a mature student with a GPA suitable for admission to a RTA or journalism program at a recognized Canadian university or college
  • Strong English language communication skills
    The deadline for submissions of entries is June 3, 2005.

For further information, please call 1-800-387-8001.    

Housing Connections is Moving

  Housing Connections is opening a new, self-service Resource Centre. During the move, Housing Connections will be closed from April 15-29.   Phone representatives will continue to be available weekdays except for April 15 and 18.   The new Resource Centre will be open starting April 29, at 176 Elm Street, west of University Avenue.   For general information, please visit or use Housing Connections’ automated telephone system anytime at 416-981-6111. You can also visit an Access Centre near you.    

Toronto Region ODSP Action Coalition Meetings

  The Toronto Region ODSP Action Coalition is open to all recipients, legal clinics, agencies, service providers, family and friends living and/or working in Toronto.   This coalition meets on the last Friday of each month, from 1:30-3 PM, at 519 Church Street Community Centre, 2nd Floor. The next meetings are scheduled for Friday, April 1 and Friday, April 29.   519 Church St. is located just north of Wellesley, on the east side of Church St. Close to Wellesley TTC station.   For questions, email or contact Catherine Manson, Flemingdon Community Legal  Services, at 416-441-1764 x31.    

TCF offers scholarships to consumers with disabilities

  The Toronto Community Foundation has announced that it has two scholarship opportunities available for eligible students with disabilities.   One scholarship is the Joubin/Selig Fund for students with permanent physical disabilities studying in any registered college or university in Ontario. The maximum award is $5,000. The application deadline is April 15.   The other is the Dr. Strickler Scholarship, for students with a visible physical disability studying medicine at specific universities in Ontario. This year’s award may be offered at a maximum amount of $2,000. The deadline for this scholarship is June 30.    

Chair and walker for sale

  Brand new power chair and walker for sale (purchased Sept. 2004).   The chair drives easily over bumps and curbs. Special pillow for back pain included with chair. Price for chair is $4000 (orig. $8000).   The walker is light, and easy to walk with. Basket is included. Price for walker is $250 (orig. $500).   Call Maria if interested at (905) 901-9494 (Oakville #) or leave a message at (905) 812-5420 (Mississauga #).    

ICE Canada Conference 2005

Independence, Community and Empowerment (ICE) is hosting its 2nd conference for adults using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), from April 8-10 at the Toronto Marriott Hotel.    This year’s theme is “Living Well: Beyond Existing.”  Key topics include:    Recreation/ Leisure/ Travel Sexuality/ Marriage/ Dating/ Relationships Aging with a Disability Spirituality/ Death/ Grieving Advocacy/ Rights/ Independence   Ice Canada 2005 is the follow-up to the inaugural conference from 2002. The first ICE conference welcomed 136 participants, including 38 AAC consumers.   ICE was inspired by the Pittsburgh Employment Conference, a biennial, consumer-centred conference for augmented communicators. It is considered a powerful force for change, and a source of empowerment for consumers with disabilities, especially those who use AAC-related devices.   The ICE conference committee includes AAC consumers, members of Speaking Differently, Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy, Ontario March of Dimes, and clinicians from Ontario’s AAC Clinics.