Remembering CILT Associate Director Ing Wong-Ward

On July 6th, 2019, CILT Associate Director Ing Wong-Ward passed away from complications related to colon cancer.  She will be deeply missed by all of her friends and colleagues at CILT and by the many whose lives she touched.

Ing was a fierce advocate, having spent many years challenging ableism through ground-breaking work at the CBC before coming to CILT as Associate Director in 2016. Disabled people everywhere have lost a champion and a treasured voice, and many have lost a close personal friend as well.

Close up of Ing Wong-Ward in striped tee-shirt smiling at the camer

Below, retired CILT Executive Director Sandra Carpenter remembers Ing in a personal tribute:

“Ing passed away in her sleep at around 3 am July 6th, 2019. She is survived by her adoring and dedicated husband Tim Wong-Ward and beautiful, talented and smart daughter Zhenmei. Please send them your kindest thoughts but respect their right to privacy at this time.

For those who knew Ing, she had a 22 year history at the CBC, where she was a tireless small ‘a’ advocate for disability perspectives in the mainstream radio media. Her early years at CBC were spent as a co-host of the Disability Network (D-Net), a first ever regular program on CBC.

Imagine my delight when in late 2015, she decided to join CILT. So by January 2016 she did and not because she lost her job at CBC (which many have) but because she chose us!

Let me back track a bit. Can’t quite remember when I first met Ing but she remembers meeting me when she was 16. That would make sense because I would have been 35 and at the Ministry of Labour. I can’t remember but she remembers our meeting going past 5 and so I took her home and she thought that was very ‘cool’!

Since that time, I watched her. Us fellow SMAer’s have to stick together.

Approximately 20 years ago she actually became my neighbour. We’d often joke that if we cut a hole through the one wall we share we could all live together. I said it was a joke. Some of my attendants might have driven her crazy!

I last spoke to her on July 2nd, 2019. She wanted to thank me for everything (I have way more to thank her for) and she especially wanted to thank me for hiring her at CILT, getting her out of the CBC and making the end of her working life such a joy. She loved us all (CILT staff) and to the end expressed regret that she was not able to carry on my legacy and remain with you all, when I was retired from CILT.

The thing that haunts me is this. When I hired her and when we finalized the succession plan with her I said ‘great…now just don’t die on me’. It was said in jest and we both laughed uproariously, Because I’m close to 20 years her senior I never, never though she would die before me!

But she did die and I want everyone to know that it was not her primary disability that killed her. It was inoperable cancer. In fact she would refer to the cancer and the resulting abscess as ‘the Kraken’. We did share a dark sense of humour.

I want to leave you with a few words that were shared with me when I sent out the news.

“With style and with grace, she left her impression on this place”. Mary of my attendants.

“What an unfathomable loss!” Kathleen of my nieces. Ing was responsible for giving her a job at CILT. Her own daughter and Ing’s daughter enjoy each other’s company when they rarely see each other.

See also David Demchuk’s amazing Tweet.

Words fail us at times like these Ing, but you will be remembered by many many people for a long, long time.

With Love


CILT extends our deepest condolences to Ing’s family and loved ones. We will miss you, Ing.

You’re Invited to the Summer Social!

The Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, Springtide Resources and Vibrant Healthcare Alliance cordially invite you for a free afternoon of summer fun!  Look forward to lunch, activities, a kids corner and a door prize! There will also be a chance to share feedback and ideas about future CILT programming. Please RSVP as soon as possible as space is limited.

Date:  Saturday, August 17th, 2019
Time: 12:30pm to 3:00pm
Location:  The 519 Community Centre, Room 106 (Eastroom South)
Address: 519 Church St. (near Wellesley station)
Closest Accessible Subway: Bloor-Yonge

RSVP BY: Thursday August 8, 2019
RSVP TO: Rebecca
Phone: (416) 599-2458 ext. 291

Attendant care and ASL interpreters will be provided but we welcome you to bring your own attendant or interpreter. Please let us know your dietary restrictions or any other accommodation needs when you RSVP. We will endeavour to make this a SCENT-FREE event

Resilience Building: A Support Group for Survivors of (Sexual Violence) Living with a Disability

The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and Vibrant Healthcare Alliance are holding a support group for survivors of sexual violence living with a disability. Details below:

Dates: October 9th -December 4th 2019
Interviews: Sept 12, 17 and 25th
Address: 2398 Yonge Street

Contact Lucy at 416 486-8666 x 226 or


Diners’ Club June 2019

Join us for fun, food and friendship every third Thursday of every month at a different, affordable, accessible restaurant in the city.

Check out the details for June’s event:

Date: Thursday, June 20th, 2019
Time: 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Restaurant:  Paisano
Type of Cuisine: Italian
Price Range: $12.00 – $25.00
Address: 116 Willowdale Ave
Closest intersection: Willowdale and Sheppard
Phone: (416) 613-5487
Closest Subway Station: Sheppard-Yonge
RSVP Deadline: Thursday, June 13th, 2019
RSVP by Phone: (416)-599-2458 ext. 293
By Email:
Via Eventbrite:

For reservation purposes, it is important that you RSVP by the deadline. We encourage you to RSVP via EventBrite.

Members are responsible for the cost of their own meal.
CILT will make every effort to have an attendant available for this event; however, we are unable to guarantee this. Those who must have an attendant with them to fully enjoy this event are encouraged to bring their own.

PLEASE NOTE:  CILT’s Attendant will remain at the restaurant up to 30 minutes after the event’s end time.  We appreciate you keeping this in mind when booking your WheelTrans ride.

Don Peuramaki: 1948-2019


On May 15th2019 the community has lost another highly significant and influential giant.

Don Peuramaki had extensive experience in media: television, radio, video production, visual art and music. He was senior and executive producer for the award-winning weekly co-production, Disability Network (D-Net) for eight seasons at CBC Television. The series incorporated both documentary and magazine formats.  Don also produced a two-hour special for CBC sports on the Atlanta Paralympic Games which drew an audience of over 1.5 million viewers.

Awards for D-Net included: ACTRA’s “Into the Mainstream” Award, B’nai Brith’s Media Human Rights Award, International Film and TV Festival of New York Awards, and Columbus International Film and Video Festival Awards.

Full Obituary

What you can do to make Toronto more inclusive

CILT’s Executive Director, Wendy Porch, wrote an opinion piece for the Toronto Star about the launch of Feeling Left Out?, part of Toronto for All campaign.

“Torontonians recently opened their collective eyes to the challenges faced by more than 400,000 of their neigbbours.

A simple bus shelter, converted for a month to make it completely inaccessible, called attention to the daily hurdles Torontonians with disabilities face every day.”

To read the full article, visit the Toronto Star’s website.

Feeling Left Out? Launch Receives Media Coverage

Feeling Left Out? is one part of a series of city-led initiatives intended to foster inclusion as part of the Toronto for All campaign. For this particular undertaking, the city teamed up with the Centre for Independent Living Toronto (CILT) and the PR agency PUBLIC to fully enclose a former transit shelter at the intersection of King and Bathurst streets, to give a sense of what it’s like to live with disability in the city.

Instead of allowing access, visitors can learn about the campaign, reading posted signs which are in Braille, American Sign Language and English.

“If it’s a small taste (of being excluded) which inspires change, then it’s worth it,” said Wendy Porch, executive director of CILT on the campaign’s intent. “Being left out is an everyday experience for people living with disabilities across a range of fronts: housing, education, civic engagement and social participation generally.”

To read the full article, visit the website.

D-Net Re-discovered : Benchmark Disability TV series now on YouTube

D-Net, The Disability Network, was a news and current affairs television series broadcast on CBC and Newsworld from 1990 to 1997.

Read the full D-Net press release in Word format.

Portable Housing Benefit – Special Priority Program

The Province of Ontario announced that it will be funding a portable housing benefit (PHB) that will eventually support up to about 3,000 households across Ontario. The benefit will be available to any household that is eligible for the Special Priority Housing Category (SPHC).

This new Portable Housing Benefit:

    • can be used towards the household’s current housing or a unit they move in to
    • is ongoing (permanent) with no end or expiry date
    • eligibility is reviewed each year based on your income tax filing;
    • can increase or decrease annually as income and rental rates change
    • can be used for rent anywhere in Ontario
    • is paid directly to the household
    • the monthly PHB amount will be calculated based on average monthly rent and adjusted family net income.
    • is available now

If you received a letter from Housing Connections (Access to Housing) over the summer to review this alternative housing option, contact Housing Connections at 416-397-7438, or by email at  More information can also be found on the City of Toronto’s Shelter Support and Housing Administration’s website, or by visiting a housing help centre.

Shelter Support and Housing

Housing Help


GO Accessibility Survey

The Metrolinx Universal Design Team has designed a survey to collect feedback from customers with disabilities or others who may require accessible services.  Metrolinx wants to better understand customers’ experience on GO Transit to improve services and to stay informed about the accessibility planning process.

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete (longer with a screen reader).

GO Accessibility Survey

If you can’t open the GO Accessibility Survey link, please copy and paste the following link into your browser: