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

“Count us In” Mapping the Needs of Muslims with Disabilities Questionnaire

Do you identify as Muslim and have a disability, or are you a family member or primary caregiver of a Muslim with a disability living in Ontario?

Complete the Questionnaire! Enter a chance to win a $50 gift card!

DEEN Support Services is pleased to launch the “Count Us In: Mapping the Needs of Muslims with Disabilities” Research Project funded by Olive Tree Foundation. Co-Investigators, Rabia Khedr and Ruby Latif invite you to support this research by taking time to complete the questionnaire if you are eligible and also ask you to share this email with your contacts.

Over 12 years ago, the “Toward an Inclusive Ummah: Muslims with Disabilities Speak Out” Report was published. As the population of Canadian-Muslims increases and ages, there is a critical need to further that pioneering research and capture data which will inform evidence-based service delivery. The “Count Us In” research project will help develop a demographic profile of Muslims with disabilities in Ontario in order to raise awareness about, plan for, and implement appropriate services not only in the Muslim community, but also in the mainstream.

 Survey Monkey questionnaire


Transcript – Provincial Debate on Accessibility & Disability Issues

Access the full edited transcript of last May’s Provincial Debate on Accessibility and Disability Issues:

Transcript in Word version


D-Next Accessible Media Lab heads to Production!

CILT is thrilled to launch the production phase of our D-Next Accessible Media Lab, run by a creative team of new media artists, film makers, journalists and advisory members with disabilities.  Our project team is in the middle of producing a video short featuring the inadequate representation of disability in Canada’s mainstream media, featuring disability advocates, disabled journalists and members of the general public. This will be followed by more productions slotted for this fall, all of which we will circulate widely.

Our main priority is to support diverse underrepresented disability communities to collaborate in creating more authentic stories on disability issues and culture in a media landscape that systemically erases and misrepresents our community’s stories, experiences with ableism, and achievements.

We are very grateful to be able to utilize the excellent suite of production equipment, including video, still camera, audio and lighting equipment for production and training purposes, thanks for the generous capital funding support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

CILT is actively seeking additional D-Next partners and advisory members with which to jointly create more productions, and welcome referrals. If you have a story you think needs telling, please reach out to us through the contact information below:

David Meyers
Senior Manager, Independent Living Programs
Phone: 416 599-2458

Wendy Porch
Executive Director, Ext 271
Phone: 416 599-2458, Ext 282

This project is provided through the generous funding support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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


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.

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.