Democracy Talks

Join us for a fun and interactive civic engagement workshop!

Date: Thursday, March 5th
Time: 1-3 pm
Location: Centre for Independent Living, 365 Bloor Street East, Suite 902

To register please email or call her at 416-599-2458 ext. 291

Attendant services will be provided. Scent-free environment.

Panel Discussion: Midwifery Care and Disability in Ontario

Date: Wednesday, March 11th
Time: 11:15 – 12:15 (doors open at 11 am)
Focus Group: 12:30 – 2:30
Location: 288 Church St., 7th floor, room 707-709

Live Stream

Accessibility: ASL, live-captioning, attendant care, supportive listener, and refreshments will be provided. Child friendly space. Scent-free environment. Please be mindful of confidentiality.

Sandra Carpenter – Dedicated Advocate and IL Visionary

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that our inimitable Sandra Carpenter, co-founder and first Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, unexpectedly passed away January 23, 2020.

Sandra’s dry wit, sharp intellect and dedication to independent living were admired by all who were lucky enough to know her. We are shocked at losing her so soon after her retirement from CILT in 2019.

Sandra was CILT’s original Executive Director when CILT gained independence from COTA in 1986. In 1989 she returned to the Ontario Government and was employed by the Ministry of Labour as the Manager of the Centre for Disability and Work. After a brief leave of absence, during which she worked as the Research Director for the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres in Ottawa, she returned to government once again as Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Issues and was eventually appointed the Senior Manager, Disability Issues at the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation.

Sandra left the Ontario Government in 1999, and briefly worked for the Foundation on Independent Living, before returning to CILT in November 2000. Sandra was with CILT as Executive Director until she retired in 2019.

During this time, one of her proudest achievements was the role she played in the phenomenal growth of CILT’s Direct Funding Program.  The Direct Funding Program supports people with disabilities from across Ontario to act as employers and hire their own attendants. The program supports people with disabilities to live in the community and make choices, examine options and live life as they wanted. Last year, the Direct Funding Program celebrated 25 years of empowering people with disabilities with options for living life on their own terms.

Sandra also worked hard at CILT to build relationships with diverse stakeholders. As Sandra’s sister Tracy said of her “Sandra had a unique way of forging relationships with allies to work for the good of our community as exemplified by CILT’s Founder’s Award. She set the award up in such a way that one year a person with a disability would be recognized, but in alternate years, recognition was paid to our allies who worked with within government or elsewhere in the community. In an “us vs them” world, she brought so many more to our side.”

Sandra is also fondly remembered as a leader who never sought the spotlight, but who encouraged others to find their voices. Sandra had the ability to recognize people’s unique talents and help them to draw out strengths many never even knew they had.

Sandra’s significant other achievements include the creation of the first ever radio and then television show that featured disability issues and stories. This television show evolved into a program called Moving On, aired on both CBC television and TV Ontario.

Sandra is one of the original independent living visionaries in Canada and moved forward the IL philosophy through all of her work. Today people with disabilities everywhere have lost a fierce advocate and a humble champion.

The CILT Board and staff send our deepest condolences to Sandra’s family and friends.  CILT asks that you please respect her family’s need for privacy at this time. As and when details emerge regarding a service for Sandra, CILT will be sure to pass them on.

CILT will continue to work everyday to honor Sandra’s vision of a world where people with disabilities are truly free to live as they choose.

Sandra, you were one of a kind. We will miss you always.

The More we Get Together: A Circle for Parents with Disabilities and their Children

Join this free Valentine’s Day circle time with songs, rhymes and stories to support bonding with your child, developing their early literacy skills and connecting with other parents with disabilities.

Date: Friday February 14th
Time: 1:30-3pm (Circle Time will begin at 2 pm)
Location: Tobias House, 695 Coxwell Ave. 6th Floor
Closest Intersection: Coxwell and Danforth

Attendant services will be provided but people are encouraged to bring their own attendants or nurturing assistants. TTC tokens will be provided.  Please let us know about any other accommodation needs when you register for the event. This a SCENT-FREE event.

Please RSVP by Tuesday February 12 by email or phone 416-599-2458 ext 291

Presented by: Vibrant Healthcare Alliance and the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto’s Parenting with a Disability Network.

PDN on Local Love’s recent article

Attendant Services + Legal Clinic


  • Friday January 17, 2020
  • Thursday February 20, 2020
  • Tuesday March 17, 2020

Workshop: 11:00am – 1:00pm (Reception at 10:30 am)

Legal Clinic: 1:00pm – 5:00pm (30 minute sessions)

Place:  ARCH Disability Law Centre, 15th Floor, 55 University Ave. (at Wellington St. W.)

ARCH and CILT will provide 3 repeat workshops for consumers of attendant services about their legal rights and self-advocacy strategies.

After each workshop, ARCH’s lawyers will be available to give up to 30 minutes of legal advice and information to persons with disabilities on Attendant/PSW services issues. Please sign up for an appointment if you would like to take part in this free and confidential service.

Please choose only one date as seating for each workshop is limited to 25 people.

Register by Eventbrite or contact Robin at or 416-599-2458 ext. 293

For more info, please check the flyer for ARCH and CILT’s Legal Clinic Workshop.

D-NEXT Accessible Media Team

Want to expand on your Storytelling and Media Production skills through a training project  designed by and for people with disabilities?

CILT’s D-NEXT Accessible Media Team is a small accessible media lab offered by CILT, together with community partners and a creative advisory team of disabled storytellers, including podcasters, videographers and bloggers.

This January, D-NEXT jumpstarts a free new media training project for disabled storytellers seeking to expand their media toolkit and work on small productions. Participants will undertake a 10-week training series, meeting once-weekly.

We are taking applications for our first round of trainings, starting at end of January 2020. Round 2 starts in April.

Participant honoraria, attendant services, refreshments and TTC passes are provided.

For details on applying, please check the flyer.

CILT expresses much gratitude to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its generous funding on this project.


Stand-up Comedy & Disability

Miles Nadal JCC is offering a program teaching the basics of joke writing and how to use humour to talk difference and explore the disability experience.  ASL interpretation will be available.

For more information, email, call (416) 924-6211 x 335 or visit

For adults 18+

Fee: $150

Disability on Film

Disability on Film is a new 4-part series curated and hosted by Angelo Muredda, PhD in Cinema, University of Toronto. The series sees cinema through a critical lens on disability.

Fee: $10 per class / $32 for the series
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Fall Session:
September 26, 2019
October 17, 2019
November 21, 2019
December 19, 2019

Winter Session:
January 23, 2020
February 20, 2020
March 19, 2020
April 30, 2020

For more information or to register, visit

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.