Capability Program – Now Intaking

The Capability Program offered by Woodgreen Community Services is doing intakes for their next group which will start in late August.

Program info: 

  • 4-6 weeks of workshops (virtual)
  • 12 week work experience placement
  • Job retention and accommodation supports


  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Self-identify as having a disability (visible or invisible)
  • Unemployed
  • Not eligible for or receiving EI
  • Must be able to participate in a virtual program (access to computer and internet)


For more information, please check out the hyperlinked CAP Summer 2021 flyer and CAP Info Session callout.

PLEASE NOTE: CILT does not recommend or endorse any listing and is not liable for any situations which may result.


Autistics Access to Vaccines in Toronto #ActuallyVaccinated [WEBINAR]

In this presentation, we will discuss what the COVID-19 vaccines are, the science behind them, and access issues for autistics. Presented by Autistics for Autistics, Ontario as part of the Centre for Independent Living’s Disability Vaccine Outreach Initiative, in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Vaccine Ambassadors Program.

When: July 29, 2021 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: Virtually through Zoom

To register, please fill out the hyperlinked Registration Form.

ASL interpreter and captions will be available.


A Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccine [WEBINAR]


Knowing that many members of our community have been vaccinated already, this webinar presented by BALANCE will focus on how you can speak with hesitant friends and family about COVID-19 and the benefits of being vaccinated. A Question-and-Answer period will take place following the presentation, where you can ask any questions you might have.

When: Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Virtually through Zoom

To register, please click the Zoom link or call 416-236-1796 ext. 0 to register.

Closed captioning will be provided.

Check out the flyer for more info.




Free Power Wheelchair Available [DONATION]

A used Quantum 6000 power wheelchair is available for free. It’s 10 years old and requires two new batteries, which generally cost $250 each. Otherwise the chair is in good working condition and the original manual can also be provided.

If interested in claiming the chair or have any additional questions, please contact Dorothy Willis by email at

Please see below for a photo of the chair: 

Photo of Power wheelchair

First and Second Dose Accessible Vaccine Clinics for People with Disabilities – July 8 and 9

COVID-19 first and second doses are being offered through for people with disabilities.

Date: Thursday, July 8th and Friday  July 9th

Time: 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Location:  Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street W, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2W6

Eligibility: 16 years of age and older

By appointment only, no walk-ins. To book your appointment, please visit the TPH Booking Site.

Accommodation requests from the first clinic will be honoured. Check out the Vaccine Clinic Flyer.

Brought to you by Toronto’s Accessibility Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines and Toronto Public Health. 

Ontario Providing Accessible Rides to COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

Please see below for a press release from the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility dated June 22, 2021: 


Building on recent success in getting millions of people vaccinated, the Ontario government is investing $3.7 million in a partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association to help people with disabilities, including seniors with mobility issues, get to and from vaccination sites so they can get their shot and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

To date, over three-quarters of all adults in Ontario have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 26 per cent fully immunized. The Accessible Drive To Vaccines program will ensure that anyone who wants a vaccine is able to by connecting eligible individuals with staff and volunteers who will drive them to and from local vaccination sites across the province. This includes individuals who have not yet received their first shot, or anyone who may require additional support to access their second.

“Our government understands that some Ontario residents may face barriers in traveling to a vaccination site,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “This program will ensure that transportation is not a barrier to vaccination. It will help many Ontarians with mobility issues get vaccinated.”

This initiative will focus on helping people who do not have access to accessible transportation through family, neighbours or community organizations.

“In many communities across Ontario, the dedicated staff and volunteers who work in the community support sector have been providing safe rides to vaccination sites for several months,” said Deborah Simon, OCSA’s Chief Executive Officer. “As demand continues to grow, we’re pleased to be involved in coordinating this project, which recognizes, supports, and extends the capacity of these hard-working organizations to help vulnerable people protect themselves against COVID-19.”

Getting as many Ontarians as possible vaccinated is a critical part of the government’s strategy to fight COVID-19.

Quick Facts

  • Individuals must have a vaccine appointment booked for the date of transportation requested.
  • Eligible individuals must be a person with a disability within the meaning of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
  • Depending on logistics it may be the same driver both ways or two separate drivers.
  • One caregiver or support person will also be permitted to accompany the person on this accessible transportation initiative.

Media Contacts

Elric Pereira
Minister’s office

Media Desk
Communications Branch

COVID Vaccine Webinar | Considering Social Determinants of Health for People with Disabilities

ERDCO (the Ethno Racialized Disability Coalition – Ontario) is holding a free webinar about the COVID-19 vaccine. The topic will be about barriers for people with disabilities and the “Considering Social Determinants of Health.”

When: Tuesday, June 22 from 12:00pm – 1:30pm EST

How to register: Link to registration form

ASL (American Sign Language) and Deaf Interpretation will be provided.

If you have any questions, please contact or text 416-245-2283.

CILT Statement of Support and Solidarity with Muslim Communities

We at CILT are deeply saddened and shocked at the heinous murder of four members of a Muslim family and the serious injury caused to a child, on June 6th in London, Ontario. We extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s loved ones and to Muslim communities all over Canada who are grieving this traumatic event. Such violent acts of hate have no place in our pluralistic society, and we join many of the speakers at the June 7th vigil in denouncing it.

CILT also stands in solidarity with Muslim leaders calling on our political parties and government institutions to take meaningful action now to combat Islamophobia in its many forms. This includes meaningful legislation, policy making and dialogue with Muslim communities.

We also believe that at this time of increasing racial and religious intolerance in Canada, our workplaces must provide safe inclusive spaces where Muslim workers can contribute their talents free from Islamophobia. We encourage our many partners to make available practical supports to their staff, volunteers and service communities who identify as Muslim, during this difficult time.

The Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT)

City of Toronto Pool Open for People with Disabilities and Health Conditions

The City of Toronto has opened the Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre swimming pool to meet the needs of persons with disabilities, health and medical conditions, who might benefit from aquatic activity. Details are as follows:

Where: Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre at 5100 Yonge Street (entrance via the back on Beecroft, beside the North York Central Library)

When: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00am – 12:00pm

Register: Individuals or groups can call 416-395-7585. You can also contact the Community Recreation Programmer, Dara Minty, whose email is

The pool is fully accessible, with accessible changerooms and bathrooms and ramped entry into the shallow end of the pool.

Participants must bring a note from a “qualified regulated health professional” noting that this activity would be beneficial. The province defines qualified regulated health professional as “physicians, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, chiropractors and kinesiologists.” The note must be shown, but it is not kept by the facility or the City, respecting privacy concerns.

Remembering Ian Parker

Close up photo of Ian


Posted on behalf of Leisa DeBono, Manager of Direct Funding Program

Ian Parker was a mainstay and staff member at CILT for over 25 years, so we are still coming to terms with the tremendous loss after he passed away on April 15, 2021.

But amid that sadness, we were so gratified to learn that Ian recently received the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.  (More on that below.)

As one of the longest serving members of staff, Ian was a staple at CILT.  You get to know a few people when you spend more than a quarter of a century working at one place!  Aside from being a well-spoken, kind and intelligent person known in a wide variety of circles, Ian was truly a pleasure to work with.  He was gentle and generous – you could always count on Ian to help out any staff member who needed an ear or some assistance in problem-solving.  He was incredibly smart and analytical, yet down-to-earth, an academic but very practical, and his actions were always grounded in compassion and regard for those around him.  At his core, Ian believed in and embodied the Independent Living philosophy.  It is that foundation that led him to be one of the key creators of the Self-Managed Attendant Services; Direct Funding Program that has been run through CILT since 1994.

The Direct Funding Pilot Project was a revolutionary change from the way traditional attendant services  were received.  It switched responsibility from an agency to the individual with the disability who would receive funding, become an employer, then recruit, train and pay their own attendant staff. Talk about turning the system on its head!

Getting a project like Direct Funding off the ground was not fast or easy.  Starting in 1989, Ian worked with other individuals with disabilities who used attendant services, along with government representatives, to develop policy and legislation that would pave the way for the program, including an important exemption under the Regulated Health Professions Act.  A staunch advocate of the concept of self-management and author of the original policy guidelines, once funding was secured in 1994, Ian took on managing the pilot project while also being one of the first participants on the program.  He led Direct Funding through the all-important formative years including the original program evaluation in 1997 which was so overwhelmingly positive that the “Pilot Project” received ongoing “Program” status, and the ability to take on hundreds more “Self-Managers,” as program participants are called.

Ian saw the DF Program through many changes, and some challenges, but you could not find a better person to oversee the legal, social, economic or ethical issues that arose over the years.  He laid the framework for a program that has now served more than 1,800 Ontarians with disabilities and that continues to expand.  The last program expansion happened in 2020, so Ian’s legacy continues to grow and take on new participants from the sizeable list of people waiting for this opportunity.

Ian Parker and Direct Funding will forever be integrally linked, but Direct Funding is far from Ian’s only accomplishment.

Following his spinal cord injury Ian enrolled as a part-time student at the University of Toronto in a music program and quickly learned how difficult it was to get around campus as a disabled student.  Not one to accept the status quo, Ian co-founded Access U of T and had a ramp built outside the music building.  The group continued to push for accessibility changes that benefit U of T students today.  In fact, Ian recently used the same ramp he advocated for in the 1970s to see his daughter perform at the same school.  To remember his efforts at U of T, an article was recently published about Ian and can be read here: Article on Empathy and Strength by Ian Parker

Ian was also among the first people to come out of Lyndhurst, a Toronto rehabilitation centre for people with spinal cord injuries, and live in supportive housing around 1975 – but it wasn’t really supportive housing back then, it was a pilot that would later become supportive housing.  In 1983, his experiences led him to develop an evaluation instrument and protocol for Ministry review of supportive housing units. Always active in some way with government, while still earning his BA in music, Ian also worked with the Ontario government as the assistant provincial coordinator on the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981 and conceived the “Label us Able” awareness theme.

Within the disability community it is hard to meet a person who either does not know Ian, or has not heard of him because he worked towards inclusion and accessibility for almost five decades.  It therefore feels fitting that Ian’s family recently learned that he was awarded the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility for his work in the community:

The award recipients include leaders who champion accessibility, raise awareness about the benefits of inclusion, and foster positive change in their communities with their work helping to improve the lives and experiences of people with disabilities in Ontario…

Role Model – Ian Parker from Toronto posthumously received the award for his visionary work in establishing the Direct Funding program as an option for the delivery of personal care for Ontarians with disabilities.”

You can read more about the David C. Onley Award and Ian here:  Ontario Recognizes Champions of Accessibility

It would be difficult to find another person who so perfectly emulates leadership, inclusion and positive change in their community.  And to further honour Ian’s memory, his family have decided to donate the financial award to CILT, which will use the money to provide much-needed and costly equipment to individuals with disabilities who could not otherwise acquire it.

That Ian is no longer with us is incredibly sad for those who knew and loved him.  He has left an enormous hole that is impossible to fill, as just his presence and the knowledge we could seek out his opinion or memory on day-to-day issues seemed to make things better and easier. It is comforting to know that Ian’s contribution to so much, but especially to the Direct Funding Program, have earned him a place in the history books, as well as all our hearts.