Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR) Survey

CILT and the GTA Disability Coalition want to make sure you know about this opportunity for Torontonians with disabilities to have their voices heard!

The City of Toronto is developing strategies for rebuilding and reimagining how it delivers programs and services in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

We invite you to fill out the following survey before July 24th so your feedback will be considered to help shape future recovery and rebuild actions. This is our chance to influence civic decisions that impact our lives! Individual Survey – TORR

The City has established a temporary Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR). TORR’s role is to coordinate engagement and research to inform city-wide recommendations for rebuilding and reimagining how the City delivers programs and services. TORR will submit a final report with recommendations to City Council by September 2020. The City has engaged Social Planning Toronto as a partner to coordinate a grassroots and community sector engagement plan and they have created this survey. For more information visit: Social Planning Toronto – Toronto Office of Recovery & Rebuild Consultations.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this important survey!


PDN Vibrant Zoom: A Peer Support Group for Parents with Disabilities

Parents with disabilities are invited to join the Parenting with a Disability Network and Vibrant Healthcare Alliance for a chance to connect virtually to discuss and offer peer support around parenting with a disability.

Date: Tuesday July 21, 2020
Time: 1 pm-2:30 pm
Where: Over Zoom!  Please note, you will need to register for this group in order to receive the zoom meeting link.
Email: rebecca.wood@cilt.ca
Phone: 416-599-2458 ext 291

To register:  Please contact PDN coordinator Rebecca Wood

When you register please let us know about any accommodation needs.  If the timing of this group does not work for you but you would like to participate in future sessions please get in touch and let us know about preferred timing.

To find out first about upcoming Parenting with a Disability Network events, join our:  Facebook group

PDN Vibrant Zoom is presented by Vibrant Healthcare Alliance and the Centre for Independent Living Toronto with generous funding support provided by The City of Toronto, The United Way of Greater Toronto, and Independent Living Canada.


CBC Placement Program for People with Disabilities

CBC has launched for the third year its 12-week paid placement program for people with disabilities.  The CBC Abilicrew Placements for Excellence (CAPE) program currently has 10 roles available across Canada, 3 of them in Toronto. Some of the placements will start in September. For more information, visit the CBC CAPE website.


Recorded Webinar Available for CILT’s “Nothing About Us, Without Us: Disability, Advocacy, and COVID-19”


COVID-19 support for current Ontario Works and ODSP recipients

Ontario Works and ODSP recipients are eligible for emergency benefits for COVID-19 related expenses. This funding, available upon request, can be used to meet a broad range of needs, including cleaning supplies, transportation, food or clothing that individuals and families may require due to COVID-19. Recipients can access emergency benefits by calling their caseworker. Emergency benefits for COVID-19 related expenses are the same for both programs: up to $100 for single individuals and up to $200 for families.


Survey: Planning remote programs

CILT is thinking about how to best serve our members and we want to hear from you! Please take a moment to fill out this survey and share your thoughts to help us plan meaningful remote programs at this time.

We look forward to hearing from you!


COVID-19 and Disability: Recommendations to the Canadian Government from Disability Related Organizations in Canada – March 24, 2020

“It is imperative that the Government of Canada urgently address the unique vulnerabilities of people with disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 crisis. People with disabilities represent 22% of the Canadian population. Many are at extreme risk and require additional support to ensure their health and safety at this time.” 


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.


PDN on Local Love’s recent article


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: inquiry@cilt.ca
Via Eventbrite: https://june2019ciltdiners.eventbrite.ca

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.