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December 3, 2007
Toronto celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities
  
Mayor David Miller proclaimed International Day of People with Disabilities today at Variety Village during an event that featured remarks by the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The event is Toronto’s way of marking the day that the United Nations designates worldwide each year at this time, among City activities marking Human Rights Month.

Today’s celebration also provided an opportunity to honour several “unsung heroes” among the many people with a disability who live in Toronto. The six unsung heroes honoured this year are John Feld, Robert Hampson, Maya Jonas, Stephanie Kelly, Fran Odette and Sam Savona.

“I’m tremendously honoured to be able to recognize these outstanding individuals for their contributions and achievements,” said Mayor David Miller. “We also come together to renew Toronto’s commitment to the goal of becoming a barrier-free city - and to emphasize the importance of the United Nations’ theme this year - Decent work for people with disabilities.”

During his remarks, Lieutenant Governor Onley said, “Today is a special day to draw attention to the issue of accessibility. In my installation speech just under three months ago, I defined accessibility as that which enables people to reach their full potential. Without full accessibility, people living with disabilities cannot achieve their full potential, cannot be included in the economic and social life of the province.”

Today’s forum, hosted by MC Helen Henderson of the Toronto Star, gave participants an opportunity to discuss how the Toronto Government can further enhance access to services. The occasion also presents an opportunity to foster greater general awareness of the gains derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Councillor Adrian Heaps, who is chair of the City’s Disabilities Issues Committee, said, “The City is playing a lead role in helping to overcome all forms of discrimination as we continue to respond to the needs of people with disabilities in policy and in practice.”

The City of Toronto acknowledged the organizational supporters of this year’s event: Anne Johnston Health Station, Birchmount Bluffs Community Centre, CIBC, the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, the CNIB, Epilepsy Toronto, Scotiabank Group and Variety Village.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.


Media contact:

Claudia White, Social Services Division, 416-392-8962, cwhite3@toronto.ca


 

 

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