Canadian Disability Hall of Fame

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Recognizing those who have opened doors for people with disabilities

The Hall of Fame provides permanent recognition of outstanding Canadians who have made extraordinary contributions to enriching the quality of life for people with physical disabilities. Founded by the CFPDP, this public exhibit was officially opened February 11, 1994 at Metro Hall, 55 John St., in downtown Toronto. A rededication ceremony was held there on November 20, 1996 when the exhibit moved to a more visible location. It is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nominations to the Hall of Fame come from sources across Canada – community groups, private citizens, associations and organizations of and for people with physical disabilities. Nominees are chosen each year by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Board in the category of Builder, Achiever or Athlete. The inductees are individuals who truly have made a difference – those who have opened doors for people with disabilities in the areas of sports, education, employment or housing.

Twenty Fifth Annual Hall of Fame Induction

Date: Friday, October 19, 2018
Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Canadian Room
Guest Speaker: Duncan Sinclair, Chair, Deloitte Management Services LP
11:45 am - Reception 12 noon - Lunch

Canadian Disability Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees 

Todd Nicholson
Todd NicholsonAthlete
Todd’s achievements in sport have been outstanding, both on and off the ice. A paraplegic due to a car accident in his teens, he forged a brilliant career with Canada’s National Sledge Hockey Team, highlighted by five Paralympic Games appearances and three Paralympic medals, including gold in Torino 2006, silver in Nagano in 1998 and bronze in Lillehammer in 1994. He also won eight medals at world championships and was captain of his team on several occasions. After retiring from competition in 2010, Todd turned his energies to advocating for Paralympic athletes and championing the inclusion of all people in the recreational and cultural lives of their communities.
Jim Sanders
Jim SandersBuilder
A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Jim has made it his life’s work to help ensure the independence, respect and dignity of persons with disabilities. He was born in 1947 with severe glaucoma, losing his sight entirely at age 36. Upon completing university, he joined the CNIB and stayed with the organization more than 40 years, the last 7 as president and CEO. Since retiring in 2009, he has continued to share his skills and talents wherever he can be of assistance. In 2004, he received the Order of Canada in recognition of his tireless efforts to eliminate the barriers faced by people living with vision loss.
Shirley Shelby
Shirley ShelbyAchiever
A passionate advocate for people with disabilities, Shirley has had a powerful impact on Ontario sports in two different areas. After learning about the challenges disabled individuals often faced when traveling, she started a pioneering travel agency in the late 1970s that specialized in special-needs travel. In this capacity, she was a leader in improving airline policies for people with disabilities and managed travel for several organizations, including the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and Canadian Blind Sports Association. Shirley has also been a leader in sports administration. She helped found Sport for Disabled Ontario, joined the Ontario Blind Sports Association as President, and she continues to stay involved to this day.
Robert Snoek
Robert SnoekAchiever
Three-time Paralympian Rob Snoek represented Canada in track and field for over 12 years. A below-knee amputee from age one due to a congenital bone disease, he grew up playing sports at a high competitive level in Orono, Ontario. Upon discovering the Paralympics in his late teens, Rob redoubled his training and went on to compete in the Games in Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000, as well as at four world championships. After retiring from competition, Rob became a sports broadcaster, covering elite events including the Paralympics, for the CBC. He frequently shares his spare time speaking about the importance of physical activity and advocating for people with disabilities.
Click here to view previous Hall of Fame inductees

Canadian Disability Hall of Fame 2017 Photos  

Click Here for Photos from the 2017 Induction Ceremony

Canadian Disability Hall of Fame 2011 video


His Excellency
the Right Honourable
David L. Johnston C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General of Canada

Honorary Patrons

The Honourable
Hal Jackman,
Former Lieutenant Governor
of Ontario

The Honourable
David C. Onley,
Former Lieutenant Governor
of Ontario




The Honourable David Crombie

Founding Chair

The Honourable Vim Kochhar

Hall of Fame Selection Board

Cindy Accardi, Program Analyst
Ministry of Community and Social Services

The Hon. Con Di Nino
Former Senator

John Downing, Former Editor
Toronto Sun

Dr. Arlette Lefebvre, Psychiatrist
The Hospital for Sick Children

Debbie Low, CEO
Canadian Sports Institute Ontario

Dr. Jamie MacDougall, Psychologist
Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf

Janice Martin
Former Disability Consultant, Ministry of
Training, Colleges & Universities

Joanne Smith
Fruitful Elements

Jeff Tiessen, President
Disability Today Publishing Group

Mark Wafer, President
Megleen Inc.