Canadian Disability Hall of Fame

Changing the Way Canadians Think About Disability

Canadian Disability Hall of Fame

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.

Event Information

Twentieth Annual
Hall of Fame Induction

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel
Canadian Room

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

11:45 a.m. Reception
12:00 p.m. Luncheon

Guest Speaker
The Honourable Peter Mackay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

2013 Inductees

Raymond Cohen (deceased), Builder

Founder of the Canadian Abilities Foundation and publisher and editor of Abilities, “Canada’s lifestyle magazine for people with disabilities”, Raymond Cohen was one of this country’s most outspoken and influential advocates of disability rights and accessibility. Launched in 1986, Abilities today has some 80,000 readers among Canadians with disabilities, their families, friends and supporters of the disability movement.

Stephanie Dixon, Athlete

Multiple medal winning Paralympian and world record holder Stephanie Dixon is one of Canada’s most accomplished competitive swimmers. Born with one leg, the Brampton, Ontario, native started swimming when she was two and by the age of 14 she had earned a berth on Canada’s Paralympic team. In three trips to the Games she won 19 Paralympic medals and holds three world records in the S9 Para category.

Ramesh Ferris, Achiever

Born in India in 1979, Ramesh Ferris lost the use of his legs to polio as an infant and was adopted by a Canadian family in Whitehorse, Yukon. Returning to India in 2002 to meet his biological mother, he was appalled by the tragic circumstances of polio survivors there and he returned home determined to find a way to alleviate their suffering. In 2008 Ramesh hand-cycled 7,120 kms across Canada raising $318,000 for polio eradication, education and rehabilitation.

Jerry and Annie Johnston, Builders

Kimberley, British Columbia, husband and wife team Jerry and Annie Johnston played a profoundly influential role in the growth and development of the sport of skiing for people with a disability. As a young ski instructor in Alberta in 1963, Jerry introduced the first program for disabled skiers in Canada and in 1976 he founded the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing where he served for nearly 30 years as executive director with Annie’s dedicated administrative support.

David Crombie, Life Time Achiever

David Crombie became so popular after he was elected Toronto mayor in 1972, a columnist called him Tiny Perfect Mayor, a famous nickname he wore with distinction as an urban reformer, compassionate Conservative, university educator and consultant in a remarkable career in municipal and federal politics and as waterfront commissioner and negotiator in difficult issues. As a gifted speaker, there have been incredible demands on him, but he always has time for disability issues, beginning with his Mayor's Task Force on the Disabled, and then, for 20 years, selection committee chair for the Hall of Fame and gifted MC for the presentations.

Previous inductees


Photo Gallery





Online Hall of Fame Nomination Form
Downloadable Hall of Fame Nomination Form (Fillable PDF)
Event Flyer
Inductee Bios
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Ticket Order Form




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
David C. Onley,
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

The Honourable
Hal Jackman,
Former Lieutenant Governor
of Ontario


The Honourable David Crombie

Founding Chair

The Honourable Vim Kochhar

Hall of Fame
Selection Board

Cindy Accardi
Exec. Director, Rotary Cheshire Home

The Honourable Con Di Nino

John Downing
Former Editor
Toronto Sun

Anne Johnston
Former Councillor, City of Toronto

Dr. Arlette Lefebvre
The Hospital for Sick Children

Debbie Low
President & CEO
Canadian Sport Centre Ontario

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

Joanne Smith
Fruitful Elements

Jeff Tiessen
Disability Today Publishing Group

Henry Wohler
Former President
Canadian Paralympic Committe