Canadian Disability Hall of Fame:
Recognizing those who have opened doors for people with disabilities

The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame (CDHF) has provided permanent recognition of outstanding Canadians who have made extraordinary contributions to enriching the quality of life for people with physical disabilities. Founded by CFPDP, this public exhibit was officially opened February 11, 1994. It is open to the public on the main floor of Metro Hall, located at 55 John Street in Toronto.

The scope and depth of the contributions made by these individuals to the betterment of life for people with disabilities is astonishing — and every year since, the Disability Hall of Fame has added more inductees, equally remarkable, to its permanent exhibit.

“There are so many remarkable Canadians who have achieved excellence and made a difference in the lives of people with disabilities,” stated the Honourable David Crombie, Chair of the CDHF Selection Board since the Hall of Fame’s inception. “Each year, it becomes increasingly difficult for our Selection Board to name a single inductee in each category due to the extraordinary calibre of nominees. We wholeheartedly congratulate all the inductees and nominees for their exceptional achievements.”

Canadian Disability Hall of Fame located in the Rotunda, at Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, ON

Inductees and Nomination Process: 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 Disability Hall of Fame’s Selection Board in the category of Builder, Achiever or Athlete.

The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame recognizes distinguished Canadians who have made significant contributions in assisting, or enhancing the lives of persons with physical disabilities. Both physically disabled and non-disabled persons may be inducted into the Disability Hall of Fame.  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.

Nominations are collected year round and every June, three Canadians are selected to be inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.

Selection Categories:
Builder: Persons who have distinguished themselves by making extraordinary contributions to enhance the lives of persons with physical disabilities: those in the field of medical research whose significant discoveries enhance and enrich the lives of persons with physical disabilities.
Achiever: Those who have worked to heighten public awareness about persons with physical disabilities and increased opportunities for them in the area of sports, education, employment and housing: those who are an inspiration to others who have physical disabilities.
Athlete: Those with physical disabilities who have excelled as athletes

Canadian Disability Hall of Fame 2024 Inductees

Penny Bennett

Penny Bennett is a leader in Canada’s blind and deafblind community and is known nationwide as a strong, tireless advocate. She has spent decades building awareness and breaking down societal barriers for people with disabilities. This includes advocating for the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2015 and serving in leadership roles with numerous national, provincial and local community and disability organizations. Bennett has been involved in countless committees and boards, including Chair of CNIB Deafblind Community Services, member of the Municipal Accessibility Awareness Committee for the City of  Kingston, Ontario, and Co-Chair of the National Deafblind Awareness Month Working Group, among other notable roles. She has contributed to the creation of a self-advocacy guide for the deafblind community and advocates for equitable access to intervenor services so that all Canadians who are deafblind can thrive.

Tim Rose

Tim Rose is a business leader, changemaker, advocate, role model and entrepreneur who works passionately to advance accessibility, inclusion and diversity initiatives. Rose believes his disability has given him a perspective and lens on the world that very few get to have, and he approaches everything with positivity and humour. After graduating with a master’s degree in human rights law focusing on disability policy, Rose has spent 15 years spanning the disability and corporate sectors, from nonprofit work to employment consulting, mentoring and beyond. Since 2017, Rose has been a proud team member at CIBC, holding roles including regulatory compliance, community investment and as the lead for client experience accessibility for the 27% of Canadians who identify as having a disability. In this role, he works to make banking more inclusive for all Canadians.

Francis Roussel

Francis Roussel is a remarkable athlete who won 21 medals in 28 world championship events, including five gold, ten silver and six bronze. Competing against top swimmers in the world, his phenomenal performances spanned three Deaflympics. He won seven medals at each of three consecutive games, including Sofia 1993, Copenhagen 1997 and Rome 2001. Roussel broke numerous records in a total of 22 event categories during his career and has nine Canadian records that remain unmatched as of June 2024. These categories include the 400 metre (m) individual medley, 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle. In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Roussel supports the development of sports within the Deaf community through his involvement and board service with the Canadian Deaf Sports Association.

Presenting Partner

Diamond Partners

National Media Partner

Travel Partner

Gold Partner

Silver Partners

Bronze Partners


Team Members


Her Excellency
The Right Honourable Mary Simon
C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., O.Q., C.D.,
Governor General
and Commander-in-Chief of Canada

Honourary Patron

The Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman
Former Lieutenant Governor
of Ontario


The Honourable David Crombie

Founding Chair

The Honourable Vim Kochhar

Event Co-Chairs

George Przybylowski
Tony Wight

2023 Canadian Disability Hall of Fame Video