Ann Caine is a pioneer in therapeutic riding for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities. The founder of Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre, Ann’s dedication and innovative ideas have created unprecedented opportunities for social growth and physical activity for Canadians who live with disability. Ann’s visionary leadership and energy have also inspired others to help her expand the therapeutic riding community in Canada and around the world. Ann is a founding member and former two term President of the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association.
Although paralyzed following spinal surgery when she was nine, Tracey Ferguson never wavered in her dream of representing Canada in international athletic competition. A five time Paralympian, Tracey is a veteran of Canada’s historic women’s wheelchair basketball team which went undefeated for 10 years in international competition, earning three Paralympic gold medals and three World Championships. A rare multi-sport Paralympian, Tracy is also an accomplished track and field athlete who qualified for the 2008 Paralympics in wheelchair athletics.
When he was four years old Robert Hampson lost his sight to a brain tumour. Despite numerous and continuing surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, the 20 year-old has dedicated his life to helping others and inspiring people of all ages with his will to overcome adversity and live life to the fullest. Robert’s Tabs for Kids charity, launched when he was eight years old, has collected 21 million pop tabs to purchase wheelchairs for young people with physical disabilities. He is also an accomplished national level para swimmer and avid skier, tandem cyclclist and guitarist.
A pioneering advocate and service provider for Canada’s deaf-blind community, Joyce Thompson was an innovative, outspoken and tireless friend of Canadians who live with dual sensory loss. Joyce was the founding Executive Director of Rotary Cheshire Homes in Toronto, North America’s first barrier-free apartment complex for people who are deaf and blind. She was also the driving force behind the creation of the Canadian Helen Keller Centre, a national resource dedicated to training deaf-blind people to live independently at home in their communities. Joyce was also the originator of Deaf-Blind Awareness Month and June Fest.
Since joining the staff of Toronto’s Variety Village as a physical education instructor in 1984, Archie Allison has worked as a tireless and innovative champion for the rights and opportunities of people who live with disability. Among his many contributions, he has served as a coach, teacher, friend and mentor to generations of young people with disabilities while also developing specialized educational programs promoting full integration and adaptive sports in the broader community.
Triple world record holder and multiple Paralympic medal winning swimmer Benoit Huot first captured the attention of the world at the age of 14 when he claimed two gold and four silver medals at the 1998 International Paralympic Committee World Championships. Benoit, who was born with a club foot, would go on to amass one of the most impressive records in Paralympic history.
At the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, visually impaired cross-country skier Brian McKeever made history as the first winter athlete named to both the Paralympic and Olympic teams in the same year. The three-time Paralympian has won ten Paralympic medals including three golds at the 2010 Games. His guide and brother, Robin McKeever, is an eleven-time national champion who competed at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
An energetic advocate for the advancement of adaptive sport and recreation for seniors and people with a disability, Celia Southward’s inspirational vision and commitment to sport and equal opportunity has changed public perceptions and created new opportunities for Canadians who live with disability. The founder of the Windsor Classic Games for the Physically Disabled, she has initiated numerous sports programs and leisure activities in her native Windsor and Ontario.
At the age of 48, Colette Bourgonje won Canada’s first medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games, a silver in the women’s 10-km sit-ski cross-country event. The nine-time Paralympian has won a total of 10 medals, including four podium appearances in the Summer Paralympic Games. At Vancouver’s closing ceremonies she was honoured with the prestigious Whang Youn Dai Adversity Award, recognizing athletes who best exemplify the spirit of the Paralympic Games.
Alan Dean has played a pioneering and continuing leadership role in the growth and development of international elite sport for athletes with a disability. A founding member of both the Ontario and Canadian Amputee Sports Associations, in 1976 he served as technical advisor for the Toronto Olympiad, a precursor of the Summer Paralympics. Dean also played a formative role in the creation of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and has served as team manager or Chef de Mission at numerous international competitions and Paralympic Games.
In April 2009, David Shannon planted a Wheelchair Access Parking sign on the North Pole, the first quadriplegic in history to reach the geographic North Pole. In 1997 he travelled 9,000 kilometers across Canada in his wheelchair to promote empowerment and greater inclusion for all Canadians. A noted lawyer and adjudicator, Shannon specializes in human rights and health law and was the founding chair of the Accessibility Advisory Council of Ontario.
One of Canada’s best known Paralympic athletes, Jeff Tiessen medalled in three consecutive Summer Paralympic Games, including a still current world record setting performance in 400m track in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Since 1992, the award-winning journalist and disability advocate has been President of DT Publishing, publishers of Active Living Magazine, promoting sport, fitness and healthy living for people with disabilities. DT Publishing has also actively supported Paralympic sport through its books and magazine coverage.
Virtuoso blues-rock guitarist Jeff Healey left an indelible mark on the worlds of jazz, blues and popular music. Although robbed of his sight by a rare form of cancer shortly after birth, he never let his disability stand in the way of his passion for life and music. Healey also toured and recorded with The Jazz Wizards and hosted the popular CBC Radio program, My Kinda Jazz. He died of cancer in 2008 at the age of 41.
For more than 30 years, David Hingsburger has fought to reduce the sexual victimization of people with developmental disabilities. A prolific author, lecturer and therapist, Hingsburger has campaigned fearlessly for greater awareness of the sexuality of people with disabilities, while also coaching individuals with intellectual disabilities how to recognize and deal with problematic sexual behaviour. Hingsburger’s leadership and compassion have allowed more Canadians with disabilities to live with the dignity and respect that they deserve.
A four-time Paralympian, multi-medalist and World Champion marathoner, Quebec native Diane Roy discovered her inspirational passion for wheelchair racing after losing the use of her legs in an all-terrain-vehicle accident when she was 17. Her singular dedication has paid off in one of the most distinguished records in international athletics. On and off the track, Roy’s unfailing grace and sportsmanship have earned her a reputation as one of this country’s preeminent ambassadors for Paralympic sport.
Jill and Gary Taylor’s extraordinary efforts on behalf of others have touched the lives of thousands Ontarians from Niagara Falls to James Bay. A below-the-knee amputee with a history of heart trouble, Gary and his wife Jill have devoted their passionate volunteerism to organizations serving the disability community, children with life threatening illness and the disadvantaged. They also launched their own non-profit service collecting, repairing and distributing assistive devices to people in need across the province.
Since taking his first violin lesson as a nine year old, Adrian Anantawan has won numerous awards and scholarships, and is today one of the finest soloist of his generation. Born without his right hand, Adrian was closely involved with Bloorview Kid’s Rehab and the War Amps of Canada Champ program as a child. He remains active with both organizations as a highly valued speaker and inspiration for other young people with a disability.
A committed advocate for people with a disability, Linda Crabtree devoted 20 years to supporting people with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a progressive neuromuscular disorder. Diagnosed with CMT herself, Linda founded and led CMT International, a charitable support and advocacy organization, from 1984 until 2002. A valued accessibility advisor in her community and founder of Accessible Niagara, Linda has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 1994.
Highly regarded Biomedical Engineer Dr. Geoff Fernie is Vice President, Research at Toronto Rehab and professor at the University of Toronto. Dr, Fernie has devoted his visionary career to developing innovative and practical assistive technologies that allow people with disabilities to live independently. Dr Fernie is also leading the creation of iDAPT – Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology – a highly advanced rehabilitation research facility.
One of Canada’s most accomplished and versatile athletes, Daniel Westley competed in five Paralympic Summer and Winter Games from 1988 to 2002. As a Paralympic wheelchair racer, he is a double gold medalist and former 100-metre world record holder, as well as the winner of the Canadian Marathon. As an alpine skier (sit ski), Daniel was a five-time medalist, winning gold at both the 1998 Nagano and 2002 Salt Lake Paralympic Winter Games.
Elizabeth Grandbois has worked tirelessly to increase public awareness and understanding of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) since she was diagnosed with the disease 10 years ago. When she found out how little was known about the disease, she felt she had to do something. Elizabeth’s Concert of Hope first took place in 2001 and over the next 6 years the concerts have raised $2.5 million for ALS research and support services. Elizabeth also published “In Dreams” in 2002 as an inspiration to other people living with ALS and a one hour documentary “Elizabeth’s Hope” has been shown to more than 8000 viewers nationally and internationally.
A reporter, producer, activist and a powerful force for change, Joanne Smith lives her life to the fullest. After becoming paralyzed at 19 in a car accident, she developed an active interest in media and disability related issues. As a reporter and producer for private and public broadcasters in Canada, she uses her career to dispel misconceptions about people with disabilities and to address issues that affect them so they can live with greater acceptance and independence in our society. Joanne is a dedicated mentor and volunteer for many disability organizations across Canada.
One of Canada’s best kept secrets is Paralympic alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft, a congenital triple amputee, who last season was 1st overall as well as 1st in the Slalom and Super G in World Cup standings. In 11 World Cup starts this year, the defending World Cup champion won 10 medals – 9 gold and 1 silver. During her skiing career, Lauren completed an electrical engineering degree at University of Victoria and she currently works for BC Hydro. Lauren spends much of her spare time volunteering with War Amps of Canada.
Since Jeneece Edroff is an irrepressible 12-year girl from Vancouver Island who has raised more than $300,000 for various children’s charities over the past five years. Born with Neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition affecting the spine and neural pathways, Jeneece has undergone numerous spinal and heart surgeries without complaint, while never losing her drive to help other.
Michael Edgson is one Canada’s most accomplished athletes with a disability. As a member of the Canadian Blind Sports Association swim team, Michael began competing nationally in 1982 at the age of 12. At the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, Korea, Michael won nine gold medals and set four world records. At the 1992 Games in Barcelona he won four more gold medals and set another world record. Two of his world records still stand today.
June Hooper has been a stalwart and highly successful advocate for people with a disability in New Brunswick for more than 20 years. She has been actively involved in and has led numerous committees and associations mandated to address inequities, increase awareness, improve services and facilitate independent living. Among her many volunteer roles; June is the past president of the New Brunswick branch of the Canadian Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled and is a co-founder of the New Brunswick Wheelchair Sports and Recreation Organization.
Steven Fletcher became the first quadriplegic MP in June 2004 when he was elected as the member for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia in Winnipeg. He was re-elected in 2006. A University of Manitoba engineering graduate and former mining engineer, Steven was paralyzed at the age of 23, after a collision with a moose while working in Northern Manitoba. Undaunted, he returned to the U of M to complete his MBA. Outside of politics, Steven has always made a point of enjoying his down time. He has traveled thousands of kilometres on Manitoba’s rivers and lakes, and sails regatta’s using sip-and-puff assistive technology.
Named Coach of the Year at the 2005 Canadian Sports Awards, Peter Eriksson is considered by many to be the most successful and sought after wheelchair racing coach in the world. A true pioneer of the sport, Peter began coaching in 1983. Over the past two decades he has become widely recognized as an innovator in all aspects of wheelchair racing. His commitment to his athletes, including international Canadian stars, Jeff Adams and Chantal Petitclerc, has helped them bring home more than 110 medals from multiple Paralympic Games and World Championship.
For more than 40 years, Lucy and Robert Fletcher have been truly dedicated foster parents to more than 100 children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs. They have provided unfailing care and support to young babies, preschoolers and teenagers. Many of these children grew to adulthood in the Fletcher’s home. Lucy and Robert Fletcher accepted unique challenges and successfully advocated for full integration, acceptance and inclusion, not only on behalf of their children, but everyone with a disability.
Named Female Athlete of the Year at the 2005 Canadian Sports Awards, Chantal Petitclerc is one of Canada’s all-time great amateur athletes. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Chantal won the women’s demonstration race and went on to capture a record five gold medals at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, setting world records in the 100m, 400m and 1500m. On and off the track Chantal is appreciated and admired for her support, leadership and attitude by team-mates and competitors alike – qualities that have also made her an exceptional international ambassador for Canada.
Volunteer President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee since 1998, Patrick Jarvis is widely credited by athletes, coaches and sports organizations as the driving force behind the resurrection and growth of the Canadian Paralympic movement. Once an international level skier, Patrick also ran the 800m and 1500m at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona. He was Sport Coordinator for the Canadian team at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, and Chef de Mission at the 1998 Paralympics in Nagano, Japan. In 2004 Patrick was appointed by the International Olympic Committee to the 11 member international team that evaluated the 2012 Olympic bids of Paris, New York, London, Madrid and Mosco.
Carlos Costa is best known as a highly successful marathon swimmer committed to raising awareness of the abilities of people with physical disabilities. In 1993, Carlos, who is a double leg amputee, swam 51.4 kilometres across Lake Ontario. At the age of 20 he was the youngest man and first athlete with a disability to conquer the lake. In August 1994 he completed a grueling 60-kilometre double-crossing of the Strait of Messina in Sicily and three months later swam California’s 22-kilometre Catalina Channel.
Vancouver elementary school teacher Johanna Johnson achieved her goals despite numerous obstacles. A quadriplegic requiring a ventilator after being hit by car when she was 12, Johanna went on to graduate from the University of British Columbia with degrees in mathematics and education. Denied a teaching position in the 1990s, she lodged a successful human rights challenge and forged a career as a respected educator, as well as an advocate for people with a physical disability.
Lawyer, activist, writer and lecturer David Lepofsky is recognized for his significant contributions to advancing the rights of people with a disability. His 1982 presentation to the Standing Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada helped ensure that people with a disability have full equality under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B) and Harvard Law School (LL.M – Master of Laws), David is Chair of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, founding president of the Canadian Association for Visually Impaired Lawyers (CAVIL), and a Member of the Order of Canada.
Henry Wohler has been a key promoter of the growth and development of skiing for people with disabilities at the grassroots, provincial and national levels since the 1970s. President of the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing, he is also co-founder of the Richard Lemieux Foundation, a successful ski school and charitable organization for people with disabilities. Henry’s long-term involvement with Canadian Paralympic movement includes serving as Canada’s Chef de Mission at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Joanne Berdan is an outstanding Paralympic athlete who went undefeated from 1986 to 1996 when she her retired. At the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Summer Paralympic Games, she added new world records in the Cerebral Palsy class discus and shot put to her existing record in javelin. These records are still intact. A practicing Pharmacist, Joanne is a spokesperson for Female Athlete Motivation Excellence. As first Chair of Technical Committee for the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association, she is advancing the organization as a high performance sports body for athletes with cerebral palsy, stroke & head injury.
Jack Donohue is best known for his legacy in the sport of basketball, inspiring countless individuals to grow as athletes and individuals. His dedication to sport was exemplified by the principles of honesty, integrity and love of competition. Off the court, Jack was generous with his time and enthusiasm, giving it freely to people and causes from young ball players with a disability to corporate charities. Jack’s immense contribution to the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons will always be appreciate.
Brian Keown, a Toronto Police officer, overcame tremendous odds after a car accident left him quadriplegic. He returned to duty with the Toronto Police Services and continued to be a dedicated little league hockey coach. Brian was a driving force and leader of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization, a committee member for the Ontario Neurotrauma Initiative Partnership, and a strong advocate for consumer rights for research to find a cure for spinal cord injury.
Dr. Charles Tator is a neurosurgeon and Founder & Director of ThinkFirst, a brain and spinal cord injury prevention program. The ThinkFirst mission is to prevent injury by teaching healthy behaviours to children and youth, as well as athletes & coaches. A committed instructor in the specialized treatment of spinal cord and head injuries, Dr. Tator has published numerous papers on acute spinal injury and brain injury and gives freely of his time to speak to many organization.
In May of 1999, Stephanie McClellan mounted her hand-propelled three-wheeled cycle and trekked 5,000 kilometers from Vancouver to Ottawa to highlight the contributions being made by people with physical disabilities. Originally conceived as a full cross-country tour, Stephanie’s “On Wings Like Eagles” tour resumed in 2001 and she successfully completed the second leg from Ottawa to Cape Spear Nfld. While touring, Stephanie and her team presented enlightening educational workshops and succeeded in bringing a new understanding of people with physical disabilities to communities across Canada.
Jo-Anne Robinson accomplished a great deal during her career as a deaf athlete, sport organizer and educator. A multiple gold medal swimmer at the World Games for the Deaf in 1965, Jo-Anne established numerous marks for deaf athletes and helped develop important opportunities for those who followed. In addition to playing a key role in establishing innovative coaching techniques, she was closely involved with the Canadian Sports Organization for the Disabled (1979-1991) and served as President of the Canadian Deaf Sports Association (1982-1984). In 2000, the British Columbia Deaf Sports Federation named Jo-Anne the Most Outstanding Deaf Athlete of the 20th Century.
From a volunteer grassroots organizer to president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Dr. Robert Steadward devoted more than 30 years to building organizations dedicated to the advancement of health, fitness, recreation and sport for people with physical disabilities. Beginning in 1966, Bob served in every key capacity with the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), including national coach, chef de mission, national governor, treasurer and finally president from 1986-1991. As IPC president from 1989 to 2001, his vision and passion was instrumental in building the Paralympic Games into the world’s second largest sporting even.
When Mae Brown and Joan Mactavish met in 1967, it was the beginning of a unique and remarkable relationship that would greatly change the lives of deaf-blind Canadians. With Joan as her tutor, interpreter and guide, Mae became the first woman since Helen Keller to achieve a university degree. After graduation from U of T in 1972, Mae became Deaf-Blind Counsellor at CNIB. She initiated intervenor services, founded a club of deaf-blind members, published the first newsletter, experimented with devices that would allow her to live independently and advocated for a centre whose only purpose was to serve the deaf-blind. Upon Mae’s untimely death in 1973, Joan continued to build on these services, helped establish the training program at George Brown College, an apartment where deaf-blind adults live independently and safely, and the newly opened Canadian Helen Keller Centre.
A world-record setting wheelchair racer and dedicated veterinarian, Dr. Amy Doofenbaker has demonstrated a unique determination to overcome serious physical setbacks and contribute to the well-being of others. Suffering from limited mobility as well as debilitating Multiple Sclerosis, Doofenbaker continued to participate in The Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research as a wheelchair athlete, kayaker, organizer and fundraiser. An exemplary role model and inspiration, Doofenbaker also received the CFPDP King Clancy Award in 1999.
A pioneer in disabled swimming in Canada, Tom Hainey competed internationally for 10 years, including three Paralympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992) and two World Championships (1986, 1990). While representing Canada at these major events, he won six gold and three silver medals and set a number of world records. As head swimming coach of MANTA in Winnipeg and as a member of Swimming Canada’s high performance committee, swimmers with a disability have benefited greatly from Hainey’s experience, drive and leadership.
Blind since birth, Ivy Granstrom was struck by car when she was 64 years old and took up running as an extension of her physical therapy. Soon afterward she began competing and established herself as one of world’s fastest runners in the Masters division (60 and over). At the time of her induction she was still running at the age of 90, and continued to hold 25 world records set while competing against sighted athletes. In 1989 Granstrom became a Member of the Order of Canada.
As a scientist, professor and President of the Canadian Deafness Research and Training Institute, Jamie MacDougall is widely recognized for his groundbreaking work on behalf of deaf people. The son of deaf parents, MacDougall’s career as an innovative researcher and valued voice for change put him front and centre in the battle to break down the physical, educational and social barriers faced by the hearing impaired. In 1986, MacDougall was named Man of the Year by the Canadian Association for the Deaf.
Virtually blind at the age of 60, Sarah Thompson began competing in athletic competitions. By 1982 she set Canadian records in the 100 meters, 3000 meters, long jump, discus, javelin and shot put in the Blind Masters Division. Six years later she was introduced to power weightlifting, eventually winning a gold medal at the 1991 World Championship for the Blind in Perth, Australia. At the time of her induction she was 82 and still competing internationally.
Quadriplegic since 1979 as a result of a skiing accident, Sam Sullivan earned his reputation as a true innovator by founding several non-profit societies devoted to outdoor recreation for people with physical disabilities. An outdoor enthusiast prior to his accident, Sullivan became the force behind the development of unique adaptive technologies and equipment that allow people with disabilities to sail, trail-hike and enjoy life more fully.
A pioneer in sports for athletes with a disability, Gene Reimer competed successfully from 1968 – 1980. At the 1972 Paralympic Games in Heidelberg, Germany he won a silver and 2 gold medals and set world records in the discus and pentathlon. That same year he was named Canada’s Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year, the first time the honour was bestowed on an athlete with a disability. In 1974 he received the Order of Canada.
After completing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 1968, Dr. Milner devoted his exceptional career to developing advanced rehabilitation and adaptive devices which provide mobility, comfort and independence. As Vice President of Research at the renowned Bloorview MacMillan Centre, and a Professor in the Rehabilitation Medicine department at the University of Toronto, Dr. Milner is recognized and respected worldwide for his innovative work in enhancing the lives of people with physical disabilities.
As Chief Executive Officer of the War Amputations Association of Canada (The War Amps) WWII amputee veteran Clifford Chadderton brought the organization to national prominence. Known throughout Canada for his innovative programs for adults and children with disabilities, he is also internationally recognized as a champion of the rights of disabled veterans and former prisoners of war.
Paraplegic since the age of eight, Leslie Lam’s accomplishments stand as an inspiration to others. A University of Toronto graduate and a successful pharmacist, he is also an accomplished multi-sport athlete, a dedicated volunteer and wheelchair basketball instructor. His generosity, optimism and humor have made him a highly valued member of the community.
The first deaf-blind person to earn a Black Belt in Judo, Pier Morten has competed internationally in Judo and Wrestling for over 20 years. Named British Columbia’s Disabled Athlete of the Year in 1987, he has participated in six Paralympic Games since 1976 and won five medals. Throughout his career he has also competed successfully against sighted athletes.
Founder of over 30 organizations serving people with disabilities, Allan Simpson was recognized throughout Canada as a tenacious advocate for change. Thorough his extensive involvement at the local, provincial and national levels, he fought successfully for improved services, greater access and new legislation in the areas of human rights, recreation, employment and rehabilitation.
During the 1930s and 1940s Dr. Botterell pioneered and championed proper medical care and rehabilitation for spinal cord injured servicemen and civilians. As one of the founders of Toronto’s renowned Lyndhurst Lodge and the developer of radically new surgical techniques, he helped ensure that individuals with spinal cord injuries were given a real opportunity to reenter society and lead hopeful, productive lives.
In his role as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and as a private citizen, Lincoln Alexander has brought much needed attention to the capabilities of people with physical disabilities. A valued friend, ambassador and advocate for change, he continues his involvement with Easter Seals and Variety Village.
Quadriplegic following a 1975 automobile accident shortly after his freshman year, Dr. Birch continued his academic career, ultimately earning his Ph.D. in electrical engineering. As Executive Director of the Neil Squire Foundation, his commitment to helping others with severe disabilities is highlighted by his groundbreaking, internationally recognized research into electrical brain signaling and development of assistive robotic devices and computer-based adaptive technologies.
After a near fatal fall in 1986, Frank Bruno recovered from a coma, paralyzed and suffering from the same neurological symptoms as cerebal palsy. Through intensive rehabilitation and perseverance he not only regained the ability to walk, but also to run competitively. A dedicated volunteer, Frank capped a stellar athletic career in 1992 by winning three Gold Medals at the Barcelona Paralympic Games, setting world records in both the 200 and 400 meters.
A Paralympic athlete and holder of numerous Canadian and world records. In Atlanta Georgia, at the 1996 Paralympic Games, Jeff won a gold in the 800m, silver medal in the 400m event and bronze in the 4 x 400m relay. He is a corporate spokesman, volunteer, a pre-eminent ambassador for people with disabilities and a model for all Canadians.
This team co-founded the Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured. Alice’s son Mel, was the victim of a hit and run accident that left him brain injured. Determined to provide care for Mel, Alice and Audrey worked together tirelessly. They recruited others to volunteer their time and the ARBI was formed. This organization has shown that non professional dedicated men and women can contribute significantly in the field of science.
David Onley, Citytv Science and Education Specialist, overcame childhood polio at the age of three and entered broadcasting at a time when the field was virtually closed to persons with disabilities. He is the author of a best selling novel, “Shuttle” and one of Canada’s leading space observers. He is extremely active in church and community organizations.
A gentle giant of a man, he became the heavyweight wrestling champion of the world and holds an unbeaten record of 99 per cent victories in 6, 300 bouts. After an injury ended his career in 1971, he began to reach new levels of fame with humanitarian efforts. His efforts live on in the Easter Seal Telethon and Whipper Watson Snowarama.
Dr. Lefebvre is staff psychiatrist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, team leader for the Physical Disability Specialty Team and founder of the hospital’s Humor Library. She is also the founder of Ability On-Line and the Ability On-Line Support Network, electronic information and support services for children. For the past 20 years, Dr. Lefebvre’s knowledge, creativity and vision have helped thousands of children with disabilities or illness lead productive full lives.
A legendary competitive swimmer, Joanne Mucz made her mark winning five gold medals and setting five world records at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona. Joanne’s contributions to her sport and her community work have been recognized by community organizations across Canada. A three-time Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year, Joanne is currently Manager, Special Events and Protocol for the Pan American Games to be held in Winnipeg in 1999.
Renowned marathon swimmer Vicki Keith Munro currently holds an unprecedented fourteen world records. The most successful marathon swimmer in the history of the sport, Vicki was the first person in the world to cross all five great lakes successfully, crossing Lake Ontario five times. Her marathons have generated more than $800,000 for disabled children. Vicki is a member of the Order of Ontario.
Walter Wu was Canada’s top medallist in the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, where he won six medals, five gold, and one bronze, breaking two world records and setting two Paralympic records for swimmers with less than ten percent vision. His outstanding performance helped the Canadian team place seventh in overall standings.
Dr. Halliday has been instrumental in establishing Canada’s progressive record in disability issues and human rights. As a Member of Parliament from 1974 – 1993, and as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and the Status of Disabled Persons, he helped establish legislative protection for people with disabilities. His leadership and vision have made a major contribution towards bringing equality and empowerment to people with disabilities.
The first Medical Director and CEO of Lyndhurst Lodge, now called Lyndhurst, The Spinal Cord Centre, Dr. A.T. Jousse achieved an international reputation in the field of spinal cord rehabilitation. For close to five decades, the quiet beloved “Dr. Al” inspired thousands of patients to lead independent lives.
A wheelchair athlete whose track abilities have set world records, Jeremy Rempel has won gold medals in games for the physically disabled nationally and internationally. Having experienced a head injury and physical paralysis when he was only nine years old, he has overcome his obstacles to lead a life of quality. He speaks to thousands of school children every year about the prevention and realities of head injuries.
An award-winning newspaper journalist and activist, Mona Winberg fights for the rights of people with disabilities. Although she has had cerebral palsy since childhood, she lives an independent and full life. Her actions, along with her personal warmth and humour, have contributed to making Mona Winberg a source of inspiration to others.
Paralympic Gold Medal winner and world record holder in the long jump and high jump, Arnold Boldt devotes much of his time to promoting the participation of disabled persons in sports activities in Canada and around the world. His efforts to increase public awareness of the needs of disabled persons have helped open doors to new opportunities and his example has encouraged other physically disabled persons to take on new challenges.
Research engineer and inventor, William Cameron used his expertise in industrial design and robotics to develop innovative services and technologies for those with severe physical disabilities. He founded the Neil Squire Foundation that continues to create opportunities for greater independence in all aspects of life for those with severe disabilities.
Advocate for rights of persons with disabilities and founder of the Ontario Active Awareness Association. Beryl Potter has broken down the attitudinal barriers to full participation and integration of those with disabilities into the community. A Triple Amputee, her tireless efforts have enhanced the quality of life of others with disabilities in education, recreation, housing and transportation.
Pastor and an educator of the deaf, he has given deaf people a voice within the rest of the Canadian community by helping them speak for themselves. He founded The Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf, which provides educational and vocational training, and recreation facilities for deaf persons of all ages. Reverend Rumball’s work has also extended to other countries where he has established ministries for the deaf.
Margaret McLeod believed that persons with disabilities should be able to live as normal a life in the community as possible and be given the necessary assistance to do so. Inspired by the Cheshire Homes in England, she became the continuing driving force behind the growth and development of the 23 Cheshire Homes in Canada.
Through persistent efforts, John Gibbons Counsell made a major contribution to the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries. He founded the Canadian Paraplegic Association to give paraplegic and quadriplegic Canadians a united voice and a network of support. Paralyzed in the 1942 Dieppe Raid, he initiated rehabilitation services and was influential in the establishment of Lyndhurst Lodge.
After losing his sight to a sniper’s bullet in the First World War, Colonel Baker co-founded The Canadian National Institute for the Blind in 1918…pioneering rehabilitation and job training programs to help blind and visually impaired Canadians become self-sufficient contributors to society. He launched prevention of blindness programs that have saved the sight of thousands of people.
During the 40,000km Man in Motion World Tour, Rick Hansen heightened the World’s awareness of the abilities of persons with disabilities and focused attention on the barriers to reaching their full potential. Co-Founder of National Access Awareness Week, his efforts continue to raise public consciousness of the capabilities and needs of persons with disabilities.
Instrumental in the founding of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association, Dr. Jackson led the first Canadian team to compete in the Paralympics in Tel Aviv in 1968. An orthopaedic surgeon, his dedicated work inspired opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities to compete locally, nationally and internationally. Canada’s Paralympic teams continue to be top medal winners in international competitions.
An acclaimed wheelchair athlete, André Viger has won top honours in national and international events and is a record-breaking marathon “wheeler”. He holds numerous Gold Paralympic medals and marathon awards. The Quebec businessman promotes wheelchair race activities with the André Viger Foundation and, through his experiences, makes frequent motivational presentations to groups of all ages.