Ontario Recognizes Accessibility Champions

Ontario Recognizes Accessibility Champions

David C. Onley Award Celebrates Contributions of Individuals Across the Province

December 06, 2022

Seniors and Accessibility

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  3. Additional Resources

TORONTO – At a ceremony at Queen’s Park today, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, was joined by the Honourable David C. Onley, 28th Lieutenant Governor, and the Honourable Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, to recognize accessibility champions with the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.

The award recipients include leaders who raise awareness about the benefits of inclusion and foster positive change in their communities with their work helping to improve the lives and experiences of people with disabilities in Ontario.

“Working together is key to making our province – and our country – truly inclusive,” said the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “Each of today’s award recipients’ stories is inspiring and deserves to be shared widely. Their advocacy, initiative and leadership has made it possible for all Ontarians to make a difference. It is my hope that each of us do our utmost each day to keep pressing forward to make Ontario a truly accessible place.”

Three individuals were recognized in the following categories:

  • Youth Leadership – Rohan Jain was recognized for his impressive work developing the potential of youth with autism, as well as co-founding Able2learn – an online resource that is the world’s largest educational platform for children with developmental disabilities.
  • Employee Engagement – Deanna Miskie was recognized for her commitment to inclusive customer service and creating a more inclusive workplace.
  • Role Model – Cathy Birch was recognized for her advocacy work for tenants with disabilities living in Toronto Community Housing Corporation communities.

“It’s my pleasure to congratulate the worthy recipients of this year’s award,” said the Honourable David C. Onley, 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2007-2014). “The leaders we’ve recognized today have worked tirelessly to improve opportunities for people with disabilities across the province. I applaud these dynamic accessibility ambassadors for their innovative programming and personal commitment.”

“I am proud to recognize the latest recipients of the David C. Onley Award,” said the Honourable Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Through their optimism, determination and hard work, they are helping break down accessibility barriers and demonstrating the importance of building a more inclusive and welcoming Ontario. We applaud their invaluable contributions.”

Ontario thanks the recipients for their tireless work in supporting their local communities and for bringing accessibility to the forefront as champions of inclusion while they work to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Quick Facts

  • The David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility was created in 2014 to honour the province’s first Lieutenant Governor with a physical disability.
  • The Honourable David C. Onley served as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 to 2014. Mr. Onley championed disability issues for many years and adopted accessibility as the overarching theme of his mandate.

Additional Resources