Eleven “Champions of Inclusion” from across Ontario have received the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility. The winners include young photographer Maayan Ziv of Richmond Hill.
The annual award — named for Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor — recognizes individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to raise awareness of accessibility, while improving the lives of people with disabilities in their communities. Celebrating the work of this year’s winners helps promote the benefits of accessibility and nurtures a culture of inclusion across the province.
The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented the awards on Wednesay alongside David C. Onley. Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, delivered the award citations on behalf of Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
Dowdeswell said that “This year’s recipients of the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility have demonstrated extraordinary understanding and ingenuity in helping to ensure that Ontarians of all abilities are able to meaningfully contribute to our society. Due in no small part to their efforts, accessibility will increasingly become a way of life for many in our province. I wish them luck as they persist in seeking a future where all can achieve their full potential.”
Helena Jaczek said: “Our government is committed to making Ontario a more inclusive province — one in which all Ontarians can fully participate in their communities. We’re honouring a terrific group of award recipients that inspire others to take action each and every day to make their communities more accessible. Their work is not only worthy of celebration — it is worthy of imitation. Congratulations on making Ontario a better place for all.”
The recipients include:
- Linda Crabtree of St. Catharines, who received the Role Model Award for her pioneering work to raise awareness of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and improve accessibility throughout the Niagara region.
- Maayan Ziv of Richmond Hill, who received the Youth Leadership Award for her activism and social innovation that uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint the accessibility status of locations on an interactive online map.
- Mark Wafer of Ashburn, who received the Employee Engagement Award for hiring more than 130 people with disabilities and promoting the business case for accessibility to companies, labour organizations and governments across Canada.
- Eight organizations from across Ontario, who received the Champion Award for increasing accessibility in their communities.
See full list of award recipients on next page: