Many people across the province are working to improve accessibility in Ontario communities. The outstanding contributions of three individuals were honoured on June 29, 2021 when they were presented with a David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility at a virtual ceremony by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 to 2014; and the Honourable Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. The award recognizes Ontarians who have gone above and beyond to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. The recipients have made remarkable contributions to accessibility in the province.
Ian Parker was recognized posthumously for his visionary work in establishing the Direct Funding program as an option for the delivery of personal care for Ontarians with disabilities. Before the Direct Funding program existed, Ian and others with significant physical disabilities primarily relied on agency services to help them with daily personal care. They often had very little say in who their attendants would be, and with scheduling services. Ian was determined to build something better, so he and his colleagues worked with government to make his dream a reality. lan then expertly managed the program for many years and later guided the program as a senior advisor until his retirement. Through the program, hundreds of Ontarians have been able to have more control over and flexibility with the help they need.
Do you know an accessibility champion in your community or workplace? Are you contributing to accessibility in Ontario in remarkable ways? You can nominate yourself or others today for a David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility on the Government of Ontario website.