Region of Durham

In 2010 an Accessibility Expo…Breaking Down Barriers, was hosted and held in Durham Region.  The purpose was to educate the community on AODA legislation, accessibility standards and bring awareness to the importance of inclusive communities.  As well, information on support services to people with disabilities, assistive devices and specialized technology was also available. The then Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable David Onley spoke at the Expo. At that time he praised Durham as being a leader in accessibility.  Several other accessibility champions provided their perspective and inspiration such as:

Mark Nagler who was born with Cerebral Palsy.  Despite being physically unable to write, he earned a BA degree from the University of British Columbia, an MA degree from the University of Chicago, and a PhD from Stirling University in Britain.  He then embarked on a thirty three year teaching career at McMaster and the University of Waterloo. He is credited with authoring the first text in Disability Studies, adopted by 169 universities around the world.  He has also authored 10 other books in Native Studies, Race Relations, and Disability Studies.

Robert Pio Hajjar was born with down syndrome and the founder of Ideal-Way.ca, a charity to help persons like him. He is a  keynote/opening speaker at major Conferences, and other venues. He truly is a voice for his peers that cannot speak.

Justin Hines provided the entertainment for the Expo and he is a Canadian singer-songwriter who was born in Newmarket, Ontario. Hines has a rare genetic joint condition called Larsen's syndrome and uses a power wheelchair.

In 2011, the Region of Durham was presented with the Excellence Canada, Ontario Accessibility Award.  This award was in recognition of exceeding the requirements of the AODA and providing role-model inspiration to others through its planning, words and deeds.