Christmas Concerts with ASL Interpretation

  There will be two upcoming Christmas events that include ASL interpretation up on the stage:   The City of Toronto will host its annual Christmas Concert.   When: Thursday December 24, at 11:30 a.m.
Where: The Rotunda of the Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West   The concert lasts approximately one hour and will conclude with a visit from Santa! For more information, visit the City of Toronto website.   And:
  Toronto Christmas Market will once again provide ASL interpreted shows up on stage.
When: Saturday, December 12, 2015
Where: Distillery Historic District             2:00 pm Santa’s Elves Singalong with ASL Interpretation             2:30 pm Children’s Storytelling with ASL Interpretation   For more information, visit the Toronto Christmas Market website.


Ontario Improving Employment Opportunities for People Facing Barriers

Province Invests $4 million to Pilot Community Loans Fund
Ontario is partnering with leading financial institutions to create a fund aimed at increasing employment opportunities for people facing employment barriers.   The Community Loans Fund, part of Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan, will provide discounted rates on financial products, such as loans, to businesses that commit to hiring people facing barriers such as people with disabilities, long-term unemployed, older unemployed, newcomers to Canada and unemployed Indigenous persons.   The province is partnering with Alterna Savings, Libro Credit Union, First Ontario Credit Union and Meridian to deliver this fund.  For more information, visit the Ontario Newsroom website.   Ontario Newsroom    

Enabling Minds

#A Better Serve: Enabling Mental Health Accessibility
in Ontario’s Physical Activity Field   When: December 3 , 2015, 7:00-9:00 pm
           (International Day of Persons with Disabilities)

Where: Nancy’s Auditorium, YWCA Elm Centre, 87 Elm Street, Toronto   Speakers’ Panel, Networking, Light Refreshments Free, space limited.
For more information and to pre-register, visit the Enabling Minds website.


NEADS is seeking participants for an on-line survey

  The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) is seeking participants for an on-line survey for students who identify with mental health conditions.   Post-secondary students with mental health difficulties are needed to help them develop an online transition program geared towards students.   The Assessment and Resource Centres of Ontario (one at Queen’s University and ne at Cambrian College) have been funded to develop an online transition rogram in both a northern and southern region of Ontario for students with ental health issues transitioning from high school to post-secondary ducation.   In order to address current gaps in transition programming, NEADS is looking for information from students with mental health concerns who are 18 and older and who have been accepted into or are currently studying at a post-secondary institution in Ontario.   For more information, visit the NEADS website, or contact Alana Holmes at or at 705-566-8101 ext. 7643.
NEADS website    Survey

Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy approved by Council

  TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy was unanimously approved by Toronto City Council on November 4th.   Over the past year, over 1,950 residents and community partners shared ideas that shaped the 17 recommendations and 71 actions in TO Prosperity. “People in all four corners of the city shared their stories, visions, and solutions.”    Many residents met with their councillors and told them how important a Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy is.
Over the next six months, the City will invite residents, community and business partners to participate in the creation of an Accountability Structure to guide the implementation of the Strategy, and ensure the work is effective and accountable.
TO Prosperity on City of Toronto website

Additional Information on City of Toronto website

Pathways to Promoting Mental Health: A 2015 Survey of Ontario Public Health Units

  Join the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s  Health Promotion Resource Centre (CAMH HPRC) for a webinar on Monday, November 23 from 12-1 p.m. to launch a new report, Pathways to Promoting Health: A 2015 Survey of Ontario Public Health Units.
This report highlights results of a 2015 provincial survey conducted as a partnership between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Health Promotion Division and the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre.   Specifically, the report identifies current mental health promotion (MHP) activities in public health being delivered for Ontarians of all ages and stages and identifies specific MHP activities occurring for adults 18 years and older.   Full Report on the CAMH HPRC website

Register for this webinar on Eventbrite

Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Mandate Letter

  Canada has a New Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Minister Carla Qualtrough.
The Minister’s overarching goal will be “to promote healthier Canadians through sport and recreation, and to ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities.”    The Minister’s four top priorities are to:
Lead an engagement process with provinces, territories, municipalities, and stakeholders that will lead to the passage of a Canadians with Disabilities Act;
Work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities to deliver on our commitment to support the construction of recreational infrastructure that allows more children access to sport and recreation;
Work with the Minister of Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada to support a national strategy to raise awareness for parents, coaches, and athletes on concussion treatment;
Work with the Minister of Canadian Heritage to include sport and recreation in championing government-wide efforts to promote the celebration of Canada 150, with a particular emphasis on celebrating the achievements of athletes and persons with disabilities;
Lead preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics and future international sporting events;
and Create greater links between our elite athletes and young Canadians to promote health and achievement among youth.   Mandate letter   Mandate letter on the Prime Minister’s website

Introduction to Carla Qualtrough


Got Any Hot Ideas?

  The City of Toronto is conducting a five-year review of Housing Opportunities Toronto – An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010-2020 (HOT.)  As part of a five-year review, the City of Toronto is conducting four public consolation sessions on Housing Opportunities Toronto. 
Below is the schedule of the public consultations:   Scarborough
Monday November 16, 2015
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Scarborough Civic Centre
Committee Rooms 1 & 2
150 Borough Drive, Main Floor
(Ellesmere / McCowan)   North York
Thursday November 19, 2015
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Memorial Hall
Burgundy Room A, Lower Level
5110 Yonge Street (South Finch)   Downtown Toronto
Tuesday November 24, 2015
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Toronto Reference Library
2nd Floor, Novella Room
789 Yonge Street (north of Bloor)   Etobicoke
Thursday December 3, 2015
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Farifield Seniors Centre
Main Floor Auditorium
80 Lothian Avenue
(Islington and Bloor West)   TTC tokens reimbursement and light refreshment will be available.  For more information and to register, visit the City of Toronto website.   City of Toronto website    Flyer

Art exhibit and sale celebrates work of marginalized women

Looking for a holiday gift with meaning? Visit the Art Exhibition showcasing textile, ceramic and other works by homeless and vulnerable women. 
All proceeds from the sale go towards supporting the artists of Regent Park Community Health Centre’s Art Afternoon and the Fabric and Ceramic Art Programs of the Adelaide Resource Centre for Women.
 When: Opening reception November 23, 5-8 pm.              Exhibit runs to November 26.
  Where: Metro Hall Rotunda, 55 John Street
  For more information, click on the flyer or call Josie Ricciardi at 416-364-2261.

Ontario Ensuring Workplaces are Accessible by Launching Compliance Audits

Ontario is conducting targeted audits of retail companies with 500 or more employees to ensure workplaces and employee practices are accessible during a three-month audit blitz this fall.

The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure is leading the audits, with the goal of ensuring that employers are making accessibility a regular part of recruiting and supporting employees with disabilities.

The ministry will check that large retailers meet requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), including:

  • Creating and making public a multi-year accessibility plan that outlines the steps put in place to remove and prevent barriers for employees and customers.
  • Developing customized emergency plans for employees with disabilities.

The province has made resources available and worked with organizations to help ensure workplaces are accessible, and will continue to support businesses in these efforts going forward.

For resources and more information, visit the Ontario government’s Newsroom website.