Canadian Disability Hall of Fame: Recognizing those who have opened doors for people with disabilities

Posted by The Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons

About: The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame (CDHF) has provided permanent recognition of outstanding Canadians who have made extraordinary contributions to enriching the quality of life for people with physical disabilities. Founded by the CFPDP, this public exhibit was officially opened February 11, 1994 in Metro Hall in Toronto.  It is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The scope and depth of the contributions made by these individuals to the betterment of life for people with disabilities is astonishing — and every year since, the Disability Hall of Fame has added more inductees, equally remarkable, to its permanent exhibit at Toronto’s Metro Hall.

“I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and each year our Selection Board does an incredible job of identifying individuals who are genuine heroes of our society. They stand out for their accomplishments, and they inspire us all to be better citizens, neighbours and friends, thanks to the contributions of this year’s extraordinary inductees — and all those who preceded them into the Hall of Fame — Canada is a better place with a brighter future for all its citizens, today and in the future,” Hon. David Crombie

Picture of the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.
Canadian Disability Hall of Fame

nductees and Nomination Process: Nominations to the Hall of Fame come from sources across Canada – community groups, private citizens, associations and organizations of and for people with physical disabilities. Nominees are chosen each year by the Disability Hall of Fame’s Selection Board in the category of Builder, Achiever or Athlete.

The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame recognizes distinguished Canadians who have made significant contributions in assisting, or enhancing the lives of persons with physical disabilities. Both physically disabled and non-disabled persons may be inducted into the Disability Hall of Fame.  The inductees are individuals who truly have made a difference – those who have opened doors for people with disabilities in the areas of sports, education, employment or housing.

Nominations are collected year round and every June, three Canadians are selected to be inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.

Selection Categories:
Builder: Persons who have distinguished themselves by making extraordinary contributions to enhance the lives of persons with physical disabilities: those in the field of medical research whose significant discoveries enhance and enrich the lives of persons with physical disabilities.
Achiever: Those who have worked to heighten public awareness about persons with physical disabilities and increased opportunities for them in the area of sports, education, employment and housing: those who are an inspiration to others who have physical disabilities.
Athlete: Those with physical disabilities who have excelled as athletes

We have always strived to bring people together in a broader understanding of what people with disabilities can really do,” said Honourable Vim Kochhar. “They are remarkable and inspiring. I am very proud of them and they serve as strong role models for all Canadians.

picture of Vivian Berkeley with a medal on holding equipment
Vivian Berkeley
Kitchener, ON

.Vivian Berkeley is a two-time World Blind Lawn Bowling Champion who is recognized as the greatest Canadian athlete of all time in her category (B1 blind lawn bowler). After proudly carrying the Paralympic Torch on its way to Atlanta, this world-class competitor went on to win silver at the 1996 Paralympic Games. Berkeley’s successful 21-year career also includes a 2002 bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. These distinctions highlight only part of her incredible career achievements, with 60 total medals won, including 17 at the international level, 21 national golds (defended for 16 straight years), as well as 22 straight provincial golds. Additionally, Berkeley is helping to build her sport for people who are blind and living with vision loss in Canada and abroad.

selfie of Frank Folino
Frank Folino
Toronto, ON

Frank Folino has been an enduring leader and advocate for the Deaf community. Born Deaf himself, he currently serves as President for Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC). In this role, he carries out community outreach and advocacy initiatives to promote the rights of Deaf Canadians from coast to coast who use American Sign Language (ASL)/English and langue des signes Québécoise (LSQ)/French. Among his notable successes, Folino was a passionate advocate to include Sign language in the landmark Accessible Canada Act. Additionally, he was an interim board member for Administrator of Video Relay Services and currently serves as an advisor to several government, non-profit and human rights organizations in his role as CAD-ASC President. Folino has also received awards recognizing his volunteer service.

picture of Hon. Carla Qualtrough
Hon. Carla Qualtrough
Delta, BC

Honourable Carla Quatrough is a successful lawyer, committed volunteer and Paralympic swimmer who is dedicated to advancing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Currently serving as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, she was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Delta, BC in 2015. Professionally, she has practiced human rights law at the federal and provincial levels and chaired the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility in British Columbia. She has been of significant service through sport and volunteerism, including with the International Paralympic Committee and for the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. Visually impaired since birth, her athletic achievements include three Paralympic and four World Championship medals. She has also been named one of Canada’s Most Influential Women in Sport numerous times.

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