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Citizens With Disabilities Ontario (CWDO) is committed to the rights of all persons to participate fully in the civil, cultural, economic, political and social life of their communities.

Tributes to Persons With Disabilities


John Rae

John Rae, 1st National Vice President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians was honoured with one of three Access Awards on November 25, 2009 at the Human Rights Awards ceremony at City Hall, reports Richard Quan, President of AEBC's Toronto Chapter. John has worked tirelessly for many years to improve rights and opportunities, not just for blind persons, but for all Canadians with a disability.

"He has been particularly involved in fighting for human rights protection, access to information in multiple formats, and reducing the level of unemployment and poverty that remains the reality for so many members of the blind community," adds Quan.

"I am deeply honoured to receive this award from my city," said John Rae, "But considering how far the disabled community still has to travel to achieve the 1981 motto of 'full participation and equality,' I would gladly trade this award for some more progress for our community."


Udo Franz (1956-2009)

Udo Franz was one of the three incorporating members of Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario.  As Executive Director of Aldebrain Attendant Care Services Inc., conceiver, nurturer and steward of an integrated, community high-rise project, Udo believed in the capacity of persons with disabilities to lead their own lives and their own organizations.  A mover and a shaker, Udo was well known for thinking out of the box.  Udo was fiercely independent, loyal and generous to his friends and loved ones.  He supported what he believed in, and CWDO was an organization he supported.

Read an article about Udo written by George Gamester (Toronto Star, October 11, 1998)


Helen (Bobby) Sarlina (1951-2008)

A rebel, a fighter, Bobby was a person who refused to live down to others' expectations.  Despite severe physical limitations, Bobby lived independently, earned a Social Work degree and worked for many years as a social worker for the City of Toronto, providing intake and support services to people on welfare.


Read an article about Bobby's remarkable life.  (WORD format)

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Updated November 21, 2009