The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) in 1992. It is an international, annual observance intended to promote understanding of disability issues and the importance of the dignity, rights, well-being, and integration of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
This year the City of Toronto will co-present a virtual event with Toronto Public Library to celebrate the stories, lived experiences and inclusion of people with disabilities through showcasing their contribution to the arts.
Join us online on Friday, December 3rd from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. by phone or online.
This event will be English captioned and ASL interpreted. If you require other accessibility supports to join this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event number: 2451 338 7172
Event password: IDPD (4373 from phones)
Join by phone: 416-915-6530 (Canada Toll)
Access code: 245 133 87172
9:30 a.m. – Welcome and introductory remarks by host, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
9:40 a.m. – Greeting from Mayor Tory
9:45 a.m. – Amanda Leduc, author and disability activist
10 a.m. – Vivian Chong, author and multi-disciplinary artist
10:20 a.m. – Ophira Calof, writer, actor, and curator of Dis/Play
10:40 – Marjorie Chan, Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille
11 a.m. – Toronto Public Library and the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities
11:20 a.m. – Closing remarks by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
Amanda Leduc is the author of the novel The Centaur’s Wife (Random House Canada, 2021) and the non-fiction book, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space (Coach House Books, 2020), which was shortlisted for the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Nonfiction and longlisted for the 2020 Barbellion Prize. She is also the author of an earlier novel, The Miracle of Ordinary Men (ECW Press, 2013). She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the communications coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories.
Vivian Chong is the creator, producer, and performer of The Sunglasses Monologue. She is a singer-songwriter, vocalist and ukulele player. A multidisciplinary artist, Vivian has created works as a graphic novelist, playwright, dancer and comedian. In 2020 her graphic memoir, Dancing after TEN was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, listed as one of the best books in NPR top 200 and recommended by The New York Times. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Vivian is a triathlete, circus performer and drummer, and volunteers regularly for the vision loss and blind community. In 2020, Vivian was awarded the Volunteer Service Award by the Ontario government. She is an audio description consultant and the founder of The Accessible Yoga Program for the Canadian Institute for the Blind. In this post-pandemic world, Vivian has shifted her yoga teaching practice online, and now teaches virtually across the province of Ontario. As a drummer, Vivian performed in Season 2 of the Apple TV series See and was featured in the documentary Ripples for Accessible Media Inc. in 2021.
Ophira Calof is a multi-award-winning writer and performer with credits including Generally Hospital, Literally Titanium, TallBoyz (CBC) and more. They also work as a curator and producer with projects including COVID-19 through a Disability Lens: Storytelling and Filmmaking Project, and Myseum Toronto’s Making Space: Stories of Disabled Youth in the GTA Past and Present.
Dis/Play is multi-media art piece with contributions from over 50 artists with disabilities. It has been projected onto building exteriors at several locations in Toronto throughout November. Dis/Play was curated by Ophira Calof and created in partnership with the ReelAbilities Film Festival of Toronto as part of ArtWorxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022.
Marjorie Chan is the Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille (TPM). Founded in 1968, TPM is Canada’s original alternative theatre company, currently developing and producing new Canadian plays. TPM strives to articulate a distinct Canadian voice that reflects the complexity of our intercultural society. TPM believes there should be a more diverse representation of artists, audience members, and stories in our theatre. TPM aspires to be a leader locally, nationally and internationally in establishing, promoting, and embracing collaborative and inclusive theatre practices. We do this so that we can support and ignite the voices of unique artists, communities and audiences.
Toronto Public Library (TPL) is the largest public library system in Canada, and the world’s busiest urban library system. TPL provides free and equitable access to library services to meet the changing needs of the people of Toronto. The Library preserves and promotes universal access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information, and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment. City-wide library services are provided through TPL’s network of 100 branches including 81 neighbourhood libraries, 17 district libraries, and two research and reference libraries. Online resources, bookmobile, and home library services further extend public access to library collections and services. TPL is home to the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities, a reference collection of books from around the world for and about children and teens with disabilities. For more information about accessibility at the Library, visit: tpl.ca/accessibility.