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Join the 5th annual Toronto Disability Pride March

By: 
Melissa Graham

September 29, 2015

The fifth annual “Toronto Disability Pride March” is taking place on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, starting at Queen’s Park and ending at Ryerson’s School of Disability Studies, 99 Gerrard St. East.

This year’s speakers include David Lepofsky, Chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance and a member of the steering committee for Barrier-Free Canada. Diem Lafortune, 2013 Canadian Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year nominee, and social justice activist. Kevin Jackson and Melissa Graham will also speak.

Each year, over 100 disabled people and allies have joined in the march which has taken place annually since it began with Occupy Toronto. We march to bring recognition of the struggles and value of people with disabilities as we fight against ableism and other forms of oppression, to be visible and show that we have a voice in our community and a right to be heard by taking to the streets, and also to celebrate and take pride in ourselves as a community of people with disabilities.

It’s important to recognize that these issues are not limited to each individual’s daily challenges, but rather are compounded when other systemic barriers such as class, race, gender, age, sexual identity, ethnic origin, poverty, etc. place a bigger and more oppressive barrier to us as a whole. 

Though the disability movement has made great strides; there is still not equity for disabled people. There are still many of us fighting for accessible transportation, or to keep existing accessible transportation in place. Disabled people who come to Canada as refugees and Aboriginal people face unique barriers to healthcare and accommodations. A great many of us are still fighting for accessible, affordable places to live, and for equitable lives that are not defined by our impairments.

All of this and more gives us cause to raise our voices on October 3, and to celebrate the various ways we fight back against ableism and oppression. Please join us.

To contact the Toronto Disability Pride March organizers:  torontodisabilitypride@gmail.com

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