Accessibility Champion Award
The annual Accessibility Champion Awards celebrate individuals and businesses that foster inclusivity and demonstrate exemplary commitment towards advancing accessibility throughout the city.
On Dec. 12, 2022, the City of Vaughan celebrated the 2022 recipients of the annual Accessibility Champion Awards. Congratulations to the recipients!
- Elio Riggillo in the individual with a disability category. Elio works at the Canadian Helen Keller Centre as a consumer relations co-ordinator. In his role, he actively provides training, education and support for the deaf and blind community.
- Meenu Sikand in the individual category. Meenu is the founder of Accessibility for All, a not-for-profit organization working towards inclusion for people with disabilities and racialized communities. As an immigrant and individual with a visible disability, Meenu advocates for accessibility through education, inclusion and awareness initiatives.
- John Groe in the small business with less than 20 employees category. As a father of a daughter with a physical disability, John founded Accessible Daily Living over a decade ago. His company provides services, consultation and management of all construction related to public or residential accessibility modifications.
- ViBE Dance and Fitness Studio in the medium or large business with 20 or more employees category. For more than 20 years, Marnie and Rena Schwartz have created a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone at their studio. Their philosophy is to inspire others to dream big, be accepting and inclusive, and treat people the way you want to be treated.
- Jess Silver, founder of Flex for Access Inc. in the individual with a disability category. Although Jess was born with cerebral palsy and has encountered many challenges, she strives to create inclusion for all through her company Flex for Access.
- SMILE Therapy for Kids in the small business with fewer than 20 employees category. SMILE Therapy for Kids worked with the City of Vaughan to start this company nearly three years ago. The City provided one-on-one mentorship for six months to help them begin their business journey and continue to help children reach their best potential.
- The Crystal Ladder Learning Centre in the medium or large business with 20 or more employees category. This special-needs and regular development centre provides therapy for children with autism and other disabilities in various communities.
- Bobby Singh in the individual category. Bobby is a successful entrepreneur, business professional, policy consultant and academic, and is a champion in advocating for Canadians living with disabilities.
- Nickie Saladino – An educational assistant at Blessed Trinity Elementary School, Nickie works with children with a variety of disabilities.
- Reena – A non-profit organization established in 1973 by parents of children with developmental disabilities as an alternative to institutions, Reena promotes independence, personal growth and inclusion.
- Vaughan Mills Mall – As a fully accessible building, the mall has several accessibility features, including family restrooms, as well as wheelchairs and scooters.