DisAbled Women's Network Ontario Home Page
Text Version of the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
What's New on the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario site
DisAbled Women's Network Ontario Resources on Women with Disabilities
Online Publications relevant to Women with Disabilities
Justice Issues relevant to Women with Disabilities
Health Issues relevant to Women with Disabilities
DisAbled Women's Network Ontario Inclusion Leadership Award
DisAbled Women's Network Ontario ACCESS Checklist
DisAbled Women's Network Ontario Online Discussion List About Issues relevant to Women with Disabilities
Research Postings on the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario site
Who We Are - About DAWN Ontario - DisAbled Women's Network  Ontario
What the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario Does
Vision of DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
Story of the DisAbled Women's Network
Fact Sheet on Women with Disabilities
DAWN Ontario ACTION Alerts
Membership Form to Join the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
Join the Discussion List for Women With DisAbilities
Please Sign the Guestbook of the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
Follow this link to provide Feedback on the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario website
Contact Information of the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
Alphabetical Links Page of the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
Our Credits Page
Canada Flag image
DisAbled Women's Network: DAWN ONTARIO

What We Do


The programs of DAWN Ontario have been organized through committees, projects, and task forces to advocate on behalf of Women with DisAbilities in Ontario since 1992.

DAWN Ontario is the only provincial, feminist cross-disability organization in Ontario providing leadership in advocating for Inclusion and Equality of Women with DisAbilities.

Public Policy Leadership and Legislative Education
Systems Change Advocacy
Creation of Educational and Informational Materials
Public Awareness Organizing & Media Advocacy
Leadership by Women with DisAbilities from Diverse Communities
Anti-Oppression Organizing
Anti-Poverty Organizing

Cross-sectoral networks are our strength.

We believe that powerful, proactive networks can create change.

  • We work at the grassroots level to generate knowledge, information and skills to secure the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities.

  • We strive to develop inclusive outreach strategies to reduce the social isolation experienced by marginalized women's communities.

  • We address the systemic issues that impact on the social and economic realities of women and girls with disabilities.

  • Organizations Whom We Work With

Public Policy Leadership and Legislative Education

DAWN Ontario's Public Policy Committee develops an annual legislative agenda through a process which includes input from DAWN Ontario members province-wide. The agenda identifies legislation to support, monitor, or research for future consideration. Efforts also include on-going organizing with the Ontario Social Safety NetWork, Income Security Legal Clinic, Ontario Women's Justice Network (OWJN), METRAC, Ontario Coalition for Social Justice, Housing and Homelessness Network Ontario, National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), the Women's Legal Education and Legal Fund (LEAF), Women in Public Policy project (WIPP), Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and DAWN Canada's Equality Rights Committee to monitor policy legislation considered by the Ontario legislature or House of Commons.. Effective grassroots organizing by Women with DisAbilities and advocates in local communities is an on-going strength of DAWN Ontario's legislative efforts.

Systems Change Advocacy

After legislative changes are enacted, advocacy efforts by DAWN Ontario's Legal Systems Advocacy Committee focus on implementation of the changes created with DAWN Ontario's leadership. In past years, these efforts resulted in systems change advocacy efforts focused on education and training of expert witnesses, law enforcement officers, attorneys, judges, housing managers, medical professionals, child protection workers, advocates, and other professionals on the accommodation needs of Women with DisAbilities. DAWN Ontario committees also provide support to programs in implementing local systems change strategies. This advocacy has created positive changes for Women with DisAbilities within local jurisdictions in the areas of access to the justice system, child custody and access prosecution, criminal code defences, domestic violence, and other systems.

TOP of page 

Creation of Educational and Informational Materials

DAWN Ontario has created a variety of materials for use by women's programs as well as collaborated on the development of resource material, including:

Any of these publications may be ordered from this link


Access Checklist

Guide for Healthcare Professionals

Guide a l'intention des professionnels et professionnelles de la santé

Speaker's Kit
Women with Disabilities & Mothering: Sharing our stories, exploring our options. A Symposium Report. DAWN Ontario
A Process for Change: Health & Disabled Women Project 1990 - 1994. The Evaluator's Report.
Staying Healthy in the Nineties: Women with Disabilities Talk About HealthCare.

We Are Those Women!
A Training Manual For Working With Women With Disabilities In Shelters & Sexual Assault Centres.

Violence Against Women with Disabilities: Annotated Bibliography of Available Literature & Resources and Statement of Need.
Strengthening the Links, Stopping the Violence: A Guide to the Issue of Violence Against Women With Disabilities.
Disabled? Sexually Assaulted? Need Help? Sexual Assault and Women With Disabilities.
Violence Against Women with Disabilities: Practical Considerations for Health Care Professionals.

I want to be a mother

Je veux etre mere

You and Your doctor: Partners in Care

Votre Medecin et Vous: une Collaboration Essentielle

Women with Disabilities Talk about Sexuality

Les Femmes Handicapees Parlent de leur Sexualite

You Deserve To Be Safe:
An Educational Video
for Girls with disAbilities; accompanied by a Resource Guide booklet

TOP of page


Publications Available Online on DAWN Ontario website:

DAWN Ontario's Annotated Bibliography and A Statement of Need re: Violence Against Women With Disabilities:
This project was an interactive needs assessment used to determine what information is available for consumers of service, service providers and family members in respect to understanding or assisting Women with disAbilities having to deal with a variety of circumstances such as abuse, violence, neglect, or access to services which are appropriate.

YOU DESERVE TO BE SAFE - A Guide For Girls With Disabilities
resource guide was produced by DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN) Ontario

OBSTACLES TO EQUALITY: The Double Discrimination of Women with Disabilities Overview Article by Rannveig Traustadottir Center on Human Policy, (July 1990)

Getting a Foot in the Door: Women, Civil Legal Aid and Access to Justice: Lisa Addario, National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL). Status of Women Canada

The Last Sisters: Health Issues of Women with Disabilities
by Carol J. Gill, Ph.D ... An edited version of the following article has been published as: Gill, C.J. (1997) "The last sisters: Disabled women's health" In S.B. Ruzek, V. Olesen, & A. Clarke (Eds.) Women's Health: Complexities and Differences. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Access to Justice for Sexual Harassment Victims: The Impact of Beliveau St-Jacques on Female Rights to Damages: Yvonne Peters, Sandra Goundry, and Rosalind Currie. Status of Women Canada

Taking Action: A Union Guide to Ending Violence Against Women: Deborah Prieur & Mary Rowles with Jan Barnsley, A Joint Publication of the BC Federation of Labour and the Women's Research Centre

Feminist Action, Institutional Reaction: Responses to Wife Assault: Jan Barnsley, Women's Research Centre

Department of Justice, Consultation paper, REFORMING CRIMINAL CODE DEFENCES, Provocation, Self-Defence and Defence of Property

CAEFS' (Elizabeth Fry Society) Response to the Department of Justice re: Reforming Criminal Code Defences: Provocation, Self-Defence and Defence of Property (1998)

National Association of Women and the Law's (NAWL) Brief on Defence of Provocation, Stop Excusing Violence Against Women

Report ... on the Sectoral Training Workshop on Violence against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women and the Justice System held on November 1998 in North Bay by the Roeher Institute and EWA (Education Wife Assault)   20+ pages

Summary of Recommendations of the Report by the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access

Reflections on the Report on Custody and Access: An article by Pamela Cross, OWJN (Ontario Women's Justice Network) Coordinator

"Relocation of Custodial Parents": Dr. Martha Bailey and Prof. Michelle Giroux, Status of Women website

"Women and Children Last: Custody Disputes and the Family 'Justice' System": Georgina Taylor, Jan Barnsley and Penny Goldsmith, Vancouver Custody and Access Support and Advocacy Association, Women's Research Centre

"Spousal Violence in Custody and Access Disputes: Recommendations for Reform": Nicholas M.C. Bala, Lorne D. Bertrand, Joanne J. Paetsch, Status of Women site

To learn about the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, please read this detailed backgrounder on the ODA.

Read the major ODA "Blueprint" Brief, delivered to the Legislature April 22, 1998.

Disability Guide
Authored by Moira Horgan Jones of M. Jones Consulting, ©1997 The Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. This guide provides a description of, and terminology relating to, each disability; a list of many of the assistive devices which are available to people with these disabilities; tips in etiquette when interacting with people with disAbilities; and a discussion of the types of accommodations you can make for people with different disabilities when you are meeting with them.

America's War on the Disabled; 1975-1992: A Personal Account
A History of the Social Security Disability Reviews of the 1980's available free online, authored by Tennise Broeck Morse, a woman who lives with MS

Guide to Services for Assaulted Women
What can Women with disAbilities do to Be Safe

Perceptions of Primary Healthcare Services among People with Physical Disabilities: A 2-part report on the perceived quality of primary care received by persons with disabilities.
Reprinted with Permission from Dr. Donna Stewart

Part 1: Access Issues
Part 2: Quality Issues

Report prepared by Ms. Gabriela Rodríguez Pizarro, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, submitted pursuant to resolution 1999/44 of the Commission on Human Rights
Follow this link to the read or download the Report

MEDIA KIT: Tips on How to Use the Media Effectively
Page Contents:
Writing Effective Letters to the Editor
Writing and Publishing an Op-Ed
Taking Action to the Airwaves

Ethical Guidelines for Research
with Pacific DAWN: Pacific DisAbled Women's Network
Reprinted with permission from Joan Meister

LEAF's Factum on Falkiner
Reprinted with the permission of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund ("LEAF")

Interacting with People with DisAbilities: An Etiquette Hand-book
(reprinted with permission from the University of Arkansas)

A Self Analysis
The Basics
People with Mobility Disabilities
People with Hearing Disabilities
People with Vision Disabilities
People with Communication Disabilities
People with Learning Disabilities
People with Mental (Psychiatric) Disabilities
People with Epilepsy
People with Other Disabilities

About Mammograms A Woman's Guide

Manifesto for Persons with Disabilities

International Resource Kit for Women with Disabilities

Detailed Backgrounder on The Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA)

Breast Self-Examination
A Handbook for Women with disAbilities

What this booklet is about
The Facts about Breast Cancer
Why Practice Breast Self Examination
Reasons Why We Don't Do Breast Self-Examination
To Treat Cancer you must First Find it
Other Alternatives to BSE
For Information or support

About Mammograms: A Women's Guide

TOP of page


Public Awareness Organizing & Media Advocacy

DAWN Ontario Committees organize both on-going and special event public awareness activities to promote greater community awareness of issues by Women with disAbilities as well as social justice issues.

MEDIA KIT: Tips on How to Use the Media Effectively
Page Contents:
Writing Effective Letters to the Editor
Writing and Publishing an Op-Ed
Taking Action to the Airwaves

Leadership by Women with DisAbilities From Diverse Communities

The DAWN Ontario board, committees and programs reflect the diverse communities within Ontario. All of our organizing efforts are enhanced through a commitment to the inclusion of, and leadership by Women who have been traditionally silenced within the dominant society.

These efforts have resulted in significant leadership within both the women's and the disability movement by Women with diverse perspectives. The commitment remains strong to listen to the voices of Aboriginal, older Women, young Women, Women living in poverty, Women of Colour, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender Women, and Women living in rural / remote communities.

Anti-Oppression Organizing

From our beginning, DAWN Ontario has recognized that the abuse of Women in our culture is caused by sexism, or the systematic oppression of women as a class. When batterers use violence to control intimate partners, they are exercising a belief in their "right" to dominate and have authority over women. This individual belief is perpetuated and supported by cultural beliefs and social, political, and economic systems which grant men in our culture greater power and control than women. Ending domestic violence requires social change which promotes equality for women through individual, institutional, and cultural changes.

DAWN Ontario also recognizes other forms of oppression in our culture which afford greater power and control to groups of people based on race, age, sexual orientation, income status, and ability, among others. All of these forms of oppression (sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, etc.) reinforce each other, as each is based on the belief that it is legitimate for one group of people in our culture to dominate another group of people. We believe that ending violence against women requires not only social change to end sexism, but includes social change to end all forms of oppression.

DAWN Ontario practices anti-oppression organizing through trainings on racism, ageism, homophobia and transphobia and by offering meetings for networking and support for women of colour, old women, and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women, living with the effects of a disAbility.


At DAWN Ontario we:

  • keep current on issues facing Women with disAbilities;

  • provide role models for Girls with disAbilities;

  • develop resources for Women and Girls with disAbilities;

  • assist in starting and supporting DAWN groups across Ontario;

  • speak for the rights of Women with disAbilities to make sure we can take part in Women's groups, activities, events and services;

  • work with other Women and disAbility groups;

  • produce resources about health care for Women with disAbilities;

  • facilitate a provincial voice for Women with disAbilities in Ontario;

  • work to affect positive change on issues affecting Women with disAbilities. Issues such as Employment, Self-Advocacy, Training, Education, Transportation, Housing, Health Care, and others.

TOP of page

Capacity-Building / Knowledge Sharing / Reducing Social Isolation

DAWN Ontario's been building virtual communities and growing our network via listservs - electronic forums where Women & Girls with disAbilities, along with our allies, may find common ground in shared experiences, to overcome differences and work together, using our strengths, to be persistent in the face of barriers -- by the sharing of information, the exchange of dialogue and the development and strengthening of our networks.

We use our electronic communication network for knowledge sharing, to build and develop the policy and technical capacity of Women & Girls with disAbilities, and additionally, to organize and mobilize our members and allies to take action on a diversity of social justice and human rights campaigns. These venues have proved effective in reducing social isolation experienced by many women with disabilities.

DAWN provides information, speakers, and resources to DAWN Ontario members, Women's groups, disability groups, the general public and the public and private sectors.

DAWN Ontario works with others who share the concern for Social Justice. Here is an alpha list of some of the organizations we have worked with:

Action des Femmes Handicapées Montréal (AFHM)
ACTEW - A Commitment to Training and Employment for Women
Across Boundaries An Ethnocultural Mental Health Centre
Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
AIDS Committees
Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre of Nipissing
Amnesty International Canada
Anishnabe Friendship Centre
ARCH: A Legal Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
Assaulted Women's Helpline (AWHL) Ontario
Association des Francophones Nord-Ouest de l'Ontario
l'Association canadienne des centres contre les agressions à caractère sexuel
Association for Community Living, ACL
Autism Society
AWID - Association for Women's Rights in Development
CanHepC Support Online
Canadian Advisory Committee, 9th International Women's Health Meeting
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)
Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres 
Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres (CASAC)
Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD)
Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN)
Canadian Centre for Disability Studies (CCDS)
Canadian Council of the Blind, CCB
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)
Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD)
Canadian Front on the WTO (CFWTO)
Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA)
Canadian Health Network (CHN)
Canadian Hearing Society, (CHS)
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Mental Health Association, (CMHA)
Canadian National Institute for the Blind, (CNIB)
Canadian Paraplegic Association
Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN)
Canadian Women's March Committee
Canadian Woman Studies
Canadian Women's Studies Association

CLEONet online clearinghouse for community legal education in Ontario
CERA - Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
CFWTO - Common Front on the World Trade Organization
Coalition of Women for a Just Peace
Committee to Remember Kimberly Rogers
Community Legal Clinics in Ontario

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
Council of Canadians
Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)
Cross-Sectoral Violence Against Women Strategy Group (CSVAWSG)
Child and Family Services
Coalition Against Depo Provera
Coalition Against Extra Billing in Ontario
Community Care Access Centres, CCAC
Community Counselling Services
Crow Magazine - feminist ezine in Croatia
CUPE - Canadian Union of Public Employees
D-WILD International WWD list
Deaf Women United (DWU)
Depressive-Manic Depressive Support Groups
DigitalEve Toronto
Disabled Persons International (DPI)
Education Wife Assault, (EWA)
Employment Equity Coalition
Egale Canada
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
Equal Marriage For Same Sex Couples
Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Ontario
FAFIA - Feminist Alliance for International Action
Falun Gong / Falun Dafa
Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT)
Faye Peterson Transition House
FibroMyalgia Support Ottawa West (FMSOW)
Family Resource Centres
Feminist Majority Foundation
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Info Network
First Nations Technical Services
Friends of the Falun Gong Ontario
GAP: Group of Active Parents for Children's Services
Grandmothers for Peace
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)
Independent Living Resource Centres
Indigenous Women of the Americas
Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
Justice For Women
Justice with Dignity Campaign
LEAF: Women's Legal Education And Action Fund
Lesbians and Breast Cancer Project
Lesbians, Bi-sexuals, Gays and Transgendered at MUN
Les Pénélopes
Local Training & Adjustment Boards, LTAB
LIFE*SPIN - Low Income Family Empowerment - Sole Support Information Network
McMaster University Virtual and Community Disability Training Network
Multicultural Association of Northwestern Ontario
Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC)
National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC)
National Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO)
National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
National Broadcast Reading Service
National Clearinghouse on Family Violence
National Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Health
National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC)
National Eating Disorder Information Centre
National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
National Network on Environments and Women's Health (NNEWH)
National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
Netfemmes - Le réseau électronique des groupes de femmes
Near North Victim Crisis Assistance & Referral Service
Network for Entrepreneurs with Disabilites (NEWD)

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation
North Bay Network for Social Justice
Northern Diabetes Health Network
NUPGE - National Union of Public and General Employees
ODSP Action Coalition
Ojibway Family Resource Centre
Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) Committee

Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH)
Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA)
Ontario Coalition for Social Justice (OCSJ)
Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA)
Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)

Ontario Health Coalition
Ontario Provincial Inter-Clinic Community Organizing (OPICCO)
Ontario March of Dimes
Ontario Native Women's Association
Ontario Social Safety Network (OSSN)
Ontario Women's Health Network (OWHN)
Ontario Women's Justice Network(OWJN)

Ontario Women's Network for Child Custody and Access
Options Northwest
Other Taxpayers Federation - Ontario
Our Sisters' Place
PAR-L - Canadian Electronic Feminist Network
Pauktuutit - Inuit Women's Association
Planned Parenthood Ottawa
People Advocating for Change through Empowerment (PACE)
Persons United for Self-Help in Northwestern Ontario Inc.
PSAC - Public Service Alliance of Canada
Reserve Police Services
Roeher Institute
Sarnia Lambton Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) White Cane Club
Sisters In Spirit (SIS) Campaign
Sexual Assault Centres
Social Planning Councils
Somerset West Community Health Centre
Status of Women Canada (SWC)
Status of Women Canada: Beijing+10 Resources
Sunset Country Psychiatric Survivor Alliance
Temagami First Nation Family Healing & Wellness Centre
Trans Action Canada
Transition Houses
University & College Special Needs Departments
Univerity of Western Ontario Faculty of Law
Univerity of Western Ontario Faculty of Medicine
Victim Witness Assistance Program
Variety Village
Virtual and Community Ability Network, V-CAN
Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI)
WAVAW/RCC Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre
Women Against Sanctions and War on Iraq - Act Together
Woman and Rural Economic Development (WRED)
Women and Technology Outlinks
Women in Black - Canada - Victoria BC
Women Leaders Online & Women Organizing for Change
Women's Health Bureau - Health Canada
Women's Health Matters
Women's Health Matters Resource Database

Women’s Human Rights Resources
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
Women's Resource Centres
Women's Shelters
Workopolis - Searchable database of jobs in Canada
WORKink: Virtual Employment Resource Centre
Workfare Watch Project
York University' Centre for Feminist Research

TOP of page


International Connections:

Amnesty International

Association of Iranian Women USA (AIWUSA)
AVIVA Internet magazine/directory operated by international group of feminists
B.a.B.e. (Be active, Be emancipated) Women's Human Rights Group in Croatia
CROW Magazine Women's Ezine in Croatia
European and North American WomenAction: ENAWA Web-based community of feminist organizations developing networks that contribute to the quality of the lives of women
Kenya Disabled Development Society (KDDS)
Korean Differently Abled Women United (KDAWU)

International Women's Health Meeting (9th IWHM)
Mapping the World of Women's Information Services
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) work to empower people with disabilities around the world through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training
RAWA: Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
South Easten European Legal Initiative (SEELine)
Women's Human Rights Group Croatia B.a.B.e. (Be active, Be emancipated)
Women's Human Rights Net (WHRNet) Aims to strengthen advocacy for women's human rights through the effective utilization of ICTs
Women in Black An international peace network
WomensNet News & info about women from an international perspective
World Bank GenderNet (new Link - Feb 2005)
WOW: Women Online Worldwide webzine, chatrooms, & webcasts ...
WWWomen.com search directory for women online

DAWN Ontario is a proud partner of the
European and North American WomenAction: ENAWA

ENAWA - European and NorthAmerican WomenAction
European and North American WomenAction
... a new name and a new web site

DAWN Ontario is a proud partner of
We are proud partners of OneWorld.net

TOP of page




Website designed & maintained courtesy of Barbara Anello