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DisAbled Women's Network: DAWN ONTARIO

Who We Are


DAWN Ontario is a progressive, volunteer-driven, feminist organization promoting social justice, human rights & the advancement of equality rights through education, research, advocacy, coalition-building, resource development, & information technology.

Our mission is to generate knowledge, information and skills to secure the inclusion, citizenship, human rights and equality of women and girls with disabilities.

We work to illuminate the causes & multidimensional consequences of the growing inequality of wealth, income, power & opportunity in Canada; & to move this critical national problem onto the front burner of Canadian politics and public discourse.

We seek to bring forward the distinctive perspective of women and girls with disabilities in the campaign for full equality both for women, and for persons with disabilities.

We do this by facilitating ongoing debates on fundamental and provocative issues as well as by building the individual and organizational capacities of those working for women's empowerment and social justice.

DAWN Ontario is the only provincial, feminist, cross-disAbility organization in Ontario providing leadership in advocating for inclusion and equality of women with disAbilities.

We receive No Funding and have No Paid Staff!

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


DAWN Ontario was DENIED Trillium Foundation funding in 2001 as it was the opinion of the Trillium Grant Review Team that we did not have the "capacity" to manage funds as effectively as other applicants.

We work without financial resources to facilitate a provincial voice for women with disAbilities. We work cross-sectorally on diverse issues and contribute by developing the technical capacity of our members and other marginalized communities whom we aim to inform, organize & mobilize to affect positive change.


We work from an anti-oppression, anti-discrimination, feminist framework.

Our members are Women with all types of disAbilities. We are a provincial voluntary sector organization which supports Women in our struggles to control our own lives. Our board is comprised 100% of women with disAbilities from throughout Ontario. We have been operating without funding since January 1999.

Our members include Women with disAbilities and non-disabled Women allies. Women of all ages and from diverse communities are active members of our Network, including Women from many ethnic, racial, cultural, religious backgrounds, and sexual orientation (lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, and transgendered)

We believe that Women with disAbilities:

  • have the right to access the services and supports available to all Women;

  • have needs which are different from those of men with disAbilities;

  • know best what our needs are;

  • have a right to freedom of choice in all aspects of our lives; and

  • can be proud of our disAbilities and have the choice to self-identity.

  • have the right to direct our own lives.

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