March 29, 2007
Media Release

York Region announces appointments to the 2007-2010 Accessibility Advisory Committee

 
Goal is to help find, remove and prevent barriers to Regional programs and services
 
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council is pleased to announce the appointment of members to the 2007–2010 Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), a committee that will advise Council on how to make it easier for people with disabilities to use Regional programs and services by identifying barriers and recommending action to remove and prevent them.
 
“The York Region AAC plays a vital role in assisting Regional Council to provide accessible programs and services to York Region residents,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “I am confident that the committee appointed today will build on the work done previously.  Together, we will continue to identify, remove and prevent barriers to people with disabilities.”
 
The York Region AAC was established to meet the requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).  The purpose of the committee is to advise Regional Council on the implementation of the ODA, including the preparation, implementation and effectiveness of the Region’s annual accessibility plans and to advise on the Region’s compliance with the standards of the AODA.
 
A formal recruiting process opened on December 3, 2006 and closed on January 8, 2007.  Close to 70 people in York Region applied to serve on the committee.
 
“The tremendous response shows that both Council and our residents are interested in helping to remove barriers and make the Region a better place to live, work and play,” said Brenda Hogg, Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor and Chair of the Region’s Community Services and Housing Committee.  “I look forward to working with the new committee to continue this wonderful work.”
 
Application packages were made available on the Region’s website, at York Regional buildings, at the nine area municipalities and through organizations in York Region that represent or provide services to people with disabilities.
 
The 2007-2010 York Region AAC is comprised of nine citizen members from across the Region and four members of Regional Council. The majority of the members have a disability.  The appointees include:
 
 
York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch (ex-officio)
Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora
Town of Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor
Town of Georgina Regional Councillor Danny Wheeler
 
Janice Cameron
Valerie Evans
Margaret Gaukel
Cindy Gorlewski Beverley Hall
 
Kirsten Hill
Diane Humeniuk
Wilf Morley
Trish Robichaud
 
Please see Backgrounder for short biographies of the appointees.
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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and our services, please visit www.york.ca
 
Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone: (905) 830-4444 Ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Cell Phone: (905) 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca
 
 
 
Backgrounder
 

March 29, 2007 Biographies of citizen members of the 2007-2010 York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee
 

NEWMARKET – The role of the York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) is to advise Regional Council on its annual accessibility plans under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and to monitor Council’s implementation and compliance with standards released under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).
 
Janice Cameron brings over 30 years business experience in Human Resources and has worked with many groups including Barrier Free Design, Injury Rehab (brain injury), The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, as a committee member with Industrial Accident Prevention Association and served as a board member of the York Central Hospital Board of Directors.  Ms. Cameron is currently a Human Resources Director for a Provincial Agency and her responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of Human Resources as well as implementing legislation including the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.  
 
Valerie Evans is a Program Facilitator and Employment Counselor with the YMCA Heads Up Program, which assists people with disabilities in preparing for, gaining and maintaining employment.  Ms. Evans brings over seven years experience and knowledge in employment assistance in York Region and facilitates a series of workshops on employment related topics.  Ms. Evans is also an active member on the Youth Interagency Planning Committee and the YMCA York Region Volunteer Coordinator.  Ms. Evans looks forward to her new role with the York Region AAC.
 
Margaret Gaukel is a Disability Awareness Specialist with a background and training as a Social Worker.  Ms. Gaukel is currently serving as Chairperson for the York East Chapter of the MS Society and is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Kingston Chapter of the MS Society and a past Board Member for the MS Society, Ontario Division.  As Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee for the Town of East Gwillimbury, Ms. Gaukel plays a very active role in advocating for the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to accessibility in her own municipality.  Living with MS for 20 years, Ms. Gaukel is well aware of challenges that people with disabilities are faced with.
 
Cindy Gorlewski (BA-BPHE, BEd, MBA) has a background that includes serving as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Newmarket Accessibility Advisory Committee since its inception and now joins the York Region AAC to share her knowledge, ideas, enthusiasm and experience.  Ms. Gorlewski’s awareness of and experience with disabilities is augmented through her own daily life with mobility issues, as well as the education gained while serving on a municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee.  During her career as a teacher, Ms. Gorlewski also had the opportunity to work with special-needs children.  Ms. Gorlewski is continuing to work with her municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee as well as serving on the Newmarket Heritage Committee.
 
Beverley Hall is an author and playwright.  Originally from Jamaica, Ms. Hall decided to move to Canada where she studied Banking and Finance.  Ms. Hall also studied International Business, Business Administration and Paralegal studies at Centennial College and Ryerson.  Ms. Hall is the former treasurer of the Board of Directors of Ellen McGreal Housing Co-operative in Toronto and is also the founder and past president of the Centennial College West Indian Organization.  Ms. Hall is committed to promoting education among women and children.
 
Kirsten Hill is a member of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Accessibility Advisory Committee and is serving her second term as a member of the York Region AAC.  Ms. Hill works as a facilitator providing disability awareness training for municipal staff across York Region.  Ms. Hill also volunteers as a peer support leader and outreach speaker with the CNIB, by introducing CNIB clients to the services and aids available.  As a facilitator, she is able to draw on her own experience with vision loss to help others.  She also facilitates a reading program for children in grade one and has served on a number of parent committees at both the elementary and secondary school levels. 
 
Diane Humeniuk, a member of the 2003-2006 York Region AAC and its first Chair (2003) returns for her second term.  Ms. Humeniuk has 35 years of marketing experience and is president of Diane Humeniuk & Associates Inc., a creative marketing firm.  Ms. Humeniuk is also President and owner of one of the top 10 spas in Canada.  She served 18 years in public service as an elected official both at the municipal and regional levels.  Ms. Humeniuk has served on numerous government and community committees, Boards of Directors and held several positions, including with the District Health Council and the former Greater Toronto Services Board.  Ms. Humeniuk has extensive consulting experience with various organizations who provide services to both adults and children with special needs. 
 
Wilf Morley, former Chair of the 2003-2006 York Region AAC from 2004 to 2006, is also a member of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Accessibility Advisory Committee and returns for his second term on the York Region AAC.  Mr. Morley has a strong knowledge of transit issues and the impact that these issues have on people with disabilities.  Mr. Morley is a past President of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mobility Transit and also initiated the first accessible school bus for students in the former York Region Board of Education.  In 2001, Mr. Morley received the Citizen of the Year Award for Whitchurch-Stouffville.  Mr. Morley also brings a strong knowledge of municipal government to the work of the York Region AAC.
Trish Robichaud was Vice Chair (2006) of the 2003-2006 York Region AAC and returns for her second term.  Ms. Robichaud is a founding member of the York North Chapter of the MS Society Board of Directors and was a Board Member for 13 years, serving 4 years as Chair and is now officially the past Chair.  Ms. Robichaud was recognized by the MS Society of Canada in 2004 as the top volunteer in Ontario and in Canada.  She is also a past long-term Board Member of Georgina Mobility Transit and currently serves as a Patron Member.  Trained in supportive counselling, self-advocacy, social action and life skills, she has been providing coaching, counselling and advocacy support to people with multiple sclerosis, other disabilities and individuals who are challenged by life, health and vocational transitions for over a decade.  Minimizing her own MS symptoms through profound lifestyle changes, self-awareness, proper treatment and conflict and stress management, she has lived a very joyful and rewarding life despite her 20-year battle with depression.

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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone: (905) 830-4444 Ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Cell Phone: (905) 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca
 
 

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