Accessibility Standards Advisory Council
Matthew Shaw (Barrie) is an entrepreneur, consultant and recognized disability and charitable sector leader. Matthew is the founder of Disability Solutions Canada, a full-service consultancy and accessibility practice, and Shaw Philanthropy Partners, a boutique consultancy helping charities, non-profits and social enterprises raise funds to deliver on their missions. Born with Usher Syndrome, a degenerative condition causing combined hearing and vision loss leading to blindness, Mr. Shaw is a passionate advocate for disability rights and building more accessible communities that serve the needs of all citizens. He has worked across various charitable and corporate sectors, including healthcare, education, financial services, government, technology and social services. In 2021, Matthew was appointed to Accessibility Standards Canada's "technical standards committee for a model standard for the built environment – accessibility”.
ANA MARIA FARIA
Ana Maria Faria (Toronto) is a seasoned philanthropic executive and Director of Development at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. Previously, Mrs. Faria served as the Vice President of National Development for Easter Seals Canada – a national organization serving Canadians living with varying disabilities. She provides a unique perspective as a person with a lived experience, and is committed to removing barriers to accessibility. Her strong strategic planning, fundraising and communications skills have been developed through various leadership roles in communications and marketing in government and the corporate sector. In addition, she has diverse leadership experience in the charitable and not-for-profit sector. Mrs. Faria is dedicated to the community, and has been inspiring philanthropic support for post-secondary student scholarships, the performing arts and literacy programs in Canada. Mrs. Faria is currently serving as a volunteer as the President of the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business Professionals.
Kat Hamilton (Ottawa) is a Senior Manager, Advocacy and Public Education for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Ms. Hamilton is an experienced and well-respected social change campaigner and government relations professional who specializes in disability rights advocacy. She is adept at building strong community relationships alongside grassroots organizers and stakeholder organizations, and she has successfully spearheaded systemic changes in policy through her campaigning. Before moving to Canada from the United Kingdom, Ms. Hamilton worked for the Campaigns Team at the Royal National Institute of Blind People where she effectively mobilized national support on a variety of advocacy issues affecting people with sight loss. With a desire to continue to make positive societal change for people with disabilities, Ms. Hamilton joined the CNIB in 2016, holding various ascending advocacy roles.
Nikki Gore (Toronto) is a global marketing leader with over 25 years’ experience developing and implementing integrated marketing strategies, supporting sales teams, and building high-performance marketing teams for B2B technology companies. More recently, she joined joining the auticon Canada team where she helped launch the Ontario-based operations, enabling businesses to engage with highly skilled technology talent on the autism spectrum and providing training programs on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Ms. Gore has also held executive marketing positions for technology companies ranging in size from start-up to growth to global multinationals. As the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, she has volunteered with non-profits and advocated for delivering accessible and inclusive experiences for neurodivergent children and young adults.
George Quarcoo (North York) is a low vision individual who is passionate about making his community accessible to persons with disabilities. Mr. Quarcoo lost most of his sight to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome at 9 years of age, and since then, has made it his life’s work to driving change for inclusivity. Mr. Quarcoo has represented Canada in various Paralympic events as a T12 sprinter, including the 2015 PanAm Games in Toronto; 2017 World Championships in London, England; and the 2018 Common Wealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. In his professional work, Mr. Quarcoo took on the role of Group Support Coordinator at the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB), creating and facilitating sports and recreational activities for persons living with sight loss. He then moved on to working at BALANCE for Blind Adults in Toronto as an Assistive Technology Instructor, empowering clients’ independence with the use of Accessible Tech. Mr. Quarcoo is currently in a role at eSSENTIAL Accessibility, where he and his team drive innovative solutions to making the ever growing digital world accessible to persons with disabilities.
Jeffrey Preston (Toronto) is Director, Product and Marketing for Motion LP, Canada’s leading provider of Mobility and Accessibility products for seniors and persons with disabilities. Mr. Preston has over 30 years of extensive health care experience in assistive devices across private and public, retail and manufacturing sectors. Mr. Preston has also served as President, Board of Directors of the Canadian Assistive Devices Association and attended the University of Western Ontario and holds a BA in Political Science.
John W. Lane (Caledonia) is the Chief Building Official/Senior Manager of Building and Development Services at the City of St. Catharines. Mr. Lane is currently Vice President of the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) Board of Directors and serves as Education Committee Chair. He is also an OBOA facilitator, responsible for delivering Building Code courses to its members. Prior to joining the OBOA, he served for 20 years on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Property Standards Officers as Treasurer and part of its Instructor Team. Mr. Lane has extensive knowledge of the Barrier Free requirements in Ontario’s Building Code, and how they compliment the accessibility requirements associated with the Design of Public Spaces Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. For over 30 years, Mr. Lane has also served as a part-time professor at Mohawk College, teaching various architectural and building code-related courses.
Sam Savona (Toronto) has been an accessibility advocate for decades, and has extensive community involvement and governance experience, including being a: member of the Health Care Standards Development Committee, member of the Transportation Standards Development Committee, member of the Board of Directors for PACE Independent Living Attendant Care Services, President of the Board of Directors for Tobias House Attendant Care Services, and member and Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT). Mr. Savona is powerful advocate in the area of transit services for people with disabilities. As a member of ACAT, he diligently helped to improve Wheel-Trans services, and was instrumental in persuading Toronto City Council to install elevators in subway stations. In 2013, he was awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, which recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term efforts, have made outstanding contributions to their community. Mr. Savona has an accessible playground named after him in Toronto’s Regent Park community.
Meenu Sikand (Vaughan) is the Executive Lead for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and co-chair of the organization’s Inclusion, Equity, Diversity and Accessibility (IDEA) taskforce on anti-racism. She is a passionate Inclusion and Accessibility thought leader who specialize in critical disability and race theory. Meenu is the founder of Accessibility for All – a non-profit organization that works to identify, address and meet the needs of marginalized and underserved communities. Ms. Sikand is an award-winning disability rights advocate, coach, educator, public speaker and social media influencer. She has spoken nationally and internationally on a wide variety of Equity and Disability Justice topics including mental health, cultural competencies, parenting, social integration, accommodation, intersectionality and race. Ms. Sikand brings extensive experience in leading corporate accessibility planning, policy creation, and leading public education and awareness campaigns. Previously, she has held positions in both provincial and municipal government, at Bell Canada, at CGI and as a part-time instructor with Queen’s University’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation. Ms. Sikand generously donates her time volunteering for many local, national and international organizations. In 2020, Ms. Sikand was inducted in the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame, and was recognized as the Senior Executive of the Year by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. In 2021, she received the “Accessibility Champion” award from the City of Vaughan.
Meghan Johnson (Cottam) is the Program Manager for the CONNECT Mental Health Counselling program at the Canadian Hearing Society, which provides professional services to Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who are living with mental health issues or other serious challenges. She is a Deaf individual, who also teaches at St. Clair College in the Deaf Culture and American Sign Language Program. Ms. Johnson holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Windsor, and applies her positive attitude and energy into continuing to educate herself through online workshops.
Rich Padulo (Etobicoke) is the owner and President of Padulo X Experiential Marketing. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, he has led both strategy development and execution of national and regional awareness campaigns, as well as in-person campaigns for the private, public and non-profit sectors. Mr. Padulo has a passion for bringing people together to obtain actionable change. He is the founder of Treat Accessibly, a grassroots social movement which advocates for making trick-or-treating accessible. Started in Canada, the movement is on its way to having 400,000 homes participating by 2025. One home for every one of the 400,000 children and youth with a disability in Canada today. His work in seeking binding resolutions from a ever growing number of cities and towns to champion the movement, like Toronto, Vaughan and more, as well as rallying the private sector to continue to make the movement free to participate across the country ensures continued growth and vision to make Halloween night the first accessible holiday tradition in the world to accelerate accessibility as a whole.
Billy Bridges (Mississauga) has been a member of Canada’s National Para Hockey Team for over 20 years and the Alternate Captain for nine years. Born with Spina Bifida, he is a Paralympic gold, silver and bronze medalist in the sport of para ice hockey, and a four-time World Para Ice Hockey champion. At 14, he was the youngest player to ever make Team Canada, and the first to record 200 points. He also played professional wheelchair basketball in Spain. Mr. Bridges studies astronomy and English literature at the University of Toronto.
Tina Doyle (Brooklin) is the Director of AccessAbility Services at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and brings a unique perspective to the council as a person with lived experience in the area of accessibility and education. With over 25 years of experience in higher education, she is the current Chair of the Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committee and a former Chair of the Inter-University Disability Issues Association. Ms. Doyle is also a participant on the Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ Disability Issues Working Group. She has extensive experience with, and passion for, removing barriers to accessibility in the postsecondary education sector with the goal of improving educational and employment outcomes for students with disabilities. Ms. Doyle holds a Master of Science degree in Disability Services in Higher Education from the City University of New York, and a Graduate Certificate in Postsecondary Disability Services from the University of Connecticut.
Chip Kean (North Bay) is the owner of Kean’s K9 Obedience and Behaviour Training, where he is Chief Obedience Instructor and Behaviour Consultant. He is also a Senior Trainer and Behaviour Consultant for Citadel Canine Service, a charity that trains and provides service dogs to military, police and first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr. Kean joined the Canadian Forces in 1973 as an Air Defence Technician. He served at Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Gypsumville, MB; CFS Gander, NL; Canadian Forces Base (CFB) North Bay, ON; CFB Baden, Germany; CFB Greenwood, NS; and 22 Wing CFB North Bay, ON. Mr. Kean was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (third clasp), the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Special Service Medal and the Order of the Military Merit. Mr. Kean retired from the Canadian Forces on April 9, 2021. His career in the military gave him unique opportunities to obtain dog training education in all levels of obedience, tracking, scent detection and protection training from a Canadian Forces Kennel Master, various Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Ontario Provincial Police Canine Handlers, and the Royal Air Force (RAF) Police Dog Section at RAF Marham, United Kingdom.