Gary Malkowski

Gary Malkowski, the son of a Polish-speaking father, who worked at Stelco and a French-speaking mother, a cafeteria worker, was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He received B.A.  in Social Work and Psychology and a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counselling from Gallaudet University, the only accredited university for the Deaf in the world, in Washington D.C. Gary is currently Special Advisor to the President, Public Affairs at The Canadian Hearing Society. Gary is also part time civic teacher of deaf at the International Yeshivas High School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Toronto.

Gary is a provincially and nationally recognized leader with an extensive track record of human rights, anti-discrimination, Deaf and Disability advocacy work. He serves as advisor to a number of human rights and ombudsman organizations on issues related to anti-discrimination, anti-audism and anti-ableism, guidelines, policy, legislative and regulation developments. Gary serves on Executive Committee, Board of Directors of the ARCH Disability Law Centre, Law Commission of Ontario, Media Access Canada, Toronto Association of the Deaf, and Ontario Association of Education Advocates as well as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance. Gary served as a member of City of Toronto Disability Issues Committee. Also, Gary is a founding member of Captioning Movies Now Coalition.

Gary has an excellent and extensive track record of accomplishments, including his involvement with the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Citizenship, Education, Colleges, Universities and Training in policies and legislation on employment equity. He has worked tirelessly on such issues as anti-racism, access and ethno-cultural equity, and access to professions and trades initiatives. He has made invaluable contributions to legal community services, including Osgoode Hall Law School, the Law Society of Upper Canada and provided legal strategies and advice to lawyers who have successfully reached several important rulings at the Supreme Court of Canada.  These legal developments led to the successful introduction and implementation of Federal and Provincial Employment Equity Acts, the Anti-Racism Education Directorate, the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Duty to Accommodate Policy, the Mental Health Services Act, and the Literacy and Life Skills Program.

Prior to joining the Canadian Hearing Society, Gary became the first elected Deaf politician in the world. During his term as MPP for York East (1990-1995), he was the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship. He was also Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education and Training. He served as a member on numerous Standing Committees, including Administration of Justice, Finance and Economic Affairs, Social Development, Resource Development, General Government and Public Accounts as well for the Select Committee on Confederation of Ontario. In 1994, he introduced a Private Member’s bill for the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This action led to the introduction and implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2005.

Gary was recently awarded Gallaudet University’s honourary degree; the L.H.D. Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, Canadian Association of the Deaf’s the Henry Vlug Award for Political, Legal, and Advocacy Action, July 2010, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community service. He has also received the 1996 Canadian “Who’s Who” Award, the 1989 Ontario Government Community Action Award, the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Program’s Outstanding Contribution to Mental Health Communities Award and many other honours provincially, nationally and internationally. He has been featured on TV, radio, and in newspapers and magazines nationally and internationally, including the CTV, Global and CBC.  He has been the subject of a BBC documentary and a biographical play. Gary currently resides in Toronto’s east end with his wife Karen and he has six children; three daughters Carlee, Sara, and Marissa, and three sons Christopher, Lukas, and TJ.



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