Journalist receives provincial award; Story on Jim Cully inspired judges

Local News - Saturday, June 16, 2007 @ 09:00

The Daily Observer's Anthony Dixon has received a prestigious award presented annually to an Ontario journalist by the provincial association for community living.

The Community Living Ontario media award for 2007 was presented to Mr. Dixon for his story "Jim Cully: A Pioneer of Inclusion."

Mr. Dixon's story, which explored the life and times of a beloved member of the Pembroke community who did not let his disability hinder the achievement of his goals, was chosen from several entries.

He joins the ranks of other noted journalists who have won the award in the past including last year's recipients Lauren Gilchrist of Peterborough This Week, Laurie Watt of Orillia Today, and Trish Crawford of the Toronto Star.

April Stevens, former producer of Moving On, a program that aired on the CBC television network, also won the media award for 2007.

The episode 'Christine' told the story of one woman's success to move into the community after years of living in an institution.

The media award is presented to those who demonstrate journalistic excellence in a news story or feature on a subject relevant to intellectual disability.

The Community Living awards ceremony also honoured the outstanding efforts and achievements of people and organizations working to build a more inclusive society in support of people with intellectual disabilities.

The awards were presented during Community Living Ontario's 54th annual conference in Toronto last week. More than 600 delegates from associations across the country attended the conference called Reinventing Community Supports.

Cheryl Tennant, of Pembroke, was also among those recognized. She was presented with the James Montgomerie Honour Award for public speaking, raising awareness and other community work related to intellectual disability.

A self-advocate, she speaks from personal experience about disability issues and the importance of inclusion.

Toronto lawyer David Lepofsky received the Community Living Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award. He and other lobbyists fought for and won an amendment to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include persons who have a disability in a section on equal rights. He also led a 10-year campaign that resulted in the enactment of the 2005 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, designed to provide barrier-free access to information, employment, goods and services.

Marilyn Dolmage, of Toronto, received the Canadian Association for Community Living's Ontario inclusion education award. She has been a member of the Ontario Coalition for Inclusive Education for more than 12 years. Her contributions include public speaking and writing on education and disability issues.

Ms. Dolmage has also facilitated numerous training workshops and meetings between people with disabilities, students, families, educators and the Ontario government to advance the cause of inclusive education in the province.

Community Living Simcoe and Essex County received Community Living Ontario newsletter awards for producing informative and engaging publications that explore subjects relevant to intellectual disability and the vision of Community Living.

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