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Gary Malkowski - Biography

Gary MalkowskiGary Malkowski is the Vice President, Stakeholder and Employer Relations at the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS).

Gary also works as a part-time Civics and Career teacher 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. Prior to joining CHS, Gary became Canada’s first Deaf parliamentarian and the first Deaf parliamentarian in the world to address a legislature in a signed language (American Sign Language).  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 the 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 AODA in 2005.

Gary was President of the Toronto Association of the Deaf (TAD) and a chair of the ARCH Disability Law Centre. Gary served as a member of the Law Commission of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on the project “Framework for the Law as It Affects Persons with Disabilities: Advancing Substantive Equality for Persons with Disabilities through Law, Policy and Practice.” 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 was a member of the Board of Directors of the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (BAF), and Vice-Chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance. Gary served as a member of the City of Toronto’s Disability Issues Committee. Gary is also a founding member of Captioning Movies Now Coalition.

Gary has a number of accomplishments to his credit, including his involvement with the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Citizenship; Education; and Colleges, Universities and Training in policies and legislation related to 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 and the Law Society of Upper Canada, and has 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 the 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.

Gary was named one of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ADOA) 10th Anniversary Champion recipients (2015, received an honourary degree from Gallaudet University – the L.H.D. Doctor of Humane Letters Degree), the Canadian Association of the Deaf’s Henry Vlug Award for Political, Legal, and Advocacy Action (July 2010), and the Queen’s Golden (2002) and Diamond (2012) Jubilee Medals 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 has a B.A. in Social Work and Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counselling from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., currently the only accredited university for the Deaf in the world. 

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