TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 21, 2015) - The Canadian Helen Keller Centre (CHKC) and the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons (CFPDP) are pleased to announce Ryerson University as the recipient of the prestigious 2015 CHKC award which will be presented to Sheldon Levy, President and Vice Chancellor. The CHKC award is presented annually to a single honouree for providing invaluable support to Canadians with disabilities, including people who are deaf-blind. Ryerson is being honoured for its roll at the forefront of disabilities studies in Canada and for its ongoing dedication to raising awareness.

Members of the media are invited to attend the awards ceremony honouring Ryerson University and to hear this year's guest speaker, the Honourable Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services (MCSS). The 11th annual CHKC luncheon will also pay tribute to Canada's Paralympic athletes, with appearances by Erik Carleton, Josh Dueck, Jim Armstrong, Ina Forrest, Mark Ideson, Sonja Gaudet and Dennis Thiessen.

WHAT: CHKC Awards Luncheon
WHERE: Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Concert Hall
WHEN: Thursday, April 23, 2015
12 noon ET

Tickets for the 11th annual CHKC awards luncheon are still available and may be purchased by contacting CFPDP at (416) 760-7351.

"We are delighted to recognize Ryerson University for its extraordinary and ongoing role in improving the lives of Canadians with disabilities, including those with all types and degrees of dual hearing and vision loss," said Cindy Accardi, Executive Director of CHKC. "Our team also gratefully acknowledges the support of CFPDP, which hosts and sponsors the CHKC luncheon each year, and MCSS, which recently provided us with permanent funding so CHKC can offer multilingual instruction to all Ontarians who are deaf-blind."

CHKC is Canada's only residential training centre for people who are deaf-blind. It has played an important role in the lives of individuals, their families and the community since opening its doors in July 2001. Dedicated CHKC staff and instructors offer classes to improve skills needed for daily living, which facilitates independence and helps people who are deaf-blind care for their families and homes. CHKC also provides core programming in technology, orientation and mobility, communication and the use of an intervenor, a specially trained professional who acts as the eyes and ears of a person who is deaf-blind.

Customized for the varying needs of each individual, CHKC courses include orientation and mobility, communication, computer essentials, use of iOS devices like an iPhone or iPad, safe travel, cooking and kitchen essentials, household management and personal finance. Instruction is available in English, French, ASL and LSQ through one-on-one classes, group workshops, intensive residential stays and/or in a consumer's own home.

Founded in 1985 by The Rotary Club of Toronto - Don Valley with Honourable Vim Kochhar as Founding Chair, CFPDP assists people with physical disabilities to live fuller lives. Its mission is to create awareness in the public, business communities and government of the abilities of people with disabilities and their needs in the areas of housing, employment, education, accessibility, sports and recreating, and research. In the past 30 years, CFPDP has raised considerable funds, which it has distributed to a wide variety of organizations and events. Events held annually include the Great Valentine Gala, the CHKC Awards Luncheon, Canadian Disability Hall of Fame and the Rolling Rampage.

Contact Information:

Canadian Helen Keller Centre
Cindy Accardi or Jennifer Robbins
TEL/TTY: (416) 730-9501