see what a world without stigma looks like poster
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About Holland Bloorview
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is a leader in helping young people with disabilities and their families to build resilience and achieve a world of boundless possibilities. Our research, inventions, and evidence-informed practice guidelines impact the lives of children and youth around the globe. Our efforts are guided by a goal to lead and model social change by advancing awareness and deep acceptance of disability as part of diversity.

Holland Bloorview is also an academic hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We focus on improving the lives of kids with disabilities, kids needing rehabilitation after illness or trauma, and kids whose medical complexity requires specialized care. We serve nearly 7,500 children and youth annually, accounting for more than 1,000 unique diagnoses. We serve families from across Ontario, Canada in our inpatient units and specialized medical clinics, and provide outpatient therapy, life skills and recreation programming for families in the Greater Toronto area.

Read the hospital’s anti-stigma position paper Dear Everybody, It’s time to end stigma for young Canadians with disabilities.

About Dear Everybody
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Dear Everybody campaign is a national movement to end stigma and eliminate bias towards disability. The campaign returns for the second year with powerful imagery that challenges Canadians to rethink their perceptions of disability. In Canada, there are more than 400,000 children and youth (up to and including the age of 24) living with a disability, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission notes disability is the most citied (59 per cent) reason for discrimination by people in Canada.

Why is Holland Bloorview launching this movement?
We are launching this movement to raise awareness of the stigma faced by kids and young adults with disabilities. Our purpose as a hospital is the most meaningful and healthy lives for all children, youth and families. Stigma is a barrier to creating this type of future. We want to change hearts and minds about disability and more importantly, get people to take action to create a more inclusive, equitable society.

What is disability stigma and why is it an issue?
Stigma is a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something, in this case, living with a disability. Disability stigma includes barriers, bias and stereotypes that affect attitudes and behaviours towards people with disabilities.

Kids and young people with disabilities routinely face the consequences of stigma – staring, whispers, name-calling, social exclusion, bullying and outright discrimination – and many of us take little notice. And once they reach adulthood, young people face lower employment prospects on average compared to their peers without disabilities.

What are you asking people to do?
We are asking people to visit DearEverybody.ca to:

  • Share the striking images of youth who are helping us to rethink our perceptions of disability. Be sure to tag your shares with #DearEverybody and @HBKidsHospital
  • Become an ally: download our tip sheets, read our position paper, check out our videos and review the resources that provide concrete steps for employers, friends, parents, teachers, health care providers to end stigma
  • Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch and join the movement
For all media inquiries between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, please contact Sasha Babakhanova, Communications Associate, at ababakhanova@hollandbloorview.ca or (416) 425-6220 ext. 6263.

For media inquiries after 5 p.m. on weekdays, weekends, and statutory holidays, please call the main hospital line at (416) 425-6220 and ask to be directed to a Communications and Public Engagement team member.

For all other inquiries, please email the Dear Everybody team ‎at deareverybody@hollandbloorview.ca.