Statement from OBA President Kelly McDermott on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

  • December 03, 2023

On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we spotlight the unique challenges faced by many lawyers. The demanding nature of our work, coupled with personal struggles, underscores the critical need for a supportive community.

As a lawyer with a disability, I understand the complexities firsthand. Recognizing the vital role of the Ontario Bar Association in my own journey, I am committed to ensuring that it stands as a pillar of support for all lawyers facing similar challenges.

Becoming OBA President in March of this year fuelled my determination to enhance the association's support systems. Under the banner of my PeerLink mission, my focus has been on creating more accessible tools and resources. The Peer Support Network for Lawyers Living with Disabilities is a pivotal component, offering knowledge, a platform for regular peer support meetings, and a space for lawyers to candidly share their experiences and understanding. Lawyers living with disabilities also have many assets and unique abilities to share, so this serves as an innovative way to learn from their insights and experiences.

Today, the OBA reaffirms its commitment to stand alongside lawyers living with disabilities. By addressing the unique obstacles they encounter, we strive to ensure that no one feels alone in their journey. The OBA is dedicated to being a beacon of support, recognizing that together, we can create a legal community that empowers every member to overcome challenges and thrive.