R-PATH committee

R-PATH committee

A leader in advocating for tenants with physical disabilities and creating accessibility solutions that work.

The Responsible Personal Accessibility in Toronto Housing (R-PATH) Committee is a resident-led group established in May 2013. The Committee's goal is to improve quality of life for people with physical disabilities and to support Toronto Community Housing in being a leader in accessible housing.

The Committee works with the Toronto Community Housing management team to identify and remove accessibility barriers, improving the lives of residents with physical disabilities. 

R-PATH accomplishments 2013–2018

  • Worked with the Toronto Community Housing Capital Planning Team to support increasing the  accessibility budget from $1.5 million in 2013 to $17.4 million in 2018.
  • Collaborated with staff to develop building standards for accessibility that exceed the requirements of the Ontario Building Code.
  • Delivered Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) training to all Toronto Community Housing volunteers.
  • Created the Accessibility Program Guide and R-PATH booklet.
  • Consulted and shared expertise with The Mayor's Task Force, the Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity and City Councillors.
  • Presented and shared information at the 2017 Tenant Conference and People in Motion Show.
  • Deputed at Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors meetings on issues pertaining to residents with disabilities.

R-PATH is composed of up to 12 members who all have physical disabilities. Each member has a unique set of skills and experience in advocating for accessibility and/or tenants. The committee represents the needs and interests of all types of physical disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs and scooters, walkers, visual or hearing impaired devices, people who are living with a child or spouse who has mobility challenges and invisible disabilities.

Are you interested in contributing your time, skills and leadership to support R-PATH’s work? Application for new members is open. Please contact R-PATH Chair Cathy Birch at cbirch619@msn.com to receive information on the activities of the committee and how you can volunteer.

2016–2019 Committee members (2nd term)

  • Cathy Birch (Chairperson)
  • Lene Andersen
  • Jane Donohue
  • Joe Knapper 
  • Amanda O'Shaughnessy

2nd term special events—photos

R-PATH Chair Cathy Birch and TCHC President and CEO Kathy Milsom sign the Building Standards for Accessibility document

President and CEO Kathy Milsom and R-PATH Chair Cathy Birch sign the updated Board-approved Toronto Community Housing Corporation Building Standards for Accessibility.


R-PATH committee members posing for a group picture at their booth at the TCHC Tenant Conference

R-PATH at the 2017 Tenant Conference

The Accessibility team, made up of TCHC staff and R-PATH committee members, posing outside at the R-PATH third anniversary BBQ 

Accessibility team at R-PATH 3rd anniversary


Cathy Birch and Facilities Management VP Sheila Penny