Hummingbird Award

the hummingbird award


The Hummingbird Award honours major contributions to the advancement of women and girls with disabilities and inspires sustained effort to this cause.


The DisAbled Women's Network of Canada is proud to announce the launch of our Hummingbird Award. 

We are launching the Hummingbird Awards to recognize the hard work that has begun and must continue.  Recipients are women we recognize for their major contributions in advancing the rights and improving the lives of disabled and/or Deaf women, girls, and gender minorities. 

This annual award is one of many events under the banner of the Vision for Change initiative


Recipients of the 2020 Hummingbird Awards


Portrait of Calra Qualtrough

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Delta in 2015.

A successful lawyer, dedicated volunteer, and Paralympic swimmer, Minister Qualtrough’s commitment to addressing inequality and championing diversity makes her a strong advocate for Delta.

Committed to equity and inclusion, Minister Qualtrough has practiced human rights law at the federal and provincial levels. She chaired the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility in British Columbia, and was an adjudicator with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal. Minister Qualtrough has been visually impaired since birth.

Passionate about the power of sport and physical activity to change lives, Minister Qualtrough has volunteered locally, nationally, and internationally, including with the International Paralympic Committee and for the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. She has been President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Chair of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. She was also on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, and was Vice-Chair of the Delta Gymnastics Society.

As an athlete, Minister Qualtrough won three Paralympic and four World Championship medals.

Minister Qualtrough has degrees in political science from the University of Ottawa and in law from the University of Victoria. Among many awards for her work, she has been named one of Canada’s Most Influential Women in Sport numerous times, and received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.


Portrait of Yazmine Laroche

Yazmine Laroche

Deputy Minister, Public Service Accessibility

Yazmine Laroche was appointed Deputy Minister, Public Service Accessibility, effective August 7, 2018.

Ms. Laroche has over 25 years experience in public policy, program design and delivery, communications, strategic planning and corporate management, having served in a variety of federal government departments including Communications Canada, Canadian Heritage, the Canada Information Office, the Privy Council Office, TBS and Infrastructure Canada where most recently, she served as Associate Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

She began her public service career as a communications officer in Transport Canada. She was appointed as an Assistant Deputy Minister in 2000 and, in 2004, she joined the Privy Council Office to develop the Government of Canada's New Deal for Cities. In 2009, she was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Executive Policies and Talent Management, OCHRO.

Ms. Laroche is the Deputy Minister Champion for Federal Employees with Disabilities. She is an alumna of Carleton University and the past Chair of the Board of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.


Portrait of Maureen Haan

Maureen Haan

President & CEO, The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work – CCRW

Maureen has been the President & CEO of CCRW since 2012. CCRW is the only national organization with the sole vision of equitable and meaningful employment for people with disabilities, in operation for over 40 years. Under Maureen’s leadership, CCRW has seen an increase in direct program service throughout Canada, as well as a more transparent, streamlining of understanding the business case of hiring a person with a disability. Maureen provides insight to employer engagement through CCRW best practices and proven results.

Maureen has been very active in the cross-disability sector, currently focusing on employment issues. She has been involved with numerous committees and groups that increase awareness of and access for the disability sector and the Deaf community, including involvement with Civil Society on the UN Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as the lead for employment for persons with disabilities – specifically Article 27; leadership with the Conference on Work and Disability in Canada; co-development and leadership of the pan-Canadian Strategy on Disability and Work; and as a Board member on the Accessibility Standards Canada. Maureen was appointed to the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group (CDAG) during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains on the Minister Disability Advisory Group (MDAG).

Maureen started her career in the Deaf community and is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Maureen lives in Thornhill with her two sons and her partner, Mike.