• Toronto Abilities Expo
    Toronto
    January 19-21, 2018
    The International Centre, Hall 1
    Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

Local disability activists lead Abilities Expo’s community outreach efforts through ambassador program

Abilities Expo has appointed Ambassadors—members of the local community of people with disabilities and their families—to spearhead community outreach initiatives. These individuals will meet face-to-face with rehab institutions, independent living centers, local manufacturers, service providers and local associations to generate excitement and increase attendance at each event.

Alison Levine

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Alison Levine is a proud Paralympian and member of the Canadian National Boccia Team. Boccia is a Paralympic sport of precision, concentration and muscle control. 

Alison Levine

She plays in the BC4 category which is for athletes with severe disabilities affecting the whole body, other than cerebral palsy. In her case, Alison has a degenerative neuromuscular disorder that causes weakness in all her muscles. She was born what appeared to be perfectly healthy but started exhibiting symptoms around the age of twelve. Throughout the progression of her disability, Alison has played many adaptive sports from wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey and wheelchair rugby, but now concentrates solely on boccia as it is physically the only sport suited for her level of disability.

Noted for her powerhouse strength and aggressive playing style, Alison quickly excelled at her new sport and has enjoyed a whirlwind of progressively bigger successes. Within three weeks of throwing her first ball, she was recruited to the provincial team and, after another three months, she and her partner became the Canadian doubles champions. Six months later, she was selected to the national team. Now three years on, Alison is a staple on the national team. She has competed at every single international tournament since her selection to the team, and has rapidly climbed the ranks. Now ranked second in Canada and 15th in the world, she is poised to compete at the upcoming Paralympic Games in Rio.

Alison's debilitating condition may compromise her independence, but not her attitude. If it were not for her disability, she says, she would probably never have had the opportunity or honor to represent her country or get to spend her days playing a sport she loves.

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