“The Ability Guy” / CEO, World Accessibility, Vancouver, BC. Born: Truro, NS.
Roger B. Jones, “The Ability Guy,” is a recognized expert on disability issues, and has spoken nationally and internationally. He was a main presenter at the first International Conference on Individualized Funding and Self-determination in Seattle, Washington; is a Consultant on Accessible and Inclusive Cities; sits on the board of the Vancouver/Los Angeles Sister Cities Initiative, and is CEO of World Accessibility, a consulting company.
Highlights: Roger was the 2nd person, after Rick Hansen, to give the keynote address at the Aging with a Spinal Cord Injury Conference. He established the Susan Marshall Fighting Spirit Award, presented annually by the Canadian Paraplegic Association in Vancouver; facilitated award-winning diversity seminars and helped to establish a commttee for persons with disabilities at Canada Customs and Revenue Agency; Regional Coordinator for the innagrual Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion; has been a keynote speaker at the Black History Month ceremonies in BC and a panelist at numerous events and conferences. Facilitated community meetings for the 2010 Winter Olympic committee. He has been a spokesperson for the Texaco Drive to Survive Program and spoke to youth across Canada with the program, Above and Beyond. In 1998, Roger was appointed by the BC Government to the Board of Governors for Douglas College and served for 5 years; was an Advisor to the University of Calgary and Douglas College for their Disability Studies Program; assessed the Strategy for the Coordination of Disability Issues for the Province of BC.
Other: Co-Founder, The Afro News newspaper; has been a guest on radio and TV programs in Vancouver; is featured in the international award-winning documentary, Access Challenge, and the Seattle production, Discovering the Power in Me.
Affiliations: Worldwide Associate-Employer’s Forum UK, Competent ToastMasters; former professional member Canadian Professional Speakers Association; International Federation of Professional Speakers; past Chair, Black Cultural Association of BC; member, Federal Government Minister’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation.
Honours: Vancouver Citywide Youth Initiative; Community Service Award “for anti-racism dialogue with youth,” True Resolution Lodge; awards for diversity seminars at Canada Customs and Revenue Agency; inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006).
Works: In print and online; booklet, “37 Significant Events in BC Black History.”
Favourite book? The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. Great story-telling blended with the real history of African-Canadians.
Favourite quote? “Until the lion begins to tell his own story, the glory of the hunt will always belong to the hunter.” – African Proverb
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? We make our own chances and my list is long.
Who or what inspires you? Family.
Why do you do what you do? My parents lived a humble life and gave to community whenever possible. I’m just trying to follow their example.