The Canadian Labour Congress is pleased to announce that Spirit Synott has been awarded the 2014 Carol McGregor Award for Disability Rights Activism.
Spirit Synott is an actor, dancer, performer and a member of ACTRA. She has served on the Governance Board of ACTRA Toronto and has spent many years volunteering her time on both the ACTRA Toronto and ACTRA National diversity committees. Spirit lends her strong voice to help build awareness of the challenges faced by artists living with disabilities, and her contributions have had a significant impact on both her union and her industry.
Synott has advised ACTRA staff and governance bodies on the importance of accessibility and thinking inclusively when it comes to communicating with members. She has helped to bring awareness to the importance of closed captioning, video describe and large print options, as well as accessible office layout. She was instrumental in helping to research and execute a survey of accessible training, casting and production facilities. Together with the Diversity committee she helped to create an awareness campaign regarding accessibility directed at screen based media industry leaders. She has also helped provide the industry at large with tools for inclusivity, including a print campaign on working with Deaf actors, the Accessibility demo reel, (a demo reel of physically diverse performers that was produced by the ACTRA Toronto Diversity committee and distributed to casting directors and agents) and events called "Casting Go-Sees" that create forums for Casting Agents to meet with Actors living with disabilities.
According to her nominator, “Spirit is an inspiration to others from the disability community and sends a strong message that being an artist is a viable profession to those in the physically diverse community”.