Lorin MacDonald

Lorin MacDonald

Lorin MacDonald, OOnt, LSM, JD (She/Her)

LinkedIn / X - @lorinmac / Email: [email protected]

For decades, human rights lawyer and accessibility changemaker Lorin MacDonald has demonstrated leadership, passion, and commitment to accessibility and inclusion in her volunteer and professional activities, informed by her lived experience as a woman born with profound hearing loss. Recognized as one of Canada’s disability leaders and highly regarded by the human rights legal community, Lorin is unwavering in her desire to increase disability and accessibility awareness through professional speaking, training, writing, and consulting. She regularly contributes opinion articles for Canadian Lawyer magazine to foster an understanding of human rights and disability.

Lorin’s human rights law practice solely advocates for people with disabilities. In 2016, a Toronto restaurant denied Lorin’s client the use of its basement washroom based on her disability (she uses forearm crutches). The Canadian Press report of the incident went viral worldwide and made The Toronto Star’s front page. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s 2020 decision in Butler-Henderson v. Pentagram Bar & Grill decreed it discriminatory for restaurants to deny washroom access to people with disabilities. It was hailed as a critical advancement of disability rights nationwide. She mentors law students and junior lawyers with disabilities and is an active member of the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations and the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, advancing equity and inclusion within the legal profession. She tirelessly educates Canadian law students on human rights and disability law. In 2019, Lorin launched HearVue Inc. to promote communication inclusion and disability awareness.

Lorin's status as a change agent is remarkable given her cross-disability breadth: the arts, health care, disability legislation, post-secondary institutions, access to justice, and community service, all of which have benefited from her unwavering commitment to an inclusive Canada.

The impact of her sustained advocacy across Canada has earned her well-deserved accolades, including Canadian Lawyer's Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers (2021), Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 – Inclusion Vanguard Award (2021); the Law Society of Ontario Medal (2022), recognizing her work to make the legal profession accessible and inclusive; induction into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame (2022) and Member of the Order of Ontario (2022). Most recently, she received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case (2023) for her work on gender equality for women with disabilities.

Lorin is a proud alumna of Western University’s Faculty of Law and lives in Toronto, Ontario.