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research, write, report and produce from a wheelchair and that the media was a great vehicle to raise awareness and bring about change.” Smith returned to Canada to


pursue broadcasting, continuing her post-secondary education at two dif- ferent schools and emerging with a degree and a diploma in Psychology and Radio and Television Production. She began acting, landing several roles in national television com- mercials, before taking a job as an editorial assistant at a Toronto tele- vision station. Shortly after graduat- ing, Smith won the audition to host CBC’s program called The Disability Network which became Moving On the next year. Smith guided the program in a refreshing direction, away from the typical portrayal of people with disabilities as victims or super-heroes. Moving On had an incredible run of 10 years, almost unheard of in the television industry, and a milestone for the disability community: people with disabilities were being heard and valued. “I truly had no idea at the time that my work was groundbreaking,” con- fesses Smith. “I just knew I had a vested interest in raising awareness of issues that impact people with disabilities.”


Smith could relate with her guests and created a welcoming atmosphere of familiarity for viewers with and without disabilities. “To us,” Smith shares, “we were featur- ing the everyday lives of contributing members of society.” Smith’s father was diagnosed with ALS six months before her injury. “I remember watching The Disability Network with him before I was the host,” recalls Smith. “It provided a sense of peer support for both of us during that time.” The irony is not lost on Smith. “Moving On helped both my father and I, he before he passed and myself personally, as its host.” Her foray into television offered Smith a perfect way to combine her love of travel with her career. From


reporting for CBC Sports from both the 2000 Sydney Summer Paralym- pics and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Paralympics, to an invitation to speak at Moshfest, the Moscow International Disability Film Festi- val, she’s created her own career highlight film. “It afforded me the ability to travel the world and share the experiences of incredible people who are doing extraordinary things and making enormous contributions to society.”


But her international interests do not just serve her own sense of adventure. Smith is very involved in disability advocacy efforts world- wide. She has participated in peer support seminars for the Trinidad and Tobago Project for People with


“ We need for attitudes to reach the point where a disability is truly just perceived and accepted as another individual difference.”


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