RAACWI Initiative Community Lead
Steve Mantis is the Community Lead for RAACWI. Steve lost his left arm in an industrial accident in 1978. As he went through the workers' compensation system, he saw firsthand how it failed for many injured workers - many workers with a permanent disability live with chronic unemployment, poverty, and depression.
In 1984, he helped start the Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group, and he remains active with them to this day. Steve is serving his fifth term as Secretary of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG). In 2001, he received the Judge George Ferguson Award for "contributing in an outstanding way to enabling equality and full community participation for people with physical disabilities throughout Ontario." Steve also received the Canada 125th Anniversary Medal from Veterans Affairs for Canadians who have made "a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, to their community, or to Canada." Steve began to build links between the academic and injured worker communities by working on a few individual research projects that investigated a number of the problems that injured workers face. His community work and a growing interest in research led to his involvement in RAACWI. Steve brings his lived experience as an injured worker, his unfailing optimism, his passion, his leadership, and his many connections across Ontario to RAACWI.