Lorin J. MacDonald – WOMAN of ACTION™


A Celebration of Women™

is honored to Celebrate the Life of this definite power of example to all women. Dealing with her own physical challenges, this woman is blazing new paths for all women with her own hearing disability, forging new horizons, new ways so to enable all the Women of our World to live fulfilled, thriving lives.





Lorin J. MacDonald

“A lot of people try to understand my hearing loss, and honestly, Iʼm too
busy doing things to wonder how Iʼm doing it.”



Faith, Hope…but No Charity for Me


“Your disability just provides you with special insight

and empathy that others donʼt have,” she was taught.


The Lorin MacDonald Story

When new lawyer and 2012 Order of Ontario nominee, Lorin MacDonald, 49, was diagnosed with a severe to profound hearing loss at the age of 3, her mother made sure Lorin knew that her hearing aid was no different than another childʼs glasses. Being a victim was not in the MacDonald vernacular.

It set the tone for her approach to life.


The Frank Algar Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Lorin MacDonald of London, Ontario. Lorin was diagnosed with hearing loss at 3 years of age and wears one behind the ear hearing aid in her right ear.

Lorin is a student at the University of Western Ontario in Law and has also completed her sociology degree. Lorin is very active in community life; her hope is to work in the area of disability law.

Lorin was an active member of the Committee that worked on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act.


It was Lorinʼs grandmother who instilled in her a life-long commitment to service, bringing her along to community and political events as a young girl. Since the age of 17, Lorin has used her talents, grace and good humour to contribute to numerous charities and organizations, including an ongoing volunteer association with the Canadian Hearing Society for over 20 years.

It is her passionate advocacy for inclusion that led to her nomination this year, acknowledging her leadership with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Customer Service Standard and the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council.


“Itʼs never too late to dream the big dream.”


Always eager to learn and expand her capacity to make a difference, Lorin transformed a debilitating accident into an opportunity. After she was hit by a car and realized it would be difficult to continue running her office services business, her lawyer suggested law school. He was impressed by her strong communication and organizational skills, critical for success within the profession.

“I figured, how hard could it be?”

She was about to find out…

“Cancer doesnʼt mean giving up hope.”

In 2005, after her first year of law school at Western University (formerly The University of Western Ontario), Lorin MacDonald found out that she had cancer.

Her law school accomplishments were already numerous, as she not only advocated for her own inclusion in legal studies, but worked to create systemic change that would open doors for others with disabilities.

In 2006, while quietly dealing with pain and surgeries, she received a flood of awards, including being named to the City of London Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List.

Having moved to London only 6 years earlier, Lorin was particularly proud of this honour. “ʼBloom where you are planted,ʼ I was always told!” She had every reason to complain or give up, but instead carried on with her usual attitude.


“You have to go through what you have to go through. It just makes me a bit tougher.”


It is that pragmatism, combined with her unwavering optimism, that got her where she is today. Seven years after her diagnosis, Lorin has a clean bill of health, is beginning a brand new life as an Associate Lawyer with London firm Cohen Highley LLP and is committed to creating hope and opportunity for all people.


“No downside to disability.”


Choosing where to practice law wasn’t difficult. Cohen Highly already embodied Lorinʼs philosophy about inclusion. “They understand that hiring people with disabilities is not just the right thing to do, or something they have to do. Thereʼs just no downside to it. A society that is accessible to all, that allows everyone to achieve their potential, is of benefit to all.”

Lorin MacDonald has never craved the public eye, always preferring to create progress frombehind the scenes. But her ongoing contribution to having Ontario become the most accessible province in Canada has shone a spotlight in her direction.

As her grandmother used to quote, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”  Thankfully for Canadians, Lorinʼs commitment to serve is only getting stronger.



Interested in the following?

* accessibility in Ontario
* living with a disability
* midlife career changes
* women in the law
* making a difference
* surviving cancer and thriving

For written stories please contact:

Terri Catlin . 416.671.4576 . terricatlin@me.com . www.terricatlin.com/Writer

For interviews please contact:
Lorin J. MacDonald, Cohen Highley LLP . 519.672.9330 x337 . lmacdonald@cohenhighley.com
To see more on Cohen Highleyʼs hiring policy watch:


Accessible Employment at Cohen Highley — Cohen Highley is a law firm in London, Ontario that has learned how to hire based on ability and ability only. Thanks to their inclusive hiring practices, they have a talented team of nearly 100 lawyers, paralegals and support staff, several of whom happen to have disabilities.



Lorin J. MacDonald, Associate
Cohen Highley LLP
255 Queens Avenue, 11th Floor
London, ON N6A 5R8

Phone: (519) 672-9330 , ext. 337
Fax: (519) 672-5960



A Celebration of Women™ 

welcomes this true power of example into our Alumni of WOMEN of ACTION with open arms, and thanks her for being here for the Women of  our World.

Brava Lorin!


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