Individual supporters

Below are the supporters who agreed to have their names listed.

Irene Lambert 
Karin Godin 
Dawn Lambert 
Peter Sharp 
Sandra Hobson 
Dana Levanto 
Paula Kilburn 
Katherine Jaconello 
Gordon Hein 
Louis Pereux
Nancy Newton 
Michelle Bruneau 
Synove Gelinas 
Gary Stockden 
Yvette Gelinas 
Danielle Bruneau 
Anita Squire 
Wilma Houston 
Bonnie Sherr Klein
Gordon J. Hein 
Scott Hunter 
Patrice Philion 
John Ohberg 
David Best 
Roger P Gervais 
Dan Shire 
Suzanne Santyr 
Kate Chung 
Daryl Thomas 
Cavita Sharma 
Jerry Ford 
Victor Schwartzman 
sarah moore
Penny Leclair 
Karen Bell 
Brian Kon 
Sue Morgan 
Derek Giberson 
Lorin MacDonald 
Anne and Dave Marsden 
Jim Hamilton 
Edward Rice 
Stephen Trumper 
Cindy Ferguson
Robert Gaunt 
Shane Holten 
Catherine Roy
Jason Tomesch 
Johnny To 
Lauri Sue Robertson 
Josephine (Joey) Hewitt 
adam cohoon 
David Layton 
JOYCE MAIN 
Omar Burey
Alicia Jarvis 
Sandra Kinder 
Marisa Page 
Pierre Nadeau 
Lucienne Lehouillier 
Karen Fleck 
Lisa Rocha 
Deborah MacGillivray 
Nicole Stefaniszyn 
Jennifer & Darryl Hoskins
Nicole Borthwick 
Michael Hannan 
Colleen Henriksen 
Paul Belhumeur 
Brad Dunn 
Debra Hinksman 
Meaghan Lawrence 
Frances Miller 
Marian Alexander
Nora Gallagher 
Janis Thompson 
Laurel Pearse 
Dale Odberg 
Jodi Marsh 
LINDA NEARING 
Dianne Scrivens 
NOREEN PYLATUK
Melissa Nickerson 
William Hopper 
Karen mohr 
Taylor Hyatt 
Patricia Storteboom 
Sandy Wheeler 
Pamela Gignac 
Vera Peters 
Jeannie Privet
Michelle Shalinsky 
Rachelle Chiasson-Taylor
Shara Grice 
Bobbie King 
Jeff McBride 
Brenda Mac Farlane
Mandy Sky
Melissa Graham 
Lorna Barrett 
Tracey mcPhail 
Camella Ross 
Adreanna Dollman Downing 
marg Priebe 
Peggy Kennard 
Brenda Chinn 
Michele Gardner 
Joanna Pohl 
Grant De Boer 
Kasey Aiello 
Mike Jennings 
Nadine Badry 
Tim Varro
Spring Hawes 
Barbara Maynard
Susan Moore 
Claire Cram 
Nicolle Guillen 
Terry Foster 
Sarah Mitchell 
Sabina Cragg 
Dave Davis 
Brian Martin 
Chelsea Sharkey 
Harmanie Taylor 
Rachel Nelson 
Andrea Dodsworth
Tammy DaSilva 
Karen Cavalier 
Nicole Nys
Letitia Hinkley-Roach 
Nadia Olynyk 
Ian MacLaine 
Marie Soudre 
Gail Ashuk 
Arista Haas 
Adam O’Neill 
Helen Berarducci 
Geoff Ryan 
Susan McKenzie 
Jamie M. Hicks 
Melanie Telford 
Barbara Dearden 
Joanne Odjick 
Tracey Roetman 
Stephen Cull 
Wendy Hansen 
Daniel Rosen 
Arvid Kuhnle 
Casey McNally 
Jeff Bourne 
Jake Beaton 
Jo Kelly 
Shannon Gowans 
Kevin Harvey 
Deborah Kennard 
D. Abraham 
David Ramsden 
Kyle Vose 
jonda Hopper
Steven Wessels 
Tyler muller 
Sarah Kozoriz 
amber B
Lana Phillips 
Cara Crawford 
jason pleaddafith
Carol S. stringer
Darren Mackay 
Glyn Ganong 
Robin Artemis 
Jurgen Wiechmann 
Jurnee 
Sharon McBride 
tracy curley 
Cheryl White 
Darlene Jay 
Kyle Jay 
Patricia Denneny 
Sandra Paluc
Jacqueline Waybrant
Sheryl Ann Wilson
Sarah Nixon-Suggitt
Diane Morrell 
Lynn Dunkley 
Jo-Anne Nykilchyk 
Tiffany Schier 
Diane Ladouceur 
Kent Oxford 
Carrie Lapensee 
Peter Beam 
Janice Laurence 
Lisa Boynton 
Sandra J. Yetman 
Mark Nicoll 
Brenda Lush 
carolyn kassinger
Jennifer Elizabeth Macdonald
Lynn Clark 
Gillian Burns 
Dawn Campbell
mike barrett 
Sharon Kilkenny 
Jeff May 
Liz Allchin 
tia sweeney 
Roland Hengst 
sherry palmer 
Jacquie Munro 
Russ Weaver 
Mike Grady 
Juliana Lepoutre 
Wayne and joy reycraft 
Heather Crossman 
Sean VanHorne 
Denise Sheedy 
Lisa Bendall 
Bilha Nativ 
Phil McKenzie 
Rebecca Therrien 
Patti wheeler 
Wendy Beckett 
Jade Fraser 
Kevin Steele 
Carolyn Hirschfeld 
Martha Russell 
Lisa McCallen 
Dalten Campbell 
Jodi Fisher 
Tracey Walshaw 
Christina Chasty 
Nicole Morley 
debra Mcdonald 
Hertha Shalinsky 
Candyce Virgin 
Kim Angell-McCormick
Radical Access Mapping Project
Cheryl Webster 
Kelly-Lyn Webster 
Doug Webster 
Sue Beare 
Sharon Shalinsky 
Dawn Stinson 
marty newstead 
Lois harris 
Theresa H Beard 
Jamie Lauzon 
Desiree Bauer 
Derek Belbin 
luc perron 
Naomi Glenvad Teramoto 
David Berman 
Jason Dyok 
Patrick Fougeyrollas 
Nic deGroot 
Chantelle Bernardo 
Angela Finkbeiner 
Dean Fey 
marilyn stratton-zimmer 
Cornelia Bryant 
Marcel Matte 
Bruce A Johnson 
Judith Flatt 
Stacey Upson 
Lacey Fontaine 
Christine Flynn-James 
Philip Bobawsky 
Susan Wagar 
Dawn Howell 
Sabrina Gould 
Laura farres 
Amie Kiddle 
Jason Finkbeiner 
Cheryl Benson 
Colleen Davis 
Pauline Fraser 
Jacki Andre 
Aaron Broverman 
Taylor Short 
Laurel Ryan 
Brittany Lang 
Bill Hopper 
Sam Fulton 
Paula Swirla 
Geoffrey Olsen 
Pamela Shelton 
Megan Turpin 
Pamela Kent 
Ian A. Greaves 
Susan Bowman 
D Veglia 
Diana Veglia 
Anchel Krishna 
Geoff Egan 
meghan nugent 
Bonnie S. Manning-Jones 
Suzanne Nurse 
Kimberly Prattis 
Jeffrey Preston 
Sandra Yetman 
Jaimie Smith-Windsor 
William Cowie 
Cindy Kennedy 
Kathryn Bremner 
Thea Kurdi 
Mike Cocteau 
Gerry harris 
Sarah Smith 
Aislinn Burkholder 
Stephen Higham 
Dan Angell 
Amelia Murphy-Beaudoin 
Jeff Stark 
Jamie Burton 
Jennifer Miller 
Michael Racette 
Michael Hughes 
kimberly m murphy
Majid Turmusani
Roger B Jones
Ida Fong 
David Chojnacki 
S Fong 
Miguel Aguayo 
Melissa mailman 
Sean Bouffard 
Mylee Nordin 
Faith Bodnar 
Peter Busciglio 
NAN MARKS 
Tony Marrelli 
Judy Hemming 
Luke Anderson 
P. Campbell 
Anna Hlinomaz 
Jessie Coaten, 
Gerry Gill 
Bjorg Mathiessen 
Elizabeth Nimijean 
Rene Coloucci 
Sandra watts 
Phillip McCorkell 
Julie Perez 
Alan Dean 
Mark Smith 
Nahla Bechara 
Sandra Johnston 
Shirley Skilling 
Gordon Crann 
Pauline Walsh 
Muriel Hill 
Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario 
Heather Rupert & Michel Ciarciello 
Maria Friozzi 
William Rudkin 
Kenneth Southall 
Diane Aubin 
Dianne McLeod 
Lisa Figge 
Walter Wittich 
Kat Clarke 
Beulah Aubin 
Ron Pelletier 
Lauri Brunner 
Robert Trudel 
Brian Heaney 
Jeanette Poulsen 
Louise Russo 
Philippa Wrobel 
Yvonne Kalybaba 
Bradley Pottinger 
Chris Webster 
Jon Polley 
Marguerite Rose Larade 
PROF ALAN LEVY 
Amanda Cape 
Bet Tuason
Kim Gill
Yolanda Munoz 
Wendy Boutilier 
David McKay 
Prince Amponsah 
Tracy turnetfoxx
DIANA E LEBLANC 
Kelly Mihaichuk-Ball 
Mike Kirby
Paul Soucy 
Casey Gallagher
Clay MacKenzie
David Winchester 
Doug Poulsen
Kory Heyland
Virginia Knowlton Marcus
A Harwood
Cherise Craney
Geordie Graham
JOseph Jova
Julie Lane
Michele McDonald 
David Dyer Lawson 
K Stirling
Linda Crabtree 
Tim Tentcher
Carol-Ann Chafe
Kelly McKeen
Michelle Hewitt
Alan Nixon
Melanie Bernard
Darryl Flasch
Susana Scott
Abidah Shamji
david shannon
Alexis Dickson
Michael R. Racette
Joann Anokwuru 
Barrier Free Saskatchewan 
Julia Oliver
Michel Paquin 
Michelene Deck 
Teresa Morishita 
Marie-Eve Veilleux 
Michel Lemay 
StopGap Ottawa 
Pierre Lemay 
Shane Harnden 
Bill Adair 
Rebecca Borton
Patrick Falconer 
info@virn.ca
Yvette Werenka 
Samantha Mitra 
Louise Johnson 
Ronny Wiskin  
Gavin Bamber 
Sue Cawsey  
Daryl Rock 
Jessica Geboers 
Amanda Lubyk 
Rhonda Josifov 
William Goursky 
Jeff Bourne 
Guy Coulombe 
Karyna Laroche 
Jada Pumphrey 
Doreen Machado 
Richard Marion 
Cathy Moreau 
Sheldon M. Werner 
Colin Brown 
Christina Johnson 
Steve Kean 
Michael Racette 
Christina Nemeth 
Susan Creer
Derek MacLeod 
Marc W. Mullo 
Susanne Kunkel
Ilanna Sharon Mandel
Dennis Trumpy
Eremg Branstad
Rosemarie Panetta
Christine Karcza
Kimber Bialik
Dave Ostrander
Jessica Tiefenbach
Kelly Campbell
Liana Whitehead
Michelle Grodecki
Neil Faba
Patricia Spicer
Melony Lund
Sierra Lund
Stacey Lund

The Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières June 2017 newsletter

Table of Contents:

  1. Word from the President
  2. Meet our Board of Directors
  3. Our Partners and affiliates
  4. Canada’s first United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) report
  5. News on the Canada Disability Act
  6. So what about the Ontario Government
  7. From Coast to coast to coast…
  8. Looking ahead to 2017/18
  9. In summary

Word from the President

As many of you may have heard, there have been lots of discussions about the future of BFC and how it will move forward now that the public forums on the upcoming federal accessibility act have now been completed.

Rest assured; our work has just begun. There is much more to do and in a very short amount of time and we need your on-going support and engagement

In response to this growing demand for accessibility and inclusion and in order to position ourselves as a leader in advocacy and education, BFC/CSB is pleased to announce that effective April 19 2017 we are now officially a registered not for profit organization.

We continue to thank and count on our numerous founding partners, affiliates and supporters to carry our mission forward to be the voice of all people for all people.

Meet our Board of Directors:

Donna Jodhan, President Donna@barrierfreecanada.org

Pina D’Intino, Vice President Pina.dintino@gmail.com

Anthony Tips, Treasurer and Secretary Atibbs@merchantlaw.com

Robin East, Director easttogo@gmail.com

Paul Edwards, Director Edwards.paul955@gmail.com

As we begin building the formal structure, we will add additional Directors ensuring we have solid representation from coast to coast to coast. Stay tuned.

If you have any questions regarding our new structure, please forward to info@barrierfreecanada.org.

Our Partners and affiliates

Without you it would not be possible. We want to take a moment to recognize the undeniable support we receive from our partners and affiliates. Together we have a strong voice and have the power to be heard. The support, resource, knowledge and experience each of you bring to BFC.CSB is immeasurable and greatly appreciated. As we continue to build the new organization, we will be reaching out to you to help us in growing our network and ensuring our mandate is carried out to its full term.

Thank you to:

Our partners –

CNIB, March of Dimes, the MS Society of Canada, the Canadian Hearing Society, and Accessible Media Inc.

Our supporting organizations –

  • The Low Vision Self-Help Association
  • West Island, Montreal Quebec
  • The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – NL
  • Guide Dog Users of Canada (GDUC)
  • Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)
  • Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC)
  • SPH Planning & Consulting Limited
  • The Rick Hansen Foundation
  • Quebec Federation of the blind
  • Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)
  • Community Living Toronto
  • Deaf Blind Ontario Services
  • Unifor
  • StopGap Foundation
  • Citizens with Disabilities Ontario
  • Spinal Cord Injury Alberta
  • Easter seals canada
  • Access for Sight-Impaired consumers
  • Every Canadian Counts Coalition
  • Québec Accessible
  • Centre for Equitable Library Access / Centre d’accès équitable aux bibliothèques
  • Deaf & Hear Alberta
  • Autism Canada
  • Mayor of Halifax Novascotia
  • Braille Literacy Canada
  • League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada

Canada’s first United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) report

Earlier this year, the Canadian delegation headed by Ms. Kathryn McDade, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Income Security and Social Development Branch, Employment and Social Development Canada, and delegates from various departments and agencies of the Government of Canada and from the Governments of Quebec and Ontario made their way to Geneva to deposit Canada’s first UNCRPD report.

Concluding observations includes 63 points covering areas on the need to further address the needs of aboriginals, persons with hearing disabilities and the protections of women. Below is an extract of those points…

  1. The Committee welcomes the State party engagement in a process towards the accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention. The Committee also commends the State party for its constitutional and statutory frameworks, in particular the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) which recognises a human rights-based definition of disability and prohibits discrimination based on multiple grounds and on their compounded effects, as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of “mental or physical disability”.
  2. The Committee welcomes the adoption and/or establishment of legislative and public policy measures at the federal, provincial and territorial level, aimed at implementing the Convention, including the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity adopted in 2016, which requires federal departments to release information in accessible formats; the endorsement of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) in 2015; and provisions in its Criminal Code to ensure that victims and witnesses with disabilities can provide testimony during criminal proceedings.

Furthermore, The Committee requests that the State party submit its combined second and third reports by no later than 11 April 2020, and include therein information on the implementation of the present concluding observations.

Additional monitoring reports such as one on employment are being developed to further support the implementation plans of the UNCRPD. If you would like a full copy of the summary report, e-mail Bernadette@ccdonline.ca .

News on the Canada Disability Act.

It has been a busy time for the office of Minister Qualtrough and the Office of Disability issues as they wrapped up the public forums and began their work in assimilating all the feedback. In May, the feds released their ‘what was heard’ report yesterday. A quick summary is below with a more comprehensive analysis to follow in the coming weeks.

Participation

  • Over 6,000 people participated, both online and in-person
  • 18 public meetings and 9 roundtables

Key findings

  • The legislation should lead to the development of detailed standards for federal organizations on how to improve accessibility, while also supporting them in removing barriers for their employees and customers;
  • The legislation should include strong compliance and enforcement mechanisms;
  • It’s understood that new legislation alone cannot remove all barriers and there is recognition that complementary supports and programs will be necessary to create new opportunities to ensure participation for persons with disabilities and to help change the way people think about accessibility; and
  • The Government of Canada should be a leader, both in its own practices and in supporting organizations to be successful, and also set ambitious goals with clear and measurable targets.

Link to report

“What Was Heard” Report:

https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/esdc-edsc/documents/programs/planned-accessibility-legislation/reports/consultations-what-we-learned/naaw-2017-en.PDF

For those of us who have participated in these forums, the report did not surprise us and reaffirmed our own perspectives and experiences. As the Feds now move to the next phase of the process which includes the drafting of the first draft of the regulation, they continue to capture feedback from several disability agencies and industry leaders. We anticipate the first draft to be released in early 2018.

In the meantime, BFC/CSB must continue to lobby hard with MPPs, provincial and regional officers and municipalities for the development of a strong and effective regulation that removes barriers, affects true and concrete cultural change that will result in measurable economic prosperity for all including persons with disabilities. From education to employment, from transportation to social engagement, persons with disabilities want to be full contributors in Canada’s economic and social fabric and want to be counted and engaged.

Please continue to bring your thoughts and feedback forward by e-mail the CDA directly or at info@barrierfreeCanada.org.

Attached you will find a link to the full release of the summary report “Creating new national accessibility legislation: What we learned.”

A National Accessibility Week of celebration.

On May 11 The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities announced National Access Ability Week and indicated that that week would celebrate, highlight and promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces across the country.

So how have you celebrated National Accessibility week?

Please share your stories at info@barrierfreecanada.org and we will highlight them in our next issue.

We hope that this will be a continuing effort to recognize the talents and different abilities of all people in Canada for many more years to come.

So what about the Ontario Government

In Ontario, the Accessibility Directorate Office has been very busy in responding to increased pressures from the public on the efficacy of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). With less than 8 years to go until Ontario is required to be accessible there is still lots to do. Fortunately though they are in full swing.

As we speak, the revised transportation standards are in for public review, the information and communications and employment standards are being reviewed and two new standards have been announced. The standards for Health services have begun, while applications for the education standards committee are currently being reviewed. The recruitment process for a Standards Development Committee for Education will continue until July 31, 2017. For information on how to apply, please contact Phil Simeon, Manager of Standards Development at phil.simeon@ontario.ca. As active participants on several of the standards committees, we will be asked to continue the consultation process with various stakeholders to ensure we are on the right track. So on occasions, we may reach out to our BFC/CSB members for additional feedback.

Here is an example of continuous outreach:

The Accessibility Directorate Office is inviting Ontario citizens to continue to be part of the standards review process”. We want to hear your views about accessibility in education – both the barriers you have witnessed or experienced, and success stories you would like to share. We have developed a confidential survey to collect your input. “

Please click on the following links to complete the survey:

If you prefer, you may complete the attached accessible Word version of the survey and return it to aoda.input@ontario.ca.

A response by July 14, 2017 is appreciated. You are encouraged to share this survey with appropriate members of your organization or with your broader network.

Your input through this survey will be shared with a Standards Development Committee and will help to provide the foundation for a new accessibility standard for education in Ontario.

From Coast to coast to coast…

About Barrier Free Saskatchewan

Barrier Free Saskatchewan (BFSK) has developed fourteen principles to be the foundation of a Saskatchewan Disability and Inclusion Act.

We want the Province of Saskatchewan to pass an Accessibility Act with these principles intact so we can become a barrier free province.

A Barrier Free Saskatchewan is for everyone. Using these principles, BFSK is building a non-partisan coalition from the provincial community of individuals and organizations of and for persons with disabilities, Saskatchewan citizens, organizations, and companies who will endorse this worthwhile endeavor.

www.barrierfreesaskatchewan.org

In May members of Barrier Free Saskatchewan filed 520 complaints with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission against 40 restaurants due to their lack of basic access. Not able or to maneuver through a facility to a table is an access barrier for those persons using a wheelchair. “Such a barrier is a form of discrimination and discrimination against people with disabilities is prohibited by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Act, Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” says Lynnett Boris member of BFSK.

Unfortunately the province of Saskatchewan has done little to address the systemic access issues for persons with disabilities instead of getting down to business and ensuring that services and facilities like restaurants are accessible to everyone. We are disappointed that it has been necessary for a few individuals with disabilities to file 520 human right complaints against 40 restaurants in the Saskatoon area.

“I am still dumbfounded over the number of restaurants that are not accessible to a person in a wheelchair. Imagine trying to find a restaurant where the front door, the washrooms, or the general layout is accessible so one can join friends and colleagues for a social event,” says Robin East Chair and Founder of BFSK. “What a struggle it is to secure access to what is considered a “normal “activity Saskatchewanians take for granted”, stated east. “We expect more from the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission to ensure goods and services are free of barriers and to not avoid their legal and mandated obligations to people with disabilities,” said east.

“We should not have to resort to the filing of human right complaints to ensure the Saskatchewan Government fulfills its obligations to people with disabilities”, stated Len Boser, BFSK member. “This is why we need a province that is “Barrier Free””, says Boser.

For more information contact:

Robin East – Chair and Founder Barrier Free Saskatchewan – 306 241 2623

Lynnett Boris – Member Barrier Free Saskatchewan – 306 655 5508

Len Boser – Member Barrier free Saskatchewan – 306 955 5051

Nova Scotia 3rd province in Canada to have an Accessibility Act.

On April 27, 2017 Bill 59 (Accessibility Act of Nova Scotia) passed 3rd reading in the House.

Nova Scotia has set a goal to be accessible by 2030 under the Accessibility Act, passed today, April 27.

Nova Scotia is only the third province in Canada to pass accessibility legislation. The passage of Bill 59 will start the process of removing barriers for persons with disabilities.

“We are proud to have worked with people with disabilities and business to take this historic step toward an accessible Nova Scotia,” said Justice Minister Diana Whalen. “This act commits us to a timeline to make the province an accessible place to live, work, learn and play.”

Under the act, government will work with persons with disabilities, and the public and private sectors to create six standards for an accessible Nova Scotia.

The standards will be in the areas of goods and services, information and communication, public transportation and transportation infrastructure, employment, education and the built environment which includes buildings, rights-of-way and outdoor spaces.

The legislation puts in place a new Accessibility Advisory Board. The majority of the board’s members will be persons with disabilities. A new accessibility Directorate will be responsible for supporting accessibility initiatives and advancing broader disability-related issues.

While public awareness and support will be essential in encouraging compliance with the standards the act allows for penalties and, for the most serious cases, fines up to $250,000.

“We’re very pleased with the Nova Scotia Accessibility Act and commend the government for its leadership,” said Gerry Post, from the Bill 59 Alliance.

“The collaborative approach taken in drafting the act has established a wonderful climate for communal partnerships, including the business community, to implement the legislation. We also thank the opposition parties for giving the government the space to engage key stakeholders and for supporting this Act.”

Bill 59 was amended after witnesses appeared at the law amendments committee and staff consulted with representatives of persons with disabilities.

Government also invested $1.8 million in the 2017-18 budgets to increase provincial ACCESS-Ability grants for community buildings and to launch a new grant program for small businesses to become more accessible.

A copy of the Accessibility Act can be found at www.nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/bills/bill_59_-_accessibility_act.

Accessible versions of government information related to disability in Nova Scotia are available at www.novascotia.ca/coms/accessibility.

“Everyone! This is yet another example of very hard work on the part of a very committed group and its hats off to our Nova Scotia affiliate for a very huge victory! Well done to you Pat and your team! We’re very proud of you!” Donna

Looking ahead to 2017/18

As we look ahead to a reaffirmed mandate, we look forward to planning our initiatives along with you.

We want to increase our network and increase our level of community based activities.

We want to ensure we are at the forefront of new developments as it relates to new federal and provincial legislation across Canada.

We want to have a much stronger voice to influence decisions and gain support for our local and regional politicians.

We want to empower Canadians with tools to better advocate for themselves.

From an operational perspective we hope to be able to redevelop our website to better reflect our vision and hope to begin looking at ways we can increase outreach to our French speaking members.

As you can attest, this will require resources and commitment from us all. If you know of anyone who is willing and able to provide us with any support to address our operational needs, please feel free to connect them with Donna at donna@barrierfreecanada.org.

In summary

BFC/CSB is proud to be at the forefront of several governmental offices to promote equal opportunity for all Canadian citizens as you can see, much has happened since our last communication. Now that we have a formal entity, we hope you will join us in becoming even stronger as we advocate for everyone’s rights and strong legislation across Canada.

A call to action:

We need your ongoing support to thrive. So please join us in adding additional chapters across Canada to support our cause. If you are interested in joining the current board as a director or partner, if you are interested in beginning your own local chapter, we welcome your energy and passion. Please contact Donna at Donna@barrierfreecanada.org.

We hope you have enjoyed this recap of the various accessibility events and invite you to send your stories and feedback at info@barrierfreecanada.org. In the meantime, enjoy Canada’s 150 birthday and please share your stories of inclusion with us.

Individual supporters

Below are the supporters who agreed to have their names listed.

Irene Lambert
Karin Godin
Dawn Lambert
Peter Sharp
Sandra Hobson
Dana Levanto
Paula Kilburn
Katherine Jaconello
Gordon Hein
Louis Pereux
Nancy Newton
Michelle Bruneau
Synove Gelinas
Gary Stockden
Yvette Gelinas
Danielle Bruneau
Anita Squire
Wilma Houston
Bonnie Sherr Klein
Gordon J. Hein
Scott Hunter
Patrice Philion
John Ohberg
David Best
Roger P Gervais
Dan Shire
Suzanne Santyr
Kate Chung
Daryl Thomas
Cavita Sharma
Jerry Ford
Victor Schwartzman
sarah moore
Penny Leclair
Karen Bell
Brian Kon
Sue Morgan
Derek Giberson
Lorin MacDonald
Anne and Dave Marsden
Jim Hamilton
Edward Rice
Stephen Trumper
Cindy Ferguson
Robert Gaunt
Shane Holten
Catherine Roy
Jason Tomesch
Johnny To
Lauri Sue Robertson
Josephine (Joey) Hewitt
adam cohoon
David Layton
JOYCE MAIN
Omar Burey
Alicia Jarvis
Sandra Kinder
Marisa Page
Pierre Nadeau
Lucienne Lehouillier
Karen Fleck
Lisa Rocha
Deborah MacGillivray
Nicole Stefaniszyn
Jennifer & Darryl Hoskins
Nicole Borthwick
Michael Hannan
Colleen Henriksen
Paul Belhumeur
Brad Dunn
Debra Hinksman
Meaghan Lawrence
Frances Miller
Marian Alexander
Nora Gallagher
Janis Thompson
Laurel Pearse
Dale Odberg
Jodi Marsh
LINDA NEARING
Dianne Scrivens
NOREEN PYLATUK
Melissa Nickerson
William Hopper
Karen mohr
Taylor Hyatt
Patricia Storteboom
Sandy Wheeler
Pamela Gignac
Vera Peters
Jeannie Privet
Michelle Shalinsky
Rachelle Chiasson-Taylor
Shara Grice
Bobbie King
Jeff McBride
Brenda Mac Farlane
Mandy Sky
Melissa Graham
Lorna Barrett
Tracey mcPhail
Camella Ross
Adreanna Dollman Downing
marg Priebe
Peggy Kennard
Brenda Chinn
Michele Gardner
Joanna Pohl
Grant De Boer
Kasey Aiello
Mike Jennings
Nadine Badry
Tim Varro
Spring Hawes
Barbara Maynard
Susan Moore
Claire Cram
Nicolle Guillen
Terry Foster
Sarah Mitchell
Sabina Cragg
Dave Davis
Brian Martin
Chelsea Sharkey
Harmanie Taylor
Rachel Nelson
Andrea Dodsworth
Tammy DaSilva
Karen Cavalier
Nicole Nys
Letitia Hinkley-Roach
Nadia Olynyk
Ian MacLaine
Marie Soudre
Gail Ashuk
Arista Haas
Adam O’Neill
Helen Berarducci
Geoff Ryan
Susan McKenzie
Jamie M. Hicks
Melanie Telford
Barbara Dearden
Joanne Odjick
Tracey Roetman
Stephen Cull
Wendy Hansen
Daniel Rosen
Arvid Kuhnle
Casey McNally
Jeff Bourne
Jake Beaton
Jo Kelly
Shannon Gowans
Kevin Harvey
Deborah Kennard
D. Abraham
David Ramsden
Kyle Vose
jonda Hopper
Steven Wessels
Tyler muller
Sarah Kozoriz
amber B
Lana Phillips
Cara Crawford
jason pleaddafith
Carol S. stringer
Darren Mackay
Glyn Ganong
Robin Artemis
Jurgen Wiechmann
Jurnee
Sharon McBride
tracy curley
Cheryl White
Darlene Jay
Kyle Jay
Patricia Denneny
Sandra Paluc
Jacqueline Waybrant
Sheryl Ann Wilson
Sarah Nixon-Suggitt
Diane Morrell
Lynn Dunkley
Jo-Anne Nykilchyk
Tiffany Schier
Diane Ladouceur
Kent Oxford
Carrie Lapensee
Peter Beam
Janice Laurence
Lisa Boynton
Sandra J. Yetman
Mark Nicoll
Brenda Lush
carolyn kassinger
Jennifer Elizabeth Macdonald
Lynn Clark
Gillian Burns
Dawn Campbell
mike barrett
Sharon Kilkenny
Jeff May
Liz Allchin
tia sweeney
Roland Hengst
sherry palmer
Jacquie Munro
Russ Weaver
Mike Grady
Juliana Lepoutre
Wayne and joy reycraft
Heather Crossman
Sean VanHorne
Denise Sheedy
Lisa Bendall
Bilha Nativ
Phil McKenzie
Rebecca Therrien
Patti wheeler
Wendy Beckett
Jade Fraser
Kevin Steele
Carolyn Hirschfeld
Martha Russell
Lisa McCallen
Dalten Campbell
Jodi Fisher
Tracey Walshaw
Christina Chasty
Nicole Morley
debra Mcdonald
Hertha Shalinsky
Candyce Virgin
Kim Angell-McCormick
Radical Access Mapping Project
Cheryl Webster
Kelly-Lyn Webster
Doug Webster
Sue Beare
Sharon Shalinsky
Dawn Stinson
marty newstead
Lois harris
Theresa H Beard
Jamie Lauzon
Desiree Bauer
Derek Belbin
luc perron
Naomi Glenvad Teramoto
David Berman
Jason Dyok
Patrick Fougeyrollas
Nic deGroot
Chantelle Bernardo
Angela Finkbeiner
Dean Fey
marilyn stratton-zimmer
Cornelia Bryant
Marcel Matte
Bruce A Johnson
Judith Flatt
Stacey Upson
Lacey Fontaine
Christine Flynn-James
Philip Bobawsky
Susan Wagar
Dawn Howell
Sabrina Gould
Laura farres
Amie Kiddle
Jason Finkbeiner
Cheryl Benson
Colleen Davis
Pauline Fraser
Jacki Andre
Aaron Broverman
Taylor Short
Laurel Ryan
Brittany Lang
Bill Hopper
Sam Fulton
Paula Swirla
Geoffrey Olsen
Pamela Shelton
Megan Turpin
Pamela Kent
Ian A. Greaves
Susan Bowman
D Veglia
Diana Veglia
Anchel Krishna
Geoff Egan
meghan nugent
Bonnie S. Manning-Jones
Suzanne Nurse
Kimberly Prattis
Jeffrey Preston
Sandra Yetman
Jaimie Smith-Windsor
William Cowie
Cindy Kennedy
Kathryn Bremner
Thea Kurdi
Mike Cocteau
Gerry harris
Sarah Smith
Aislinn Burkholder
Stephen Higham
Dan Angell
Amelia Murphy-Beaudoin
Jeff Stark
Jamie Burton
Jennifer Miller
Michael Racette
Michael Hughes
kimberly m murphy
Majid Turmusani
Roger B Jones
Ida Fong
David Chojnacki
S Fong
Miguel Aguayo
Melissa mailman
Sean Bouffard
Mylee Nordin
Faith Bodnar
Peter Busciglio
NAN MARKS
Tony Marrelli
Judy Hemming
Luke Anderson
P. Campbell
Anna Hlinomaz
Jessie Coaten,
Gerry Gill
Bjorg Mathiessen
Elizabeth Nimijean
Rene Coloucci
Sandra watts
Phillip McCorkell
Julie Perez
Alan Dean
Mark Smith
Nahla Bechara
Sandra Johnston
Shirley Skilling
Gordon Crann
Pauline Walsh
Muriel Hill
Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario
Heather Rupert & Michel Ciarciello
Maria Friozzi
William Rudkin
Kenneth Southall
Diane Aubin
Dianne McLeod
Lisa Figge
Walter Wittich
Kat Clarke
Beulah Aubin
Ron Pelletier
Lauri Brunner
Robert Trudel
Brian Heaney
Jeanette Poulsen
Louise Russo
Philippa Wrobel
Yvonne Kalybaba
Bradley Pottinger
Chris Webster
Jon Polley
Marguerite Rose Larade
PROF ALAN LEVY
Amanda Cape
Bet Tuason
Kim Gill
Yolanda Munoz
Wendy Boutilier
David McKay
Prince Amponsah
Tracy turnetfoxx
DIANA E LEBLANC
Kelly Mihaichuk-Ball
Mike Kirby
Paul Soucy
Casey Gallagher
Clay MacKenzie
David Winchester
Doug Poulsen
Kory Heyland
Virginia Knowlton Marcus
A Harwood
Cherise Craney
Geordie Graham
JOseph Jova
Julie Lane
Michele McDonald
David Dyer Lawson
K Stirling
Linda Crabtree
Tim Tentcher
Carol-Ann Chafe
Kelly McKeen
Michelle Hewitt
Alan Nixon
Melanie Bernard
Darryl Flasch
Susana Scott
Abidah Shamji
david shannon
Alexis Dickson
Michael R. Racette
Joann Anokwuru
Barrier Free Saskatchewan
Julia Oliver
Michel Paquin
Michelene Deck
Teresa Morishita
Marie-Eve Veilleux
Michel Lemay
StopGap Ottawa
Pierre Lemay
Shane Harnden
Bill Adair
Rebecca Borton
Patrick Falconer
info@virn.ca
Yvette Werenka
Samantha Mitra
Louise Johnson
Ronny Wiskin 
Gavin Bamber
Sue Cawsey 
Daryl Rock
Jessica Geboers
Amanda Lubyk
Rhonda Josifov
William Goursky
Jeff Bourne
Guy Coulombe
Karyna Laroche
Jada Pumphrey
Doreen Machado
Richard Marion
Cathy Moreau
Sheldon M. Werner 
Colin Brown
Christina Johnson
Steve Kean
Michael Racette
Christina Nemeth
Susan Creer
Derek MacLeod
Marc W. Mullo
Susanne Kunkel
Ilanna Sharon Mandel
Dennis Trumpy

The Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières December 2016 newsletter

Table of contents

  1. Summary of recent events
  2. How to become more involved in Minister Qualtrough’s public engagement hearings
  3. From around the country
  4. Question for consideration
  5. Next steps
  6. Contact info

Summary of Recent Events

The month of November saw various committee members of BFC-CSB making presentations and attending meetings across the country.

In early November David Lepofsky attended several meetings in Newfoundland and Labrador relating to public engagements on a Canadians with disabilities Act and he participated in a meeting that saw the birth of a Barrier Free Newfoundland and Labrador group.

In Mid November Marc Workman traveled to Toronto to attend a meeting hosted by the Canadian access and inclusion project group. This group is made up of about 28 organizations representing persons with a wide range of disabilities.

Also in mid November, Donna Jodhan traveled to Montreal to attend a ministerial round table engagement meeting that focused on issues pertaining to transportation. The meeting was extremely engaging and productive and was attended by 15 organizations. The meeting was hosted by the Office for Disability issues and organizations that attended included:

  1. AIR CANADA
  2. BARRIER-FREE CANADA
  3. CANADIAN AIRPORTS COUNCIL
  4. CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF
  5. CANADIAN FERRY OPERATORS ASSOCIATION
  6. CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION
  7. CANADIAN NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR THE BLIND
  8. COUNCIL OF CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES
  9. CUTA
  10. GUIDE DOG USERS OF CANADA
  11. MOTOR COACH CANADA
  12. PEOPLE FIRST OF CANADA
  13. TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH AT MCGILL
  14. VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
  15. WESTJET AIRLINES

During the month of November Pina Dintino attended tele conferences hosted by CCD where matters pertaining to the CRPd were discussed. Pina attended meetings in Ottawa and New York in early december as BFC-CSB’s rep and below are some of her views with regard to moving forward.

1. “Harmonization and ensuring that we come across to the CRPD Secretariat as having strong harmonized and implementable regulations in Canada.

The second issue is around having strong advocacy programs and tools available to all people. And lastly I would suggest that we have strong measurement mechanisms to ensure that the regulations drawn have a strong and tangible social impact.

There is nothing worst in my opinion than having a ton of regulations that businesses and public services must adhere to but truly do not make a difference in someone’s life on a day to day basis.”

In November Barrier Free Newfoundland and Labrador joined the BFC-CSB family and we now have affiliates in the following provinces:

British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.


News coverage

The following are news articles that you may find of interest.

1. From Ottawa

PM paid a surprise visit to youth forum on disability Story link below from university newspaper

http://www.charlatan.ca/2016/11/trudeau-speaks-at-youth-forum-on-accessibility-at-carleton/

2. From Nova Scotia: McNeil government punts on accessibility

http://contrarian.ca/2016/11/02/mcneil-government-punts-on-accessibility/?

3. An extract taken from The Leveller, November 23, 2016

Silent No More: Ottawa consults on national disability act, demonstrations for disability justice remain strong

by Alex William

The Leveller, November 23, 2016

With a national disability act in preparation, the federal government is continuing its consultation process to address concerns within the disability community. On Nov. 1, over 100 people with disabilities arrived at Carleton University to take part in the National Youth Forum on an Accessible Canada. While many issues arose during the youth forum, one of the most prominent and recurring problems is the close correlation between disability and poverty.

People with disabilities are among the most poor and most marginalized in Canadian society. There are many reasons for this, including employment discrimination, uninsurable support costs and income assistance programs, like the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), that keep recipients below the poverty line. Indeed, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that a single person without children who receives ODSP support is still below the poverty line by approximately 33 per cent.

While the $2 million dedicated to preparing for the federal legislation is a unique investment in disability issues, at the grassroots level the work of disability leaders often remains unfunded and unsupported.

For example, over the past six years, disability activists have maintained a tradition of taking to the streets of downtown Toronto in what is known as the Toronto Disability Pride March (TDPM).

Operating at a zero budget, TDPM is a far cry from a parade. It is a march — rooted in traditions of direct action and the struggle for recognition.

“We don’t get a lot of empathy. People fear us. They used to lock us away, put us out of sight,” explains Diem Lafortune, a regular guest speaker at TDPM events.

Lafortune is a singer-songwriter, a teacher, and a Cree and Jewish woman (“Crewish”, she quips).

“We are not intended to get into the legislative building – it is not conducive to our presence,” she observes, drawing a powerful link between the physical barriers of the building and the political exclusion of disabled people from decision-making forums.

Because of this pervasive marginalization, the very presence of people with disabilities is a wake-up call for Canadian society.

Adding urgency to the situation, Lafortune points out that “the neoliberal agenda since the late 70s is a backlash against all the earlier inclusion work.”

Neoliberal austerity measures have had a disproportionate effect on those experiencing poverty and disability. In 2014, researcher and activist Simon Duffy analyzed the targeted nature of social cuts and reported that poor disabled people in England “bear a burden which is more than 4 times the (modal) average.” Given these unfair outcomes, TDPM’s collective action was both timely and urgent. Amidst heavy cutbacks, when more and more disabled people find access to a dignified life barred, simply taking pride in disability identity can be a challenging stance.

Yet, de-stigmatizing disability is not just an occasion for cultural celebration. It is intimately tied to social justice and serves as the foundation for recognizing and resisting disability violence — whether in the form of poverty, institutionalization, sexual abuse or even euthanasia.

Lafortune recounts how “not feeling safe” is a common experience for disabled people because societal values continue to privilege able-bodied white men.

Indeed, TDPM fits within a long tradition of organizing that responds to violence against disabled people and threats to their very material survival by re-asserting the value of disabled lives in the face of eugenic attempts to wipe them out.

At this year’s march, TDPM organizer and speaker Kevin Jackson recalled the history of protest marches, the first Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day in Toronto in September 1993, and a later march by disabled people from various communities protesting the murder of Toronto psychiatric survivor Edmond Yu, who was shot and killed by police on Feb. 20, 1997. Yu’s tragic death reflects a pattern where sanism, ableism, racism and other forms of discrimination intersect and create disastrous results for marginalized people.

Organizers have kept issues of racism, settler colonialism, sexism and class at the forefront of their concern as TDPM activists identify across a variety of social positions. Melissa Graham, the founder and co-organizer of the march, describes how the experiences of organizers reflect a diversity of disability identities. “As organizers, it’s important to us that the march reflects the community it’s representing, not just in terms of who participates, but in the composition of the organizing team. While we’re still working on organizing an anti-oppressive way, our team reflects a diversity of disabilities, genders, and people of colour. Our priority is to those most marginalized among disabled people.”

As such, TDPM’s strength is based on finding common ground and, according to its founders, this means “a harmony of voices, not one homogeneous voice.”

For Lafortune, the key to combating injustice is kindness and empathy towards difference: “If we want a kind society, we have to start being kind.”

Calling all disability and Mad activists to join together to organize an Ottawa Disability Pride March for 2017!

The introduction of a federal disability act makes this an important moment in the history of Canadian disability and Mad activist communities. We urgently need to make ourselves visible as the experts on disability and Mad issues.

By coming together to march, we will show that we are a force that cannot be ignored. Cooperation among disabled and Mad people proves that we can work together to lead change and influence political decision-making.

The Toronto Disability Pride March (TDPM) has demonstrated the collective strength of disability and Mad communities. Now it’s time to bring this collective action to the Capital!

Be Loud. Be Proud. Come March with us!

Send us an email to get involved:

ottawadisabilitypride@gmail.com

This article was first published in the Leveller Vol. 9, No. 3


From around the country

From Newfoundland and Labrador

1. On November 4, 2016, Barrier-Free Canada’s newest provincial affiliate was founded. Barrier-Free Newfoundland and Labrador is working to ensure that a strong and effective accessibility law is enacted in Newfoundland and Labrador. The keynote speaker was AODA Alliance chair/Barrier-Free Canada Steering Committee member David Lepofsky. A minister in the provincial government already has this project in their Mandate Letter.

From Nova Scotia

2. During the week of October 31, 2016, the Nova Scotia Government introduced bill 59, the proposed Accessibility Act, into the Nova Scotia Legislature. It looked like that Government aimed to rush it through the Legislature.

However swift action by grassroots accessibility advocates in Nova Scotia turned the tide. They went to the Legislature on Monday, November 7, 2016 to object to the bill as far, far too weak. They garnered great media attention. As a result, the Nova Scotia Government put the bill and went back to the drawing board, having heard the message that people with disabilities in Nova Scotia deserve better.

From Barrier Free Nova Scotia

3. A report from Pat Gates, coordinator of Barrier Free Nova Scotia:

Update from Barrier Free Nova Scotia

The most exciting news from Nova Scotia is that after many years of anticipation and hope by individuals with disabilities and their supporters, the Province introduced an Accessibility Act, Bill 59, on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. It passed first reading on that day and passed second reading the following day, Wednesday, November 2. On Friday, November 4, some members of the disability population became aware that the government’s Law Amendments Committee would be meeting the following Monday, November 7 and and that Bill 59 was on their Agenda. In order to be able to speak to Bill 59 at that meeting, it was imperative that people register with the Provincial Clerk’s Office immediately. This very short notice was considered to be a barrier to those with disabilities wishing to address the Committee. Several members of various disability organizations, including Barrier Free N.S., as well as individuals with disabilities and several supporters scrambled to meet on Sunday, November 6 to put together a plan. That group received much valuable input from David Lepofsky and Patrick Falconer who have gone through this process in Ontario and Manitoba respectively. Nine people, including the BFNS Co-ordinator, were successful in registering to address the Law Amendments Committee the following day. All who spoke did so quite eloquently and encourage the government to slow the process of taking the Bill to third and final reading. It was felt that the people for whom this Act is crucial, the stakeholders – individuals with disabilities, had not had sufficient time to read the Bill and digest its’ implications and to respond to it. They also stressed the unanimous view that the Bill should not fall under the Department of Community Services but under the Department of Justice as the Bill relates to basic human rights. The Law Amendments Committee stayed or paused the Bill at that November 7 meeting. It should be noted that this Committee listened to those who addressed it with interest and courtesy.

The Department of Community Services has begun to reach out to the disability population to seek their input on the Bill. An initial meeting has been arranged for Monday, December 5 of the Advisory Panel and members of the various sub-committees who worked on the Bill. This meeting will give an “overview” of Bill 59. I am a member of one of the sub-committees and will be attending the meeting. From there, the Department plans to begin arranging various community meetings to seek input.

In the meantime, arrangements are being made to hold another meeting of community members to discuss next steps in the endeavour to have critical input into revising Bill 59 as it’s felt that the Bill does not have the substance it should have and that there are some barriers it simply does not address. We also await notification of when the Law Amendments Committee will resume its’ meetings. A meeting has also been set for the Co-ordinator of BFNS to meet with the Minister of Justice who is also Chair of the Law Amendments Committee.

*Bill 59 can be found at: http://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/62nd_3rd/1st_read/b059.htm

Patricia (Pat) Gates

Co-ordinator, Barrier Free N.S.

November 29, 2017

From Montreal

4. On November 16 Donna Jodhan attended one of Minister Qualtrough’s public hearings that was held in Montreal at the Palais de Congrès. It is estimated that around 300 people attended and a wide variety of questions were asked and answered.

Questions came from several individuals with various disabilities and concerns were raised that ranged from accessibility pertaining to the city of Montreal, to the role of the province of Québec in a Canadians with disabilities Act, to how a Canadians with Disabilities Act would address such things as language issues plus much more.

There was a brief presentation given by Irene Lambert; a long time advocate who represented the Montreal chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians and she reminded attendees that in 1978, québec passed a bill that sought to address several issues pertaining to accessibility.

This meeting was well organized. Speakers were given adequate time to express themselves and the views from individuals with a variety of disabilities were clearly heard. At the end of the meeting Minister Qualtrough’s representative made himself available to speak to those desiring to meet with him.

From Ottawa

5. On November 30 a similar public hearing was held in Ottawa and below is a personal report from one of our avid supporters and advocates Penny Leclair.

Consultation on Accessible Canada Act Ottawa November 30, 2016

The meeting started on time with approximately 100 people attending. The organizers had two rooms set up because of the great attendance. They had large screens to show French and English captioning for those who don’t know ASL or LSQ, and have a hearing loss. There were 4 interpreters for many participants who were deaf. I would say this community had their act together extremely well. Many spoke as members of an association and the theme of the need for video type communication and interpreters kept repeating with well versed presentations.

It seems that our meeting was the 15th, so they had learned from previous meetings to put some rules of process together for this meeting. A time limit of 3 minutes and a 30 second warning was explained so that no one could read a submission or be allowed to hog the floor.

I would say people spoke within the areas of the federal government responsibilities. Of course, the barrier of poverty came forward several times, but that is a real barrier for everyone who is expected to live on low incomes.

Several people attended who were blind. I thought we did a good job of stating key issues but no one stood to say the represented or supported an organization. We spoke for ourselves as we knew we had to.

John Rae, Robin East, Sharlyn Ayotte, Chris Stark Dean and myself had the opportunity to speak.

I may have missed others as they used the second room they had set up, to accommodate more speakers during the time left.

The interesting way of organizing who would speak and when, began when the moderator asked everyone who wanted to speak to raise their hand. Then a sheet of paper was put into your hand with a number, in print, written on it. The papers were numbered 1 to (I believe) 28, but it could have been 30, I am not sure. The first time they did this I wasn’t one of the participants with a number.

After the break, they finished with the speakers assigned in that first hand-out of numbers. They then gave out 11 more numbers.

I raised my hand and I was given #8, which was the third from last to speak.

No matter what goes into the act, and I must say I didn’t learn of anything new that I didn’t all ready know of, but how it is enforced and I would say how the public views the act is key. If it is seen as a dirty word type thing that is not supported by those without disabilities, it won’t be popular for government to make forcible.

The time for speaking was adequate, since to sit for 3 hours, with one half hour break is a little tough to do. I would say we had fair opportunity to give our feedback and that even if someone did not get the opportunity to speak, those who did were respectful and used their time well.

People who were deaf spoke most often, but they had the numbers present as well. They have their act together.

The minister of sport and disability attended briefly. I felt this was a positive meeting and I am pleased I chose to attend.

From Manitoba

6. Do you want even more evidence of the need for and the importance of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act?

Then how about the fact that disability discrimination has been the No. 1 reason for human rights complaints in Manitoba for 15 consecutive years. And it has not even been close. Based on the Manitoba Human Rights Commission’s most recent Annual Report, disability discrimination accounted for over 45% of all complaints filed in 2015. That is more complaints than for almost all the other 12 protected grounds combined.

Click here for more information. We were pleased that the Metro covered this important but almost entirely overlooked story. Read the Metro coverage at:

http://www.metronews.ca/news/winnipeg/2016/11/23/disability-discrimination-first-manitoba-rights-complaints.html

Release of Initial Proposal for the Accessible Employment Standard

The Accessibility Advisory Council (AAC) has just released the “Discussion Paper on a Proposed Accessibility Standard for Employment” (attached). This discussion paper sets out the AAC’s proposal for an accessibility standard to address the myriad of barriers to equitable employment opportunities and outcomes faced by Manitobans with disabilities.

This is the second of five accessibility standards that the government has committed to develop under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA). The first of the standards, the Customer Service Standard, came into force in November 2015.

As required under the AMA, the discussion paper has been released to invite and secure comment and feedback from stakeholder groups and the general public on the proposed standard. The deadline for public comment is February 15, 2017. Based on the feedback received, the AAC will recommend changes and improvements to Minister Scott Fielding by March 31, 2017.

The AAC has also scheduled a single date for in-person consultations on the proposed standard to be held in Winnipeg on January 18, 2017.
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Main Floor, Royal ABC Ballroom
Viscount Gort Hotel

We’re hoping for a packed house (information on registration will be made available closer to the date).

As in the past, Barrier-Free Manitoba (BFM) will be supporting the community participation in the consultation process. This will include sharing a preliminary brief that reviews the proposed standard’s strengths and weaknesses, and identifies key areas where it needs to be strengthened.

We will be sending our preliminary brief to you on or before Friday, January 7, 2017 and looking forward to your feedback.

What better way to start the New Year than by helping ensure equitable employment for Manitobans with disabilities!

First AMA Compliance Dates

The first deadlines for action under the AMA have finally arrived. Beyond its statutory responsibilities set out in the Act, the provincial government is expected to demonstrate robust leadership in ensuring its own operational compliance with the act’s requirements.

The very first deadline was November 1, 2016. This is when the provincial government and its departments were required to:

  • Have developed policies that ensure accessible customer service and make these policies available on request.
  • Have trained or ensured that all staff that provide public services are trained in The Manitoba Human Rights Code and accessible customer service.
  • Ensure that all public meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities.

The second deadline, December 31, 2016, relates to multi-year accessibility plans. By then, all provincial government departments, crown corps, health authorities, colleges, universities, school divisions and many large municipalities are required to have developed comprehensive plans on what measures that they have taken and will take in the coming years to identify, prevent and remove barriers that disable people. These plans must have been developed in consultation with Manitobans with disabilities.

Click here for more info on the compliance requirements and deadlines.

Barrier-Free Manitoba has requested information from Minister Scott Fielding on the measures the government has taken and will be taking to comply with these deadlines. Follow up discussions are also currently underway with Donna Miller, Clerk of the Executive Council and Cabinet Secretary.

We hope to have more information to share with you shortly.

Federal Consultations

This last summer, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced the launch of a national consultation process to inform the development of planned legislation that will “transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility”. The consultation process includes in-person sessions in 18 different major urban centres across the country, running from September 22, 2016 to February 8, 2017.

The session in Winnipeg was held on October 3, 2016. Despite very short notice, an estimated 400 persons were able to attend the session (the largest number to that date). Barrier-Free Manitoba is pleased to have contributed to community dialogue in advance of the session and to have participated at the event.

We believe that Minister Qualtrough is committed to addressing disability rights in Canada. Let’s hope that they listened to what we had to say.

We encourage all who were unable to attend and/or have more they want to say to complete the online survey posted at: https://hrsdc-rhdcc.sondages-surveys.ca/s/Accessibility_accessibilite_TXT/?l=en

Little if any information is available on the government’s next steps. We look forward to sharing updates on important developments as we are appraised of them.

We also encourage you to visit the Barrier-Free Canada website http://barrierfreecanada.org/home/

Barrier-Free Canada is one of the leading national organizations advocating for strong and effective federal legislation. Barrier-Free Manitoba is its provincial affiliate.


Question for consideration

Do you think that the enactment of a Canadians with disabilities Act could help to make our Federal Court system more accessible to those who are blind and vision impaired? At the present time, blind and vision impaired need to obtain permission from a Federal Judge if they wish to file documents electronically.

Tell us what you think. Tweet your response and post it on Facebook. Write to us at info@barrierfreecanada.org.


Next steps

BFC-CSB plans to continue on its present course. That is, to keep on encouraging people to attend public hearings in their areas and you can visit http://barrierfreecanada.org/attend-an-in-person-session/ to check out the times for your area.

We at Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières are delighted to share 2 very important documents which are designed to help you become more involved in Minister Qualtrough’s public engagement hearings.

Please visit http://barrierfreecanada.org/two-resources-for-canadians-with-disabilities-act/


Contact info

We would love to hear from you; via email, via twitter, via Facebook.

To contact us, please send an email to info@barrierfreecanada.org.

To keep abreast of our updates visit http://www.barrierfreecanada.org/category/general

Visit us at www.barrierfreecanada.org and sign up to be a yes supporter or use the form provided to write to us with your organization’s letter of support.

Follow us on Twitter @barrierfreeca

And like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barrierfreeca

Signed,

Donna J. Jodhan founder and chair

Steering committee members

Our Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières steering committee includes: David Lepofsky, Jutta Treviranus, Brent Page, Marc Workman, Chris O’Brien, Robin East, Brad Saunders, and Diane Bergeron.

Founding organizations

Our five initial founding organizations are: CNIB, March of Dimes, the MS Society of Canada, the Canadian Hearing Society, and Accessible Media Inc. A list of our supporting organizations is listed below.

Supporting organizations

  • The Low Vision Self-Help Association
  • West Island, Montreal Quebec
  • The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – NL
  • Guide Dog Users of Canada (GDUC)
  • Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)
  • Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC)
  • SPH Planning & Consulting Limited
  • The Rick Hansen Foundation
  • Quebec Federation of the blind
  • Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)
  • Community Living Toronto
  • Deaf Blind Ontario Services
  • Unifor
  • StopGap Foundation
  • Citizens with Disabilities Ontario
  • Spinal Cord Injury Alberta
  • Easter seals canada
  • Access for Sight-Impaired consumers
  • Every Canadian Counts Coalition
  • Québec Accessible
  • Centre for Equitable Library Access / Centre d’accès équitable aux bibliothèques
  • Deaf & Hear Alberta
  • Autism Canada
  • Mayor of Halifax Novascotia
  • Braille Literacy Canada

The Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières November 2016 newsletter

Table of contents

  1. Summary of recent events
  2. How to become more involved in Minister Qualtrough’s public engagement hearings
  3. From around the country
  4. Question for consideration
  5. Next steps
  6. Contact info

Summary of Recent Events

For the month of October we attended tele conferences and one of our committee members David Lepofsky traveled to Halifax to lend support to groups who are working to help lobby for a Nova Scotia disability rights Act.

BFC-CSB also spent time expanding their committee in order to meet growing requests from various groups across the country to make presentations on such topics as how to become more active in lobbying for a Canadians with disabilities Act as well as how to become more pro active in advocating for provincial disabilities rights Acts.

In early November David Lepofsky will be speaking at a public forum on the need for strong provincial and federal accessibility in St. John’s Newfoundland. Here is the announcement of this forum.

Forum on Disability Accessibility in Our Community
Hosted by CNIB Atlantic INCA atlantique

Friday, November 4 at 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM in UTC-02:30
CNIB
70 the Blvd, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador A1A 1K2

Would you like to help four million Canadians with disabilities tear down the many accessibility barriers that impede them from getting full access to jobs, public transit, education and all that our society has to offer its residents?

Join David Lepofsky, life-long disability rights advocate, blind lawyer, and chair of the non-partisan grassroots Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, for a public discussion. Everyone is welcome!

In mid November Marc Workman will be representing us at a face to face Canadian Access and Inclusion Project Council meeting.

Towards the end of November Donna Jodhan will be giving a presentation in Ottawa, to persons who are blind and vision impaired and her presentation will focus on the essentials of advocacy and how to become more involved in lobbying for a Canadians with disabilities Act. This presentation is being sponsored by Accessible Media inc and Getting Together with Technology (GTT).

This presentation will be held at 20 James Street Ottawa and more info will be posted to the relevant Ottawa lists in the coming weeks.


How to become more involved in Minister Qualtrough’s public engagement hearings

For information on how to attend the in-person consultation sessions on accessibility legislation that Employment and Social Development Canada is conducting, please go to this webpage.


 

From around the country

From our Ontario affiliate:

The AODA Alliance will be conducting forums across Ontario as follows. Burlington (November 6), and Whitby (November 12). For more information please contact AODA at aodafeedback@gmail.com

From our group in Saskatchewan:

Principles from our September 8 meeting have been approved at our October meeting. Our next meeting is for next steps including our Web site which is being built and how to spread the word to all of and for service organizations and individuals, media, MLA’s etc. So November 7 meeting is a strategy meeting to discuss all of this and to pick kick Off dates for community events in Saskatoon, Regina, and other cities around the province. We are a very forward and positive thinking group.

We are persons of various disabilities and we not only own our disabilities but believe that it is a characteristic of who we are.

Our web site that is not online yet will be BarrierFreeSaskatchewan.org

For more info please contact barrierfreesk@gmail.com

From our Halifax group:

They are presently anxiously awaiting the passage of their disabilities rights legislation which is scheduled to take place at any time. If you would like to know more then please contact Pat Gates at patricia.gates@bellaliant.net

Question for consideration

Do you think that a federally legislated Canadians with disabilities Act could help to improve services for traveling Canadian passengers with disabilities? Would it help that under this Act airport authorities and domestic airlines, bus and train companies, and all companies in the travel industry that provide both federal and provincial services would now be mandated to provide adequate and appropriate services to travelers with disabilities?

Tell us what you think. Tweet your response. Put it on Facebook, and write to us at info@barrierfreecanada.org.

Next steps

We urge you to complete the Federal Government’s online survey at www.esdc.gc.ca/en/consultations/disability/legislation/index.page

And we encourage you to read two informative documents at the following link. These documents will help you to be more prepared for the Minister’s hearings. http://barrierfreecanada.org/two-resources-for-canadians-with-disabilities-act/

We also encourage you to listen to Minister Qualtrough in a recent speech at this link http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/the-current/segment/10520891

We will continue to make presentations, attend tele conferences, as well as face to face meetings and we will be working to bring groups and organizations together for think thanks.

Contact info

We would love to hear from you; via email, via twitter, via Facebook.

To contact us, please send an email to info@barrierfreecanada.org.

To keep abreast of our updates visithttp://www.barrierfreecanada.org/category/general

Visit us at www.barrierfreecanada.org and sign up to be a yes supporter or use the form provided to write to us with your organization’s letter of support.

Follow us on Twitter @barrierfreeca

And like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barrierfreeca

Signed,

Donna Jodhan founder and chair

Our Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières steering committee includes:
David Lepofsky, Jutta Treviranus, Steven Christianson, Marc Workman, Chris O’Brien, Robin East, Brad Saunders, and Diane Bergeron.

Our five initial founding organizations are CNIB, March of Dimes, the MS Society of Canada, the Canadian Hearing Society, and Accessible Media Inc.

A list of our supporting organizations is listed below.

  • The Low Vision Self-Help Association
  • West Island, Montreal Quebec
  • The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – NL
  • Guide Dog Users of Canada (GDUC)
  • Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)
  • Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC)
  • SPH Planning & Consulting Limited
  • The Rick Hansen Foundation
  • Quebec Federation of the blind
  • Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)
  • Community Living Toronto
  • Deaf Blind Ontario Services
  • Unifor
  • StopGap Foundation
  • Citizens with Disabilities Ontario
  • Spinal Cord Injury Alberta
  • Easter seals canada
  • Access for Sight-Impaired consumers
  • Every Canadian Counts Coalition
  • Québec Accessible
  • Centre for Equitable Library Access / Centre d’accès équitable aux bibliothèques
  • Deaf & Hear Alberta
  • Autism Canada
  • Mayor of Halifax Nova Scotia
  • Braille Literacy Canada

The Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières October 2016 newsletter

Table of contents

  1. Summary of Recent Events
  2. News coverage
  3. From around the country
  4. Question for consideration
  5. Next steps
  6. We need your feedback
  7. Contact info

Summary of Recent Events

The month of September was a busy one for us as BFC-CSB created and posted two articles on its website which are designed to help you as you get ready to attend Minister Qualtrough’s public hearing engagements across Canada and you can read these two documents at http://barrierfreecanada.org/two-resources-for-canadians-with-disabilities-act/

They were both written by David Lepofsky of our steering committee.

The first document is a Canadians with Disabilities Act Consultation Tip Sheet: Detailed Points to Present to the Federal Government’s Public Consultation on What To Include in the Promised Federal Accessibility Law.

The second document What Should the Promised New Federal Disability Accessibility Law Include? – At a Glance

In September Donna Jodhan met with officials from the Canadian Transportation Agency and the purpose of the meeting was for her to share her views with them on the CTA’s accessible transportation discussion paper. Donna has submitted a written response to the CTA and will be posting this shortly to the BFC-CSB website.

We will note here that in its response to the CTA’s accessible transportation discussion paper, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority has stated the following.

“Toronto Pearson terminals meet all federal regulations regarding accessibility standards, and the CTA has advised us that the GTAA is fully compliant.”

We would like to know where may we find any public information to support this statement? Additionally; the GTAA does not want the CTA to have any role in new construction and assessment of plans for accessibility.

On September 23 Donna Jodhan made a presentation to members of a cross section of disabilities persons groups in Halifax Nova Scotia and the presentation centered on advocacy and seeking support for Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières.

This trip was sponsored by CNIB and organized by Pat Gates and Louise Gillis president of CCB.

Among those attending were: CCB, CNIB, Canadian Paraplegic Association Nova Scotia, Muscular Dystrophy Atlantic, March of Dimes, CARP or the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Mt. St. Vincent University, MS Society, NS Health Authority, Municipal Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and a number of individuals representing themselves.

Earlier in the day Donna along with Pat and Louise met with Mike Savage; Mayor of Halifax and the Mayor has since written a letter in support of BFC-CSB.


News coverage

Taken from http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/new-legislation-to-give-more-options-for-people-with-disabilities-and-employers-minister-says

New legislation to give more options for people with disabilities and employers, minister says

Jonathan Charlton, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Published on: September 28, 2016 | Last Updated: September 28, 2016 9:15 PM CST

Carla Qualtrough, minister of sport and persons with disabilities, says upcoming disabilities legislation is important.

Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen

The federal government is creating legislation to protect people with disabilities, and Saskatchewan residents will be able to participate in consultations this week. A public meeting was held in Regina on Wednesday, followed by a private round table in Saskatoon Friday. Carla Qualtrough, minister of sport and persons with disabilities, spoke with reporter Jonathan Charlton about why the legislation is important. This interview has been condensed and edited.

What are you trying to accomplish with this legislation?

“In short, we’re trying to create a law that proactively requires businesses, services providers, program deliverers within federal jurisdiction to remove barriers for people with disabilities,” she said. Instead of waiting until someone is discriminated against and human rights law kicks in, the legislation will create a systemic approach to dealing with inclusion. It would cover the government itself as well as federally regulated businesses such as banks, telecommunications and Via Rail.

Why is legislation required, as opposed to something like a code of conduct or a mission statement?

“First of all it shows federal leadership in this area. It sends a clear message to Canadians that disability issues, disability policy, accessibility, are priorities for our government,” she said. Legislation also tends to survive through successive governments, she said. “More than 50 per cent of the complaints to the Human Rights Commission of Canada are on the grounds of disability. So there is a gap there. A lot of people with disabilities are being denied jobs and services and so we felt a legislative response was warranted. And quite frankly Canadians with disabilities and their advocates have been calling for this legislation for a decade.”

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What sort of situation would the legislation prevent?

Qualtrough gives the example of a person who applies for a job, then in the interview it’s realized they have a disability, and they don’t get the job. “That person, at that point of denial, the only recourse they have is to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. With our law in place, that employer would have been advised well before the denial happened, here’s how you include someone with a disability in your application process, here’s how you make the interview accessible, here’s the benefit of hiring someone with a disability, the unique perspective they will bring to that job. There will be opportunities systemically to avoid that denial from even happening in the first place.

Might some businesses simply might not know how to accommodate, or see accommodation as time or resource intensive?

“I think that’s happening everywhere. A lot of what we’re seeing is people having a genuine interest in being inclusive but not knowing how, so again a lot of the work we’re doing is around educating and giving employers and businesses the tools to be more inclusive. And it’s also dispelling a lot of myths about the costs of hiring someone with a disability, explaining the business case for hiring someone with a disability, to be frank. About the untapped labour market aspect, about the creativity and innovation, the employee loyalty.”

jcharlton@postmedia.com

If you would like to see how security personnel interact with travelers with disabilities at Pearson International Airport then we invite you to visit http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/catsa-airport-travellers-complaints-security-1.3779312

Here you will get a flavour for some of the types of challenges being faced by the passengers with disabilities public.


From around the country

From British Columbia comes the following from the Barrier-Free BC Steering Committee.

At the annual convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) held in Victoria this year from September 26 – 30, Resolution B62 containing the following text, passed unanimously:

Whereas British Columbians with disabilities encounter a variety of physical, sensory and technological barriers as well as ones related to communication, education, employment, attitudes and many others on a daily basis;

And whereas the Government of British Columbia launched a non-mandatory, non-legislated initiative entitled “Accessibility 2024” in 2014 with the goal of making BC the most progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities by the year 2024;

And whereas both the Province of Ontario and the Province of Manitoba have enacted disability legislation with the Province of Nova Scotia working toward the introduction and enactment of disability legislation in 2016:

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM believes it is important to achieve a barrier-free province for all persons with disabilities and calls upon BC’s Legislative Assembly to enact a strong and effective British Columbians with Disabilities Act.

The passing of this Resolution is a giant leap forward for the supporters of the Barrier-Free BC campaign in that it now captures the support of every city, municipality, district, town and village in the province. But the road ahead is still one we must travel and with the provincial general election just over 7 months away, we must all pick up the pace to achieve our goal. Now, more than ever is the time to make contact with your MLA through a letter or email telling your personal stories about the barriers you still face despite the Government’s ‘Accessibility 2024’ initiative. Personal stories get the most attention and greater response from politicians. Telephone your MLA and relay your story or better still, pay him or her a visit. And social media such as Twitter or Facebook are yet additional methods of letting your MLA know of the need to support disability legislation in BC. Visit www.barrierfreebc.org for additional information and write to info@barrierfreebc.org if you need assistance or direction. Our Steering Committee is here to help!

Rob Sleath

On behalf of the Barrier-Free BC Steering Committee


Question for consideration

We at Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières have a question for you today.

At the present time there are several Federal Government departments that do not offer accessible and user friendly online complaints systems and mechanisms. Most of them are extremely difficult to work with, navigate, and there is not enough support from said departments. Accordingly, Canadians with disabilities are at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to being able to lodge complaints.

Do you think that a Canadians with disabilities Act could help to remedy this in any way?

If you do then please speak up and speak out now as it is the best time for you to do this and why? Because Minister Qualtrough has started her public engagements to hear from Canadians to give input into this very important piece of legislation.


Next steps

In the coming weeks BFC-CSB will be continuing its efforts to be a part of the public engagement process and to this end our committee is planning to play a more active role. We will be working more closely with our founding organizations and supporting organizations to speak up and speak out and we will be attending round table engagements when invited to do so.


We need your feedback

If you are an individual wishing to speak up and speak out then by all means; send your thoughts and comments to your MP, your MPP, and to us at info@barrierfreecanada.org.

If you are a supporting organization then we would like to hear from you too. Let us work more closely together to ensure that a Canadians with disabilities Act is passed in a timely way.


Contact info

We would love to hear from you; via email, via twitter, via Facebook.

To contact us, please send an email to info@barrierfreecanada.org.

To keep abreast of our updates visit http://www.barrierfreecanada.org/category/general

Visit us at www.barrierfreecanada.org

and sign up to be a yes supporter or use the form provided to write to us with your organization’s letter of support.

Follow us on Twitter @barrierfreeca

And like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barrierfreeca

Signed,

Donna Jodhan founder and chair
On behalf of the BFC-CSB steering committee

The Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières steering committee includes David Lepofsky, Steven Christianson, Chris O’Brien, Marc Workman, Jutta Treviranus.

Our five initial founding organizations are CNIB, March of Dimes, the MS Society of Canada, the Canadian Hearing Society, and Accessible Media Inc.

A list of our supporting organizations is listed below.

  • The Low Vision Self-Help Association
  • West Island, Montreal Quebec
  • The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – NL
  • Guide Dog Users of Canada (GDUC)
  • Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)
  • Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC)
  • SPH Planning & Consulting Limited
  • The Rick Hansen Foundation
  • Quebec Federation of the blind
  • Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)
  • Community Living Toronto
  • Deaf Blind Ontario Services
  • Unifor
  • StopGap Foundation
  • Citizens with Disabilities Ontario
  • Spinal Cord Injury Alberta
  • Easter seals canada
  • Access for Sight-Impaired consumers
  • Every Canadian Counts Coalition
  • Québec Accessible
  • Centre for Equitable Library Access / Centre d’accès équitable aux bibliothèques
  • Deaf & Hear Alberta
  • Autism Canada
  • Mayor of Halifax Nova Scotia

Individual supporters

Below are the supporters who agreed to have their names listed.

Irene Lambert
Karin Godin
Dawn Lambert
Peter Sharp
Sandra Hobson
Dana Levanto
Paula Kilburn
Katherine Jaconello
Gordon Hein
Louis Pereux
Nancy Newton
Michelle Bruneau
Synove Gelinas
Gary Stockden
Yvette Gelinas
Danielle Bruneau
Anita Squire
Wilma Houston
Bonnie Sherr Klein
Gordon J. Hein
Scott Hunter
Patrice Philion
John Ohberg
David Best
Roger P Gervais
Dan Shire
Suzanne Santyr
Kate Chung
Daryl Thomas
Cavita Sharma
Jerry Ford
Victor Schwartzman
sarah moore
Penny Leclair
Karen Bell
Brian Kon
Sue Morgan
Derek Giberson
Lorin MacDonald
Anne and Dave Marsden
Jim Hamilton
Edward Rice
Stephen Trumper
Cindy Ferguson
Robert Gaunt
Shane Holten
Catherine Roy
Jason Tomesch
Johnny To
Lauri Sue Robertson
Josephine (Joey) Hewitt
adam cohoon
David Layton
JOYCE MAIN
Omar Burey
Alicia Jarvis
Sandra Kinder
Marisa Page
Pierre Nadeau
Lucienne Lehouillier
Karen Fleck
Lisa Rocha
Deborah MacGillivray
Nicole Stefaniszyn
Jennifer & Darryl Hoskins
Nicole Borthwick
Michael Hannan
Colleen Henriksen
Paul Belhumeur
Brad Dunn
Debra Hinksman
Meaghan Lawrence
Frances Miller
Marian Alexander
Nora Gallagher
Janis Thompson
Laurel Pearse
Dale Odberg
Jodi Marsh
LINDA NEARING
Dianne Scrivens
NOREEN PYLATUK
Melissa Nickerson
William Hopper
Karen mohr
Taylor Hyatt
Patricia Storteboom
Sandy Wheeler
Pamela Gignac
Vera Peters
Jeannie Privet
Michelle Shalinsky
Rachelle Chiasson-Taylor
Shara Grice
Bobbie King
Jeff McBride
Brenda Mac Farlane
Mandy Sky
Melissa Graham
Lorna Barrett
Tracey mcPhail
Camella Ross
Adreanna Dollman Downing
marg Priebe
Peggy Kennard
Brenda Chinn
Michele Gardner
Joanna Pohl
Grant De Boer
Kasey Aiello
Mike Jennings
Nadine Badry
Tim Varro
Spring Hawes
Barbara Maynard
Susan Moore
Claire Cram
Nicolle Guillen
Terry Foster
Sarah Mitchell
Sabina Cragg
Dave Davis
Brian Martin
Chelsea Sharkey
Harmanie Taylor
Rachel Nelson
Andrea Dodsworth
Tammy DaSilva
Karen Cavalier
Nicole Nys
Letitia Hinkley-Roach
Nadia Olynyk
Ian MacLaine
Marie Soudre
Gail Ashuk
Arista Haas
Adam O’Neill
Helen Berarducci
Geoff Ryan
Susan McKenzie
Jamie M. Hicks
Melanie Telford
Barbara Dearden
Joanne Odjick
Tracey Roetman
Stephen Cull
Wendy Hansen
Daniel Rosen
Arvid Kuhnle
Casey McNally
Jeff Bourne
Jake Beaton
Jo Kelly
Shannon Gowans
Kevin Harvey
Deborah Kennard
D. Abraham
David Ramsden
Kyle Vose
jonda Hopper
Steven Wessels
Tyler muller
Sarah Kozoriz
amber B
Lana Phillips
Cara Crawford
jason pleaddafith
Carol S. stringer
Darren Mackay
Glyn Ganong
Robin Artemis
Jurgen Wiechmann
Jurnee
Sharon McBride
tracy curley
Cheryl White
Darlene Jay
Kyle Jay
Patricia Denneny
Sandra Paluc
Jacqueline Waybrant
Sheryl Ann Wilson
Sarah Nixon-Suggitt
Diane Morrell
Lynn Dunkley
Jo-Anne Nykilchyk
Tiffany Schier
Diane Ladouceur
Kent Oxford
Carrie Lapensee
Peter Beam
Janice Laurence
Lisa Boynton
Sandra J. Yetman
Mark Nicoll
Brenda Lush
carolyn kassinger
Jennifer Elizabeth Macdonald
Lynn Clark
Gillian Burns
Dawn Campbell
mike barrett
Sharon Kilkenny
Jeff May
Liz Allchin
tia sweeney
Roland Hengst
sherry palmer
Jacquie Munro
Russ Weaver
Mike Grady
Juliana Lepoutre
Wayne and joy reycraft
Heather Crossman
Sean VanHorne
Denise Sheedy
Lisa Bendall
Bilha Nativ
Phil McKenzie
Rebecca Therrien
Patti wheeler
Wendy Beckett
Jade Fraser
Kevin Steele
Carolyn Hirschfeld
Martha Russell
Lisa McCallen
Dalten Campbell
Jodi Fisher
Tracey Walshaw
Christina Chasty
Nicole Morley
debra Mcdonald
Hertha Shalinsky
Candyce Virgin
Kim Angell-McCormick
Radical Access Mapping Project
Cheryl Webster
Kelly-Lyn Webster
Doug Webster
Sue Beare
Sharon Shalinsky
Dawn Stinson
marty newstead
Lois harris
Theresa H Beard
Jamie Lauzon
Desiree Bauer
Derek Belbin
luc perron
Naomi Glenvad Teramoto
David Berman
Jason Dyok
Patrick Fougeyrollas
Nic deGroot
Chantelle Bernardo
Angela Finkbeiner
Dean Fey
marilyn stratton-zimmer
Cornelia Bryant
Marcel Matte
Bruce A Johnson
Judith Flatt
Stacey Upson
Lacey Fontaine
Christine Flynn-James
Philip Bobawsky
Susan Wagar
Dawn Howell
Sabrina Gould
Laura farres
Amie Kiddle
Jason Finkbeiner
Cheryl Benson
Colleen Davis
Pauline Fraser
Jacki Andre
Aaron Broverman
Taylor Short
Laurel Ryan
Brittany Lang
Bill Hopper
Sam Fulton
Paula Swirla
Geoffrey Olsen
Pamela Shelton
Megan Turpin
Pamela Kent
Ian A. Greaves
Susan Bowman
D Veglia
Diana Veglia
Anchel Krishna
Geoff Egan
meghan nugent
Bonnie S. Manning-Jones
Suzanne Nurse
Kimberly Prattis
Jeffrey Preston
Sandra Yetman
Jaimie Smith-Windsor
William Cowie
Cindy Kennedy
Kathryn Bremner
Thea Kurdi
Mike Cocteau
Gerry harris
Sarah Smith
Aislinn Burkholder
Stephen Higham
Dan Angell
Amelia Murphy-Beaudoin
Jeff Stark
Jamie Burton
Jennifer Miller
Michael Racette
Michael Hughes
kimberly m murphy
Majid Turmusani
Roger B Jones
Ida Fong
David Chojnacki
S Fong
Miguel Aguayo
Melissa mailman
Sean Bouffard
Mylee Nordin
Faith Bodnar
Peter Busciglio
NAN MARKS
Tony Marrelli
Judy Hemming
Luke Anderson
P. Campbell
Anna Hlinomaz
Jessie Coaten,
Gerry Gill
Bjorg Mathiessen
Elizabeth Nimijean
Rene Coloucci
Sandra watts
Phillip McCorkell
Julie Perez
Alan Dean
Mark Smith
Nahla Bechara
Sandra Johnston
Shirley Skilling
Gordon Crann
Pauline Walsh
Muriel Hill
Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario
Heather Rupert & Michel Ciarciello
Maria Friozzi
William Rudkin
Kenneth Southall
Diane Aubin
Dianne McLeod
Lisa Figge
Walter Wittich
Kat Clarke
Beulah Aubin
Ron Pelletier
Lauri Brunner
Robert Trudel
Brian Heaney
Jeanette Poulsen
Louise Russo
Philippa Wrobel
Yvonne Kalybaba
Bradley Pottinger
Chris Webster
Jon Polley
Marguerite Rose Larade
PROF ALAN LEVY
Amanda Cape
Bet Tuason
Kim Gill
Yolanda Munoz
Wendy Boutilier
David McKay
Prince Amponsah
Tracy turnetfoxx
DIANA E LEBLANC
Kelly Mihaichuk-Ball
Mike Kirby
Paul Soucy
Casey Gallagher
Clay MacKenzie
David Winchester
Doug Poulsen
Kory Heyland
Virginia Knowlton Marcus
A Harwood
Cherise Craney
Geordie Graham
JOseph Jova
Julie Lane
Michele McDonald
David Dyer Lawson
K Stirling
Linda Crabtree
Tim Tentcher
Carol-Ann Chafe
Kelly McKeen
Michelle Hewitt
Alan Nixon
Melanie Bernard
Darryl Flasch
Susana Scott
Abidah Shamji
david shannon
Alexis Dickson
Michael R. Racette
Joann Anokwuru
Barrier Free Saskatchewan
Julia Oliver
Michel Paquin
Michelene Deck
Teresa Morishita
Marie-Eve Veilleux
Michel Lemay
StopGap Ottawa
Pierre Lemay
Shane Harnden
Bill Adair
Rebecca Borton
Patrick Falconer
info@virn.ca
Yvette Werenka
Samantha Mitra
Louise Johnson
Ronny Wiskin 
Gavin Bamber
Sue Cawsey 
Daryl Rock
Jessica Geboers
Amanda Lubyk
Rhonda Josifov
William Goursky
Jeff Bourne
Guy Coulombe
Karyna Laroche
Jada Pumphrey
Doreen Machado
Richard Marion
Cathy Moreau
Sheldon M. Werner 
Colin Brown
Christina Johnson
Steve Kean
Michael Racette
Christina Nemeth
Susan Creer
Derek MacLeod
Marc W. Mullo
Susanne Kunkel

Response to the CTA’s regulatory modernization initiative

Written by Donna J. Jodhan
On behalf of Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières

Introduction

I am submitting my comments as a vision impaired person who is a regular air traveler and as someone whose organization is actively pursuing the call for the passage of a Canadians with Disabilities Act.

On a personal level, it is my sincere hope that any future regulations that fall under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Transportation Agency would be ones that protect, recognize, and legitimize the rights of Canadian travelers with disabilities and on behalf of my organization I hope that the Canadian Transportation Agency would support the passage of said legislation.

I believe that the Federal Government’s mandate to enact a Canadians with disabilities Act is an important step in the right direction but in addition, more work needs to be carried out by the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The following is a list of suggestions and comments.

Binding regulations

Systemic changes can only be achieved through the use of stricter regulations that would be binding. Codes of practice can only be affective if they are stricter and laid out more clearly so that transportation companies can follow them more easily.

Regulations and codes of practice should be mandated and consequences for not following codes and regulations should be clearly spelled out and implemented and here is where a Canadians with disabilities Act can help to make it happen. In addition, the Canadian Transportation Agency could be given more power to ensure that these regulations and codes of practice are adhered to and penalties for non compliance are enforced.

End to end accessibility services

Accessibility services would commence as soon as a passenger starts their preparations for a trip; via air, rail, ferry, bus, etc. Companies should be mandated to make their websites and phone support fully and equally accessible.

In the case of air travel, accessible services should begin at curb side and continue on through check in, up to the doors of the aircraft and continue on board the aircraft. The same should be mandated upon arrival; from aircraft right through to exiting the terminal.

A similar offering should be mandated for those traveling via rail, ferry, and bus; from arrival to the end of the voyage.

The use of technology for better communication

Airport terminals should be equipped with wai finder technology so as to enable passengers who are blind and vision impaired to be able to navigate more independently. Example, to be able to find restaurants, washrooms, shopping areas, and more without having to seek assistance.

Kiosks at airports should be made accessible to blind and vision impaired travelers. Screens at airport terminals should be outfitted with close captioning, and airlines should be mandated to provide accessible apps that can assist passengers with disabilities to be aware of such things as flight delays and gate changes.

Other suggestions: Suitable relief areas for service animals, public announcement systems that are easy to hear.

Appropriate training for personnel

All personnel employed by airports, airlines, railways, and bus and ferry companies should receive regular training and all companies should be mandated to do this on a regular basis.

Suggestions: How to communicate such things as gate changes and flight delays to passengers with disabilities, and how to provide related assistance when requested.

They should be mandated to provide proof that the appropriate training has been carried out and annually would be a good time frame. These reports should be lodged with the Canadian Transportation Agency and penalties should be handed down if companies fail to comply.

Appropriate manuals should be developed to cover employee training for the various types of disabilities and input from travelers with disabilities should be mandated to be a part of this manual.

Training sessions should be a joint venture between industry and persons with disabilities. Regular presentations should be mandated to take place; annually would be a good time frame and proof of these face to face sessions should also be a part of the training mandate.

Accessibility-related services

These types of services would include: Curb side assistance, escort assistance, check in assistance, porter assistance.

Improving service standards

Industry, along with the Canadian Transportation Agency and stakeholders from the disabilities persons community should be given the task to work together to set up a suite of standards so that accessibility services can be improved.

This committee should be mandated to meet face to face at least every two years, six monthly tele conferences could be held, recommendations made, and taken to the appropriate lawmakers within a reasonable period of time. Or the Canadian Transportation Agency could be given the task to monitor and ensure that they are implemented.

Website accessibility

Every company that resides in the travel industry along with the Canadian Transportation Agency should be mandated to make their websites fully accessible and this would meaning adhering to W3C standards. All online complaints processes should also be made fully accessible and should be tested by persons with disabilities before implementation.

Training and communication

All industry stakeholders should be mandated to provide regular bulletins to stakeholder organizations for and of persons with disabilities with regard to their training efforts, changes to their services with emphasis on accessibility services. If there are any new website announcements then these too should be communicated.

Partnerships with stakeholder organizations should be developed and these announcements could be filtered through these partners.

Greater involvement by persons with disabilities with regard to regulatory changes pertaining to disability issues

The Canadian Transportation Agency should also be mandated to include persons with disabilities as part of their members panel and these stakeholders should be given the opportunity to give input in to regulations and codes of practice.

Other suggestions for the Canadian Transportation Agency

A revamp of their complaints system so that it becomes more accessible, user friendly, and easy to understand.

More support for those lodging complaints; to provide explanations and guidance.

Some sort of legal resource for complainants if they are being taken to court by respondents.

The Canadian Transportation Agency to be given the power to initiate investigations into accessibility issues, to issue interim orders and to order compensation for harm.

A Canadians with disabilities Act could help to make this possible. Additionally, it would be a way to strengthen the powers of the Agency.

A need for consistent and systemic enforcement

Consistent penalties to be implement and enforced whenever legal regulations and codes of practice are not adhered to and penalties to be made meaningful Example; not just a steep appropriate monetary penalty but also some sort of public notification for those who break the regulations and codes of practice.

A monitoring system

An appropriate monitoring system to be set up and managed by the Canadian Transportation Agency. This system would monitor such things as training, number of complaints that are lodged with companies (complaints settled and those headed for other action) A regular monitoring of companies websites and phone services for quality assurance.

A regular reporting system

This is where companies would be mandated to provide annual reports on the following: Training, accessibility services, accessible websites, and complaints.