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

Speaking Notes for the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, How Accessibility is Driving Innovation: Launch of in-person Accessibility Consultations at Abilities Centre August 23, 2016 Whitby, Ontario

Hello everyone. It’s my pleasure to be here with you at Whitby’s state-of-the-art Abilities Centre. What a wonderful facility! Wouldn’t it be great if we had centres like this in communities across Canada?

This space and this community are true example of what we can do when we start from a place of inclusion and keep opportunity in mind.

I was deeply honoured to be named the first federal Minister dedicated to persons with disabilities.

The creation of this cabinet position makes it very clear that people with disabilities are important to our government and that we deserve to be considered in every decision around the Cabinet table.

We must consider the needs of Canadians with disabilities in every aspect of society. We need to create services—workplaces—transit systems and communities that consider accessibility from the outset.

We want to move from a model where accessibility is the exception and accommodations come after we discover barriers to one in which we incorporate accessibility—in every sense of the word – into everything we build and use.

This shift – both monumental and simple at once – is a game changer.

To start—we need a legal framework that protects and promotes accessibility.

Right now—within our current legal framework, people with disabilities can only defend their rights after they’ve been violated.

The current system unfairly burdens individual Canadians to identify a barrier or instances of discrimination which are then brought forward for examination and resolution. Needless to say—this vigilance is exhausting, prohibitively expensive, and I know you agree with me that it is fundamentally wrong.

That’s exactly why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked me to lead a process on planned accessibility legislation.

In order to create relevant and robust legislation—I need to get input from Canadians like you. I appreciate you taking time to be here – to help us get this right.

In a few minutes, I look forward to speaking with several outstanding “Accessibility Innovators” about their take on what an accessible Canada means. These young Canadians are demonstrating how accessibility can drive innovation, and create a new way of doing things. Better ways of creating and thinking about accessibility. I have said this before and expect you will hear it from our Accessibility Innovators as well – when systems and spaces are accessible, every Canadian wins. Barriers are bad for business.

When asked about Fred Astaire’s dance ability, Ginger Rogers once responded that she had to do everything that he did, but backwards and in heels. Imagine the creativity that persons with disabilities must employ every day to navigate buildings, products and services that were not designed with their needs in mind. Development of creative products, ways of doing things and – ultimately – a different way of looking at the world. These young innovators have done exactly that: tackled barriers that could otherwise impede people with disabilities from easily and seamlessly participating in their communities.

Their work takes innovation, drive, determination and yes, creativity. In fact, I find their work tremendously inspirational.

I am honoured be share a bit about them with you.

Maayan Ziv is founder and CEO of AccessNow, an on-line platform that uses crowdsourcing to pin-point the accessibility status of locations on an interactive map. Living with muscular dystrophy, Maayan is motivated to create a more accessible world.

Micah Rakoff Bellmana student of Carleton’s Industrial Design program, has seen his invention called Lift taking the top prize in this year’s IDeA competition through which Ontario’s university undergraduate students compete to come up with inventions that help remove barriers for people with disabilities. His innovation is a height-adjustable, movable table with integrated storage that provides home cooks a comfortable and flexible work surface in the kitchen. The height adjustability allows Lift to be used as a counter at a suitable height for users of any level of ability. This device strives to give more freedom to older individuals and people with disabilities in the kitchen.

Quayce Thomas, an entrepreneur and architecture student at Carleton University, saw his app take the top prize in the IDeA competition in 2015. Timsle is an app that promotes healthy active living using social networks. This “accountability network” helps people with disabilities to meet academic or other goals and prevent depression.

I can’t wait to hear what these inspiring young people have to say.

Cette discussion sur l’accessibilité est tellement importante et comme tous les voyages – elle pourrait nous entraîner sur une foule d’avenues. L’accessibilité veut-elle dire rendre les immeubles accessibles? Ou s’assurer que les programmes et services sont réellement accessibles pour tous les Canadiens? Ou encore veut-elle dire éliminer les obstacles à l’emploi pour les Canadiens handicapés? J’ai quelques idées sur ce qu’elle signifie pour moi.

Premièrement ­– l’accessibilité veut dire donner des choix aux gens.

Lorsque les Canadiens s’impliquent dans leur collectivité ou dans leur milieu de travail ou communiquent avec leur gouvernement – ces interactions devraient être conçues pour tenir compte des besoins de tout le monde. Les obstacles à l’accessibilité limitent le choix : « Je ne peux pas… », « Elle n’est pas en mesure de… », « Ce serait bien s’il pouvait… »

Je crois que les Canadiens ne devraient pas avoir à surmonter des obstacles pour faire partie d’un monde que la société considère comme la normalité. Tout le monde devrait se sentir membre à part entière de la société et avoir des options pour participer de façon égale. Si je veux conduire un autobus – entrer dans un immeuble par la porte avant – ou consulter un site Web – c’est mon choix. Et je veux avoir la possibilité de le faire.

Deuxièmement – l’accessibilité veut dire éliminer les préjugés au sujet de l’incapacité – notamment pour les Canadiens ayant une incapacité qui n’est pas apparente pour tout le monde. Nous devons nous concentrer sur le potentiel et la contribution des gens – pas sur leurs limites. Changer les perceptions est une dure bataille – mais je sais que nous pouvons relever le défi.

And lastly—I want all Canadians to see accessibility and inclusion as the keys to productivity. Accessibility is good for business. Barriers are bad for business. That might be a good hashtag?

Canadians with disabilities are an untapped resource who can offer so much to our communities and our economy. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadians with disabilities and helping to create environments where they can be independent and participate equally in their communities and workplaces. Removing barriers and creating opportunities for a more active and prosperous society is good for our collective health and for our economy.

When I was growing up—my world was not as accessible as it is now.

I can tell you that I learned some of the most important lessons in my life by considering my choices. I learned that I had a right to be accommodated. I learned that asking for help was not a weakness—in fact it was a strength.

And I learned that there was always another way of doing things if you couldn’t do something the way that it had always been done. Today we call this innovation.

Who better to inspire innovation than people who innovate every day of their lives?

Designing the physical environment, programs, products and services in a way that accommodates people with varying needs can only lead to bigger and better ideas.

That’s what I think about accessibility. But that’s just one small voice—I want to hear from our innovators here today, I want to hear from all of you—and from all Canadians.

As many of you already know—in July we launched our online consultation at Canada.ca/AccessibleCanada. To date—we have received close to 700 responses, ranging from stakeholder organizations, employers, families and people with disabilities themselves. And the rate of participation continues to grow.

Les Canadiens ont hâte de raconter leur histoire et nous avons hâte de les entendre.

Aujourd’hui, nous franchissons un autre grand pas dans notre discussion sur l’accessibilité.

Augmenter l’accessibilité est non seulement la bonne chose à faire – mais cela présente aussi des avantages sociaux et économiques pour tous les Canadiens.

Le Canada est en bonne voie de devenir un chef de file mondial en matière d’innovation dans la prestation de services – la technologie et la conception universelle. Ensemble – nous transformerons la réalité des Canadiens handicapés.

And today I’m here to celebrate the launch of our in-person consultations on accessibility legislation.

These consultations will be starting soon in cities across the country and continue throughout the fall. And I am looking forward to hearing from all Canadians.

On November 1st — I’ll also be hosting a one-day national forum for young Canadians with disabilities and those involved with disability and accessibility issues. This will give young people a chance to share their ideas on accessibility—to showcase their accomplishments—and to inspire other youth.

The bottom line is our government is eager to get your input. So I’m asking you and all Canadians to join the conversation.

You can participate online or find a session near you at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

We need your ideas, your insight and your advice.

Together we will reshape the legislative landscape for Canadians with disabilities.

Together we will make history!

-30-

The Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières August 2016 newsletter

Table of contents

  1. The revised discussion paper
  2. The Federal Government’s Public Consultation
  3. Media coverage
  4. A meeting at the Canadian Transportation Agency
  5. Our list of supporting organizations
  6. How to keep in touch with Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières
  7. Summary of the August 19, 2016 Revised Discussion Paper on What the Canadians with Disabilities Act Could Include by David Lepofsky

1. Download, Widely Circulate and Use the Revised Discussion Paper on What the Canadians with Disabilities Act Could Include

A new and improved Discussion Paper on what the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act could include, is now available for you to download and read. Written by Barrier-Free Canada co-chair David Lepofsky, this revised Discussion Paper uses the excellent feedback that we received from our supporters who reviewed the earlier draft Discussion Paper that we made public for your feedback this past March. It also addresses key points in the Federal Government’s new Discussion Guide on this proposed legislation. We give you a link to the Federal Government’s helpful Discussion Guide later in this Newsletter.

Happily, this revised Discussion Paper is also shorter than the earlier version. The March version was 48 pages. This revised version is 31 pages of text, and then 2 pages of endnotes.

To download in MS Word format the August 19, 2016 Discussion Paper on what the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act could include, by Barrier-Free Canada co-chair David Lepofsky click here: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/august-19-2016-discussion-paper-on-a-Canadians-with-Disabilities-Act-by-David-Lepofsky.docx

Please circulate this Discussion Paper widely. Use it as much as you want when preparing your feedback to the Federal Government on the proposed Canadians with Disabilities Act during its consultation this fall-winter. Post it on your organization’s website, if you wish. It is there for you to use.

At the end of this Newsletter, we set out a summary of this revised Discussion Paper. In the next weeks, we will be making available for you, additional short, easy-to-use materials, including a list of highlights from the Discussion Paper in plain language.

We extend a hearty thank you to all of those who took the time to look over the earlier draft Discussion Paper and to send us their helpful feedback.

2. The Federal Government’s Public Consultation on the Promised Canadians with Disabilities Act is Now Underway!

Here’s more good news. We again congratulate the Federal Government for launching its public consultation across Canada on what the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act should include. To read the Federal Government’s new Discussion Guide for its consultation, which includes helpful questions you can answer for the Federal Government, visit http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/consultations/disability/legislation/index.page

To keep up to date on the Federal Government’s announcements on the Canadians with Disabilities Act, visit http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1089179

Over the period from September 2016 to February 2017., the Federal Government will be holding public forums across Canada to receive your input on what the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act should include. We will circulate more on these events, once the details are announced.

Earlier this summer, the Federal Government invited community organizations to apply for grants to conduct their own meetings, forums and other efforts, to gather input and feedback for the Federal Government on what the Canadians with Disabilities Act should include. As an unincorporated grassroots community coalition, Barrier-Free Canada did not apply for any of that grant money. However we have offered to partner with any community organization or group of organizations that seeks such grants, to assist in any way we can. We have partnered with more than one applicant for the federal funding. The Federal Government’s rules permit us to do this. We are happy to help anyone and everyone as much as we can.

On Tuesday, August 23, 2016, Disabilities Minister Carla Qualtrough will be making an announcement regarding the Canadians with Disabilities Act in Whitby Ontario. It is possible that this may include announcements about who will be getting those grants. We don’t know. We have accepted the Federal Government’s invitation to attend this event, and will report on it in an upcoming Newsletter.

Stay tuned this fall as we provide you with tips and tools to make it easy for you to have your say in the Federal Government’s upcoming consultations.

3. Media Coverage this Summer, Boosted by Social Media, Shows Why Canada Needs a Strong, Effectively Enforced Canadians with Disabilities Act

The best way to bring our message to the public, through the mainstream media and through social media, is by focusing attention on individual examples of unfair barriers that people with disabilities daily face in Canada, which a strong Canadians with Disabilities Act could address. We are deeply indebted when individuals bring their stories forward directly to the media, and to the public through social media.

Over the past weeks, a stunning example got a great deal of media attention. It helped highlight the need for the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act.

Mr. Tim Rose recently booked a flight for this September, from Toronto to Cleveland, Ohio with Air Canada. He took the same flight last year. Air Canada had no problem at that earlier time, fitting his wheelchair into the plane’s compartment for passenger luggage. However, this time around, Air Canada has said that it cannot accommodate Mr. Rose and his wheelchair, because its smaller plane cannot transport his wheelchair.

Mr. Rose took to the mainstream media and social media. His story got covered in print, TV and radio, including call-in radio programs. At one point, this story was being discussed on two different Toronto radio stations’ call-in programs at the same time.

Below we set out the August 2, 2016 Toronto Star article on this story. It is typical of the reporting on this subject.

Originally posted at https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/08/02/air-canadas-wheelchair-policy-doesnt-fly-says-man-denied-direct-flight.html

Air Canada’s wheelchair policy doesn’t fly, says man denied direct flight

Toronto man with cerebral palsy says he was told his wheelchair was too big to fit in the luggage area of plane.

Tim Rose says he was denied a direct flight to Cleveland on Air Canada because the airline told him they can’t accommodate his wheelchair on the plane that flies that route. (PHOTO: Rene Johnston / Toronto Star)

By JESSICA BOTELHO-URBANSKI

Staff Reporter

Tues., Aug. 2, 2016

A Toronto man says that being denied a direct flight by Air Canada because his power wheelchair won’t fit in the plane is the most blatant discrimination he has faced in the 31 years he’s been using a chair. That he was able to take the same flight to Cleveland only 14 months ago, without issue, is only adding to Tim Rose’s ire.

He has cerebral palsy and has used a power wheelchair his entire life, living and working on three continents and taking upwards of 40 to 50 flights.

“I’ve never ever been treated like this by an airline,” Rose told the Star Monday.

On Sunday, Air Canada told him it wouldn’t be able to accommodate him on a direct flight from Toronto to Cleveland on Sept. 19, because the wheelchair is too tall for the plane the airline now flies on that route.

Rose said the wheelchair is just over 91 centimetres tall. Air Canada told him that is nearly 13 centimetres too high to fit in its luggage area.

It’s an “unfortunate circumstance” due to the use of a smaller aircraft than Air Canada had used in previous years, a spokesman told the Star.

“It has a cargo hold door smaller than the height of the chair the customer uses and we are working to see if there is a way to safely carry this particular sized wheelchair without causing damage,” said Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Air Canada, in an emailed statement.

Fitzpatrick said the airline offered to accommodate Rose on another flight with an additional stop, or to fly his wheelchair on a separate flight from his, though Rose said he is “99.9 per cent sure they never said this to me.”

If they can’t come to an agreement, Fitzpatrick said Air Canada will offer Rose a full refund.

There aren’t any other airlines offering direct flights from Toronto to Cleveland, Rose said. And because he has a history of medical issues and a service dog to consider, he can’t use flights that are indirect.

“I flew to the same destination 14 months ago and so there are clearly many planes in the Air Canada fleet that can accommodate my wheelchair. I find it really hard to believe that a multi-billion dollar airline with six weeks’ notice … cannot get a different plane for the day that I go to Cleveland or the day that I get back,” Rose said.

Rose, who is the founder of Disability Positive Consulting, is trying to go to Cleveland with his wife to deliver a speech on disability rights — a detail he called “ironic.”

Air Canada’s online policy states they can carry mobility aids as carry-on items or checked baggage “subject to space availability.” If there isn’t space on a plane, Air Canada says it will “arrange for alternate transportation for your large mobility aid when travelling on an aircraft with less than 60 seats.”

After three phone calls with different staff members, Rose took to social media to express his concerns.

“The lady who I called at (Air Canada’s) medical desk said, ‘It’s just like a piece of luggage. If the luggage doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit.’ She’s essentially saying that I am a piece of luggage because the wheelchair is a part of me,” said Rose.

“I’m going to set the record straight once and for all: I am not a piece of oversized luggage and -neither are my legs,” he said in a video blog posted to Facebook.

Usually when he flies, Rose said he gets transferred from his wheelchair to a chair provided by the airline. Then his personal wheelchair is stowed in the luggage cabin for the duration of the flight.

His wife, Natalie Rose, previously worked as an occupational therapist and said most of the people she’s met who use a wheelchair have at least one negative story involving air travel.

“To be honest, media and coverage is the thing that fixes most disability issues,” Natalie Rose said.

David Lepofsky, chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, said people with disabilities face travel barriers that require systemic fixes.

“Issues with air travel in this country, they’re not limited to Air Canada, but they do recur,” he said. “It is no news to airlines that people with disabilities travel and you need to have airplanes that can accommodate them. They didn’t invent people with disabilities last week.”

Lepofsky pointed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promise during the last federal election to produce a Canadians with Disabilities Act.

It’s a task Trudeau laid out in Minister Carla Qualtrough’s mandate letter — she’s the minister responsible for sport and persons with disabilities — and one Lepofsky plans to help with.

Public consultations for assistance in crafting the Canadians with Disabilities Act will occur in the fall, Lepofsky said.

“It shouldn’t be for an individual to have to take on the airline when they book a flight, not knowing whether they’re going to be able to get on it or not,” Lepofsky added. “When you buy a ticket, you should be able to count on the fact that you can get on the plane.”

We encourage one and all to bring their barriers stories to the media and to social media. Tim Rose creatively invented a new Twitter hashtag for his story. It has gotten a good amount of action on Twitter. It is: #wheelchairsarentluggage

As well, in its Ontario-based advocacy efforts, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance created the hashtag #AODAfail for examples of barriers in that province. To learn more about the AODA Alliance’s “Picture Our Barriers” campaign, visit www.aodaalliance.org/2016

4. A meeting at the Canadian Transportation Agency

In June, Donna Jodhan attended a face to face meeting hosted by the Canadian Transportation Agency on behalf of Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières. The meeting was held in Gatineau Québec and there were attendees from several organizations of and for persons with disabilities along with reps from some of Canada’s major airlines, Via Rail, and other provincial agencies and organizations.

Some of the issues that dominated this meeting included:

Challenges presently facing the CTA’s complaints system, how could the CTA improve accessibility to its system and its websites, How to enable the CTA to mandate rulings that would include both systemic solutions as well as damages for such things as hurt feelings, and how to develop closer relationships with other agencies such as the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

For the most part, the CTA was interested in listening to feedback on its white paper for reform and several of the participants at this meeting expressed deep concerns over the CTA’s present complaint system and made suggestions as to how it could be changed so that complainants would have a greater opportunity to receive greater satisfaction both systemically as well as monetarily.

The meeting was chaired by Scott Stryner, CEO of the CTA and there were several CTA staff in attendance.

Via Rail gave a presentation at the end of the CTA’s meeting.

5. Our list of supporting organizations

See who presently supports Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières.

You can join this illustrious group by visiting www.barrierfreecanada.org.

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 along with the date on which they signed on.

April 02 2015
Irene Lambert
(Past president, program director)
The Low Vision Self-Help Association
West Island, Montreal Quebec

June 01 2015
Kim White, Manager of Strategic Initiatives
On behalf of Kelly White, Executive Director
The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – NL

June 10 2015
Penny Leclair
President, Guide Dog Users of Canada (GDUC)

June 12 2015
Louise Gillis
National President, Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

June 15 2015
Dar Wournell
National President, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC)

June 16 2015
Shane Holten
President, SPH Planning & Consulting Limited

June 21 2015
The Rick Hansen Foundation

June 22 2015
Lucio D’Intino
President, Quebec Federation of the blind

June 26 2015
Barbara Collier Reg. CASLPO. F. ISAAC
Executive Director, Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)

July 14 2015
Karen Bell
Manager Policy & Stakeholder Relations
Community Living Toronto

July 21 2015
Roxanna Spruyt Rocks
Chief Executive Officer
Deaf Blind Ontario Services

July 31 2015
Jerry Dias
Unifor National President

September 11 2015
Teren Clarke, BN, MM (Mgmt)
Chief Executive Officer
Spinal Cord Injury Alberta

September 13 2015
Luke Anderson
StopGap Foundation

September 15 2015
Pat Seed
Chair Person
Citizens with Disabilities Ontario

September 22 2015
Teren Clarke CEO
Spinal Cord Injury Alberta

October 1 2015
Dave Starrett, President and CEO
Easter Seals Canada

October 25 2015
R. E. (Rob) Sleath
Chair, ASIC

November 19 2015
Bill Cowie
Chief, Every Canadian Counts Coalition

March 9, 2016
Québec Accessible
Melanie Benard
Co-founder

April 18, 2016
Michael Ciccone
Executive Director Centre for Equitable Library Access / Centre d’accès équitable aux bibliothèques

May 13 2016
Rytch Newmiller
Accessibility Services Manager
Deaf & Hear Alberta

6. How to Keep in Touch with Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières

We always like to hear from you. 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

Follow us on Twitter @barrierfreeca

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

Donna Jodhan and David Lepofsky, Co-Chairs of Barrier-Free Canada

7. Summary of the August 19, 2016 Revised Discussion Paper on What the Canadians with Disabilities Act Could Include by David Lepofsky

(Note: “CDA” here refers to the Canadians with Disabilities Act)

  1. The CDA’s purpose should be to ensure that, as far as Parliament can promote this, the Federal Government will lead Canada to become fully accessible to people with disabilities by a deadline that the law sets. It should effectively implement disability equality rights in the Charter of Rights, the Canada Human Rights Act, and the CRPD, without individuals having to battle barriers one at a time, one organization at a time, via human rights/Charter claims. A goal of merely “improving accessibility” is far too weak.
  2. The CDA should ensure that all federally-regulated organizations, including all recipients of federal funds, provide accessible goods, services, facilities and employment. It should establish clear, broad, inclusive definitions of “disability” and “barrier”.
  3. The CDA should put the Government of Canada in charge of leading Canada to full accessibility. It should create an independent Canada Accessibility Commissioner, reporting to Parliament, to lead the Act’s implementation/enforcement, and to be Canada’s national accessibility champion. The CDA should ensure its effective enforcement.
  4. The CDA should require the Federal Government to create all the mandatory, enforceable accessibility standards needed to lead Canada to full accessibility. It should create a prompt, effective, open process for developing and reviewing accessibility standards.
  5. The CDA should ensure strong centralized action on disability accessibility among Federal Regulatory Agencies.
  6. The CDA should ensure that the strongest accessibility law always prevails, and that no Federal laws authorize or require disability barriers.
  7. The CDA should ensure that public money is never used to create, perpetuate or exacerbate accessibility barriers.
  8. The CDA should ensure a fully accessible Federal Government, accessibility of all courts within federal authority, and federal elections that are fully accessible to voters and candidates with disabilities.
  9. The CDA should mandate a national strategy for expanding international trade in Canadian accessible goods, services and facilities.
  10. The CDA should require interim measures to promote accessibility pending development of CDA accessibility standards.
  11. The CDA should ensure that efforts at educating the public on accessibility don’t delay CDA implementation and enforcement.
  12. The CDA should mandate the Federal Government to assist and encourage Provincial and Territorial Governments to enact comprehensive accessibility legislation. It should mandate the Federal Government to create national model Accessibility Standards which provinces, territories and other organizations can adopt.
  13. The CDA should set timelines for Federal Government CDA implementation/enforcement, and require periodic Independent Reviews of progress.