Dear Friends,

Barrier Free Canada-Canada Sans Barriers would like to thank you once again for your continued support and words of encouragement for it is only with you and through you that we as an organization can continue to thrive and to encourage others to speak up, speak out, and engage each other in meaningful discussion and constructive criticisms, feedback, and suggestions. Barrier Free Canada also wishes you the best during this time, and we hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy.

A Message FromOour President – Donna Jodhan

Dear Friends:

As we continue to battle the Covid virus with all of its unexpectedness and uncertainty, I can only hope and pray that everyone is staying safe.

These are times when we not only need to be safe but we also need to ensure that our rights are being protected, recognized, and legitimized and for persons with disabilities it is even more paramount for us to be watchful and to speak up and speak out if we believe that our concerns are not being heard or if our rights are either being deliberately or inadvertently trampled upon.

I continue to express my deep disappointment and concern that the Canadian government has not yet found ways to address some of the major concerns and challenges of Canadians with disabilities. We as a community continue to be frustrated by the lack of financial support to help us cope with the Covid challenges.

As we watch helplessly, Parliamentarians continue to treat our needs and concerns in a cavalier way. It appears that we have now become political pucks in their political games and the $600 that the government promised to our community is now just a blip on the radar rather than being a reality.

Canadians with disabilities can only cope as best as possible depending on family and friends to help them meet their daily needs.

Special needs students require assistance to help them cope with the new trend of online courses.

Our community can only take advantage of those apps that are being developed to battle the Covid virus if they are accessible and navigable.

Many Canadians with disabilities have lost their home care assistance because of the Covid virus and now they are being forced to either find other ways to cope or to do without.

In short; Canadians with disabilities need immediate assistance to be able to keep up technologically, health wise, and financially.

As an organization, we continue to wait and prepare for when the government is going to start work on post Accessible Canada Act initiatives. In addition, we continue to participate in the various Federal government departmental collaborations and discussions.

We are also anxious to work with Minister Qualtrough’s Covid advisory committee. In the meantime, we are taking our own steps to help make a difference and we are doing this by reaching out to both organizations and individuals alike.

We are in the process of enhancing the BFC-CSB board to include a greater representation of persons with disabilities from across Canada. To this end, we have posted a call for additional board directors and thus far we have received several submissions. We hope to be in a position to announce the names of our new board members some time towards the end of August.

Moving forward, we will continue to post relevant articles to our website and to our bfc advocating for change Facebook group and we will also continue to engage others in meaningful discussions to push the Government to take action on fulfilling the needs and requirements of Canadians with disabilities.

Our social media activities have increased and our social media followers continue to trend upwards.

I wish you a safe rest of the summer.

Stay safe and please do not hesitate to contact me with your questions by sending an email to either or to

Yours sincerely,
Donna Jodhan
President, Barrier Free Canada-Canada Sans Barrieres

Article Submissions and Excerpts

The ADA and Ableism: Why Laws Don’t Guarantee Accessibility
By Jenny Steinmetz | July 17, 2020
A couple of quotes from this article stand out for me, and outline why we in Canada must remain ever vigilant as the Accessible Canada Act is developed into a strong and meaningful piece of legislation. Let us think about the things we want to be able to say about it 30 years from now and work toward making it so.

Quoted text:

“People with disabilities (PWD) still face a lack of access, acceptance and awareness even thirty years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) My goal with this article is to educate both people with disabilities (PWD) and abled people (ableds) about systemic ableism and the challenges faced by PWD, despite disability rights laws designed to ensure equality. The tone may be a bit academic and it isn’t a quick read. However, my hope is this article will provide some insight into the issues involved and act as a catalyst for difficult conversations about how each of us contributes to ableism in our society and how each of us can work to dismantle it.”

Often when I share about an accessibility issue or other discrimination, I am met with comments such as, “But the ADA takes care of that,” or “They have to comply with the ADA. Make them provide what you need.” If only it were that simple.

July 26, 2020, marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While a great deal has changed in our society thanks to the ADA, there is still a very long way to go before PWD have the same access to spaces and activities as ableds.”

Submitted by Albert A. Ruel

Living in Exciting Times by John Panarese, ACSP, ACiT, Director:

Important Articles Related to Barriers
I’m An Angry Disabled Woman. Here’s What I Want You To Know About Inaccessibility

Jack Knox: Self-appointed behaviour judges need to see the real picture:

Coronavirus: Albertans who are blind, visually impaired adjust to limited touch restrictions:

Deaf and hard of hearing Albertans highlight new challenges during COVID-19 pandemic:


How people with vision loss are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Doctors Issuing Unlawful ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders for Disabled Covid Patients ‘Outrageous’:

News Items Posted to our Website:
The following is a list of news items that have been posted to our website from April to July, 2020:

April 2020

Let Us Come Together and Stand Together:

Hard Lessons for Us All:

Statement by Minister Qualtrough on Canada’s Disability-Inclusive Approach to its COVID-19 Pandemic Response:

Barrier Free Canada – Canada Sans Barriers Congratulates the Government on The Formation of An Advisory Group to Take Action on Issues Relating to Canadians With Disabilities:

The Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barriers March 2020 Newsletter – First Quarter:

May, 2020

Survey Report from The Canadian Council of the Blind: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Canadians Who Are Blind, Deaf-Blind, and Partially Sighted:

The Missing Piece to Our Future:

Testing! Testing!:

June 2020

COVID-19: Disability and Communication. Pandemic Highlights Existing Barriers for Those with Communication Disabilities:

A True Dilemma of “Social” and “Physical” Distancing. By: Michelle Buckland, B.A.A. Passionate Learning Consultant:

Barrier Free Canada / Canada sans Barrieres (BFC/CSB) Seeking Directors for Its Board Deadline To Apply: July 17th 2020:

July 2020

Travelling With Masks Makes Journeys More Difficult for Those With Hearing Loss:

Canadian Human Rights Commission 2019 Annual Report / Rapport Annuel 2019:

Canadian Transportation Agency Reports Some Provisions of the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations Will Be Delayed:

Social Media Initiatives

The BFC Advocating for Change Facebook group continues to have ongoing active chatter and posts. We have a total of 328 members. We have also been continuing to use twitter for both @BFC4Change and @Barrierfreeca to tweet and retweet relevant articles and messages.

Question of the Quarter

Please help us to better understand your concerns/challenges by answering the question below.

You may choose the option that best reflects your concern or rank each answer.

Please send your response to and we’ll publish the results at the end of August and include them in our third quarter newsletter.

Which do you find most challenging to deal with during this time of the Covid virus?

A. Social distancing.
B. Self isolation.
C. Difficulty in finding up-to-date information online.
D. Online grocery shopping.

Contact Us

If you are a person who would like to stay up-to-date in the disability world, we would like to invite you to contact us in one of the following ways:

Twitter: @barrierfreeca or @bfc4change

Barrier Free Canada – Canada Sans Barriers Executive
Donna Jodhan – President, Ontario
Albert Ruel – Vice President, British Columbia
Anthony Tibbs – Secretary/Treasurer, Quebec
Charlene Young – Director, Saskatchewan
Louise Gillis – Director, Nova Scotia
Michelle Buckland – Director, Ontario

In keeping with our mission to ensure that the voices of Canadians with disabilities are heard, we recently circulated a call for additional board directors to join Barrier Free Canada. The response was overwhelming and we look forward to interviewing perspective directors. We will announce our new board members in our third quarter next newsletter.

Respectfully submitted by:
Charlene Young and Albert Ruel

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