The Barrier Free Canada April 2015 newsletter

Table of contents
1. Meet our founding members
2. See who is now supporting us
3. Some proposed initiatives.
4. Contact us.

Meet our founding members

Donna Jodhan chair person.
David Lepofsky of the AODA Alliance.
Jutta Treviranus of the inclusive design research centre.
Marc Workman of CNIB.
Steven Christianson of March of Dimes Canada.
Robert Pearson of Accessible Media Inc.

Our founding supporting organizations include:
CNIB, March of Dimes Canada, the MS Society, and the Canadian Hearing Society. Accessible Media Inc has now joined our family!

See who is now supporting us!

We are delighted to report that for the month of April we obtained the support of two very high profile ladies; and they are both recipients of the Order of Canada.

Bonnie Sherr Klein is a documentary filmmaker, author, and disability rights activist. Her award-winning films include Not a Love Story: a Film about Pornography, and SHAMELESS: The ART of Disability. She is co-founder of KickstArt!, a Vancouver-based festival celebrating disability arts and culture. Bonnie Sherr Klein is an Officer of the Order of Canada. We welcome Bonnie to our family of supporters!

Below is Bonnie’s personal letter of support:
Dear Donna,
I have recently returned from much travel in Canada, the United States, and abroad, and was once again dismayed at our lack of standards across Canada, and our need for a Canadians with Disabilities
Act. I was therefore thrilled to hear on my return about the Barrier Free Canada Committee, and the coalition you are already forming with other justice-seeking groups.
What a relief when travelling in the US to know I can `assume’ access in public spaces, transportation, etc. And what a disappointment when travelling in Toronto and Ottawa to find that despite the ODA,
busses and trolleys (Toronto) and restaurants (everywhere, including in the downtown heart of the Capitol!) may not be accessible. Of course physical access is but one of the many aspects of access and
inclusion that we need to require. And I say `need’ not only in terms of all the people presently living with disabilities, but the many more people as our population ages.
Canada is a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and it is long past time to make that commitment real. I look forward to working with you as our circle widens to include
other constituencies, allies, Canadian citizens and politicians to achieve a timely, enforceable Canadians with Disabilities Act. Bonnie Sherr Klein, OC

Catherine Frazee is Professor Emerita at the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University, and former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Catherine Frazee is an Officer of the Order of Canada for her advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities, and an advocate for social justice. She is a nature lover, justice seeker and armchair philosopher.
We welcome Catherine to our family of supporters!

Meet Irene Lambert and the Low Vision Self-Help Association; Located in West Island, Montreal Québec
Irene and her group have been active since 1988 and we are delighted to welcome them to our family of supporters. Below is Irene’s email to us:
Dear Ms. Jodhan,
It is my pleasure to advise you that
The Low Vision Self-Help Association
was pleased to learn of your Barrier Free Committee and voted unanimously to endorse the concepts and principles.
The Low Vision Self-Help Association has been continuously active since 1988 and is located in West Island, Montreal Quebec. Best regards,
Irene Lambert
(past president, program director)

Some proposed initiatives

We are now in the process of formulazing some plans leading up to the looming Federal Election. To this end, we are getting ready to increase our social media presence on Facebook and on Twitter and we are presently consulting with some experts to help push this along.

We are exploring ways to reach more people both on and off the Internet and we will be disclosing these to you as soon as we decide on some strategies. Meanwhile, we continue to toil away at promoting our website. Why not visit us and see for yourself?

Spread the word and share with others. Encourage them to come aboard and support us and in so doing they will help us to greater publicize our cause.

It does not cost anything; just a few minutes of your time to tell and share.

Contact us
You may contact us via email at and someone will respond to you as soon as possible.

With best wishes
The Barrier Free Canada Committee