First Quarter

Dear Supporter: We would like to start by once again thanking you for your continuing 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.

2019 continues to be a hectic time for BFC-CSB and the following is a summary of activities for the first quarter.

We were busily engaged in attending tele conferences, continuing to work on our website, and keeping up with our social media initiatives.

We would like to thank the following persons for having contributed to the development of our website.

Frances Moffat, the faculty of inclusive design at Seneca College, Professor Donna Saccutelli of Seneca College, and Jessica Cooper.

We would also like to thank our director Charlene Young and Albert Ruel of the Canadian Council of the Blind for their continuing assistance with our Facebook group (BFC Advocating for Change.)

In addition, our board continued its quest to add 3 new board members to our team and very soon we will be posting an announcement for interested persons to submit applications.

Summary of Activities

January 10 2019

Robin East and Donna Jodhan participated in a tele conference with officials from the office of Minister Qualtrough and at this meeting BFC-CSB expressed their continuing desire to be a part of Government sponsored roundtables as well as to be part of any other Governmental committees. We especially expressed our desire to be part of Governmental initiatives after Bill C81 has been passed.

February 22 2019

We attended a webinar sponsored by the HRSD that included the following content.

– Overview of the Government of Canada’s regulatory development process;
– Introduction to the making of technical regulations under the proposed Accessible Canada Act; and
– Opportunity to have your questions answered.

A summary of this webinar has been posted to our news page. Please see below.

March 11 2019

We attended a tele conference hosted by the Canadian Transportation Agency where they updated us on progress of their regulations. An update of this has been posted to our news page.

March 20 2019

Donna Jodhan had a tele chat with Senator Jim Munson where she reiterated Barrier free Canada’s continuing commitment to work with Government on Bill c81. She also informed the Senator that Barrier Free Canada has submitted a request to appear as a witness in front of the Senate committee on Bill C81.

March 21 2019

We attended a webinar hosted by the HRDC where the topic was Administrative Penalties. We will post a summary to our news page as soon as it becomes available.

March 28 2019

We attended another HRDC sponsored webinar where the topic was Accessibility plans, feedback processes and progress reports. We will post a summary to our news page as soon as it becomes available.

April 01 2019

We also attended a CHRC sponsored update where the subject of the tele conference was ‘Working Together to Advance Human Rights for Blind Canadians’.

The agenda included:

Overview and update on CHRC/stakeholder workshop on the complaints system
Accessibility Legislation (CHRC planning for new responsibilities, coordination with other bodies, UN CRPD National Monitoring Mechanism).
We will be posting updates for this meeting to our news page as soon as they become available.

Website Activities

We are very pleased with the website activities that we have been undertaking since February of this year and in order to make our website more appealing we have decided to include described images for each of the posts to our news page going back to October 2018. We thank Aaron Di Blasi of Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd. at for helping us to develop and implement this initiative.

The BFC-CSB Article Submissions Page

We are pleased to announce the launch of our article submissions page and we invite you to visit We would love to hear from you and to receive your submissions and will be happy to post as soon as it has been approved.

The following is a list of articles that have been posted to our article submissions page.

A.) Accessibility Advocacy Report
By: Julia Oliver

B.) Three Simple Questions: Digital Accessibility in 21st Century Canada
By: Derek Wilson

C.) The Experiences of Blind Canadians in the Federal Public Service
By: Kimberly Dhaliwal

Summary of News Items Posted to our Website

The following is a list of news items that have been posted to our website from January 2019 to the end of March 2019.

January 2019

The Barrier free Canada – Canada sans barriers December 2018 Newsletter

Bill C-81 Recommended Changes for the Senate

Happy Holidays

Joyeuses Fêtes

Holiday message from Minister Qualtrough

Message des fêtes de la part de la ministre Qualtrough

March 2019

Barrier Free Canada’s Speaking Notes for October 18th 2018

Roadblocks On The Career Path: Challenges Faced by Persons with Disabilities in Employment

Accessible Canada Bill. The Second Reading of the Accessible Act in the Senate

World Blind Union’s statement on International Women’s Day

Stakeholder Engagement Webinar. Part I: The Regulatory Development Process for the Government of Canada. Part II: Making Technical Regulations Under the Accessible Canada Act. Winter 2019.
Accessibility Secretariat, ISSD, ESDC.

Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 153, Number 10: Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations

Bill C-81: Senate Second Reading Debate

Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières Response to Calls for Comments from the Canadian Transportation Agency Regarding the Publication of Their Proposed Accessible Transportation for Persons With Disabilities Regulations Released March 9, 2019

Social Media Initiatives
We continue to develop our BFC Advocating 4 Change Facebook Group and as of now we have about 280 active members. This group was formed in early December 2018.
Our Facebook page has over 800 likes and our page has over 3,000 shares. We also have over 2,200 followers to our Twitter account @barrierfreeca.

Contact Information

To contact us via email please send your inquiries to
Share this email address with anyone who may want to receive updates and to join our growing list of yes supporters.
Visit us at
Follow us on Twitter @barrierfreeca
Follow us on Facebook at
Follow our bfc advocating for change group on twitter @bfcadvocating4change
And join, contribute to, and follow our Facebook group at BFC Advocating for Change.

Donna J. Jodhan

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