ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE
Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrières
A Non-Partisan Campaign for a Barrier-Free Canada for All Persons with Disabilities
The September 2016 Newsletter
September 1, 2016
Table of contents
1. Recent Breaking Events in the Campaign for a Strong, Effectively Enforced Canadians with Disabilities Act
2. Some Reflections on These Recent Events
3. The Toronto Star August 28, 2016 article
4. Canadians with disabilities: By the numbers
5. Government of Canada's August 23, 2016 Announcement of Public Consultation Forums Across Ontario
6. See who presently supports Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières
7. How to Contact Barrier Free Canada - Canada sans Barrières
* Recent Breaking Events in the Campaign for a Strong, Effectively Enforced Canadians with Disabilities Act
The Federal Government has now announced the dates for the public forums it will host over the fall and winter to gather input from the public on what the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act should include. We set out the announcement below. The dates and locations are as follows, which we re-organized into their chronological order:
Whitehorse, Yukon / September 22, 2016.
Iqaluit, Nunavut / September 24, 2016
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories / September 26, 2016
Regina, Saskatchewan / September 28, 2016
Winnipeg, Manitoba / October 3, 2016
Edmonton, Alberta / October 7, 2016
Thunder Bay, Ontario / October 12, 2016
Calgary, Alberta / October 13, 2016
Moncton, New Brunswick / October 20, 2016
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador / November 3, 2016
Québec, Quebec / November 10, 2016
Victoria, British Columbia / November 7, 2016
Montréal, Quebec / November 16, 2016
Vancouver, British Columbia / November 26, 2016
Ottawa, Ontario / November 30, 2016
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016
Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016
Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017
The date for the thunder Bay Ontario forum, October 12, 2016, is also Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. We have brought this to the Federal Government's attention in order that an alternate date can be found. These forums should not be held on the major holidays of any faith community.
The Federal Government has also announced that on November 1, 2016 it will hold a National Youth Forum on accessibility to get input on this legislation. We encourage anyone who is eligible and interested to apply to the Federal Government to take part in this event by the September 15, 2016 2016 deadline.
Barrier-Free Canada is hard at work preparing an Action Kit for you. It will give tips and ideas for anyone interested in taking part in these public forums. Please stay tuned!
In the meantime, if you want to read a detailed discussion of what the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act should include, read you should take a look at the revised Discussion Paper on this topic which Barrier-Free Canada co-chair David Lepofsky has written. You can download the revised Discussion Paper on the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act.
or by sending an email to us at email@example.com
We continue to welcome your ideas and feedback on what you would like to see this legislation include.
Below we also set out an excellent article in the august 28, 2016 edition of the Toronto Star on the Federal Government's recent announcement of its Canadians with Disabilities Act consultation. In that article, the Toronto Star quotes Barrier-Free Canada as responding positively to this announcement.
We also set out the speaking notes for the speech that National Disabilities Minister Carla Qualtrough at her August 23, 2016 media event at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, which had Barrier-Free Canada representation among the large audience in attendance.
* Some Reflections on These Recent Events
This is an exciting time in Canada for anyone concerned about making Canada an accessible place for people with disabilities. We commend the Federal Government for planning a nationwide public consultation on the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act. We commend Minister Qualtrough for demonstrating so much energy and enthusiasm in connection with this legislation.
It was especially encouraging that in her speech at the Abilities Centre on August 23, 2016, Minister Qualtrough commendably recognized the core reason why Canada needs a strong, effectively enforced Canadians with Disabilities Act. She said:
"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."
It is great that the new minister is thinking about big, bold action, and not mere tinkering. At the same time, it is important for us to offer reflections on two points that arose from these events. First, the Federal Government has at several points said that the goal of this legislation is to "improve accessibility". It is important for us to tell the Federal Government during the upcoming public consultation process that this is too weak a goal. The goal should be to make Canada accessible to people with disabilities. If one single ramp is installed somewhere in Canada, we have "improved" accessibility.
Second, in the Toronto Star's August 28, 2016 article, set out below, Minister Qualtrough is quoted as considering the possibility of establishing one uniform legal definition for "disability" to be used across the Federal Government. The article states:
"One of Qualtrough's main goals is to develop a common definition for disability that would apply to all federal laws and regulations and eventually be adopted by the provinces.
"Let's try and harmonize our approach to disability across the federal government. That would be huge for Canadians.""
This is the first we had heard of this idea from the Federal Government. Harmonizing programs across Canada has some real advantages for people with disabilities. however, the idea of creating a single definition of "disability" for all legislation and all programs, federal or provincial, has very serious problems and should not be pursued.
There is no one " right" all-purpose definition of "disability" for all laws and all Government programs across Canada. The definition of "disability" needs to vary, depending on the law or program where it is used.
For example, a broad definition of "disability" is desirable in a human rights code, or in an accessibility law like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or the Accessibility for Manitobans Act. A serious problem with the Americans with Disabilities Act that we have striven to avoid in Canada has been the use of a "disability" definition that was too narrow.
On the other hand, it is desirable to use a narrower definition of "disability" in an employment equity law or program. If a very broad definition of "disability" were used in an employment equity law, then employers could argue that they have already met any targets to be expected of them, for hiring people with disabilities, because they have employees who wear glasses or who are colour blind. By that approach, people with more substantial disabilities, who face huge unemployment rates, may end up still being left out in the cold.
A leading book on this issue is "Physical Disability and Social Policy" by Jerome Bickenbach, University of Toronto Press 1993.
Therefore, the Minister's commendable desire to harmonize programs and laws on disability should be pursued, but not by trying to come up with a "one size fits all" definition of "disability". That can only work to the disadvantage of people with disabilities. In saying this, we don't want to discourage the minister from a desire to go bold in her efforts.
* The Toronto Star August 28, 2016 article
Blind MP to draft national accessibility law; Human rights lawyer and Paralympian seeks input in crafting new legislation
Graphic: Carla Qualtrough, minister responsible for Canadians with disabilities, meets with Catherine Partlow, a gold medal Special Olympian. Andrew Lahodynskyj/Toronto Star
Carla Qualtrough, who is legally blind, grew up learning alternative ways of doing almost everything.
"When I was growing up, it was called accommodation. But today it's called innovation," said Qualtrough, 44, Canada's federal minister of sport and first-ever minister responsible for people with disabilities.
The human rights lawyer and former Paralympics and world championship swimming medallist is helping Canadians think about disability in a new way as she crafts the country's first national accessibility legislation.
Under the current legal framework, people with disabilities can only defend their rights once they have been ignored, a process the minister called "exhausting, expensive and unfairly burdensome."
"When systems and spaces are accessible, every Canadian wins. Barriers are bad for business," Qualtrough told a gathering last week at Whitby's Abilities Centre, where she announced a series of national round-tables and town hall meetings this fall.
The government has received more than 700 submissions since online consultations on the new law began in July.
Canadians have until February 2017 to give their views.
Qualtrough will report on the consultations next spring and said she hopes to have legislation ready to introduce in the Commons by the end of 2017 or early 2018.
The MP from Delta, B.C., said she was thrilled when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave her the double-barrelled portfolio - encompassing her two life passions - and told her to "go out and change the world."
"No pressure," she quipped. "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."
Just as Ginger Rogers once noted how she had to perform the same artistic feats as her dance partner, Fred Astaire - but backwards and in high heels - people with disabilities are masters of innovation, Qualtrough said.
"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," she said.
"Development of creative products, ways of doing things and - ultimately - a different way of looking at the world" are key to Canada's quest for accessibility, she added.
Qualtrough, who has worked in human rights at both the federal and provincial levels and served as staff for several Liberal cabinet ministers on Parliament Hill between 1999 and 2005, knows her way around Ottawa.
But the busy mother of four, including two teenage stepchildren and her own 6- and 3-year-old kids, admits she hesitated when asked to run for office a year and a half ago.
She's glad she took the plunge.
"It's a very interesting time in the evolution of disability rights," she said.
For the government to create a cabinet position and to give it to someone with a disability, "it's a big deal."
Toronto lawyer David Lepofsky, co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada, which called for a national law during last year's election, is also excited about Qualtrough's appointment and her mandate.
"It's great that the federal government is going to do a national consultation on this to hear from people," said Lepofsky, who is also blind.
Canada is late to the table when it comes to accessibility legislation. The United States has had the Americans with Disabilities Act since 1990. The landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was introduced in 2005, with a goal of making the province fully accessible by 2025.
Ontario's experience will help guide the federal law, Qualtrough said. But she will also be looking at how other provinces and countries legislate accessibility and learn from their successes and shortcomings.
One of Qualtrough's main goals is to develop a common definition for disability that would apply to all federal laws and regulations and eventually be adopted by the provinces.
"Let's try and harmonize our approach to disability across the federal government. That would be huge for Canadians."
Qualtrough expects public consultations, the country's first national conversation about accessibility, will provide valuable input for Ottawa's legislation and other federal programs such as the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit, the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan.
It may even show provincial and municipal governments where they are coming up short.
"We know we are going to hear way more than what is going to be covered by the law. And that is intentional," she said.
Laurie Monsebraaten Toronto Star
* Canadians with disabilities: By the numbers
14 Percentage of Canadians aged 15 and older with a disability that limits their daily activities.
411,600 People aged 15 to 64 not employed, whose disability does not prevent them from working.
127,700 Unemployed people with disabilities who have post-secondary educations.
50 Percentage of Canadian human rights complaints related to disabilities between 2011 and 2015.
6 Percentage of Canadian human rights complaints related to inaccessible services.
2.1 million Canadians 15 or older at risk of facing physical or communication barriers.
$15 million Annual budget of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund, which helps improve accessibility in communities and workplaces.
$4 million Increase in annual federal accessibility fund by 2018.
* Government of Canada's August 23, 2016 Announcement of Public Consultation Forums Across Ontario
Originally posted at: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1115409&tp=1
How accessibility is driving innovation in Canada
In-person consultations to inform the development of planned accessibility legislation announced
August 23, 2016
Employment and Social Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, visited the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ontario, and hosted a panel with three young Canadian innovators to discuss how accessibility drives innovation. The Minister toured the centre, noting the accessibility measures in place there, which serve as an example for other communities across Canada. Minister Qualtrough also announced the schedule of the in-person consultations organized to inform planned accessibility legislation.
Minister Qualtrough participated in a dynamic discussion with the three young Canadian innovators:
- Maayan Ziv, the creator of an online platform that uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint the accessibility status of locations on an interactive map;
- Micah Rakoff Bellman, the designer of Lift, a height-adjustable and movable table with integrated storage that provides home cooks a comfortable and flexible work surface in the kitchen; and
- Quayce Thomas, an architecture student who has developed Timsle, a Fitbit-type app that promotes healthy, active living using social networks.
Many more thought-provoking discussions such as these will happen in the next few months, as the Minister travels across the country to engage and consult with Canadians about what an Accessible Canada could look like. In-person public sessions will be held in 18 cities from September to December. Canadians are encouraged to visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada to find an in-person consultation session in their area. These sessions will provide all Canadians with an opportunity to share their ideas on how to improve accessibility and inclusion across Canada.
Canadians can also participate in the consultation exercise online at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada, and can follow @AccessibleGC and the hashtag #AccessibleCanada on Twitter and Accessible Canada on Facebook. The consultation process will run until February 2017.
Minister Qualtrough also encouraged young people from across Canada to apply to participate in the National Youth Forum on Accessibility, which will take place on November 1st. This event will provide Canadian youth who have experience and expertise in disabilities and accessibility with an opportunity to engage in the policy discussion. More information is available at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.
"Today we are taking another exciting step in our discussion on accessibility. Increasing accessibility is not only the right thing to do, but it also has social and economic benefits for all Canadians. Canada is well positioned to become a global leader in innovative service delivery, technology and universal design. Together, we will reshape the landscape for Canadians with disabilities."
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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The Abilities Centre is an internationally renowned, innovative community hub where people of all ages and abilities enrich their lives by engaging in social, health and cultural programs. The centre delivers sports, health and fitness, arts and culture, leading-edge research, education and life skills programming in a welcoming, positive, energetic environment. The Abilities Centre is a not-for-profit corporation and a registered charity operating in Whitby, Ontario. The centre is a 2016 winner of the Ontario David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.
Consultation to inform the development of accessibility legislation
Minister Qualtrough, Canada's first Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was mandated by the Prime Minister to lead an engagement process with stakeholders—including Canadians with disabilities, provinces, territories and municipalities—that would inform planned legislation to transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility.
The consultation process is now open, until February 2017.
Starting in September, Canadians across Canada will be able to participate in the in-person consultation engagement process. In-person public consultations are planned to take place in the following cities:
- St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador / November 3, 2016
- Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016
- Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016
- Moncton, New Brunswick / October 20, 2016
- Québec, Quebec / November 10, 2016
- Montréal, Quebec / November 16, 2016
- Ottawa, Ontario / November 30, 2016
- Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017
- Thunder Bay, Ontario / October 12, 2016
- Winnipeg, Manitoba / October 3, 2016
- Regina, Saskatchewan / September 28, 2016
- Calgary, Alberta / October 13, 2016
- Edmonton, Alberta / October 7, 2016
- Vancouver, British Columbia / November 26, 2016
- Victoria, British Columbia / November 7, 2016
- Iqaluit, Nunavut / September 24, 2016
- Yellowknife, Northwest Territories / September 26, 2016
- Whitehorse, Yukon / September 22, 2016.
For the most up-to-date information on in-person venues and dates, and to participate online, please visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.
Minister Qualtrough will also participate in roundtable discussions, as well as a National Youth Forum that will engage Canadian youth with disabilities in the policy discussion.
National Youth Forum
Minister Qualtrough, as part of her mandate to consult with Canadians on the development of new accessibility legislation, will host a one-day National Youth Forum in Ottawa on November 1st 2016. The Forum will provide an opportunity for Canadian youth with disabilities to discuss what accessibility means to them, share ideas for the new legislation, connect with peers and celebrate youth leadership in building a more accessible Canada.
- be between 15 and 30 years old in November, 2016;
- be residents of Canada;
- have a disability or have life, academic or work experience related to disability and accessibility; and
- demonstrate their leadership or involvement in an area related to disability and accessibility in their community, region or nationally.
The deadline to submit an application is September 15, 2016. Successful applicants will be contacted by The Office for Disability Issues in the fall.
For more information about how to submit an application to participate in the National Youth Forum please visit: Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.
Maayan Ziv – Founder and CEO of AccessNow
Mayaan has a passion for creating a more accessible world for people who use a wheelchair. Mayaan created the AccessNow mobile app, which uses crowd sourcing to collect and share accessibility information all around the world.
Micah Rakoff Bellman – Winner of the 2016 annual Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA)
Micah is a student at Carleton University's Industrial Design program. Micah has developed an invention called Lift, which is a height-adjustable, movable table which integrates storage that provides home cooks with a comfortable and flexible surface in the kitchen. The device strives to give more freedom to older individuals and people with disabilities.
Quayce Thomas, Winner of the 2015 annual Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA)
Quayce is an entrepreneur and architecture student at Carleton University, has seen his app taking the top prize in the IDeA competition in 2015. Timsle is an app that promotes healthy active living by checking in to make sure users are meeting the goals they've shared with their social network. This "accountability network" helps meeting academic or other goals and preventing depression.
Speaking Notes for Disabilities Minister Carla Qualtrough's August 23, 2016 Speech at the Abilities Centre, Whitby Ontario
the Honourable Carla Qualtrough,
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities,
How Accessibility is Driving Innovation:
Launch of in-person Accessibility Consultations
August 23, 2016
Check against delivery
2016 PASRB 006822
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!
* 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.
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
Citizens with Disabilities Ontario
Spinal Cord Injury Alberta
Easter seals canada
Access for Sight-Impaired consumers
Every Canadian Counts Coalition
Centre for Equitable Library Access / Centre d'accès équitable aux bibliothèques
Deaf & Hear Alberta
How to Contact Barrier-Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières
We always like to hear from you. To contact us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To keep abreast of our updates visit
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 – Canada sans Barrières