ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE

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United for a Barrier-Free Ontario

Breaking News in the Campaign for a Barrier-Free Canada Federal NDP Announces It will Support Enactment of the Canadians with Disabilities Act Will the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois Do So Too?

September 29, 2015

We are pleased to share with you the latest Update from Barrier-Free Canada, set out below.

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrière
www.barrierfreecanada.org
info@barrierfreecanada.org

A Non-Partisan Campaign for a Barrier-Free Canada for All Persons with Disabilities

Federal New Democratic Party Promises to Pass a Canadians with Disabilities Act  - and – Listen Live Online If You Cannot Attend the September 29 2015 Federal All Candidates Forum on Disability Issues

September 29, 2015

SUMMARY

1. Federal New Democratic Party Promises Canadians with Disabilities Act

On September 29, 2015, the federal New Democratic Party became the first of the three major federal parties in this election to pledge to enact a Canadians with Disabilities Act. Specifically, the NDP promised to:

“Introduce a comprehensive Canadians with Disabilities Act to eliminate barriers and to promote accessibility, effective participation, and equality of opportunity for persons living with disabilities.”  

We set out the NDP’s September 29, 2015 news release and backgrounder below. Until now, only the federal Green party had promised a Canadians with Disabilities Act. We will make public any commitments we receive from any other parties.

Barrier-Free Canada congratulates the federal NDP for making this important commitment. Barrier-Free Canada heartily endorses the important goals of eliminating systemic barriers that Canadians with disabilities face, and of promoting accessibility, effective participation and equal opportunity.

Barrier-Free Canada calls on the federal Conservative, Liberal and Bloc Quebecois parties to meet or exceed this promise. It calls on all parties to endorse the 14 principles for a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act that Barrier-Free Canada has put forward.

The federal Conservative party promised a national Disabilities Act in 2006. It has not passed this law or introduced it into Parliament for debate.

The goal of the non-partisan Barrier-Free Canada is to get all federal parties to pledge in this election to support passage of a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act that fulfils the 14 principles for it that Barrier-Free Canada has established. To learn more about Barrier-Free Canada’s proposal for a Canadians with Disabilities Act, and its 14 principles for that law.

We encourage one and all to:

* Widely publicize this new commitment by the federal NDP.

* Urge the federal Liberal, Conservative and Bloc Quebecois party leaders and candidates to meet or exceed the NDP’s commitment.

* Let your local media know about this new development.

We thank everyone who has helped at the grassroots to press this issue. Please keep it up as the election campaign continues. For great ideas on how you can help with this non-partisan campaign, check out Barrier-Free Canada’s Election Action Kit.

You can also download, print, and distribute Barrier-Free Canada’s handy 1-page leaflet on the need for the Canadians with Disabilities Act.

2. Follow the September 29, 2015 Toronto All Candidates Forum on Disability Issues Online If You Cannot Attend In Person

We are delighted that the organizers of the September 29, 2015 Toronto All Candidates Forum on Disabilities Issues will be streamed live online. If you cannot attend in person, be sure to follow it online. The link for the online feed of the September 29, 2015 Toronto All Candidates Disability Forum from 6 to 8 pm EST.

If you want to tweet about this event, or follow live tweets about it, be sure to go onto Twitter and follow the hashtag (search term) #AccessFEF  

Below we set out the news release from the Candidates Forum’s organizers. As of this time, the federal Conservative party has not indicated a candidate that it will send to this Forum.

New Democratic Party news Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2015

NDP RELEASE PLAN FOR SUPPORTING CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES
Mulcair will launch National Action Plan and introduce Canadians with Disabilities Act

TORONTO — NDP Candidate Mike Sullivan, York South-Weston, released the NDP Plan for Supporting Canadians with Disabilities.
 
“Under Stephen Harper, more than half of Canadians with disabilities are unemployed and the waits that Canadians with disabilities face for CPP Disability appeals are longer than ever,” said Sullivan who, prior to the election, served as the NDP Critic for Disability Issues. “Our plan will make Canada more accessible and ensure that Canadians with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce and everyday life.”
 
An NDP government will:

“Nearly 15% of Canadians have some form of disability. Two million Canadians with disabilities do not have access to the supports they need. In a country as wealthy as Canada that’s unacceptable,” continued Sullivan. “Only Tom Mulcair is ready to replace Stephen Harper, and start repairing the damage the Conservatives have done to Ottawa.”

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For more information, please contact:

New Democrat Campaign Headquarters:

NDP Press Office: (613) 369-6078 or media@ndp.ca

New Democratic Party Backgrounder (Footnotes Omitted) Press Release

September 29, 2015
Supporting Canadians with Disabilities

The challenge:

Harper’s plan just isn’t working:

Our commitment:

To support Canadians with disabilities, Tom Mulcair and the NDP will:

Quote:

"This is a significant announcement on disability rights and citizenship. The NDP propose substantial initiatives that will advance a fuller measure of dignity, opportunity and equality for Canadians with disabilities."

Michael J. Prince, Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy, University of Victoria, and author of Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada.

September 29, 2015 News Release for Disability Issues Candidates Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Federal Parties encouraged to show leadership on disability issues at upcoming forum Toronto, ON- On Tuesday September 29, 2015, community partners invite persons with disabilities, their friends and families to the Federal Election Forum on Accessibility and Disability.

Each party will be asked questions regarding: anti-poverty strategies, accessible housing strategies, physician-assisted dying, record of seeking candidates with disabilities, creation of a Canadian Disabilities Act, commitment to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and other topics.
The moderator for the forum will be disability rights advocate David Lepofsky.

The following candidates/representatives are confirmed to attend: the New Democratic Party - Mike Sullivan, York South—Weston, the Green Party – Sharon Danley, Spadina-Fort York, the Liberal Party -  Arnold Chan, Scarborough-Agincourt. 

Organizers are still waiting for confirmation from the Conservative Party.

Some interesting facts about people with disabilities in Canada:

The forum will be held on Tuesday September 29, 2015 from 6:00p.m. until 8:00p.m. at Ryerson University's Student Learning Centre at 341 Yonge St (at Gould St.) in Toronto. American Sign Language interpretation, real-time captioning, Deaf interpretation, augmentative communication facilitation and attendant services will be among the services available to ensure full accessibility for participation in the event. Live tweet us your questions using #AccessFEF, Follow us on Twitter: @CIL_Toronto @AccessRyerson @ARCHDisability . Live webstream the forum at: https://ryecast.ryerson.ca/72/live/1173.aspx

For more information and to arrange an interview, please contact:

John Mossa, Independent Living Skills Coordinator, Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, at 416-599-2458 ext.238 or ilskills@cilt.ca

David Meyers, Community Development Manager, Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre, 416 396-7606 or david@bbnc.ca