Annual Report: 2004-2005

The past year, 2004-05 was filled with challenges, opportunities and some setbacks. The CCD volunteers met each of these with tenacity. CCD's motto is "A VOICE OF OUR OWN", which means we, consumers with disabilities, speak out on issues of concern to grassroots people with disabilities. CCD prioritizes self-representational work, legal interventions and law reform and knowledge development. Each of these different areas represents a unique way to speak out on the issues of persons with disabilities.

Some of the current issues that have been consuming our attention are: the decreasing accessibility of Canada's federally regulated transportation system, the crushing poverty faced by people with disabilities, the discrimination faced by people with disabilities in the labor market, the proposed UN Convention to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the 20th Anniversary of Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As a non-profit voluntary organization, CCD's committees undertake the bulk of the work that is done by the organization. This year has been no exception. CCD's volunteers have contributed numerous person hours to advance the goals of the organization. To give the reader a sense of the wide variety of issues that the CCD volunteers have been tackling, I will mention briefly some of the issues and the CCD volunteers have been taking a lead on a particular issue. In May 2004, Jim Derksen participated in UNESCO meetings in Halifax and informed participants about the work that has been going on at the United Nations to develop a new UN Convention to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities. In June, consumers throughout our network used CCD Federal Election materials to inform candidates running for election about disability issues. This material was developed by CCD's Election Sub-Committee, which consisted of Linda Stiles, Barbara Anello and myself. In August, Steve Estey participated in meetings at the UN on the proposed Convention. Mary Ennis participated in the World Council meetings of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI). In September, Mary Ennis and I met with the Hon. Ken Dryden, the Hon. Reg Alcock, and Steven Fletcher. Pat Danforth, the Chairperson of CCD's Transportation Committee met with the Minister of Transport Jean Lapierre. In November, Jim Derksen met with Minister Tony Ianno to discuss CCD's concerns about the Government's initiative on caregivers. In January, the entire CCD Council met with Cecilia Muir of SDC's ODI and John Lord and Peggy Hutchison, two community researchers. In March, CCD Human Rights Committee members, Yvonne Peters (Chairperson), Peter Tong, Patrick Case, Pat Danforth, Leslie MacLeod, Steffanie Marinich, Dean Richert, and Jim Derksen, met in Winnipeg to discuss the Committee's future directions. In March, Kier Martin participated in an international conference on information technology. Jim Derksen has been keeping disability before the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. As this shows, CCD's volunteers are advocating on a wide range of issues that are fundamental to the development of an inclusive world where people with disabilities are full and equal participants. In the Committee reports, the Chairs provide an in-depth update on the work that has been taking place during the past fiscal year.

Because volunteers are so important to CCD, the organization has been taking steps to strengthen our network and bring new people to the table to work on issues with us. CCD has participated in leadership development projects with other organizations. Over the past year we have worked to strengthen our ties with the research community. For example, CCD has worked with the Dr. Deborah Stienstra to develop a proposal for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for the development of a research cluster that would investigate three areas of vital importance to people with disabilities: law, culture and policy. CCD has also been working to strengthen our ties with other equality seeking communities. For example, Yvonne Peters, the Chairperson of our Human Rights Committee, has been participating on a committee of equality seeking groups that is working to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This will help us renew ties to that community and help us develop new working partnerships that will assist us address issues of common interest. Our work at the DPI Summit that took place in September 2004 helped us build closer ties to our colleagues in other countries and also afforded an opportunity for a joint meeting of CCD's International Development Committee and the International Committee of the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centers (CAILC). CCD has also been playing a small role in the promotion of a provincial cross disability advocacy organization in Ontario. We have also been looking at the role of youth with disabilities in our organization and Jason Mitschele has agreed to help us with this work. Through the DIS IT research network, which works on accessible information and communication technology, we have been reaching out to industry to make the case for access to be built into technology from the design stage.

While CCD values its current volunteers that are working through its various structures, we need more consumers speaking out about our various initiatives because the problems facing our community are growing. Despite the fact that some of our organizations are approaching their 30th anniversaries, many decision makers still fail to comprehend fully the integration message. This is very apparent when we review the decision made by the Federal Court of Appeal in our case against VIA Rail's inaccessible Renaissance passenger cars. The Federal Court of Appeal did not take a stand for an inclusive transportation system. The Appeal Court was willing to accept the occasional accessible option as being good enough. When we review the Employment Equity Annual Report, we see that people with disabilities are not making progress in the labor market. As advocates we cannot accept this continuing inequality. We need to mount vigorous campaigns in support of disability rights. To do this, we need many grassroots people with disabilities speaking out to decision makers on the issues that matter to the disability community. Over the past year, CCD has been working to make its information more available to consumers across Canada. For example, the CCD web site has been under constant development and CCD's current reports are available from this source. As a community we have prioritized disability supports and any consumer who wants to take this message to his or her Member of Parliament can go to CCD's web site for our public education materials in support of this objective.

CCD has also been working to develop new knowledge about disability issues. This year we released two new reports. One report is by David Baker regarding how various countries promote accessible transportation through regulation. Unfortunately, Canada is lagging behind many other countries because it still relies on voluntary codes of practice. I encourage everyone who is committed to the goal of accessible transportation to review this document and to share it their Member of Parliament. The other report is the result of research undertaken by Mary Ennis and Kari Krogh. Their major research project looked at home supports. The researchers heard from consumers throughout Canada. This new publication will be an important resource for our work on disability supports, as home supports are a key component of disability supports. Mary Ennis also participated in a research project on access to primary health care that was undertaken by researchers from the University of Manitoba and Queens University.

While some studies have been completed, others are just beginning and some are on-going, because for CCD the creation of new knowledge is an important priority. For example, CCD is beginning to study the practices of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and how they could be improved. This report will be made available during the coming fiscal year. CCD is also working with Dr. Deborah Stienstra on the DIS IT research project and there will be a major conference in 2006 that will showcase the research on information technology that was completed during the project. CCD is also participating on a project on end of life issues. From these initiatives, more new information will be made available to consumers in the CCD network.

CCD is an evolving organization--growing and changing in order to address the issues that are confronting today's community of persons with disabilities. We were pleased to have a new member at our table this past year-the NWT Council. New groups continue to express an interest in working with CCD. Consumers from across the country draw emerging issues to our attention. Much remains to be done as new barriers keep emerging. Thus it is vitally important that CCD continue to increase its capacity so that there is a strong cross disability voice at the national level. Each and every one of us has a role to play ensuring that CCD is the strongest possible voice on disability rights.

Submitted by

Marie White
National Chairperson

National Coordinator's Report

This past year has been a year of transitions. A year in which Paul Martin became Prime Minister, an election was held, a minority government resulted and we saw many new faces in the Cabinet. This transition has required CCD to re-introduce our issues, educate new Members of Parliament and seek ways of moving our issues forward.

The past year has also seen the disability community unite around a common priority -the need for investment in disability related supports. It has been a year where the community and CCD in particular, has shown considerable leadership and maturity. Our call for a 10 Year Action Plan to address disability issues has been heard and there appears to be some interest at the federal level and in some provincial jurisdictions on working toward a long range plan. However, that interest, as yet has not resulted in action. Continued work is necessary to demonstrate both that we are united and that we can prioritize issues.

It is not news to any who follow CCD's work that the unmet need of Canadians with disabilities is staggering in its scope. The Roeher Institute estimates that the non-reimbursed costs to individuals of purchasing their needed disability supports is about $4.2 billion per annum. This figure stops everyone in their tracks. Clearly such an investment is not going to be achieved quickly and if we are to truly address this need we will need to be both strategic and thinking long term.

This is the challenge we face in the next few years. We must continue to broaden the circle of engagement, build the capacity of the disability community to develop strategic long range action plans and raise the profile of disability issues in the public mind.

This has always been our challenge. In fact the progress made over the past three decades is a direct result of the work of the disability rights movement in Canada. However, to move forward in a new environment where the role of the federal government has been greatly diminished, the power of provinces has grown, and a more "conservative" attitude prevails, will require the disability community to be more strategic, more united and more focused in its activities.

Working for CCD is a challenge and a privilege. Thank you to the Board and Committees who provide clear direction and support and work in ways that are energizing. Thank you to the CCD staff who are committed and hard working and make my job possible.

Submitted by

Laurie Beachell
National Coordinator

Social Policy Review Working Group Committee Report

The CCD Social Policy Working Group focuses on strategies that will promote the full participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the economic and social life of Canada.

Since its earliest days, CCD has concentrated on promoting the citizenship of persons with disabilities. Federal Elections serve as an opportunity to remind all candidates for office of the citizenship of persons with disabilities. As citizens, Canadians with disabilities expect to be included in the plans of all parties that are seeking to form the Government of Canada. One of the major activities for CCD during the 2004-05 fiscal year was the development of Challenge 2004, CCD's public education and outreach strategy for the Federal Election that took place in June 2004. The CCD Council tasked Marie White, Barbara Anello, and Linda Styles with the responsibility of assisting CCD develop its public awareness materials which put national issues in a disability context and Marie White, Chairperson of the Social Policy Working Group, chaired the Election Sub-Committee. The Challenge 2004 materials summarized the citizenship issues of persons with disabilities for candidates running in the Federal Election, the general public and grassroots Canadians with disabilities. At the June Council Meeting 2004, CCD held a candidates forum, where CCD representatives had the opportunity to hear from the major federal political parties. While we had an opportunity for discussion, many of our questions remained unanswered.

Following the Election, CCD continued its public education work with both returning and new Members of Parliament. In September, CCD met with the Minister of Transport Jean Lapierre, Social Development Minister Ken Dryden, Hon. Reg Alcock, President of Treasury Board, and Steven Fletcher, Canada's first MP to use a motorized wheelchair and to have an attendant present on the floor of the House of Commons to discuss our disability supports agenda organizations to move this agenda forward.

The Department of Finance released the report "Disability Tax Fairness" in December 2004. CCD's National Coordinator was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee that developed this report. The Disability Tax Credit had been a CCD priority for many years. At the January Council meeting, the CCD Council acknowledged the importance of the recommendations contained in "Disability Tax Fairness" and, in the coming months, CCD will be working to advance these recommendations. However, it also acknowledged that the use of the tax system to address the inequities and inequalities which persons with disabilities face is at best only one component of a comprehensive strategy to do so as the tax system and changes therein have no impact on many of our community.

CCD participated in the research project undertaken by Peggy Hutchison and John Lord which examined the role of consumer driven disability organizations in the non-profit sector. The researchers presented their results to CCD at the January 2004 Council meeting. Following this presentation, a sub-committee was tasked to follow up on some of the suggestions provided in the report.

On 7-8 December 2004, CCD held a think tank meeting in Winnipeg to discuss the issues of concern to persons with disabilities. There was consensus at this meeting that disability supports continue to be the most crucial issue for the community. It was decided at this meeting that a document was needed that would make this issue real to Members of Parliament. The work that was begun in December was carried on by the Social Policy Working Group in January. The result of this work was a document titled "A Call to Combat Poverty". This document is available at

In February, CCD responded to the Federal Budget. CCD was critical of the Federal Budget because it provided little for people with disabilities with the greatest need. CCD called for a priority to be given to expenditures which would address the needs of people with disabilities living in institutions, living in poverty and facing barriers to full and equal participation. CCD brought these concerns to the attention of Minister Ken Dryden in a conference call meeting following the Federal Budget. Minister Dryden articulated a continuing support to addressing our many and diverse issues and set up a working group process to continue to so do. CCD met with MP Ken Boshcoff who chairs the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Disability Issues. CCD suggested that the Sub-Committee should focus on the need for Canada to have long term action plan on disability issues.

CCD presented its viewpoint on a Canadians with Disabilities Act to MP Peter Julian. Mr. Julian has drafted a Private Member's bill titled "National Disability Act."

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is working on the development of a new component to its funding program—research clusters. Research clusters would bring together researchers and communities as equal partners, where appropriate, in diverse research initiatives. At the invitation of Dr. Deborah Stienstra, University of Manitoba, Mary Ennis and Laurie Beachell attended a 16-18 February 2005 meeting in Ottawa which brought together researchers and people from various research communities across the country to provide input to SSHRC on the design of such a program. Although development of the new program has not yet been finalized and funding to launch the program has not yet been confirmed, SSHRC has issued an initial call for research cluster themes. CCD, a number of other community organization, and a group of researchers with Deborah as principal researcher, responded to this call, focusing on three themes—law, culture and policy.

Respectfully submitted by

Marie White, Chairperson
CCD Social Policy Working Group

Health Reform Committee Report

Home support is one of a range of disability-related supports, which is one of CCD's main organizational priorities. To assist CCD increase its understanding of best practices on disability-related supports, the CCD Health Reform Committee has been working in partnership with Dr. Kari Krogh of Ryerson University on a research project on home supports. The project has been a mammoth undertaking as it examined home supports in each of the provinces and territories in Canada. This research project occupied the lion's share of the Committee's time during the past fiscal year. For a number of months, Tory Bowman and Jon Johnson of Ryerson, together with Harry Beatty worked to wrap up the project and develop a final report. The results of this project will be made available on CCD's web site, and the Health Reform Committee will be giving due consideration to the recommendations arising from the research.

CCD has been participating in an Access to Primary Health Care research project, undertaken by Dr. Mary Ann McCall of Queens University and Dr. Deborah Stienstra, University of Manitoba. The project brought together researchers, policy makers, service providers and educators in a development process designed to increase our knowledge about the barriers to accessing primary health care by persons with disabilities. The researchers interviewed consumers across the country to learn about their experiences with health care providers. CCD's Health Reform Committee will be discussing the results of the research and the accompanying recommendations to help develop strategies to improve accessibility to family physicians and preventative services for persons with disabilities in Canada.

CCD is also participating in the Vulnerable Persons and End of Life Issues Research Network. The principal researchers for this project are Dr. Deborah Stienstra, Dr. Harvey Chochinov, Dr. Joe Kaufert, Dr. Zana Lutfiyya. Jim Derksen will be working on CCD's component of these research projects, which will look at end-of-life decision-making by people with disabilities.

In the meantime, CCD has also been reaching out to other groups interested in health care reform. For example, CCD met with representatives of the Canadian AIDS society to discuss issues and ways of collaborating.

As well, the Health Reform Committee has drafted new Terms of Reference, goals and objectives, and criteria for membership to the Committee.

Respectfully submitted by

Marie Ennis, Chairperson
CCD Health Reform Committee

CCD International Development Committee Report

The major project on the agenda of CCD's International Development Committee continues to be the proposed UN Convention to promote and protect the human rights of persons with disabilities. Steve Estey, Chairperson of our International Development Committee has been participating as a consumer representative on the Canadian delegation to the Ah Hoc Committee meetings at the UN in New York. During this fiscal year Estey has spent a total of six weeks in New York at meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee, which is the body tasked with developing the Convention's text. CCD has been seeking a Convention that would include concepts such as the duty to accommodate, and a strong monitoring mechanism. Current estimates suggest that the Convention will be fully drafted by the end of 2006, at which time the work will shift to getting countries around the world to sign on to the convention, this creating a new international norm focusing on the Human Rights of Disabled People.

During this fiscal year, CCD consulted with other Canadian-based International human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists and Human Rights Internet about the convention. Both this year and last year, CCD held community consultations on the Convention. The purpose of these consultations were to canvas consumer organizations working on the convention on their views related to both wording and concepts seen in the current text, with a view to sharing this information with the Canadian delegation that is helping to craft the text of the Convention. At this year's meeting, CCD distributed a draft set of newsletters that provide a popular summary of each article. A report on the meeting will be published on CCD's website:

CCD continues to advocate at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to have them adopt a policy on disability and development that would help to guide Canada's Official Development Assistance. Many other donor countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Japan and the United States, have such a policy. CCD believes that Canada is overdue for such a policy. A policy on disability and development would help prevent discrimination against people with disabilities in projects funded by Canadian development assistance. For example we have learned through DPI, that recently in Bangladesh a large number of inaccessible schools were built with CIDA funds, and it is CCDs view that if a proper policy of disability were in place this sort of thing would not happen again.

CCD has been working to raise the awareness about disability of Federal government officials who work on international issues. For example, Jim Derksen and Laurie Beachell presented an overview of disability issues for new employees with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). This has become a yearly activity for CCD.

During this fiscal year, CCD's International Development Committee corresponded with international aid agencies and encouraged them to be responsive to people with disabilities when distributing emergency relief during times of natural disaster. We have written to CIDA officials following the Hurricane in September of 2004, as well as following the Tsunami at the of the calendar year. The letters have drawn some response and the Committee continues to follow up on this issues.

CCD is a long standing member of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI). Mary Ennis serves on DPI's World Council. In 2004, CCD was honored to have DPI host a major international summit on diversity and disability in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Summit brought hundreds of consumers to Winnipeg from all over the world. The three day international event was an opportunity to share strategies for increasing the capacity of the disability rights movement all over the world. Jim Derksen, Clare Simpson and Laurie Beachell have also been advising the DPI office on administrative matters, and Steve Estey has provided support for DPI in its work on the UN Convention.

On behalf of CCD, Jim Derksen participated in meetings of UNESCO in Halifax. CCD is also a member of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, and Mines Action Canada

In September of 2004, immediately following the DPI summit, the International Development Committee had a face to face meeting in Winnipeg. The committee was joined by Meenu Sikand, Traci Walters, Rick Goodfellow, and Vince Mielle, all of whom are members of CAILC's International Committee. The two committees wished to discuss areas of joint interest. Also in attendance at the meeting were Dr. Marcia Rioux from York University and Dr. Bengt Linqvst, former UN Special Rapporteur in Disability who discussed their project on monitoring human rights violations against persons with disabilities. The Committee also heard from Vangelis Nikias of the Office of Disability Issues, who is responsible for the UN Convention file and Denise Roza, the Moscow-based consumer group, Perspectiva, which works with disabled youth throughout the Russia.

Respectfully submitted by

Steve Estey, Chairperson
CCD International Development Committee

CCD Transportation Committee

In June 2004 CCD's contribution to Canada's transportation system was recognized by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), when it presented CCD the CTA Centennial Commemorative Award. CCD has been working on transportation since the organization's founding in 1976.

During the 2004-05 fiscal year, CCD continued to be heavily involved in legal cases addressing access to federally regulated transportation. Our case against VIA Rail's inaccessible Renaissance rail cars continued to be the major focus of the Committee. VIA Rail appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal the CTA's decision, which supported CCD's position that the Renaissance cars contain features that present undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities. The Federal Court of Appeal's decision in this case was extremely disappointing. They supported a very outmoded approach to equality-separate but equal. The Federal Court assumed that because some VIA Rail passenger cars are accessible, this provides a sufficient level of access for persons with disabilities. According to this reasoning, if VIA I cars are accessible, then Renaissance cars do not have to be accessible. CCD has decided to seek leave to appeal this decision in the Supreme Court of Canada.

CCD continues to use the complaint mechanism of the Canadian Transportation Agency to advance barrier removal in the federally regulated transportation system. A long-standing issue on CCD's agenda has been attendant airfares. CCD believes that the ticket of a passenger with a disability should include the cost of an attendant, similar to covering the cost of a mobility aid. CCD, with a number of consumers, has laid a CTA complaint against Air Canada and other carriers concerning their ticketing practices with respect to attendant airfares. David Baker is legal counsel on this case. CCD has sought intervenor status in the McKay-Panos case, which challenges air carriers' discriminatory practice against passengers who are obese and need more than one seat. David Baker is CCD's legal counsel in this case as well. Jim Derksen and CCD have filed a CTA complaint about Air Canada's on-going practice of replacing accessible aircraft with inaccessible aircraft.

In the first part of the fiscal year, CCD continued its participation in the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation (ACAT). The committee advises the Minister of Transportation on issues of concern to travelers with disabilities. However, by November it became apparent to CCD that ACAT was no longer moving forward in assisting consumers to achieve a transportation system without barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities. CCD informed the Minister its plan to withdraw from ACAT until the Government of Canada demonstrates a renewed commitment to an accessible transportation system. For CCD evidence of such a commitment would include: (1) an indication from the Minister of Transport that the Department is ready to discuss movement away from voluntary Codes of Practice and pursue regulation for accessibility, (2) agreement by the Minister of Transport to expand the resources of the Accessibility Directorate to bring both substance and profile to the issues of access for persons with disabilities and (3) agreement by the Minister of Transport to a revitalized policy statement on transportation access for persons with disabilities.

CCD published the report "Moving Backwards Canada's State of Transportation Accessibility in an International Context". The report demonstrated how far other countries have progressed in providing accessible transportation compared to Canada.

Respectfully submitted by

Pat Danforth, Chairperson
CCD Transportation Committee

CCD Human Rights Committee Report

The 2004-05 was a transitional year for the CCD Human Rights Committee. During the previous year, the Committee had been evaluating its past work in order to develop an approach to its human rights work for the next few years. The Committee has recommended that it focus on a combination of strategic Charter challenges, to advance a theory of equality directed by the experiences of grassroots persons with disabilities, law reform work and policy analysis. This approach has been approved by the CCD Council of Representatives. At the June 2004 Annual General Meeting, the Council appointed Yvonne Peters as the Committee's Chairperson. The Committee's Past Chairperson Jim Derksen continues to be integrally involved in many of the agenda items being pursued by the Committee. During the past year, the Committee wrapped up some initiatives that have been in process for some time and worked to enhance its capacity through membership recruitment and a strengthening of its administrative practices. In addition, the Committee strengthened its ties to the broader Canadian equality seeking community by renewing old working relationships and establishing new ones. The work of this past year represents a foundation upon which CCD can build a strong human rights agenda that will serve to address the discrimination that continues to limit the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Canada. This report to the CCD membership will provide an overview of the work undertaken by the Committee this year.

In 2004-05, CCD continued to pursue legal challenges to laws and practices which offended the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. CCD was an intervenor in the Newfoundland Labrador Association of Public Employees v. Newfoundland (NAPE), a pay equity case, which went before the Supreme Court of Canada. CCD became involved in this case because it does not want Governments to use a Section 1 defense to limit the disability community's access to the duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship standard. CCD's factum stressed the importance of the duty to accommodate concept for persons with disabilities and explained how equality for persons with disabilities is often contingent upon the provision of accommodations. The decision in the case was a set back for the equality seeking community. The Court held that the Newfoundland government's discrimination was justified in a democratic society because a severe deficit could trump the government's obligation to address discrimination.

CCD, along with the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), intervened in Auton v. British Columbia at the Supreme Court of Canada. CCD intervened in this case to draw the Supreme Court's attention to the fact that disability-related supports and services are important mechanisms to facilitate the participation and citizenship of persons with disabilities in society. While CCD took no position on treatment for autistic children, it supported individual and family autonomy in the choice of disability-related supports and services that are geared to the individual needs of persons with disabilities. For people to have real choices, supports and services must be available, within the framework of all government programs, including the health care system. The Supreme Court's ruling in the Auton case did not help to secure Canadians with disabilities access to disability supports.

In order to be as strategic as possible in the area of litigation, the CCD Human Rights Committee has been working to develop case selection criteria. Case selection criteria will assist CCD to ensure that it is choosing the case best suited to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in a particular area. While many cases are litigated, CCD, with its limited resource base, has an obligation to ensure that is selecting the cases which hold the most promise of advancing the equality rights of persons with disabilities.

Human rights commissions continue to hold a position of central importance for individuals with disabilities who have experienced discrimination. CCD submitted a preliminary response to the Canadian Human Rights Commission's consultation document "Looking Ahead". CCD has a research project which will provide a consumer analysis of the efficacy of the Commission's approach to resolving problems of discrimination. This project will be completed in the next fiscal year.

The Equality Rights Section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force on 17 April 1985. CCD has been working with other organizations to plan activities to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Section 15 of the Charter and to draw attention to the work that still needs to be done to make equality a reality in Canada. This work is helping to renew CCD's ties to the equality seeking community.

CCD has also been working to develop a strong working relationship with a new promoter of human rights-the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Jim Derksen and Clare Simpson have been working directly with Bob McMahon, and other Museum officials, to ensure that the proposed Canadian Museum for Human Rights includes a significant focus on the human rights struggles of persons with disabilities.

CCD's Human Rights Committee met in Winnipeg during March 2005. The new Committee members are: Yvonne Peters (Chairperson), Peter Tong, Patrick Case, Leslie MacLeod, Stephanie Marinich, Dean Richert, Gwen Brodsky. The continuing Committee members are Jim Derksen and Pat Danforth. The Committee examined criteria that it would use for selecting cases for the purpose of test case litigation.

Litigation requires many resources, both financial and human. CCD is working to enhance its capacity in both these areas. For example, Jim Derksen has been developing a paper which addresses how CCD could develop more resources for the purpose of building a legal defense fund.

A new Terms of Reference document has been developed for the Committee. These were endorsed by CCD Council in January.

Respectfully submitted by

Yvonne Peters, Chairperson
CCD Human Rights Committee

Access to Information Technology Committee

During the past fiscal year, the CCD Access to Information Technology Committee was in a developmental stage. New members were recruited and work was begun to determine what focus the Committee should take. Conference call meetings were held and Gary Annable provided staff support.

CCD submitted a project proposal to the Canadian Center on Disability Studies (CCDS) Small Grants competition that was focused on information technology. CCDS awarded CCD a Small Grant and the work will be undertaken in the 2005-06 fiscal year. In this project, CCD will look at disability community priorities with respect to information technology.

CCD took part in the Summer Institute in Disability Studies-People with Disabilities and New Technologies: A Social Barriers Approach (June 2004). The Institute examined what emerging technologies will create better access for and inclusion of people with disabilities. Both Jim Derksen and Laurie Beachell participated on panels at the Institute. The Institute was sponsored by the Disability and Information Technologies Research Alliance (Dis-IT). CCD is a partner in the Research Alliance and is focusing on e-democracy.

CCD assisted Dis-IT develop the new web site, that looks at the issues and concerns surrounding disability-related policy in Canada. (This site can be viewed at This site is intended to three main purposes: To build the capacity of people with disabilities in general and of organizations of people with disabilities more specifically; to respond to issues regarding disability-related policy in Canada to be a website that is jointly owned by many organizations of people with disabilities around Canada for the purpose of knowledge-sharing, communication and mobilization. To allow researchers, writers and the general public to share their knowledge about the effectiveness of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as a tool for engaging the disability community in eDemocracy initiatives.

The website arose from a need identified by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and Canadian Association for Community Living's joint project

Connecting People to Policy. The Dis-IT Research Alliance proposed to take over the website portion of the initiative to facilitate the continuation of the goals of the project.

Respectfully submitted by

Kier Martin, Chairperson
Access to Information Technology Committee

CCD Awards 2004/2005

Paul Gauthier

Maryetta Thielen and Jonathan Thielen

Maurice Bourassa

Randy Lindbloom and Mary Ann Carlisle


Louiselle Saint-Pierre

Claredon Robicheau

Anne Christopher

John Collins (Posthumously)

Jocelyn Bergeron

Richard Ruston

Beryl Williams

Cornelius Van Dyke

CCD Events

February 2005


John Rae, Laurie Beachell and Jim Derksen at Community Consultation
on UN Convention



Dr. Zephania Matanga (ACADP), (seated at the far right) presented on Draft Article 24bis International Cooperation.



Mary Ennis and Vangelis Nikias discuss UN Convention


CCD June Council Meeting 2005


Jonathan and Maryetta Thielen receiving CCD Award


CCD Brief, Presentations and Publications

Final Report CCD Community Consultation UN Nations efforts to Elaborate a Comprehensive and Integral Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

Election 2004 Flyer

Plain Language Election 2004 Flyer

Final Report VSI Initiative: Connecting People to Policy CACL/CCD

CCD Overview of Current National Issues

CCD Presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance

A National Snapshot of Home Support from the Consumer Perspective - Final Report

A Call to Combat Poverty and Exclusion of Canadians with Disabilities by Investing in Disability Supports

Moving Backwards: Canada's State of Transportation Accessibility in an International Context

Second National Community Consultation for United Nations to elaborate a comprehensive and integral international convention on the protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities

Inclusive Policy Development Incorporating a Disability Lens

A Voice of Our Own Special Edition - Election

A Voice of Our Own

CCD Chairperson's Update

Election Monitor