Chairperson's Update - September 2023

For many non-profit organizations, September marks the beginning of a busy new season of work, following a slower summer season.  This was definitely the case for CCD this year.  A summary of some significant occurrences from September are shared below.

Annual General Meeting Update -- CCD’s Annual General Meeting concluded on September 12th.  It is a pleasure to welcome two new members to CCD: Disability Without Poverty and the Environmental Health Association of Canada/ Environmental Health Association of Quebec.  At the AGM, the Council voted unanimously to accept these two organizations as the newest CCD member groups. At the AGM, Disability Without Poverty was represented by Rabia Khedr and Rohini Peris represented the Environmental Health of Association of Canada/Environmental Health Association of Quebec. 

The National Council approved the Audited Financial Statement at the AGM.

Gender Based Analysis Plus - At the September Council meeting, we continued our work on Gender Based Analysis Plus, with presentations by Council members Fran Odette and Nicole Diakite. To learn more about GBA+, you can  take the Gender-based Analysis Plus course - Women and Gender Equality Canada, which has been developed by the Government of Canada.

Continuing on the Road to Fifty - CCD continues to work on our On the Road to Fifty project, as we gear up for our 50th anniversary in 2026. As part of this work, we are hearing from leaders who have made a contribution to CCD over the years. During the month of September, we were in conversation with Marie Ryan, Mary Ennis, Mary Reid, and Nancy Reid. Marie Ryan is a past chairperson of CCD. Mary Ennis was a member of CCD’s International Committee and a co-principal investigator on a CCD research project about home supports. Mary is also a former Executive Director of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI). Mary Reid was a member of CCD’s Social Policy Committee and currently is the Vice Chair of Accessibility Standards Canada. Nancy Reid is the Executive Director of the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador.

Collective Impact Project of the Pan-Canadian Disability Coalition – This month the Collective Impact project wrapped up and the project’s Steering Committee presented the results of the project to the community during a Zoom call on September 13th. The Steering Committee informed participants about: an assets map prepared for the community, the Wise Ways of Working document, the organizational profiles that were developed and the project’s videos. 

Heather Walkus served on the Steering Committee for the project along with Jonathan Lai (Autism Canada), Lori Vaanholt (L’Arche Canada), Maureen Haan (CCRW), Christopher Sutton (Wavefront), Krista Carr (Inclusion Canada), Bill Adair (Spinal Cord Injury Canada), Dormay Ehling (Rick Hansen Foundation).

Remembering Steven Estey (1962-2023) – This month, we were saddened by the passing of Steven Estey, who had a long term involvement in CCD. Steven served on the Council, chaired our International Committee and managed several important projects for CCD, such as the coordination of the 1st parallel report for the UN Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Accessible and Inclusive Canada project which helped create the Accessible Canada Act and our project on the Optional Protocol to the CRPD, which established the Disability Rights Online website. He was also CCD National Coordinator from 2018-20. Steven also served on the Canadian government delegation that contributed to the development of the UN CRPD. 

Steven frequently spoke about the UN CRPD and how it was developed.  He shared this history at the 2021 International Day of People with Disabilities ceremony in Halifax and it is available on YouTube. 

Heather Walkus and April D’Aubin attended Steven’s funeral.