CCD Voice of Our Own - Fall 2014

On the CCD Agenda

  • CCD's Top 10 Actions This Quarter

CCD's Top 10 Actions This Quarter

  1. Steve Estey, Chair of CCD's International Development Committee participated in the 7th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (10-12 June 2014). Read more.
  2. CCD hosted Shuaib Chalklen, Special Rapporteur on Disability of the UN Commission for Social Development, when he visited Canada. Read more.
  3. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights invited Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson, and Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator, to its opening in recognition of the CCD's behind the scenes work which led the Museum's adoption of a universal design approach to its undertakings. Read more.
  4. CCD participated in a consultation with the Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights, where CCD emphasized the value of organizations of people with disabilities and government collaboration can be picked up again by working together for CRPD implementation under Article 33.
  5. CCD made a submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's consultation on Canadian television. Read more.
  6. CCD submitted its priorities for Canada's next budget to the House of Commons Finance Committee. Read more.
  7. CCD has kept the disability community's concerns about ending of door-to-door mail service on the radar screen of both Canada Post and the CUPW. Read more.
  8. CCD argued against the legalization of assisted suicide before the Supreme Court of Canada. Read more.
  9. Pat Danforth participated in a meeting of the Canadian Transportation Agency to draw attention to barriers that need remedying in the federally regulated transportation system. Read more.
  10. CCD has secured research funding to do some preliminary research on employment barriers and hopes to be able to use this to lever funding for a more substantive project. Read more.

Member Group Updates

Disability Alliance BC
Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities
Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities
Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities
Citizens with Disabilities Ontario
Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec
PEI Council of People with Disabilities
Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories Disabilities Council
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
Canadian Association of the Deaf
DisAbled Women's Network of Canada / Réseau d’action des femmes handicapées 
National Educational Association of Disabled Students
National Network for Mental Health
People First of Canada
Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada


Disability Alliance BC

Yes, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities’ name is now Disability Alliance BC. BCCPD members voted strongly in favour of the change at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June. Since then, we’ve been gradually transitioning over to using our new name.

Organizations change their name. In fact, we changed ours 24 years ago. In 1977, our founding name was British Columbia Coalition of the Disabled. In 1990, we changed it to BC Coalition of People with Disabilities. The change reflected the fact that people with disabilities are people who happen to have a disability, rather than being “the disabled.”

So why change our name? Two years ago, we decided it was time to update our logo. We connected with Spring Advertising who generously volunteered their time to help us develop one. They suggested we also look at our name. They asked us if it continued to reflect who we are and how we are changing, what we do and why we do it?

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities is a long name and, while it has served us well, Board and staff agreed it was time to update. A Board member suggested the word “Alliance”–we liked it because it expresses strength and community. As a provincial organization, we also wanted to keep “BC” in our name. We serve people with disabilities and, while the experience of disability is unique to each person, we have many things in common that affect us.  “Disability”, of course, reflects this common ground.

So, Disability Alliance BC was born. We are very excited about this change and it is a landmark event for our organization. Spring also designed our new logo and tagline that speak to the importance of building strong connections both within and outside of the disability community.

We hope you like our new name and logo. Change can be challenging—and this is a big change—but it is just a name. Disability Alliance BC–or D-A-B-C for short– will be doing the same work for the disability community. That has not changed.

Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities

ACCD on the Web!


Service Dog Act Regulations Review

ACCD has been part of a working group to make recommendations to the Government of Alberta regarding its review of the Service Dogs Qualifications Regulation of the Service Dogs Act.

The number of service dogs available to Albertans with disabilities is estimated at 100 trained service dogs currently working in Alberta with only two organizations training approximately 20 dogs each year.
All involved in the working group agree that service dog training standards have to remain high; however, expansion of the regulation to allow expert evaluators to assess service dogs’ abilities to meet ADI standards is recommended.

The following recommendations were put forward by the working group.

  • That the current Service Dogs Qualification Regulation change so that more trained and qualified service dogs are available to Albertans with disabilities.
  • That a grant system be implemented to offset the fees associated with purchasing a service dog.
  • That a fund be created to assist with the start-up costs associated with developing new service dog training programs.
  • That the Government of Alberta work with the mental health community to create a strategy that ensures access to service dogs that support people with mental health disabilities.

Alberta Disability Services Working Group

Alberta Human Services has created a working group to explore the six goals recommended in the document, “Valuing and Supporting Alberta’s Non-Profit Disability Organizations – Challenges and Solutions” as prepared by the Alberta Disabilities Forum and the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. The 6 goals encompass 14 challenges non-profit disability organizations face:  advocacy; funding; fundraising; government policies and procedures; services, growth and change; information and referral; outcome and evaluation; peer support; public opinion and reputation; reporting; self-advocacy; staffing; strategic planning; technology; and volunteer. Human Services has committed to addressing all issues in the document, which can be accessed at


Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Announce Funding For Housing

Together, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announced an additional combined investment of some $92 million over five years, to help more individuals and families in need access affordable housing. The funding will be delivered through an extension to the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) Agreement.

”Our government is proud to partner with the Province of Saskatchewan to ensure quality, affordable housing is available,” said Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development. “This bilateral agreement provides flexibility for the province to decide how to allocate this substantial investment according to their local needs and priorities. As a result, we are also creating needed jobs and opportunities for apprentices.”

“We are pleased to continue to work with the Government of Canada to proactively ensure affordable housing is available in communities across Saskatchewan,” Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Donna Harpauer said. “By signing this agreement, we expect to accomplish a number of goals that complement our Growth Plan and Housing Strategy. This includes working with other housing sector part-ners to ensure that current and future housing needs of Saskatchewan households are met.”

The federal portion of this fund-ing comes from Economic Action Plan 2013, which announced the Government of Canada’s com-mitment to investing more than $1.25 billion nationally over five years to extend the IAH and to creating opportunities for apprentices, which will support the training of skilled labour in residential housing. Governments will re-port annually to the public re-garding the investments and progress toward achieving the intended outcomes of the IAH. Under the IAH, the Province of Saskatchewan has the flexibility to design and deliver a range of affordable housing programs to address local housing needs and priorities.

In October 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, which sets out the government’s vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020. The plan identifies principles, goals and actions to ensure Saskatchewan is capturing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of a growing province. In part thanks to investment by the Federal Government, since 2011, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested $326 million to develop more than 5,600 units and repair more than 24,300 homes. To find out more about how the Government of Canada, through CMHC, is working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit affordablehousing. For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada or visit


Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Diversity  in Work and the Community

by Deanna Ng

MLPD is enriched with newcomers to Canada who bring talents and new ideas.  This diversity not only benefits our organization but the workplace and the community as well.

Dr. Zephania Matanga, a member of MLPD and Executive Director of the Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc. (CMDCI), explained it well.  

“Workplaces work best when they are adaptable and open to the community they serve.  Workplaces should look just like the community.”   This reflects how MLPD and CMDCI are open to diversity meaning all people of all different backgrounds can get involved.

Gerry Agostini, another member of MLPD and an alternative health practitioner who started his practice in the Caribbean Islands in 1993.  He came to Canada in 2000 to get more education to improve and now continues his practice in Winnipeg. 

When attending school and looking for work, Gerry faced many barriers .  He had to find his own accommodations and resources such as getting people to read the material while he studied to further his practice. 

This is not uncommon for people with disabilities but it is more so challenging for newcommers.  Often the greatest challenge is our attitudes or misunderstandings.

Kelli Green, Mayra López, Allen Wysocki, and Karl Kepner wrote a report, “Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools” in the University of Florida from 2002  found exactly that.

Becoming aware of personal stereotypes and biases is the first step in overcoming them.  The next step is having a safe place to discuss thoughts and get understanding when all employees have a say, and can learn from each other.  Finally, managers need to monitor progress.

According to Zephania, “Diverse workplaces are successful because you are able to harness talents and capabilities based on what people can offer not because where they come from.  You are likely to get more capable people if you don’t limit yourself to a certain group of people.  You are also likely to attract consumers and provide better service to them because you understand the goals in the community.” 

Often embracing diversity by working with people from different backgrounds helps create an understanding of the other person.  One such study that supported this was done by Patricia Gurin, Ratnesh Nagda, and Gretchen Lopez in an article “The Benefits of Diversity in Education for Democratic Citizenship” In the Journal of Social Issues from 2004.. 

These authors did a diversity experiment with students at the University of Michigan.  The experimental group were students who worked with diverse students in class and out of class, were involved in different  activities, took in new experiences, were all equal, had civil discussion, and helpful conflict resolution.  Students in the control group were college as usual – attending class and doing things as usual.  These students were rated on their opinions once getting to know the other student they were matched with for this study. 

The experimenters found that students in the experimental program showed more empathy for their own group as well as others groups.  They could see things from different angles; found much in common with diverse groups, appreciated learning about cultures, and enjoying new experiences.

This notion of working together, appreciating difference, and being on the same level is supported by Gerry Agostini.   “To me, diversity means equal opportunity for everyone, and to have rights and responsibilities acknowledged.  Therefore it becomes equality.”   

From all his experiences, Gerry  has learned to self-accommodate values helping and teaching others.  He explains, “Instead of catching fish for someone, it is teaching them how to fish.”

Zephania explained diversity as a whole.  “It is knowing not everyone has the same shoe size.  Creativity is the key to a strong community, respecting that people do things differently.”

Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

CWDO Raises Awareness

Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario (CWDO) actively promotes the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of persons with disabilities through community development, social action, and member support and referral.  Our primary activity is public education and awareness about the social and physical barriers that prevent the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in Ontario.  Read more.


Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec

Dr. Barrette's Reforms

Bill 10, which was filed in September in by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Gaétan Barrette, raises big questions for the Association du Québec pour l’intégration sociale (AQIS) and the  Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec (COPHAN) from. For the past thirty years, 30 years our organizations have seen reforms and restructuring more than once.

These changes and reforms have always been motivated and justified by officials as being client centered practices. However, over the years, despite high-profile ads, people with disabilities and their families receive only very rarely (if ever) improvements in their daily lives. Does this current reform have the desired effect suggested by Dr. Barrette? Will people with disabilities have improved access to care and services and better support? If the past is any indication of the future, we remain very cautious about changes that focus on planning and leave little time for direct services to meet specific needs.

Governments and reforms come and go, but the people remain and hope in 2014 that officials will focus on more than economic considerations. It is certain that our two groups will be present and active at the next parliamentary committee and we will monitor the impact of this law if it ever takes effect. For now, the anxiety is palpable, and hopes for improvement are low.

PEI Council of People with Disabilities

40th Anniversary of PEI Council of People with Disabilities

The PEI Council of People with Disabilities has been helping islanders since 1974. During that time, the Council has brought about social changes and improved the lives of countless thousands of people with disabilities. From the Designated Parking Program, to the Summer Tutoring Program; from Around the Block to Youth Abilities at Work, the Council seeks to bring its expertise to every level of society, and to every age group. The economic impact of these programs has brought valuable financial benefit to our communities, and it is no exaggeration to say they have saved the province millions of dollars over the years. During the last financial year alone $51,526.00 passed into the hands of those islanders who had claimed their CPP Disability Pension.

The success of these programs demonstrates the need for them to continue. The Council can help to continue to bring prosperity to islanders through the Employment Programs. They have helped to make the Council the organization on PEI that has a proven record of successful delivery of employment services for people with disabilities.

This important anniversary is an occasion to celebrate, but is also a chance to plan for the future, so that the benefits of the Council’s accumulated experience can continue to help those who need it most.

For more information about the work of the PEI council  of People with Disabilities visit our website


Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities

LEO Appoints New Rep to CCD Council

LEO appointed Emily Duffett to the CCD Council.  Emily is a recent Masters of Sociology grad who has dedicated her life to helping those with disabilities.  She brings both the personal experience of living with a disability as well as having worked in various settings with persons with disabilities.  She sits on many committees for persons with disabilities.

NWT Disabilities Council

2014 Annual Benefit Auction

The Council will be holding its Annual Benefit Auction on 14 November 2014 at the Yellowknife Inn.  The Council is looking forward to hosting its supporters at this event.

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians

Next National Conference to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia - May 1st to 3rd, 2015

The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians' (AEBC) 2015 National Conference will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Atlantica Hotel from Friday, May 1st to Sunday, May 3rd, 2015.

A room rate of $129 per night, plus taxes (double occupancy), has been negotiated for conference participants, and this rate will be available for a few days before and a few days after the conference for those would like to come earlier or stay later to explore all that Halifax has to offer.

On Friday, May 1st, a series of workshops and presentations will take place throughout the day, leading to our opening ceremonies for the conference on Friday evening.

On Saturday, May 2nd, David Lepofsky, one of Toronto's most renowned disability rights advocates best known for his role in leading the call for the implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, will join us via Skype for a presentation on Advocacy in Action.

Canadian Association of the Deaf 

CAD-ASC Announces 2014-2015 Board of Directors

The Canadian Association of the Deaf would like to extend a warm welcome to the new and returning Board of Directors for 2014-2015.

The following were elected at the most recent annual general meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick for one year:

  • Donald McCarthy, Vice President
  • Doug Momotuik, Treasurer and Past-President
  • Genevieve Deguire, Member-at-Large

Frank Folino will continue his term as President to the 2015 annual general meeting, and Justyna Grela also joins the CAD Board of Directors until 2016 as the President of the Deaf Youth Canada.

The Secretary position is currently vacant and we are looking to fill this position as soon as possible.

Congratulations to our new and returning Directors!

A full list of the current Board of Directors, with links to biographies and photos, can be found on the CAD website.

The Canadian Association of the Deaf is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1940 that provides consultation and information on Deaf interests, conducts research and collects data regarding Deaf issues in Canada. It protects and promotes the rights, needs, and concerns of Deaf people in Canada who use our official signed languages (American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ)). For more information, visit


DisAbled Women's Network of Canada / Réseau d’action des femmes handicapées (DAWN-RAFH Canada)

Court Challenge Launched Against the Elimination of Door-to-Door Delivery

On 16 October 2014,  DAWN-RAFH Canada joined the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) to launch a major legal challenge to the attempt to end home mail delivery.  Seniors’ groups also joined  CUPW  challenge.

“In Canada, people should count, not just the bottom line,” said Denis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

The union announced today that a challenge will be filed in the Federal Court of Canada under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, asking the court to put a stop to Canada Post’s termination of home mail delivery. The challenge will also argue that this decision is beyond Canada Post's authority and should be made by the Parliament of Canada which created Canada Post and defined its mandate.

On December 11th, 2013, Canada Post announced that it would make Canada the only G8 country without home mail delivery. CEO Deepak Chopra’s bizarre statement that seniors would welcome the exercise of walking to collect their mail, as well as Canada Post’s subsequent requirement of a medical note to retain home delivery without any consultation with doctors has caused additional consternation.

“This is one of the most important postal decisions which has ever been made since Canada Post was created in 1981,” said Paul Cavalluzzo, one of Canada's foremost constitutional lawyers, who will be arguing the case on behalf of Canadians with disabilities and older Canadians. While the Conservatives have attempted to distance themselves from Canada Post’s decision, they are clearly backing the end of home delivery. Those who are filing the challenge say the Conservatives should be held accountable for ramming this through without proper consultation or debate.

National Educational Association of Disabled Students

National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) seeks applications for its Board of Directors - due October 31, 2014

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) is seeking applications for the next two year term of its board of directors, January 01, 2015 - December 31, 2016. All persons interested in a position on the board must be regular members in good standing, that is students with disabilities enrolled in a Canadian post-secondary institution or recent graduates with disabilities who have graduated within the last five years.

The NEADS Board of Directors is composed of eleven seats; there are ten provincial Directors (e.g. British Columbia Director, Ontario Director, Nova Scotia Director, etc.), one territorial Director. Candidates for the positions of provincial/territorial Directors must be students or recent graduates with disabilities, residing in and/or attending a post-secondary institution in the geographic location they seek to represent.

NEADS Board members will be expected to attend a minimum of twelve (12) monthly Board teleconferences, as well as one to two in-person Board meetings per year, funding permitting. Board members are also expected to participate in and chair NEADS standing and project committees, and take part in Committee teleconferences. Provincial/territorial Board members also represent their Province/Territory on the Board, serve to bring the work of NEADS to their jurisdiction, as well as to bring local issues to the national table. Board members may participate in local, regional and provincial committees and activities, within the framework provided by NEADS mandate and mission.

No prior participation in the disability or student movements is required to join the NEADS Board. Members who have strong skill sets in governance, fundraising, finance, social media and membership/partnership outreach are especially welcome. Any interested and enthusiastic NEADS member with relevant skill sets and a strong work ethic is encouraged to seek election.

If you would like to become a member of the NEADS Board, please complete and sign the Nomination Form as specified online and submit it by NO LATER THAN October 31st:

Regular members who have completed a membership application form and paid their dues for 2014 are eligible to vote in the election. If you have any questions, please contact: Frank Smith, National Coordinator:

Time Commitment:

Board members will be expected to attend a minimum of 12 teleconferences per year, each lasting up to 2 hours, as well as 1-2 in-person Board retreats per year, dependent upon funding, that typically run Friday-Sunday. Board members are also expected to serve on at least one committee, and attend regular committee meetings by teleconference as required. Correspondence of the Board is primarily by email and telephone; members are also expected to keep up-to-date with and respond to, as necessary, all correspondence.

Note: Prospective Board members may come from a variety of  backgrounds:  for example community service, student leadership, provincial and regional committees, etc.; or may come from none of these backgrounds. Although specific skill sets are not required, prior experience in Board governance will be a strong asset.  Interest in, and experience with, establishing regional and national projects, programs; grant funding and financial management would also be an asset. A strong commitment to participate and engage with the volume of Board business is a must. All interested members are encouraged to apply; you must have a willingness to learn and apply that learning while on the Board.

National Network for Mental Health

2013/2014 Annual General Meeting

The National Network for Mental Health's (NNMH) Annual General Meeting will be held on November 21, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  For more information on running for office and participating in the meeting, please refer to the NNMH website.

People First of Canada

A National Voice

People First of Canada is the national organization that is the voice of people who have been labelled as having intellectual disabilities.  People First is on Facebook:


Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada

Relocation of TVAC's Head Office

Due to exceptional circumstances, we were obligated to find a new location for our offices. Our research has paid off and we are now in our new accessible, safe and welcoming premises located at 7744 Sherbrooke Street East, Suite 102, Montreal (Quebec) Canada H1L 1A1. Our phone numbers, fax and e-mail addresses remain the same:

Phone : (514) 355-0811
Toll free : 1-877-355-0811
Fax : (514) 355-0860
Email :



The Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada project is a collaboration between 30 research scholars and sterilization survivors and 12 community partners.  The project shares resources through its website Eugenics Archives  Dr. Gregor Wolbring is a member of the research team.  Gregor represents TVAC on CCD's National Council.