December 2019
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CACL & PFC Celebrate 10th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion

On December 2, CACL and People First of Canada hosted the 10th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion, in collaboration with the Office for Disability Issues. This year's theme was "Why am I Poor? Decreasing poverty and increasing opportunity for people with an intellectual disability." 

We would like to express a sincere thank you to our keynote Neil Belanger, Executive Director of the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), as well as government representatives, policy makers, self-advocates, families, and community advocates who made our 10th Policy Forum a collaborative space for learning and growth.

A summary report from the day's discussions as well as presentations from panelists are now available on our website.

CACL Defending Rights: Help Us End the Use of Seclusion Rooms

All children deserve a welcoming, inclusive, and safe school experience. Seclusion rooms are harmful and abusive, and yet continue to be used by schools throughout Canada.

CACL is currently supporting the Henschel family in their fight to end the use of seclusion rooms and ensure what happened to Aidan can never happen again, to any child.  Aidan's story is horrific, but it is not unique - and it does not have to be the norm. 

This legal case will have a significant and lasting impact on school systems throughout the country. 

Please consider giving in support of our work defending the rights of children with an intellectual disability.  Your donation will help CACL support the Henschel's legal battle and help ensure all children receive an education free of fear.
CACL in Action!
Highlights of our recent national and international work. 
  • CACL Executive Vice-President Krista Carr and National  Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) Director, Don Gallant, attended the Disability and Work in Canada 2019 conference held in Ottawa on December 4-5. The conference focused on a proposed national strategy to improve the level of employment of persons with disabilities in Canada. 
  • On November 29th CACL and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) hosted a RWA Delivery Partners meeting in Ottawa. Leadership from the CACL and CASDA federations discussed accomplishments and lessons from RWA Phase I to improve delivery in Phase II (currently underway).  
  • The CACL Board of Directors, national staff, and Federation member leadership met in Ottawa November 29th-December 1st to work on shared strategic priorities and host annual events, including our 2019 Annual General Meeting and Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion. 
  • CACL EVP Krista Carr, Director Tara Levandier and National Coordinator Natalia Hicks attended Do The Rights Thing: An Intersectional Approach to Human Rights in Ottawa on December 3rd. Hosted by DAWN Canada, the forum discussed human rights obligations under the Accessible Canada Act and within the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Pathways to Inclusive Affordable Housing: Canadian Examples

Through our  My Home, My Community Demonstration Initiative, we've done the work to profile three innovative approaches to inclusive, affordable housing that not only provide support, but also advance social inclusion  for people with an intellectual disability. 

We're using this information to put together roadmaps, detailed guides explaining each type of housing pathway and how it was created. These roadmaps are designed to provide the information needed to recreate these models in other communities - look for them to be shared in early 2020. We've also created videos to show what these models look like, and how they work - available now. Watch the videos and learn more at My Home, My Community. 
Optional Protocol Lab: Learning, Sharing, Actioning! Call for Participants

Did you know? Canada recently agreed to follow the Optional Protocol (OP) to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The OP allows people in Canada to make a complaint to the United Nations, in some situations when they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated. 

Become an OP Champion in your community! The OP Lab, beginning in Spring 2020, offers you the opportunity to learn more about the Optional Protocol and be part of a Canada-wide network engaged in acting for the implementation of the CRPD. As a partner in the project, we're looking for participants that include families, self-advocates, community allies, and legal professionals. Learn more and apply!
December 23 -  January 6 - CACL Offices Closed for Holidays
January 4 -    World Braille Day

Our work to strengthen families, defend rights, and transform communities could not be achieved without the financial support of our dedicated donors and partners.  If the stories in this newsletter resonate with you, we  hope you will continue to support CACL through your generous donations.  Thank you.