August 2017
4 year-old girl with Down Syndrome and 7 year-old sister embracing on a beach.
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New IRIS Website
New IRIS Website is Launched! 

The following blog post was written by Michael Bach, Managing Director at IRIS.

We are re-launching our online platform as IRIS's development initiatives are expanding, and as the federal government is renewing and growing its policy commitments to advance the inclusion of Canadians with disabilities. It makes for promising times in policy and social development.

The team at IRIS is excited to be better positioned to deliver on our mandate to provide research and development support to CACL's bold and ambitious agenda for inclusion.

The Alliance Disability Expert Conference

CACL is an active member of  The Alliance for an Inclusive and Accessible Canada , a group of national disability organizations working to inform the proposed federal legislation on inclusion and accessibility.

On August 22nd from 10am-1pm EDT,
The Alliance will convene an online disability expert conference: "What Should Canada's Promised National Accessibility Law Include? Cutting-edge Ideas from Experts from around the World"
Anyone can attend the online conference by watching via live stream.

CACL Annual general meeting 2017_ Saturday_ December 2 at the Marriott Ottawa Hotel_ Ottawa. To RSVP email
CACL in Action!
Highlights of our recent national work.

  • Gordon Porter, Director of Inclusive Education Canada, is working with Community Living Algoma on their conference Creating Welcoming Communities: The Journey to Inclusion Begins at School, which will be held in Sault St. Marie, ON on October 11 & 12.
  • Tara Levandier, CACL Director of Policy and Program Operations, is working with the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to advise on the new Canadian citizenship study guide. The new study guide aims to better reflect Canada's diversity, and present content in a plain language format that is more accessible for all learners.
  • The Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) National Team continues to provide ongoing support to RWA delivery staff across the country. National Director, Don Gallant, met last week with the RWA team in Winnipeg.
  • Beginning September 1st, CACL will be launching Human Flourishing, an arts-based initiative that aims to share cultural narratives about the meaning of disability, frailty and suffering in the context of an emerging system for medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in Canada. 
  • On August 16th, Doris Rajan, Director of Social Development at IRIS, participated in a panel session hosted by Status of Women Canada and moderated by Minister Monsef. Doris spoke about the work of IRIS and the specific barriers to inclusion faced by women and girls with disabilities.
  • Tara Levandier met with Senator Jim Munson's office to discuss gaps between Canada's ratification of the UN Convention and the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities within. 

Shiela Elson and her 25 year-old daughter who has an intellectual disability and is smiling.
Medical Assistance in Dying 'Wrongly Offered' to 25-Year-Old Woman

Medical assistance in dying legislation has been in place in Canada now for one year. Although the current legislation incorporates most of the safeguards called for by CACL and the Vulnerable Persons Standard, particularly the restriction of assistance in dying to end of life situations, our movement continues to face challenges - legal and otherwise - in ensuring there are safeguards in place within policy and practice that protect vulnerable persons from abuse and coercion. 

Sheila Elson of Newfoundland went public with her account of a doctor offering medical assistance in dying for her daughter, who has complex needs. 
Man with an intellectual disability smiling at camera wearing construction uniform and helmet working on construction site.
Ready, Willing & Able Quarterly Update: April - June 2017
A partnership between CACL and CASDA, the Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) initiative has achieved another round of excellent results in the second quarter of 2017. Ready, Willing & Able works to increase labour force participation of people with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by helping employers build a more inclusive workforce across Canada.

Since the national initiative began in 2014, RWA has engaged over 7,200 national, mid-size, and local employers. In the same time period, over 1,300 employment opportunities have been filled through RWA by persons with intellectual disabilities and ASD.

Young man named Jordan smiling at camera wearing East Side Mario_s hat.
A Positive Attitude and a
Proud Employee

Written by Brad & Cynthia Boufford.

This is Jordan off to his first day at his first part-time job! Jordan is a young man with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He loves working at East Side Mario's so much that after every shift he proudly posts his accomplishments to share with his Facebook friends. Jordan keeps track of how many shifts he has worked and is almost at 100.

He cannot wait to get to work and always leaves with a big smile and a bounce in his step eager to tell us that it was an "epic" day. His dream is to be an executive chef in an Italian restaurant and if passion and determination can get him there, he will succeed. 

Submit your own photo showcasing inclusion!
Upcoming Dates and Events

August 19  -   UN World Humanitarian Day
September 4 -  Labour Day. CACL offices are closed. 
Save the Date -  Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion Dec 1st in Ottawa. Registration to open in September.

CACL in the News