January 2017
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The Passing of Disability Champion Dianne Pothier: A Letter from EVP Michael Bach 

Dianne Pothier, leading expert on constitutional law and a long-time champion of disability rights, passed away unexpectedly January 3rd 2017 at home in Halifax, NS. The following is a letter to the Community Living movement and its allies from CACL EVP Michael Bach.
It is with such a profound sense of loss and sadness that I share the news of the sudden and unexpected passing of Dianne Pothier. 
Dianne was instrumental in helping to draft the Vulnerable Persons Standard. Catherine Frazee and I reached out to her last January as we started to design the VPS and consider the legal and ethical arguments for robust safeguards. Dianne taught for a number of years at the Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law, and brought a keen mind, brilliant insight and analysis, and prodigious publication. As Canada's leading disability rights scholar she leaves an immense and invaluable legacy for disability rights legal theory and practice. 
Welcome New Board Members!

The CACL membership elected three new members to the Board of Directors at our Annual General Meeting in Ottawa, December 2016. New board members filled regional Director-at-Large vacancies in New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. CACL and its membership welcomes  Moira Wilson (NB), Vee Faira (NT), and Noah Papatsie (NU). We know you will make wonderful contributions in advancing inclusion in Canada!

Read more about our new board members, and access the list of the full CACL Board of Directors.
CACL 2016-2018 Strategic Framework Now Available Online 
As the national movement supporting the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families for inclusion, CACL leads the way in helping Canadians build an inclusive Canada. CACL advances human rights for persons with intellectual disabilities, engages fellow Canadians in the movement for inclusion, and transforms communities into places where everyone can belong. Our 2016-2018 Strategic Framework is designed to put our commitment into action.

CACL in Action!
Highlights of our recent national and international work.

  • Tara Levandier, CACL Director of Policy & Program Operations, participated in several working days throughout January designing federal accessibility consultations for the disability community. The two-year consultations will be launched nationally in February 2017 by the Alliance for an Inclusive & Accessible Canada, of which CACL is a member.
  • Michael Bach, CACL EVP, met with Open Society Foundations (OSF) in Washington, D.C. to begin a detailed design of an initiative OSF is supporting IRIS to undertake - a global study on the right to legal capacity and development of a communications platform to promote local-to-national reform initiatives to advance the right into law, policy, and practice.
  • Michael Bach, CACL EVP, began a conversation with the Wellesley Institute as part of CACL's My Home My Community initiative. 
  • IRIS received funding from Status of Women Canada to implement a project entitled: Toronto - A Place to Call Our Own: Empowering Women to Take Action for Affordable Housing. IRIS has the commitment from the Affordable Housing Office, City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing to participate in this three-year project which aims to identify systemic solutions needed for policy reform that can influence both governmental and private sector investments towards increasing access to, and the number of, affordable housing options in Toronto for all women.
  • Michael Bach, CACL EVP, met with the European Network for Independent Living on Canada's efforts on advancing Article 19 - the right to living independently and being included in the community.

AltaGas Ltd. Turns Pilot Project into a Full-Time Position 

When Michelle Dulmadge, Director of Operational Human Resources and Administrative Services at AltaGas Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta, was approached about inclusive hiring with Ready, Willing & Able (RWA), she wanted to ensure that the role they would provide would be both a meaningful experience and important to the company.

"It's not about creating a job - it's about assigning meaningful work that already exists," says Dulmadge. Dulmadge was connected to RWA through partner organization, Inclusion Alberta, where she met Stephen. "Stephen was enthusiastic, prepared and excited to contribute to our team," shares Dulmadge.

An Ordinary Life by Dianne Cormier Northrup
The following article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of the Coming Together... to Create Change newsletter.
All I ever wanted for Robert and Lynn was that they'd have an ordinary life, just like you and me. Today, despite many ups and downs, barriers and challenges, that is exactly what they have. 

As a young mom, there was never any question in my mind that my children would do the same things that my siblings and I had done as children: attend the neighborhood school, have sleepovers, go camping, play with the children in the neighborhood, etc. And that is pretty much what they did. 

Upcoming Dates and Events
February is Inclusive Education Month! Check your provincial-territorial & local ACL for events
February 3 - Nomination deadline for Canada's Volunteer Awards
February 8 in Toronto, ON & ongoing onlinePublic consultations on proposed Accessibility Legislation.
February 20 - Family Day in AB, SK, & ON: CACL head office closed
CACL in the News