July 2019
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Helpful Resources: Accessible and Inclusive Travel in Canada

Summer means vacations and travel for a lot of  Canadians, but p lanning a trip by bus, train, car, or plane can be a complicated and stressful journey - and even more so as someone with an intellectual disability. Many airports, gas stations, and other amenities are not accessible or inclusive. However, there are a number of Canadian resources  available for persons with a disability to streamline the travel proc ess and ensure getting to your destination is just as fun as arriving.

Parent advocacy group looking for family stories of prenatal determination in Ontario
The following letter was written by parent  Sarah Valiquette-Thompson.
Dearest Families,
I wanted to share the journey we are on to bring much needed, positive change towards the way we deliver a prenatal determination of Down syndrome here in Canada, starting with Ontario! 
I am the proud mother to Harvey James (22 months old) and unfortunately had a very negative prenatal experience when we received our determination of Down syndrome for our son. We were told multiple times that our life would be too challenging, that it would take time away from our daughter, asked why would we want the extra burden, and constantly questioned as to why we were continuing with our pregnancy. We almost gave in to this belief, as we had no family or friends in our community network that had Down syndrome and quite openly, had no idea where to look for help.

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

  • CACL senior staff met with Inclusive Education Canada Director Gordon Porter to discuss strategic objectives as part of a national inclusion education agenda over the next year.
  • On July 10, Ready, Willing & Able National Resource Coordinator Radha MacCulloch participated in a Deloitte Canada panel about the benefits of employing a neurodiverse workforce. 
  • CACL Director of Policy and Program Operations Tara Levandier and IRIS Managing Director Michael Bach met with numerous national disability organizations and academics while leading the organizations' participation in the development of civil society's List of Issues Prior to Reporting, in preparation for Canada's second review before the UN CRPD Committee.

  All Children Have the Right to      
  Family: Joint Position Statement 

  All children have the right to family life, yet children 
  with disabilities are disproportionately deprived of this   
  right. CACL Director of Policy and Program Operations   Tara Levandier recently  represented our international      organization,  Inclusion  International, in meetings with   
  UNICEF to encourage the adoption of a resolution  by      the UN General Assembly  on the issue of children   
  without parental care. 

  Canadian Schools Reach Turning    
  Point in Use of Seclusion Rooms

  CACL is staunchly opposed to the use of seclusion   
  rooms by educators when helping a child decompress .    The practice is segregatory and often times    traumatizing   to the individual placed in ill-equipped 
  seclusion spaces  without adequate support. The
  continued use of these rooms  across  the country is
  symptomatic of a larger problem of lack of supports     
  for  students with complex needs in our     
  education systems. 

Celebrating the Life of Disability Advocate Ing Wong-Ward 

On July 6th, disability advocate Ing Wong-Ward died of cancer. She shared her illness publicly, voicing a need for quality palliative care in a country that offers medical assistance in dying. Ing was adamant that disability did not diminish life, and hers was a life worth living. 
"Ing very much helped to shift the conversations so that people would less and less associate disability with the tropes of tragedy and misfortune. There was nothing tragic about Ing's life. Of course, her death is a tragic loss for all of us, but her life was extraordinarily satisfying and rich in so many ways. Ing would consistently challenge the stereotypes about disability being a fate worse that death, about disability diminishing life, and the subtle ways that that gets expressed in language and in our thinking and habits of response to disability. She wouldn't mince words - she was a tough cookie."   - Catherine Frazee

CACL in the News
Upcoming Dates and Events
August 5 - Civic Holiday (CACL offices closed)

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.