April 2019
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It's Community Living Month!

May is Community Living Month, when Canada comes together to celebrate the decades of life-changing work of local, provincial, and territorial Community Living organizations. 

We are fortunate to have 13 provincial-territorial members and over 300 local members in our Federation working to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the country. With supports across the lifespan, our partners strive to make every community in Canada an inclusive place for people with an intellectual disability and their families. 

CACL wants to extend our gratitude and thanks to every volunteer, employee, and community member that fosters a culture of inclusion through community living. 

Canada Hosts Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network 

From April 29 - May 1, EVP Krista Carr was in Ottawa to attend the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network Meetings.  The   GLAD Network  is a coordination body of private sector agencies and foundations working to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action.

Hosted by Global Affairs Canada, Inclusion International and the World Blind Union, the meeting provided an opportunity to strengthen shared commitments to disability inclusive development in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and discuss  how to implement these commitments through meaningful engagement with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations. 

Federal Government Commits to Accessible Elections

In June 2019, Bill C-76, also known as the 
Elections Modernization Act, will introduce a number of changes to rules governing federal elections. Among these changes are several relating to the rights of electors with disabilities. This legislation will make advance and official polling day stations accessible and ensure that all requests for accommodations and transfer certificates to a different polling station are available to any elector with a disability. 

The Federal government also committed to develop, obtain, or adapt voting technologies to enable electors with disabilities to vote independently. This means that Elections Canada now has an explicit obligation to develop ways to make the voting process more accessible for electors with disabilities.

Read more.

Senate Adopts Amendments to Strengthen Bill C-81

On May 2, Bill C-81, also known as the Accessible Canada Act, went through more changes in Senate as government look to strengthen the requirements for advancing accessibility and inclusion in Canada. Changes include adding a timeline to realize a barrier free Canada, accounting for intersectionality, and protecting the existing rights of individuals with a disability. 

Summer Student Opportunity - Communications & Partnerships Intern

Do you know a post-secondary student located in the Toronto area  who is looking for a rewarding summer internship experience? CACL is currently seeking a Communications & Partnerships Intern for Summer 2019. 

If you're a social justice advocate pursuing a post-secondary degree in communications, journalism, marketing, or a related field, apply today! Join us for the summer to gain national experience using stories and partnerships to change lives and defend rights. 
CACL in Action!
Highlights of our recent national and international work.
  • RWA National Coordinator, Frank Fagan, made a presentation at the Creating Inclusive Skies Conference in Toronto, on March 25, 2019. RWA was the sole representative organization from the disability community invited to present to representatives from every airline. Their most recent hires at Air Canada were profiled in a 2018 success story.
  • On April 3, Don Gallant, RWA's National Director, presented at the 2019 Canadian Autism Leadership Summit  on RWA outcomes achieved over the last four years and the future direction of RWA as it continues to create an inclusive Canadian workforce.
  • CACL EVP Krista Carr attended the National Disability Summit in Ottawa May 9 and 10th.  The Summit was hosted by Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Carla Qualtrough, in an effort to bring the national disability community together to discuss priorities for moving forward disability issues in Canada post the passage of Bill C-81 the Accessible Canada Act.
  • CACL EVP Krista Carr attended a meeting of national disability organizations in Ottawa on May 8th to have a beginning conversation on the potential of forming an alliance or coalition of organizations that would work together to move forward disability issues nationally.

Celebrating the Life of Inclusion Champion Jean Vanier, 1928-2019

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Jean Vanier, Canadian disability rights champion and advocate, on May 7th, 2019

Jean's work in building community and celebrating diversity is an inspiration to us all, and a driving force for inclusion on an international scale.  His thoughts on inclusion are immortalized in his powerful book  Becoming Human , where he advocates for the creation of a common good by transforming into individuals that reject notions of exclusion. Jean left a lasting legacy, and he will be greatly missed. 

Upcoming Dates and Events
May 20 - Victoria Day. CACL offices will be closed.
June 10-14 - United Nations 12th session of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD

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.