March 2016
Welcome to the CACL
Inclusion Matters Newsletter!
Here at CACL we've been focusing on many issues related to the inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities, including physician-assisted suicide, inclusive employment, and supported decision making. To ensure you stay up-to-date on all things CACL, please make sure to add to your allowed emails list.
CACL Calls upon Friends and Allies to Endorse Vulnerable Persons Standard  

Over 35 community and health organizations from across Canada, including CACL and many of its members, are calling on Parliament to adopt a series of evidence-based safeguards designed to protect the lives of vulnerable Canadians - and we need your support!

The Standard is picking up momentum as individuals and organizations across the country come together to endorse and promote it. You can be an important part of that momentum. We encourage you to sign on personally as an individual supporter of the Standard, and to encourage friends and allies to do the same. We are honoured to be standing with you on this critical issue. 

New IRIS Initiative in Collaboration with Roshanak Jaberi

The Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) recently received an award from the Ontario Arts Council's Creative Engagement Fund to continue their work on the use of art for social change. The project is a collaboration with  Roshanak Jaberi, a talented Iranian-Canadian performer, choreographer, producer and activist.

Witness (Working Title), a multi-disciplinary performance piece and call to action, will explore the real stories of women and their experiences of sexual violence in refugee camps. The piece will use dance, video and verbatim.

CACL in Action 
Here are some highlights from our national work this past month: 
  • As part of IRIS' Working Together initiative, Community Town Halls were organized in four cities across Canada (Regina, Vancouver, Toronto and Saint John), during which community members came together to learn about experiences of violence as they affect women labeled with intellectual & psychiatric disabilities, Indigenous women and refugee and migrant women in the community. 
  • CACL EVP Michael Bach presented to the Board of the Human Rights Initiative of Open Society Foundations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on ways to support marginalized communities in advancing an effective politics of human rights.
  • CACL, along with a number of national disability and community organizations, launched the Vulnerable Persons Standard on Parliament Hill March 1st.
  • CACL Executive Vice-President Michael Bach presented on the right to legal capacity and supported decision making at a conference hosted by the Centre for Public Representation in Northampton, Massachusetts.
  • CACL EVP Michael Bach participated in and spoke at a family retreat in Loon Lake, British Columbia. The retreat was hosted by Inclusion BC and focused on building a family movement.

Pacific Bolt Aligns Employee Skills with Job

One of the biggest barriers to inclusive hiring is the perception of exceptional costs to accommodate someone with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, a recent study of 2,000 employers by the Job Accommodation Network showed that 57% of employers reported zero additional costs from hiring an individual with an intellectual disability or ASD.
Trevor Borland, Owner at Pacific Bolt Manufacturing in British Columbia agrees that the cost is minimal and typically no different than having to meet the needs of other employees. "There is a fear of the unknown," says Borland, "If employers don't understand what it will take they won't do it." Borland points out that employers need to be willing to invest extra time in training and make sure the right individual is aligned with the right job. 

Changes to the Disability Tax Credit Certificate 

Last year, the Canada Revenue Agency held in-person and online consultations regarding the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) program. A number of recommendations were made by the disability community, including aligning the Disability Tax Credit with Income Tax Act legislation as well as typical provincial/territorial eligibility criteria, broadening the DTC definition of disability, and making the Disability Tax Credit refundable. 

While there remains significant room for advancement, the results of the consultations include simplification of the DTC application form. Based on a broad range of comments received across the country, CRA has announced a revision of Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and has created a new Information Sheet T2201-1.

Upcoming Dates and Events
21 March: World Down Syndrome Day
25-28 March: CACL offices closed for Easter weekend
2 April: World Autism Awareness Day
7 April: World Health Day
10-16 April: National Volunteer Week

CACL in the News