April 2017
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A Letter from CACL's New Executive Vice-President Krista Carr

Long-time advocate Krista Carr will take the position of CACL Executive Vice-President on April 18th. Below, Krista shares how she became involved in the movement for inclusion.

In 1995 I was a brand new university graduate, ready to take on the world. I had a Bachelor of Business Administration and I was off to find a well paid, "important" job in a marketing firm. I wanted a big salary, a big car, a fancy office and a big benefits package. I had one small problem: I had no experience in the field and that was proving to be a problem in me reaching my goals...

Federal Budget 2017: Positive Steps for Canadians with Disabilities 
Federal Budget 2017 proposes new and expanded investments with significant potential for making a positive impact on the social and economic well-being of Canadians with intellectual and other disabilities and their families. 

CACL believes this potential can be maximized by attaching clear accountabilities, principles and conditions to these investments. This will make sure they make positive gains in building an inclusive and accessible Canada. We hope to see these requirements confirmed soon.

Canada Makes History at the UN:
CACL Works to Help Make it Happen 

Canada and Canadian organizations of persons with disabilities and their families made history in Geneva, Switzerland on April 3 and 4 when Canada's first report on implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was examined by the UN Committee responsible for monitoring the Convention. CACL EVP Michael Bach attended the Government of Canada's appearance before the Committee and presented to Committee members our community's key concerns on Canada's failure to fully meet Canada's obligations.

National Volunteer Month:
Board of Directors Spotlight
April is National Volunteer Month and the CACL Board of Directors is made up of 24 members, three of which are Marcella Baldwin, Claude Sauvé, and Roy Skoreyko, who self-identify as having an intellectual disability.

As a family-based organization in the inclusion movement, CACL believes in the importance of having board members who are self-advocates guiding its work.

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

  • Michael Bach, CACL EVP & Managing Director at IRIS, was in Chile giving a keynote address on the right to legal capacity at a conference hosted by Universidad de Chile and Fundaci√≥n Isabel Aninat Echazarreta. He also met with civil society groups to discuss strategies for advancing law and policy reforms on legal capacity.
  • On April 3 and 4 the Government of Canada appeared in Geneva before the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for its review of Canada's implementation of the CRPD. Michael Bach attended and presented to the Committee as a member of the Canadian civil society delegation. Michael Bach and Tara Levandier, Director of Policy and Program Operations, worked with other Canadian disability organizations to prepare civil society reports outlining gaps in meeting Canada's obligations, including the parallel report as well as reports on access to housing and Article 12.
  • Michael Bach met with civil society partners in Bulgaria and in Peru to discuss IRIS's legal capacity initiatives in the country.
  • CACL and IRIS worked with Community Living Ontario, People First of Canada and People First of Ontario on a response to the Law Commission of Ontario's recent report on legal capacity and supported decision making, challenging the Law Commission's rejection of proposals to implement supported decision making in Ontario. CACL and IRIS participated in a forum on this issue hosted by Community Living Ontario and Ryerson University Disability Studies on March 27 at Ryerson University.
  • Doris Rajan, Director of Social Development at IRIS, attended the announcement on "Better and More Affordable Housing for our Families" in Toronto with Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
  • IRIS has been implementing the first phase of the Toronto - A Place to Call Our Own: Empowering Women to Take Action for Affordable Housing initiative, which consists of a literature review of resources, tools, strategies and programs specific to the issue of affordable housing for women in Toronto and - where relevant - Canada as a whole.  
Healing Hands Landscaping Finds the Perfect Candidate

As a business owner, Suzanne Kenchington of Healing Hands Landscaping, a company that provides design, installation and maintenance services in Burnaby, British Columbia, has worked hard to develop a diverse and hard-working team. With both a personal and professional background of working with individuals with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Kenchington knew working with Ready, Willing & Able would make for a great partnership... 
RWA Works: Course 2 Now Online
Discover the business benefits of inclusive hiring with RWA Works. This online hub provides businesses with five free, on demand courses that cover a variety of topics on hiring employees with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In Course 2, you will learn about the characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder and intellectual disability and how these characteristics may present in the workplace. Available in both English and French.

Upcoming Dates and Events
April 14 & 17 - CACL offices are closed for Easter holiday
April 22 - Earth Day
April 23 - 29 - National Volunteer Week
May - Community Living Month
May 1 - 7 - Mental Health Week
May 8 - CN Tower lights up blue and green for Community Living
May 15 - UN International Day of Families