December 2017
Inclusion Matters Newsletter Masthead - News from the Canadian Association for Community Living
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Happy Holidays_
Little boy in wheelchair surrounded by family outside_
Give This Holiday Season & Help Us End Exclusion in Our Communities

CACL is the only national organization representing children and adults with an intellectual disability and their families in their desire for a meaningful and inclusive life. We would be truly grateful if during this season of giving you were to consider CACL as one of your charities of choice. Your gift can help to strengthen families, defend rights, and transform communities into places where everyone belongs.
Welcoming attendees at the Policy Forum
Highlights from the 8th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion
CACL and People First of Canada, in collaboration with the Office for Disability Issues, Employment and Social Development Canada, hosted the 8th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion in Ottawa on December 1. This year's focus was Realization of the Right to Legal Capacity for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities in Canada.
CACL in Action!
Highlights of our recent national and international work.

  • CACL, CACL Foundation, and IRIS held their Annual General Meetings in Ottawa on December 2nd. Look for the new board members' profiles in the January issue of Inclusion Matters.
  • Inclusive Education Canada Director, Gordon Porter, was the keynote speaker at the 40th Annual Student Services Administrators' Association of Manitoba (SSAAM) conference in Brandon, Manitoba. 
  • Ready, Willing & Able National Director, Don Gallant, attended Germany's largest annual event on inclusion, where he brought international attention to CACL's work in inclusive employment. "Inclusion Days - International" has been held in Berlin since 2013 and brings together over 500 global experts to exchange ideas and discuss inclusive policy and practice.
  • CACL Director of Policy & Program Operations, Tara Levandier, hosted a discussion forum for families of persons with an intellectual disability, to gather input and feedback on Canada's proposed federal accessibility legislation. Thank you to all family members who participated in this important discussion!
  • CACL EVP Krista Carr attended the first Federal, Provincial & Territorial Ministers meeting on Human Rights since 1988. Held in Ottawa on December 11th, the history-making gathering brought together all Ministers responsible for human rights in Canada, as well as key civil society leadership.
  • CACL Day on the Hill: CACL board members and staff met with Canadian Senators and Members of Parliament in Ottawa to discuss key disability priorities and the continued success of the Ready, Willing & Able program.

Windows of a large, brown brick apartment complex.
PRESS RELEASE: National Housing Strategy Makes Historic Investment

On November 30th Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the National Housing Strategy A Place to Call Home, a 10-year, $40 billion dollar plan designed to change the face of housing in Canada. Together, CACL and People First of Canada welcome this significant announcement.

Joy Bacon, CACL President said, "We are thrilled with the Prime Minister's announcement. A dedicated investment to create at least 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities will have a transformational impact on building inclusive communities right across this country."

Government of Canada Tables the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

On November 30th Hon. Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport & Persons with Disabilities tabled the CRPD Optional Protocol in the House of Commons . Canada's contributions to negotiations for the UN CRPD have been acknowledged internationally, and our global civil society partners look to Canada for continued leadership on disability rights. CACL is very pleased with this announcement and hopeful Canada will take this important step in the realization of disability rights. Prior to the announcement in the House of Commons, CACL submitted a brief on the importance of acceding to the Optional Protocol.

Ahmed speaking to symposium attendees.
Solidarity is the Basis of
Social Change

It occurred to us, as we put together our Solidarity Symposium, bringing together activists and advocates working with diverse marginalized populations, that solidarity will require breaking silos and borders of exclusion, oppression and exploitation. However, the Symposium held on December 4th in Ottawa illuminated a learning beyond the need for working together across boundaries of exclusion.

Upcoming Dates and Events  
December 25 - January 2 - CACL offices closed for holiday break  
January 4 - World Braille Day  
Save the Date  - Inclusion International is hosting the 17th Annual World Congress taking place in Birmingham, UK on May 30 - June 1, 2018. Registration now open!