Weekly Email Digest for Information Sharing Purposes November 1 – 5 2021


CCD Member Groups………………………………………………………………………… 4

Disability Alliance BC……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Download the Fall/Winter 2021 edition of Transition, DABC’s magazine!……………………….. 4

CWDO | NEADS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

Captioned Video available now of A Conversation on  Self-Advocacy with Citizens With Disabilities Ontario (CWDO)’s…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities | The Voice – October 4, 2021…………………………………….. 5

Increasing Accuracy of Auto-Captions for Virtual Meetings | By Sheila Serup, MBA President, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Calgary…………………………………………………………………………. 5

Annual Accessible Driver Appreciation Week………………………………………………………………. 7

VAD Website Reboot 2021………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – IDPD | Save the Date – December 3, 2021 | 11am – 1pm Virtual Event……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities | International Day For Persons with Disabilities 2021 | The Road to the Podium: Moving from Recreational to Competitive Sport…………………………………………… 9

We want to invite you to the 2021 IDPD Edmonton event………………………………………….. 10

Accessibility…………………………………………………………………………………… 11

U.S. Access Board to Host Virtual Event on Designing for Inclusion: Architectural Trends and Social Justice………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Section 508 Best Practices Webinar: A Celebration of Twenty Years…………………….. 11

Climate……………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

Prime Minister Trudeau concludes productive United Nations Climate Summit | November 2, 2021 | Glasgow, United Kingdom…………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

COVID-19………………………………………………………………………………………… 17

Deliberately coughing at someone is criminal assault: Alberta judge……………………………….. 17

Angus Reid Institute | Dwindling group of unvaccinated cite ‘personal freedom’ and ‘health concerns’ as main reasons for dodging the jab………………………………………………………………………………… 20

In return to campuses, students with disabilities fear they’re being ‘left behind’ | Washington Post     20

CRPD………………………………………………………………………………………………. 25

CRPD Committee published the Annotated Outline of its forthcoming Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization of Persons with Disabilities, including in emergency situations……………………………………….. 25

Federal Election | Post Election Developments………………………………. 26

Fall 2021 – Public Governance in Perspective……………………………………………………………….. 26

Human Rights…………………………………………………………………………………. 26

A New Captioned Video Gives You a Practical Guide to the Duty to Accommodate People with Disabilities………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26

November 2021 – Indigenous Disability Awareness Month…………………………………………….. 29

50 – 30 Challenge November Update…………………………………………………………………………… 31

Mise à jour de novembre sur le Défi 50-30……………………………………………………………………. 33


An Indigenous mother is highlighting the barriers that Indigenous people face when trying to access disability services and is asking for more culturally sensitive support to be made available.. 36

Income……………………………………………………………………………………………. 38

Beyond the Basic: The Opportunities and Risks of a Basic Income Webinar……………………… 38

The High Cost of Living in a Disabling World………………………………………………………………….. 39

Canada Revenue Agency announces maximum pensionable earnings for 2022………………… 52

L’Agence du revenu du Canada publie le maximum des gains ouvrant droit à pension pour 2022          53

Medical Aid in Dying……………………………………………………………………….. 54

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Newsletter | Is assisted suicide quick and painless?………… 54

Newsletters | New Books| Reports | Websites| Podcasts………………… 55

Angus Reid Institute| Corporate Canada gets mixed report card from Canadians living with disabilities………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 55

Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy…………………………………………………………….. 55

EASPD Newsletter | Let’s Achieve More Together…………………………………………………………. 55

Fighting Blindness | Time is almost OUT to make an impact…………………………………………… 55

Fighting Blindness | Your November e-Newsletter is here!…………………………………………….. 55

PSAC Newsletter………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 55

Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum…………………………………………………………………….. 56

Cooperation Canada Newsletter………………………………………………………………………………….. 71

Rick Hansen Accessibility Professional Network | Register Today Before It Is Too Late………. 72

Transportation………………………………………………………………………………… 72

TTC restored after suspected hack | Agency sees no service disruption, though user of Wheel-Trans disagrees | Ben Spurr , Toronto Star, Nov. 2, 2021………………………………………………………… 72

City to take back 30 per cent of Transit Plus | Joyanne Pursaga | Winnipeg Free Press, October 30, 2021………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 74

United Nations………………………………………………………………………………… 75

The UN DESA Highlights 2020-2021 is now available for download!………………………………… 75

Webinars………………………………………………………………………………………… 76

2021 Gathering Registration Is Open!…………………………………………………………………………… 76

Opportunities………………………………………………………………………………….. 76

The G3ict DARE Academy Scholarship Fund Application is Now Open (Cycle 2)………………… 76

Opportunity to Work for UNICEF…………………………………………………………………………………. 79

PS3516 – notice of request for information for under-represented groups……………………….. 80

Avis d’une demande de renseignement pour les groupes sous-représenté………………………. 80

Seeking a Production Coordinator (Prairies)!………………………………………………………………… 81

Poste de Coordonnateur(trice) de Production disponible (Prairies) !……………………………….. 82

Appendix………………………………………………………………………………………… 83

Annotated outline | Living independently and being included in the community: Guidelines on deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities, including in emergency situations………… 83

Draft outline -Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization of Persons with Disabilities, including in emergency situations………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 106


CCD Member Groups

Disability Alliance BC

Download the Fall/Winter 2021 edition of Transition, DABC’s magazine!

Here’s the Fall/Winter 2021 edition of Transition magazine! The focus of this edition is Ending Legislated Poverty.

Download it here.

Our Transition team is always glad to receive feedback and to consider articles or creative work from our community partners and from people living with a disability.

If you’d like to send along your ideas, we’d love to hear from you at transition@disabilityalliancebc.org.

Thank you for your support from our Board, staff and volunteers.

If you would like to speak to us about our work, please email feedback@disabilityalliancebc.org.

Best regards,

Karen Martin, Executive Director: Operations

Helaine Boyd, Executive Director: Programs and Policy

P.S. Your donation will help realize our vision of a world where people with disabilities live with dignity and independence, contributing fully in our communities.  

Disability Alliance BC | http://disabilityalliancebc.org/


Captioned Video available now of A Conversation on  Self-Advocacy with Citizens With Disabilities Ontario (CWDO)’s

A captioned video of NEADS’ event A Conversation on Self-Advocacy with Tracy Odell, President Citizens With Disabilities Ontario and Elizabeth Mohler, Researcher, NEADS that took place on October 29th, is now live on our YouTube!  https://youtu.be/wzIp1AEJgcU
With passionate discussions on the importance of self-advocacy and pervasiveness of barriers to full employment and education, this recording is a must for the learning it imparts! This event is part of a continual series of webinars as part of our Access for All Project supported with funding from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Supports for Student Learning Program. Thanks to Traci, Elizabeth and the NEADS Team that supported the event and, of course, to all who attended! Enjoy

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities | The Voice – October 4, 2021

Increasing Accuracy of Auto-Captions for Virtual Meetings | By Sheila Serup, MBA President, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Calgary

With the increased use of videoconferencing for virtual meetings, live auto-captioning creates accessibility of conversations for Albertans with hearing loss.

Auto-captioning in which voice recognition technology converts speech to text, known as captions, serves as an invaluable tool for understanding spoken content. 

While professional captioners provide real-time captioning for work, medical and educational purposes, for many Albertans it is not practical to use real-time captioning for virtual meetings with friends and family. 

Platforms such as Zoom, MS Teams and Google offer auto-captions, some with a subscription service and others free. However, there are still challenges to seeing the correct captions being displayed. 

To better understand why errors occur in translating speech to auto-captions, I turned to an expert in the field of Linguistics.

Dr. Benjamin V. Tucker, with the University of Alberta’s Department of Linguistics, observes that speech recognition technology still struggles with transcribing voices to text. 

“There are lots of other factors that will play a role as well, and there are simple solutions such as getting a microphone close to the speaker’s mouth and reducing background noise,” Dr. Tucker says. 

He recommends using headphones to reduces noise coming from the environment and looking directly into the camera when talking. Any documents or prompts being referred to onscreen should be situated near the camera, so the person speaking is looking into the camera.

Background and lighting play a role as well. Speakers sitting behind a bright window may be seen as a silhouette and speechreading becomes impossible as their faces become darker with the bright light behind them. Being in a quiet room, away from other conversations in the room or background noise assists the technology in only transcribing the virtual conversation.

As captions are normally displayed along the bottom of the screen, the speaker’s face could be positioned so that his or her lips will not be obscured by the captions. 

“Users can slow down to help listeners,” notes Dr. Tucker. “Reading lips and reading captions – the task is very difficult as the user is multitasking.” 

“When the input voice is highly accented, the system will have a hard time. It also struggles with background noise.”

Dr. Tucker, who is also a Mercator Fellow in Quantitative Linguistics at the German University of Tübingen, suggests that before joining a call, participants spend a few minutes adjusting their position and equipment for an optimal presentation. Practising with headphones and microphones will also enhance everyone’s audio-visual experience.

Dr. Tucker points out that if a powerpoint presentation or documents are included in a video-conference meeting, recording a video with captions about the document makes it easier for participants to understand.

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association has developed a Virtual Meeting Platform Guide to enable people to better access virtual meeting platforms. The Guide provides step-by-step tips to turn on the captioning function, and tips to increase its effectiveness. (It is posted on the CHHA.ca website at: https://www.chha.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Virtual-Meeting-Platform-Accessibility-Guide-1.pdf)

Information in the Guide along with tips shared by Dr. Tucker will increase the accuracy of speech-independent auto-captioning in video conference meetings. 

As current trends indicate, virtual meetings are becoming the norm for all of us. 

Annual Accessible Driver Appreciation Week 

Second week of November! From November 8-12, 2021. Please let the people who drive and schedule accessible transportation know they are appreciated. It is through their daily work that many people get to live, work and play in our communities. Thank you for your welcoming manner, your professional driving skills, and your organization of complicated scheduling demands. Your work is essential to support the full participation of persons with disabilities in society. 


Alberta Ability Network and Voice of Albertans with Disabilities would like you to share our campaign posts on your social media accounts. There are links to our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, respectively. 


Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbAbilityNet 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ababilitynet 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AbAbilityNet/ 


Twitter: https://twitter.com/VADisabilities 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vadisabilities

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VADisabilities/

VAD Website Reboot 2021

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities is currently recreating our website to be a fully inclusive platform. We are weeks away from launching a brand new site and are very pleased with the progress made so far. The new site will be interactive and have a portal for members to access projects and update business or personal information directly on the site.  

The new site is meeting the needs of inclusion and full participation in user engagement and VAD is grateful for all the time spent working with Fresh Focus Media to create this wonderful new site. We are looking forward to being able to interact with website users in an accessible fashion and with the new site capabilities, we are able to digitalize our membership applications and renewals.  

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – IDPD | Save the Date – December 3, 2021 | 11am – 1pm Virtual Event

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The main programme of the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the UN Headquarters in New York will include the Opening, panel discussions and cultural events. Member States, civil society organizations and the private sector are welcome to organize their own events to celebrate the International Day to raise awareness and promote the rights and perspectives of persons with disabilities around the world.

Watch for Edmonton’s IDPD event on December 3, VAD will be promoting the event on social media. Want more information, contact Sam at 780-488-9088.

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities | International Day For Persons with Disabilities 2021 | The Road to the Podium: Moving from Recreational to Competitive Sport


We want to invite you to the 2021 IDPD Edmonton event

“The Road to the Podium: Moving From Recreational to Competitive Sport” happening December 3, 2021 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Zoom: https://bit.ly/3nZv3Nv 

In honour of the recent Summer Paralympic games and the upcoming Winter Paralympic games we have invited incredible athletes who have both gone to the Paralympic games or are on their way there! We also have two special guests: Chanel Keenan, the intersectionality consultant for the Seattle Kraken and a special musical performance by Tony Flores! Please share with whomever else you think might be interested .

ASL Interpretation and Cart Captioning will be provided, please indicate at registration if you require any other accommodation to improve your enjoyment of this event.

Register here: https://bit.ly/3nZv3Nv 

Join us for the two hour event on Zoom- See our Programming below:

11:00 AM: Welcome from the Accessibility Advisory Committee of Edmonton

11:05 AM: Proclamation from City Council

11:20 AM: Carrie Anton, Paralympic Goalball Gold Medalist, Sydney 2000 Summer Games

11:35 AM: Sierra Roth, NextGen Athlete, Rowing Canada

11:50 AM: Morgan Bird, Paralympic Swimmer Bronze Medalist, Tokyo 2020 Summer Games

12:05 PM: Viviane Forest, Paralympic Alpine Skiing Gold Medalist, Vancouver2010 Winter Games

12:20 PM: To Be Confirmed

12:35 PM: Chanel Keenan, Inclusion Consultant, NHL’s Seattle Kraken

12:50 PM: Closing Musical Performance and interview with Tony Flores

Join us Virtually December 3, 20201 11AM to 1PM On Zoom, Register here: https://bit.ly/3nZv3Nv 


U.S. Access Board to Host Virtual Event on Designing for Inclusion: Architectural Trends and Social Justice

Click on the following link to access the information online: U.S. Access Board to Host Virtual Event on Designing for Inclusion: Architectural Trends and Social Justice (access-board.gov)

Section 508 Best Practices Webinar: A Celebration of Twenty Years

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the initial enforcement of the Section 508 Standards. The next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place November 30 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will showcase the work of influential accessibility professionals who developed and implemented the original 508 Standards, as well as highlight the impact the Standards have had on the accessibility of information and communication technology in the United States and around the world.  Invited speakers include David Capozzi, former Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board (retired), who will discuss the collaborative process that resulted in the development of the Standards in 2000 and the Revised Standards in 2017; Bill Peterson, Department of Homeland Security (retired), who will cover the challenges with implementing the law and the ramifications; Terry Weaver, General Services Administration (retired), and John Sullivan, General Services Administration, who will review the implementation of Section 508 across government, including the continuing development of technical assistance and the creation of a central source for technical assistance and training materials at www.section508.gov. In closing, Sachin Pavithran, Executive Director of the Board, will present on collaboration efforts by the U.S. and global partners to promote accessibility, the advancement of accessibility testing processes, and the progress on the development of the ICT Baseline Testing Portfolio.  For more details or to register, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. To allow more time for the speakers, there will be no live question and answer session. Registrants may submit questions in advance. Webinar attendees can receive a participation certificate for attending the 90-minute session.  Registration closes 24 hours before the start of the session. Instructions for accessing the webinar on the day of the session will be sent via email to registered individuals in advance of the session. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and Video Sign Language Interpreters are available for the session and will be broadcast via the webinar platform. A telephone option (not toll-free) for receiving audio is also available.  The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series provides helpful information and best practices for federal agencies in meeting their obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which ensures access to information and communication technology in the federal sector. This webinar series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the U.S. Access Board. All webinars are archived and available on the archives webpage


Prime Minister Trudeau concludes productive United Nations Climate Summit | November 2, 2021 | Glasgow, United Kingdom

Climate change is the greatest long-term threat of our time, but it is also the greatest opportunity for our economy and workers. Over the past two days, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, participated in the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom, to outline Canada’s strong leadership on climate change and work with partners on the path forward to a cleaner future.

Delivering Canada’s national statement, Prime Minister Trudeau advocated for increased global ambition and action to cut pollution and create new opportunities for our workers. Since 2015, Canada has been delivering on real climate action that has cut pollution, created new middle class jobs, and protected a healthy environment, including through investments of approximately $100 billion. To further this critical work, and ensure that Canada’s economy and workers benefit from the global transition to a clean economy, the government will continue to make important investments to fight the climate crisis and build a better future for everyone.

Throughout the summit, Prime Minister Trudeau championed putting a price on pollution towards reaching global climate goals, and called on all countries to take bold action to expand the use of pollution pricing globally. Today, just over 20 per cent of the world’s emissions are covered by a price on pollution. But if significant economies around the world joined Canada by putting a meaningful price on pollution, we would have a better shot at tackling the climate crisis and building a cleaner world. To that end, the Prime Minister called for global leaders to work together to triple the global emissions covered by pollution pricing to 60 per cent by 2030.

Canada is recognized internationally as a leader and innovator in pricing pollution. Our price trajectory to 2030 is one of the most ambitious in the world. Pricing pollution also puts more money back into the pockets of Canadians. In jurisdictions where the federal carbon pricing system applies, all direct proceeds from the federal pollution pricing system are returned to the jurisdiction where they were collected. A majority of proceeds are returned directly to Canadians through Climate Action Incentive payments, which give 8 out of 10 families more money back than they pay under the system.

The Prime Minister also announced the Government of Canada’s proposal to deliver eligible Canadians’ Climate Action Incentive on a quarterly basis, starting in July 2022. This change will deliver cheques to Canadians more frequently. By putting a price on pollution, Canadians and businesses are encouraged to innovate, find new solutions, create middle class jobs, and be leaders in developing the technologies the world needs as we build a cleaner, green economy.

At the Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau also highlighted Canada’s leadership in supporting developing countries as they adapt to climate change and transition to a cleaner economy. Today, the Prime Minister announced investments of up to $57.5 million to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries adapt to the climate crisis and increase their resilience.

The climate crisis has also meant that food, land, and water systems around the world are facing new challenges and threats. That is why Canada is supporting new innovation on climate-resilient agriculture and food systems. Canada will provide $55 million dollars over three years for CGIAR, a global research partnership that aims to transform these systems to not only strengthen food security and end hunger, but also promote gender equality, create new jobs and livelihoods, and deliver climate and environmental benefits around the world.

The Prime Minister advocated for clean electricity as a key element to achieving a net-zero emissions economy. The Government of Canada is committed to accelerating its clean energy transformation by working with provinces, territories, industry, and other stakeholders to ensure that Canada’s electricity grid achieves net-zero emissions by 2035.

The Prime Minister also announced bold new measures to assist with the clean energy transition and phasing out of thermal coal. Coal is the single largest contributor to climate change. To help accelerate the transition away from coal, the Prime Minister announced up to $1 billion for the Climate Investment Funds Accelerated Coal Transition Investment Program, through Canada’s international climate finance contribution, to help developing countries transition from coal-fired electricity to clean power as quickly as possible.

Reducing global methane emissions is one of the fastest and lowest cost ways of fighting climate change. Prime Minister Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s support for the Global Methane Pledge, which it officially joined today, and its objective of reducing total methane emissions by at least 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. Canada has set the global pace by becoming the first country to commit to reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector by at least 75 per cent below 2012 levels by 2030, and to pursue methane reductions across economic sectors.

The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of nature-based climate solutions to help reduce pollution, adapt to the impacts of climate change, protect and restore nature and biodiversity, and strengthen people’s health and well-being. Canada has committed to protecting 25 per cent of its land and oceans by 2025, working toward 30 per cent by 2030. As a member of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, Canada is strongly advocating for other countries to also commit to conserving 30 percent of the world’s lands and oceans by 2030.

Canada recognizes that, to achieve maximum results, our actions to protect and conserve nature and our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change must be closely aligned. Nowhere is this truer than in the oceans. That is why today, the Prime Minister announced $9 million in additional support for the Ocean Risk and Resilience Alliance, to support their ongoing work helping Small Island Developing States and coastal developing countries increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change through nature-based solutions. He also announced $6 million for the Global Fund for Coral Reefs to support international efforts in coral reef conservation and restoration.

Canada is already embracing the power of nature to support efforts to address the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, including by planting 2 billion trees.  As part of these nature‑based solutions, the Government of Canada has also committed to promoting the rights, knowledge, and leadership of Indigenous peoples in conservation, including by supporting Indigenous-led stewardship initiatives. These initiatives provide important cultural, health, and physical benefits for Indigenous communities, while supporting healthy ecosystems that provide conservation and climate benefits for all Canadians.

Lastly, the Prime Minister endorsed the UK‑led Global Forest Finance Pledge, which aims to identify US$12 billion in public climate finance from 2021 to 2025, to support further ambition from forested developing countries.

Canada is a committed partner in the global fight against climate change. That’s why the Government of Canada is leading the way by taking real climate action and developing the climate solutions that will cut pollution and create new middle class jobs for Canadians. By working with global partners, we will tackle the climate crisis and build a better and cleaner future for everyone.


Deliberately coughing at someone is criminal assault: Alberta judge

Tom Blackwell | National Post, Nov. 5, 2021

It’s already sparking debate about how far Canada’s criminal law should reach.

Judge Heather Lamoureux’s conclusion that “emitting a force consisting of lungair molecules” qualifies as the use of force under the Criminal Code led her to convict a bar patron who removed his mask and coughed at a waitress.

The incident occurred during a confrontation over the customer’s winnings from a video lottery terminal.

Lamoureux focused on whether the gesture fit into the Criminal Code’s definition of assault as an act where someone “applies force” without another person’s consent.

“Air pressure is a force at the molecular level in the same manner as physical force visible to the naked eye. This is basic science, uncontroverted, and not requiring any expert opinion,” wrote the judge.

“Accordingly, when Mr. Pruden engaged in an intentional act of coughing, he was emitting a force consisting of lung air molecules into the atmosphere.”

Others in Canada have pleaded guilty to assault for exhaling at people during COVID. But neither the Crown nor defence could find any case law anywhere in the world where a judge actually ruled at trial on whether such an act qualified as a crime, said defence lawyer David Roper.

“It is an unprecedented decision,” he said. “It has effectively taken a pandemic for the court to come to this decision.”

It’s long been the law in Canada that deliberately spitting on someone can be an assault; the question here was whether emitting invisible particles also amounted to using force, he said.

Roper said he and client Kyle Claude Pruden, 35, respect Lamoureux’s decision, but at trial questioned whether it was wise to apply criminal sanction to such invisible acts.

“This is something that occurs every single day,” he said.

“Effectively if you’re in an elevator and breathing, those aerosols are going into the air, you’re effectively committing the actus reus (prohibited act) of assault.”

That said, he acknowledged that a key factor in this case and any others to come is whether there was mens rea – criminal intent – along with the act of coughing, and the judge ruled Pruden did have such intent.

Roper cited in his arguments an article by Lisa Silver, a University of Calgary law professor, who raises cautions about creating new “COVID-19 crime.”

Silver said in an interview Thursday that she does not in any way condone what Pruden did, but suggested that defining a cough as assault opens a legal can of worms.

“You can’t change a criminal offence to fit a COVID situation,” she said.

“Once you broaden and widen the definition, where do you draw the line? Could breathing, could a sneeze, could a laugh (be considered application of force)? … The fact is that criminal law is a blunt instrument. The potential for imprisonment is there for every criminal offence, no matter how trivial.”

It might have made more sense to give Pruden a ticket under public-health laws or at least to charge him with common nuisance under the Criminal Code, which wouldn’t stretch the definition of assault, said the professor.

Pruden was eventually given a conditional discharge, meaning he will not have a criminal record if he complies with the conditions.

The incident arose last November, when Pruden, who owns a welding rig that services the oil and gas industry, was at Calgary’s Black Swan pub, drinking and playing VLTs.

He asked for his winnings, but bartender Cayla Cossette said he would have to return the next day and get the money from the bar’s owner. In the heated discussion that ensued, he admitted to the court that he ripped off his mask and coughed in close proximity to Cossette.

When another bar patron urged him later to leave, putting his hand on Pruden’s shoulder, the defendant swung around and hit the customer, the ruling said. He was also convicted of assault for that action.

Lamoureux said assault can involve even minimal touching of another person without their consent, but the issue is more complex when the alleged assault “cannot be seen with the naked eye.”

She said Pruden’s cough was clearly intentional, and she ruled that force as mentioned in the Criminal Code can include “the movement of gas molecules which are inhaled and exhaled during the course of taking air into the lungs and expelling air from the lungs.”

She also cited scientific evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted via tiny aerosolized particles not usually visible with the naked eye.

Angus Reid Institute | Dwindling group of unvaccinated cite ‘personal freedom’ and ‘health concerns’ as main reasons for dodging the jab

Click on the following link to access the information online: Dwindling group of unvaccinated cite ‘personal freedom’ and ‘health concerns’ as main reasons for dodging the jab (mailchi.mp)

In return to campuses, students with disabilities fear they’re being ‘left behind’ | Washington Post

Many are having to press their universities for accommodations — or drop classes entirely

By Stephanie Lai | November 1, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

Jessica Chaikof, a hearing- and visually impaired graduate student at American University in D.C., grew increasingly frustrated as the minutes ticked by in her 2½-hour sociology course. She could not hear or read anything.

It was her first in-person class, and Chaikof had set up a second laptop and a school-provided microphone near her professor and her socially distanced classmates to transcribe the conversation in real time. She squinted to read the resulting words, but even as her three classmates got out of their seats and shouted into the microphone to try to help, the transcription service picked up little.

“It’s affecting my learning. It’s affecting my ability to do well in class,” said Chaikof, whose hearing and visual impairments are caused by Usher syndrome. “Overall, it’s been really frustrating.”

Many students welcomed the return to in-person learning, but the change has revived pre-pandemic difficulties and created new ones for some students with disabilities. Some lamented the reduction of online instruction, which allowed them to read closed captions during lectures in real time, turn their cameras off when needed, and watch recorded lectures at home and at their own pace, among its benefits.

Losing that flexibility, Chaikof and others said, has brought them physical and mental distress — and the feeling that they’re being forgotten.

“I have to work 10 times harder than my classmates just to be able to succeed, and yet I’m not being supported,” Chaikof said.

American University’s sociology department, she stressed, was helpful, but the university response has frustrated her, she said. Chaikof requested an in-person transcriber for real-time captioning, she said, and had spoken with the university on multiple occasions to acquire one for her required course. An American University spokesperson said the school could provide Chaikof only remote captioning services because of a shortage of in-person transcribers and a growing demand for them.

Experts estimate that 1 in 8 U.S. college students have at least one disability, according to Scott Lissner, the public policy committee chair at the Association on Higher Education and Disability. Some of those students, including those with attention-deficit-related disabilities, say they found online learning harder. But overall, the return to in-person learning presents a pervasive challenge for students with disabilities as well as for every college across the country, said Felicia Nurmsen, the managing director of employer services at the National Organization on Disability.

The challenge is heightened, Nurmsen said, in state schools that have high percentages of students with disabilities and few resources. Nurmsen said most of the universities with which she has worked are still figuring out how to increase opportunities for online classes as a disability-related accommodation.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this,” she said. “Every college has students with disabilities. We all need to think about how to support our students with invisible and visible disabilities.”

Zandy Wong, a second-year neuroscience student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who also has a hearing impairment, also has struggled to keep up with her classes.

She requested clear face masks for the discussion  section of her calculus II class from her university’s disability services so that she could read the lips of her socially distanced instructor and classmates. But the instructor and the class stopped wearing the clear masks after a week, Wong said, and she was reluctant to self-identify as having a disability at every class meeting to remind everyone to wear them. As a result, she said, she had difficulty keeping up with the course material.

“I worry, with the transition back to in-person learning, that disabled students like me will be left behind once again,” Wong said. “The pandemic showed me that environments can be made fully accessible in a virtual or hybrid environment with little cost to the school.”

A Johns Hopkins representative said that the university has provided more online and hybrid offerings in programs that were primarily in-person before the pandemic, and that the university is considering how to use technology to make classes more inclusive and equitable.

Many universities are figuring out the same, experts said, and finding ways to make learning more equitable, including through simulations for labs, video platforms and hybrid learning tools for asynchronous learning.

“The technology has been fleshed out, and the logistics are now understood,” Lissner said. “And now there is a much larger pool of people who could benefit.” The pandemic, he added, has given students with disabilities leverage to press for more change in the educational system.

But challenges remain. At Stanford, third-year math and computational science student Poojit Hegde said online learning was a benefit for him, drastically boosting his levels of physical and mental energy every day. Hegde has chronic fatigue syndrome and received a diagnosis of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, in 2018; POTS limits his mobility and strains his health when his body temperature fluctuates.

While he was attending classes remotely, Hegde could forgo trekking across Stanford’s campus, which covers more than 8,100 acres. But since he has returned to in-person instruction, he said, he has resumed worrying about having the energy to make it to class. Normally, he would use the campus’s golf cart service, which provides transportation between locations on campus for those with disabilities or certain health conditions at the university. But Hegde said he has had a hard time getting to use that facility this year because of increased demand. A Stanford spokesperson said the university increased the staffing of the transportation service at the beginning of the academic year because ridership had climbed from four passengers daily last school year to 50 a day this fall.

In September, one of Hegde’s classes spontaneously decided to meet outside in the early afternoon when it was 80 degrees, and he was not prepared. Normally, he said, he would have brought a cooling vest, a portable fan and water.

“By the end, I really regretted going to class. It impacted the rest of my day and the day after,” Hegde said. “Because my disability is invisible, if I don’t advocate for myself enough, people won’t listen to me.”

Liza Mamedov-Turchinsky, a senior at the University of California at Berkeley who has completed six years for her undergraduate degree, said she had to drop half her courses this year because she did not want to take any in-person classes. Mamedov-Turchinsky, who is studying rhetoric and anthropology, is immunocompromised and has chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain disorder, asthma and ADHD.

A Berkeley spokesperson said students with disabilities are allowed to participate remotely if doing so does not fundamentally change the nature of the courses involved. In addition, if remote learning is not an option, the university will work with the students to find appropriate accommodations.

But Mamedov-Turchinsky’s department is small and did not offer many virtual courses, she said, and her request could not be accommodated. As a result, partly to avoid the threat posed by the novel coronavirus, she will have to take another year or possibly two to graduate.

“I can’t choose between my life and my degree. It’s a very difficult position for me to be in,” she said. “What’s been the most painful and heartbreaking about the pandemic is seeing that the world, at the flip of the dime, was able to restructure itself when it came to abled people needing those accommodations. And now it’s become even more difficult to be an equal among my peers.”

Alex Chand, a fifth-year Lawrence University student of physics and English who has autism, said she enjoyed Zoom learning because she felt she could understand social cues better: She did not need to ask others to join their groups because the professor could automate breakout rooms, she could easily leave her hand raised in the queue, and she generally felt less anxious to attend class.

Returning to in-person learning on the campus in Appleton, Wis., has been stressful, Chand said, because she has had to put in far more energy to fight for accommodations. She saw a psychiatrist this fall for medication to help with her anxiety.

“For a while after returning to campus, I was afraid to leave my room,” Chand said. “It’s been really stressful for me, because it’s hard to decode what’s being said in between the lines.”

Barbara Hong, the dean of Texas A&M International University’s University College and a professor in special education, suggested that the difficulties that students are facing could have been avoided if schools considered reopening in smaller phases.

Hong recommended that instructors and administrators take this school year to reconsider how they teach and assess knowledge in the classroom.

“The pandemic has demanded faculty to be more creative and learn how to use new technology,” Hong said, “and none of this goes away.”


CRPD Committee published the Annotated Outline of its forthcoming Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization of Persons with Disabilities, including in emergency situations

The CRPD Committee has published in its website, under “Recent Events and Developments”, the annotated outline of its forthcoming “Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization of Persons with Disabilities, including in emergency situations” (attached in English). In this way, the Committee updates all stakeholders on the advancement of the process towards the guidelines that included the 7 regional consultations during the first part of 2021.

The Committee also published a “Notice on the process” (attached in English, Spanish and French), in which it describes the process undertaken and to come

Next steps include the publication soon in 2021 of the first draft guidelines together with a call for comments for interested stakeholders. Stay tuned!

(See appendix.)

Federal Election | Post Election Developments

Fall 2021 – Public Governance in Perspective

Click on the following link to access the information online: Fall 2021 – Public Governance in Perspective (mailchi.mp)

Human Rights

A New Captioned Video Gives You a Practical Guide to the Duty to Accommodate People with Disabilities

Have you heard something about the duty to accommodate people with disabilities, but wanted to know what it actually means? Who owes this duty? To which people with disabilities? What does the duty include? What kinds of accommodations does it require? When does the duty to accommodate arise? Have you heard before that it is a duty to accommodate up to the point of “undue hardship,” but wondered what “undue hardship means?

Here’s a brand new captioned video that answers all these questions. It is called “The Duty to Accommodate People with Disabilities 101 – An Introduction to the Duty to Accommodate.” It is presented by AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, who is also a visiting professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School.

This presentation talks about the duty to accommodate in a wide range of situations. It includes the duty of employers to accommodate employees and job applicants with disabilities. It also addresses the duty of those in the public and private sectors who provide goods, services or facilities to the public to accommodate people with disabilities. That includes a diverse range of organizations, like stores, restaurants, hotels, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and other health care providers, public and private transportation providers, and so on.

Anyone involved in human resources work, or in direct customer service, or the management of an organization in the public or private sector can also benefit from this video. You don’t need any background in the law to benefit from this video.

It can be helpful to you if you are a member of a municipality’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, or of a school board’s Special Education Advisory Committee, or of a Standards Development Committee appointed under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

We encourage you to watch this video and to share it with others, including via social media. Post a link to it on your organization’s website. If you teach a course in college, university or other educational setting, feel free to use all or part of it as part of your instructional materials. Use this video as a tool to help in the campaign to make Ontario fully accessible to all ,people with disabilities.

The video runs about one and a quarter hours. To make is easier to use, and for those who don’t have time to watch it all, we provide links below to each of the major headings or topics addressed in the video.

Let us know what you think of this video. Send your feedback to aodafeedback@gmail.com

An Introduction to the Duty to Accommodate People with Disabilities”

The video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y32XvjWmDAQ

Here are links to key topics in the video:

1. Introduction and Overview 00:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeKQHuxP9XU

2. Where does the Duty to Accommodate Come From? 2:27 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=147

3. Who Must Accommodate People with Disabilities? Who Has the Duty to Accommodate? 5:12 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=312

4. What is the Purpose of the Duty to Accommodate? 8:25 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=504

5. What are the Benefits of Fulfilling the Duty to Accommodate? 11:15 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=675

6. What Disabilities are Included within the Duty to Accommodate? 15:40 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=941

7. Examples of Accommodations that Can be Required 17:26 

8. What is the Content of the Duty to Accommodate? What Must an Organization Do? 26:05 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=1565

9. Some Red Herrings We Can Eliminate from Discussion About the Duty to Accommodate 34:05 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2045

10. When Does the Duty to Accommodate Arise? 35:25 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2125

11. When, If Ever, Can You Ask a Person, Requesting Accommodation, for Medical Documentation of Their Disability? 37:50 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2270

12 The Undue Hardship Defence – General Principles 39:33 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2373

13. When Can the Cost of Accommodation Justify a Failure to Accommodate? 49:14 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2954

14. When Can Health and Safety Considerations Justify a Refusal to Accommodate? 57:42 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3461

15. Can the Failure to Accommodate Be Defended on the Basis that It Adversely Affects the Morale of Other Workers? 59:10 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3546

16. How Does the Duty to Accommodate Apply to Trade Unions and Collective Agreements? 1:00:49 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3649

17. What Happens if Fulfillment of the Duty to Accommodate May Conflict with Other Rights of Other People? 1:03:48 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3829

18. A Short, Punchy List of Defences or Arguments that Cannot Justify a Failure to Accommodate 1:06:56 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=4016

19. Concluding Thoughts 1:11:18 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=4282

November 2021 – Indigenous Disability Awareness Month

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. We just wanted to send you a quick note / reminder that November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM). IDAM was created by our Society 7 years ago to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous peoples living with disabilities and to raise the awareness and priority of Indigenous disability in Canada and around the world. 
This year we have seen Manitoba join British Columbia and Saskatchewan in officially proclaiming the month as well as 6 Capital Cities, numerous organizations with video’s provided by various notable persons recognizing the month such as the Prime Minister, Senators, and celebrities. . If your organization would like to officially proclaim the month please visit www.bcands.bc.ca asnd to follow the happening during IDAM please follow us at @bcands1 on Twitter. 
I have attached below just a few of the highlights for this year so far!

Prime Minister Trudeau Indigenous Disability Awareness Month 2021 – YouTube

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) 2021 – YouTube 
Kelli Paddon MLA on Twitter: “Nov is #IndigenousDisabilityAwarenessMonth This awareness month was created in 2015 & is now recognized by 100s of communities and orgs across BC & Canada Take some inspiration from the great Cree Buffy Sainte-Marie… Let’s climb a step every day @BCANDS1 @InclusionBC #bcpoli https://t.co/60l44J65r3” / Twitter 

Stay well everyone.

Neil Belanger

Chief Executive Officer 

Indigenous Disability Canada (IDC) /

B.C. Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS)

#6 – 1610 Island Highway

Victoria, British Columbia – Canada – V9B 1H8

Telephone: (250) 381 – 7303 ext. 208

Toll Free: 1-888-815-5511

Fax: (250) 381 – 7312

email: exdir@bcands.bc.ca

50 – 30 Challenge November Update

We thank you all for your ongoing dedication to fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace for all. As the 50 – 30 Challenge continues to grow, we encourage you to share with us the ways your team is recognizing and celebrating inclusivity.

November presents many new opportunities to learn, including Movember, Diwali (November 4), International Day for Tolerance (November 16), Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20), and the beginning of Hannukah (November 28).


Each November, we celebrate Movember, an annual month-long awareness of men’s health issues, including mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, transforming the way health services reach and support men.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

On November 20th, we recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an annual observance that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

50 – 30 Challenge Updates

Over the span of four months, the Diversity Institute (DI), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), led consultation sessions with approximately four hundred stakeholders and experts to collaborate and provide input on the current terminology and processes that inform the 50 – 30 Challenge.

The consultations were aimed at developing a Publicly Available Specification (PAS), which set out key terms and definitions for measuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The PAS provides guidance and recommendations to Challenge Participants on the policies, practices, and approaches to support implementation of the 50 – 30 Challenge. Read the final document here.

Social Media Sharables

Friendly reminder that all 50 – 30 Challenge members are invited to share their participation on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) by using the hashtag #50_30Challenge | #defi50_30 and tagging us at @canadabusiness | @entreprisescan to amplify your post(s).
Download sharable graphics here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1UPB5_kf2zAxjzHN6mDsH2eH7tieXmN4f?hl=en

Best Practices and Success Stories

Please share with us the ways in which you celebrate and promote diversity within your organizations! There is a lot we can learn from each other.

Tell us about your project, events and work at 50-30ChallengeInfo@canada.ca and we’ll share your ideas among the community

Welcome New Participants!

Vancouver Community College, a campus offering academic, cultural, and social environments that inspire relevant real-world training, has joined the 50 – 30 Challenge. Read their commitment to diversity and inclusion here https://www.vcc.ca/about/college-information/news/article/media-release-vcc-commits-to-50–30-diversity-challenge.html

Mise à jour de novembre sur le Défi 50-30

Nous vous remercions de votre dévouement continu afin de rendre votre milieu de travail plus diversifié et inclusif pour tous. Le défi 50-30 continue de prendre de l’ampleur, et nous vous encourageons à nous faire part des façons dont votre équipe souligne et célèbre l’inclusion.

Le mois de novembre offre bien des nouvelles possibilités d’apprentissage, incluant le Movember, la Diwali (4 novembre), la Journée internationale de la tolérance (16 novembre), la Journée du souvenir transgenre (20 novembre) et le début des célébrations d’Hanoukka (28 novembre).


Chaque novembre, nous célébrons le Movember, qui sert à sensibiliser le public tout le mois durant à des enjeux liés à la santé des hommes, ce qui inclut la santé mentale, la prévention du suicide, mais aussi le cancer de la prostate et le cancer testiculaire. Depuis 2003, Movember a permis de financer plus de 1 205 projets liés à la santé des hommes dans le monde, transformant ainsi le rayonnement des services de santé et le soutien qui leur est offert.

Journée du souvenir transgenre

Le 20 novembre, nous célébrons la Journée du souvenir transgenre, une commémoration annuelle qui honore la mémoire des personnes transgenres qui ont perdu la vie dans des actes de violence anti-transgenre.

Mise à jour sur le défi 50 – 30

Pendant quatre mois, le Diversity Institute (DI), Innovation, Sciences et Développement économique Canada (ISDE) et le Conseil canadien des normes (CCN) ont mené des consultations avec environ 400 intervenants et experts afin d’obtenir leur contributions et leurs commentaires sur la terminologie et les processus actuels du défi 50 – 30.

L’objectif des consultations était de créer une spécification publique (« PAS ») qui établirait des termes et des définitions clés pour mesurer la diversité et l’inclusion dans le milieu de travail. La spécification publique permet d’offrir des conseils et des recommandations aux participants au défi sur les politiques, pratiques et approches liées à la mise à œuvre du défi 50 – 30. Vous pouvez lire le document final ici (version anglaise seulement).

Publications sur les médias sociaux

Petit rappel amical : Tous les participants au défi 50 – 30 sont encouragés à faire part de leur participation au défi sur les médias sociaux (Facebook, Twitter ou Instagram) en utilisant le mot-clic #50_30Challenge | #defi50_30 et en nous identifiant (@canadabusiness | @entreprisescan) pour que leur(s) publication(s) circulent davantage.
Vous pouvez télécharger un gabarit de publication ici : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1UPB5_kf2zAxjzHN6mDsH2eH7tieXmN4f?hl=en

Pratiques exemplaires et exemples de réussite

Veuillez nous faire part des façons dont vous célébrez et faites la promotion de la diversité au sein de vos organisations. Nous pouvons apprendre beaucoup de choses les uns des autres!

Parlez-nous de votre projet, de vos événements et de votre travail en nous écrivant à l’adresse 50-30ChallengeInfo@canada.ca et nous transmettrons vos idées à l’ensemble de la communauté.

Bienvenue aux nouveaux participants!

Le Vancouver Community College, dont le campus offre un milieu académique, culturel et social qui inspire une réelle formation pertinente, s’est joint au défi 50 – 30. Vous pouvez lire leur engagement en matière de diversité et d’inclusion ici : https://www.vcc.ca/about/college-information/news/article/media-release-vcc-commits-to-50–30-diversity-challenge.html (version anglaise seulement).


An inquest into the 2018 death of teenager Samuel Brown at W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford has been delayed. In a statement Wednesday, the Solicitor General’s office said that the inquest, originally scheduled to start on November 15 via videoconference, will now begin sometime in early 2022 “when an in-person inquest is expected to be possible.” “This will address concerns of accessibility voiced by the disability community as well as allow further exploration of the evidence without the constraints of a virtual environment,” the Solicitor General’s office noted.

Brown was deaf, blind and non-verbal. His family says the 18-year-old was healthy the last time they saw him, just days before he went back to boarding school at W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford.

The day before he died, in February 2018, the school notified his parents that he refused to get out of bed for dinner. The next morning, he was found unresponsive in his room and rushed to hospital. The family says it has received conflicting explanations from medical officials for his death, with both pneumonia and natural causes cited. An ambulance report stated that staff at the school were doing “hourly checks on him throughout the night” because he was “very unwell.” The report goes on to note that staff say “they last saw him at five in the morning and stated that he had very heavy and laboured breathing.”

When staff next checked on him at 6 a.m. they “found that he was unresponsive with vomit noted in his airway.” “He essentially choked on his own vomit,” family lawyer, Saron Gebresellassi, told CityNews last February.

“For someone who does not have mobility, who is so vulnerable, who depends on adults to monitor him, it would be terminal.”

Indigenous mother asks for more culturally competent support for children with disabilities

An Indigenous mother is highlighting the barriers that Indigenous people face when trying to access disability services and is asking for more culturally sensitive support to be made available.

Symbia Barnaby, who is of Mi’kmaq and Haida descent, is a single mother of six children, five of whom have special needs.

She says Indigenous families face many challenges accessing care for their children with special needs, particularly regarding proximity to services and the historical context of settler governments and Indigenous people.

“Indigenous families who have kids with disabilities, or suspect their child has a disability, are often very fearful to come forward to access support services, because they [support services] are connected with the Ministry of Child and Family Development,” she said.

“Historically, when you’re looking at residential schools and MCFD — they haven’t had the best track record with Indigenous people.”

Barnaby points to the Sixties Scoop and what she says is the ongoing “Millennium Scoop,” which saw thousands of Indigenous children taken away from their families and placed in foster care, as reasons for the apprehension within Indigenous families. 

From her own experience, she says there has been a lack of support workers and services, generally, where she lives in Prince Rupert. She says most support services are centralized in larger cities like Prince George and Vancouver.

“They lack individual support services for all the outlying communities a lot of the time … so it trickles down to really lack of support for Indigenous people in northern communities that have disability.”

This lack of support has been exacerbated by the pandemic, Barnaby says, especially for those with intellectual disabilities that need special accommodations.

8:30Barriers to Accessibility – and Reconciliation

We hear from an Indigenous woman who has overcome barriers to access resources for herself and her kids with complex needs, and is now empowering others in her community to do the same. 8:30

‘Indigenous families feel disconnected’

In Barnaby’s case, her daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was 10. Normally, she says support workers and care providers would have diagnosed her much earlier, when she was five or six.

“There is a lot of different barriers that we came up against, just trying to get connected with people, to find out that she even had autism in the first place,” she said.

Within schools, she says, Indigenous children with disabilities feel excluded, as support workers often don’t have the cultural competency to follow up appropriately when a child has special needs.

“I speak from personal experience and then also, you know, what’s been shared with me from other Indigenous families … they feel disconnected,” she said.

Barnaby called for a trauma-informed and community-centred response for Indigenous people at a presentation at AdvoCon on Friday.

One of the things she points to is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, which includes a recommendation for all medical professionals to take a course on Indigenous health issues.

“It’s not just a checkbox that people need to be doing within their job … it’s a personal responsibility every single Canadian has,” she said.

Barnaby said she feels more hopeful for the newer generations of Indigenous people with more people aware of the trauma they have faced.

Daybreak North7:52Families of children with complex needs face tremendous barriers as they fight to give their kids an inclusive education.

Symbia Barnaby is an Indigenous activist and advocate for inclusion who has five kids with special needs. 7:52



Beyond the Basic: The Opportunities and Risks of a Basic Income Webinar

“Beyond the Basic: The Opportunities and Risks of a Basic Income”! The recording is now available at the following link:  https://www.leaf.ca/education/beyond-the-basic-the-opportunities-and-risks-of-a-basic-income/

The High Cost of Living in a Disabling World

Click on the following link to access the information online: The high cost of living in a disabling world | Disability | The Guardian

For all the advances that have been made in recent decades, disabled people cannot yet participate in society ‘on an equal basis’ with others – and the pandemic has led to many protections being cruelly eroded

by Jan Grue

Thu 4 Nov 2021 06.00 GMT

At times, it feels as if the disability rights movement won. After years of groundwork, 1981 was declared the International Year of Disabled Persons. I was born that year, in Oslo, Norway, and though I did not receive my first diagnosis of muscular dystrophy until I was a toddler, the coincidence is apt enough: I was born into a world that was, at last, beginning to recognise this aspect of my being in it.

Then, from 1983 to 1992, came the United Nations’ Decade of Disabled Persons. And the Americans With Disabilities Act, the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The turn of the millennium was marked by a litany of good intentions and disavowals of unequal treatment – by an endorsement, as the first article of the UN convention has it, of disabled people’s right to “full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.

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I came of age in this world, more or less protected by these rights. In Norway, which produced its own act in 2008, I received an education, found work and started a family. I am writing this as a tenured professor, as well-protected as a member of a protected class can be. And yet I am writing with a feeling, as Tony Soprano had it, that I came in at the end – that the best, in the sense of our best and greatest hopes for universal, rights-based protections, and for the logic of anti-discrimination, is over.

Some protections have been eroded, usually in the name of budgetary constraints. I also suspect that the big conversation – about whether disabled people should have “equal rights” – has sometimes served to obscure the innumerable material inequalities that make up lived experience. And perhaps we need to have a different conversation in order to understand this world: the conversation about work.

The playground outside my son’s kindergarten is enclosed by a wooden fence that is about 1.5 metres high. The gate, also wooden, is opened with a sliding bolt placed at the very top – high enough to stop any enterprising toddler from escaping into the adjacent car park.

In order to open the gate, I have to raise the seat of my wheelchair as high as it goes, a full foot or so from its lowest setting. This allows me to stand up and reach the bolt. If it rains or snows, as it often does in Oslo, the wood expands and the bolt becomes hard to shift. I have to watch my balance, especially as I take a few steps out from my wheelchair in order to close the gate behind me; there is no way to do this while I’m seated.

For my son and me, this task has become a game and a joint effort. He helps push the gate open. Standing on tiptoe on the footrest of the wheelchair, he can reach the bolt himself, just about. He knows what we’re doing, and his part in it. It was tougher when he was three, and I didn’t want to shift my attention from him for even a second, with cars and trucks liable to enter the car park at any time.

The gate is old. I wouldn’t mind seeing it replaced. But I’m hesitant to make a request. I’ve seen the new gates appearing at other kindergartens throughout the city, outfitted with a bolt that does not slide but has to be pushed up. My triceps and shoulder muscles are significantly weaker than my biceps. I have no way of opening these new gates on my own. And I want to take my son to kindergarten myself, for this very short, very long stretch of his life.

There are, of course, other parents. During rush hour in the morning and early afternoon, barely a few minutes pass without someone dropping off or picking up. This has given me, over the years, a range of social experiences at the entrance to the kindergarten. Some parents rushed to help open the gate from the first. Some seemed hesitant, but needed only a bit of encouragement – a nod, a smile, a “Would you mind … ” – and that would be enough.

In some encounters, though, there was only a kind of void. In these encounters, I knew with perfect clarity that if I wanted this person’s help, I’d have to ask for it, loud and clear. Direct gaze, firm voice. “Can you please open the gate for me?”

I don’t always have the surplus energy for this. I know that the physical effort I will expend in opening the gate is an order of magnitude larger than what I’m asking of this other person, who can slide the bolt effortlessly, push and pull the gate with barely a thought. But I also know that the physical effort I’ll be expending can be less strenuous than the emotional effort of saying the right words in precisely the right way.

The other parents are, as a group and as individuals, helpful and kind. They are social democrats and egalitarians. They believe in equality. At one time, my wife was talking to one of the other mothers in the kindergarten; they were talking about their lives. I came up, my wheelchair came up, and the woman, hesitantly, said that she hadn’t wanted to impose, by helping with the gate. She’d seen me, naturally, but she had a notion that it was important to see me as a person, not just the wheelchair. And so she had made a decision not to offer help.

The UN Conventionon the Rights of Persons with Disabilities received its first signatures in 2007; it received the highest number of opening-day signatures of any such document. It has been called the last of the great human rights conventions, the last of the great acts of recognition for minorities previously ignored. (Although, of course, we will never be certain whether any such act is, or ought to be, the last of its kind.)

The convention is utopian, as it must be. The question is what kind of utopia it envisions: a world where human rights are extended fully and comprehensively to people with disabilities. A world in which disability discrimination has been eliminated.

What does this mean? What utopia does the goal of “full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others” point towards? This depends not only on what we mean by discrimination, but also by equality.

The concept of equality is never more problematic than when it intersects with the concept of justice. Aristotle identified the core of the problem when he argued, in Politics, that “equality seems to be just and it is, but not to everyone, only to those who are equal to begin with”. Of course, this can be an argument in favour of economic redistribution, but also in favour of racism, sexism and many other forms of explicit discrimination, since “inequality seems to be just, and, indeed, it is, but not for all people, only those who are not equal”.

We do not, on the whole, argue this way. We try, on the whole, to sever equality in terms of value from equality in terms of capabilities. We want, in the postwar liberal tradition to which the great UN conventions belong, to achieve equality of opportunity, if not equality of outcomes.

The use of human rights as an instrument for achieving this goal has many merits, and a great moral weight. And the configuration of discrimination as the great moral evil of our time has come to influence even homogeneous and social democratic Norway. Here, too, the Anglo-American discourse of rights and discrimination has taken centre stage.

This has happened in my lifetime. Not even that; it has happened in my adulthood. But the change is pervasive enough to make me strain to remember what it has displaced.

What does it mean to eliminate disability discrimination? To identify and enumerate all of the ways in which society needs to be reconfigured?

I took a swing at it once, earlier this year. I’d ordered a package from Amazon (I know), and it was forwarded, through UPS, to a fast-food-joint-cum-kiosk near my building. This place had steps, no ramp, and neither doorbell nor contact information available online. It was the third time UPS had rerouted a book there. I’d had no luck telling them that the place was inaccessible, and the people working at the pickup point were … less than sympathetic. And so I made an official complaint to the Norwegian authorities.

It’s tempting to recount the entire process in this essay, because it’s always tempting to make someone else live through your own experience of boredom and frustration. But I’ll exercise some restraint. Wheelchair users have to do that, or risk coming across as, well, bitter. Suffice it to say that after nine months of increasingly confusing notifications from the authorities, letting me know that I’d failed to supply the information they needed to make a judgment, they nevertheless judged in my favour. Reader, I have it in black and white: I’d been discriminated against.

The skies did not part, the chorus did not sing. Possibly because I was already fairly certain that I’d been discriminated against, possibly because this was one incident I could have picked out of a very large number of similar incidents. And so, while still believing fervently in the right not to be discriminated against, I prefer, for the moment, to focus on something else: having my invisible work, and the invisible work of disabled people in general, recognised as work.

In 1987, Arlene Kaplan Daniels, in an essay titled Invisible Work, developed a critique of the general understanding of work that placed this activity in a special sphere, set apart from the rest of life. Developing her analysis from earlier, feminist examinations of how domestic labour was gendered, disregarded and devalued, like Silvia Federici’s Wages Against Housework, Daniels used the term “invisible work” to refer to tasks that are done not only out of sight, but also out of mind. These were tasks that simply weren’t thought of as work, but as natural activities – what any woman should do voluntarily, happily and without compensation.

Crucially, in Daniels’ conception, invisible work had a physical and an emotional component. Such work included not only the cleaning, cooking and logistics involved in managing a household, but also the ultimate responsibility for the wellbeing of guests as well as other household members. The way these duties become framed as “natural” was part of a moral narrative in which women would succeed or fail at being women depending on the emotional reactions of others.

In this analysis, invisible work kept the social world and the capitalist economy running. Men were only able to work full shifts outside the home because women’s invisible work enabled them to do so, and the social role expectations of gender roles for men and women were similarly supported and maintained. The asymmetry of the power relations between genders are magnified in this way, as is the economic imbalance.

In many ways, Daniels’ argument applies directly to the invisible work imposed on disabled people by an inaccessible world. On the face of it, there is a significant difference: the invisible work of women is largely carried out for others, while the invisible work of disabled people is carried out for themselves. But this distinction is something of an illusion. First, disabled people are often women. And the burdens of invisible work tend to exacerbate or even create impairments and chronic illnesses. Second, invisible work that supports a particular way of being in the world is also work that supports a complex network of social relations. The salient question about disability and invisible work is therefore very similar to the one about invisible work and gender: what would the world look like if it was no longer carried out?

In my own case, my invisible work supports nearly every aspect of my social being, from my role as spouse and parent to my role as an academic and writer. I could not teach my students nor share the household responsibilities without these efforts; I could not fully be a part of my son’s life.

At home, my wife and I have done our best to share the invisible work as justly as possible, the standard being that we should both, at the end of the day, be equally tired. She can lift heavier things than I can; I can take on more of the logistical work of the second shift, remembering and planning for the dentist’s appointments and clothes purchases that are the warp and weft of parenthood.

Outside our household, things become more complicated, since I am not negotiating or collaborating with a single person, but with the world. I could withdraw, to an extent. I could resign from my university post and apply for disability payments, but this would not remove the need for me to maintain my existence with the multitude of tasks and errands that bring me into contact with inaccessible stores and venues, with service providers and government agencies.

The only way to escape this work, short of a utopian remaking of the world, is to stop living. Disabled people know this. They know that they have the right to access, in principle and in law, but that they must work, continuously, in order to claim this right. They know that this is because there are many institutions, and people, that would much prefer a world without disabled people in it. Not a world without disabling forces; a world without disabled people. And so the invisible work is, at heart, the high cost of living in a disabling world.

Accessibility may, as the disability scholar Tanya Titchkosky has pointed out, exist in much the same way as “diversity” does – for the sake of bragging rights on the part of institutions, organisations and companies. If a few minority representatives are made visible, are included, then that serves as sufficient evidence that anti-discrimination policies have been put in place and are good enough.

However, in her wide-reaching argument about the political limits of non-discrimination, the academic and author Amia Srinivasan invokes intersectional analysis, pointing out that discrimination “on the grounds of sex” is always easiest to identify in cases where sex alone can be used to distinguish between cases, ie in order to establish that “discrimination” has taken place. Consequently, a lack of inclusion may well persist for the vast majority of women. The more that other forms of political marginalisation are involved – having to do with poverty, racism or health – then the harder, and less relevant, it becomes to establish discrimination “on the grounds of sex”. A strategy for inclusion that benefits rich, white, non-disabled cis women is not necessarily a strategy that benefits all women. It may help a small subset of women gain power within existing structures, but it is highly likely to include those who are already the most privileged members of “their group” – homogeneously conceived, heterogeneous in practice.

This feminist argument, too, is sufficiently flexible that it applies to disability. It certainly applies to me. As a highly educated wheelchair user who also belongs to the ethnic-majority population in what is arguably the world’s richest welfare state, I have little doubt that I’ve personally benefited greatly, and more than most disabled people, from the disability field’s turn to the political logic of anti-discrimination. I am one of the privileged few; my status as a disabled person can very nearly be thought of as something external to me, situated in my wheelchair. If not for it (or rather, the reason I need it), I would be “like everyone else”. This was the logic that resulted in the UN Convention, and in the various national pieces of legislation. And although the laws have differing degrees of political bite, it cannot be denied that their existence has shifted the public discourse and, to an extent, public opinion. Discriminating against disabled people is, to a much greater extent than previously, not cool.

I know this because the world around me has changed as I have grown older. I remember a time in Norway when practically no one acted apologetically because of a lack of access; the problem was always me, the wheelchair user, and my unreasonable expectation of being let in. This is no longer true. There are even newly built areas of my city, Oslo, where I will show up at a venue without checking accessibility in advance – a risk I would not have taken even a decade ago. In the newest additions, I am spared the invisible work of mapping out routes, checking images online, making calls, writing emails. I am allowed, within the confines of this space, to trust the utopian claim that I will be allowed to participate fully and on equal terms with others.

The space is small, however, and I could claim discrimination many times a day, if I chose to do so. Or could I? I return to the gate to the kindergarten, asking whether its existence discriminates against me. Yes, it is inconvenient for me to open – risky, even, in winter. It is not simply a gate, but a barrier – what the UN convention, for example, aims to do away with.

The UN convention, however, also has other concerns. First and foremost, it is concerned with providing “reasonable accommodation” – that is, forms of accommodation that do not impose “undue burdens” on others. The disadvantage imposed on me by a gate I cannot open must be weighed against the risk that an “undue burden” will be imposed on whoever would be responsible for replacing the gate with one that I can open. And so the question is never simply “Am I being discriminated against?” In practice, it is also “How much of my invisible work can reasonably be shifted on to society?”

This question inevitably brings us back to Daniels’ analysis of the moral frame that makes invisible work seem inevitable and natural. What constitutes a reasonable request is a moral issue. And so, for each of the hundreds of troublesome tasks that I encounter throughout the day, if I ask whether I’m being discriminated against, I must also ask whether I am being unreasonable. Whether I am, unreasonably, trying to evade the duties that follow naturally, inevitably, from having a body that cannot do the things that bodies should naturally be able to do.

But I don’t have the stamina to make these judgments for myself and for society. I don’t have the fortitude to ask what is reasonable or unreasonable, never mind to ask which entity is responsible and how to seek recourse. There is, quite simply, too much I have to do.

At times, I rally. At times, I believe that I am accepted and acknowledged. I have the credentials, and the privileges, of a white male academic, living in a rich country, travelling with a passport that is all but universally valid. At times, I can believe that my invisible work is, all things considered, negligible. That I am protected by the rights and the principles that were fought for over generations, that it is now merely an item of interest that I use a wheelchair.

It felt like that as I planned for a sabbatical in California, as I was interviewed at the American embassy in Oslo, as I filled out the visa application that requested very specific information about my health, information that could be used to assess the level of risk I would pose to the public health and financial wellbeing of the United States. As I glanced at the other people in the waiting room, many of whom did not have Norwegian passports or Norwegian privilege, it felt as though I was already on the inside, looking out.

And in California, in Berkeley, my family and I still felt ourselves to be in this privileged bubble. Although our invisible work was redoubled in this foreign country, where we could not draw on the help of friends or family, where I had to strain to adjust to a house that was less accessible than our apartment back home, it still felt as though I could not be touched. That I was doing this thing – living abroad, as a wheelchair user, a guest of the University of California – that would have been impossible not so very long ago.

It was January 2020 when we arrived. In February, it felt as if we had found our feet. As if we would soon be able to enjoy everyday life without a constant sense of strain, of always having too many unsolved tasks. As if our invisible work was paying off. And then came March.

Along with the sudden sense of acute risk, of danger everywhere, came a redoubled workload. With the kindergarten closed, with partly empty shelves at the supermarket, with public transportation gradually shutting down, every aspect of the day became a logistical challenge. From the day the pandemic became declared as such, on 11 March, we changed our minds constantly about staying or going, about whether we could manage. We’d hoped to stay until June, but in the end we caught the next-to-last plane leaving for Scandinavia from the east coast, on 28 March, the day I turned 39.

It wasn’t only the work, of course. Fundamentally, it was the fear of closed borders, along with the fear of disease and death. But these fears were hard to disentangle. I knew, with absolute certainty, that should I need to go to the hospital, my 180kg wheelchair would be left behind. Regardless of how my body would handle a Covid infection, I’d be helpless. I knew, too, that should my wife need to go to the hospital, and I were left behind with our toddler, I would barely be able to cope without outside help – which was no longer to be had.

All over the world, many people had similar experiences. The rights, of course, were nominally in place – rights to services, rights to support. But as disabled people across the world found out during the pandemic, the rights did not mean all that much when push came to shove. Not only did the rules of triage mean that during acute local crises, anyone with a chronic condition ran a higher risk of not receiving proper medical care, but the politics of the pandemic also meant that the physical needs of care went unmet – partly because resources were directed elsewhere, partly because public health measures could be invoked to dispense with services deemed too cumbersome or expensive. As Lennard Davis put it, in an essay titled In the Time of Pandemic, the Deep Structure of Biopower Is Laid Bare: “In regard to disability, the ableism that puts on a compassionate mask in milder times now reveals its brutal face.”

My family and I were very, very privileged. We could pay for the plane tickets; we could go home. Norway didn’t exactly feel safe, but it felt infinitely safer than the US – and proved itself to be so over the time that followed, as the extreme vulnerability of disabled people became visible through sheer mortality rates. In crisis, the language of equal rights and anti-discrimination became that of utilitarianism and prioritisation. The invisible work did not become more visible. There was simply more of it, and even less justly divided than before. Economic inequality increased dramatically from March 2020 onward. So, perhaps, did moral inequality.

I am writing this … why, exactly? Because, I think, I’ve had it with the pieties of neoliberal inclusionism. Because I’ve lost faith in our ability to put on the veil of ignorance – to construct the just utopia proposed by John Rawls, who thought we could best design a just world if we forgot our current social status, gender and religious beliefs, but who explicitly, as the philosopher Martha Nussbaum points out, excluded disability as an aspect of human diversity to be planned for in the New World.

I suppose it was just too hard to do that.

I am writing this because I am trying to reach back to a way of thinking that very nearly seems lost, though it was spelled out and fully developed around the time I was born; a way of thinking that allows work to be not the thing you get paid for, but, much more fundamentally, effort expended.

It is the shift from economics to physics – energy transferred from a body – though also, of course, from one economic mode to another. I am not, perhaps, generating surplus value when opening the gate to my son’s kindergarten. I am, however, keeping the household afloat. And myself. I am moving about in the world, continuing on my route to my actual work, the one where I’m comfortably seated in front of my computer, writing these lines – expending, by comparison, barely any effort at all.

And so, finally, I move from the gate to the kindergarten to the door to the building itself: also wooden, also heavy. In order to open it, I grab the latch with my left hand, using my right to very carefully guide the wheelchair backwards. My arms have limited range, since contractures in my muscles don’t allow them to stretch beyond a 45-degree angle. I can just about open the door to a point where I can guide the wheelchair forward again, forcing the door to stay open with my right front wheel, but it’s a matter of luck, or how tired I am, whether I succeed. Opening the door is not an automatic task, but something I repeatedly try and fail. And the day has hardly begun. I have a city to traverse, streets to cross, trams to ride, buttons to reach for. There will be much to do.

What does the utopian city look like, the one in which I participate “on an equal basis with others”? I have an inkling. I can envision the broad sidewalks and the spacious metro cars departing from perfectly level platforms. I can see, just about, the absence of barriers that are clearly barriers, leftovers from a time when being able to walk was an absolute requirement for citizenship. What I cannot see, cannot think into being, is a world where there is no greater effort required of me than of the average person, whoever they are. Where the difference between us is erased and I, driving my large, black, powered wheelchair, blend into the crowd.

 Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, listen to our podcasts here and sign up to the long read weekly email here.

Canada Revenue Agency announces maximum pensionable earnings for 2022

The maximum pensionable earnings under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for 2022 will be $64,900—up from $61,600 in 2021. The new ceiling was calculated according to a CPP legislated formula that takes into account the growth in average weekly wages and salaries in Canada.

Contributors who earn more than $64,900 in 2022 are not required or permitted to make additional contributions to the CPP.

The basic exemption amount for 2022 remains at $3,500.

The employee and employer contribution rates for 2022 will be 5.70%—up from 5.45% in 2021, and the self-employed contribution rate will be 11.40%—up from 10.90% in 2021. The increase in contribution rate is due to the continued implementation of the CPP enhancement.

The maximum employer and employee contribution to the plan for 2022 will be $3,499.80 each and the maximum self-employed contribution will be $6,999.60. The maximums in 2021 were $3,166.45 and $6,332.90 respectively.

More Information

Canada Pension Plan (CRA)

Canada Pension Plan enhancement (CRA)

CPP contribution rates, maximums and exemptions (CRA)

Canada Pension Plan (Service Canada)

Types of Pension Plans (Service Canada)

L’Agence du revenu du Canada publie le maximum des gains ouvrant droit à pension pour 2022

Le maximum des gains ouvrant droit à pension du Régime de pensions du Canada (RPC) sera fixé à 64 900 $ pour 2022, ce qui représente une augmentation par rapport au plafond de 2021 qui était de 61 600 $. Ce nouveau plafond a été calculé selon une formule du RPC établie par la loi, qui tient compte de la hausse des traitements et des salaires hebdomadaires moyens au Canada.

Les personnes qui gagneront plus de 64 900 $ en 2022 ne seront pas tenues de verser d’autres cotisations au RPC ni autorisées à le faire.

L’exemption de base pour 2022 reste fixée à 3 500 $.

Le taux de cotisation des employés et des employeurs pour 2022 sera de 5,70 %, ce qui représente une augmentation par rapport au taux de 2021 qui était de 5,45 %. Le taux de cotisation des travailleurs indépendants sera de 11,40 %, ce qui représente une augmentation par rapport au taux de 2021 qui était de 10,90 %. L’augmentation du taux de cotisation est attribuable à la bonification du RPC.

La cotisation maximale des employeurs et des employés au RPC en 2022 sera de 3 499,80 $ chacun et la cotisation maximale des travailleurs indépendants sera de 6 999,60 $. Ces maximums respectifs en 2021 étaient de 3 166,45 $ et de 6 332,90 $.

Pour en savoir plus

Régime de pensions du Canada (Agence du revenu du Canada)

Bonification du Régime de pensions du Canada (Agence du revenu du Canada)

Taux de cotisations au RPC, les maximums et les exemptions (Agence du revenu du Canada)

Régime de pensions du Canada (Service Canada)

Types de régimes de pensions (Service Canada)

Medical Aid in Dying

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Newsletter | Is assisted suicide quick and painless?

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: Is assisted suicide quick and painless? (mailchi.mp)

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: Québec report: 37% increase in euthanasia deaths (mailchi.mp)

Newsletters | New Books| Reports | Websites| Podcasts

Angus Reid Institute| Corporate Canada gets mixed report card from Canadians living with disabilities

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: Corporate Canada gets mixed report card from Canadians living with disabilities (mailchi.mp)

Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

Click on the following link to access the event information online: Events – Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (utoronto.ca)

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: News and Views: Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (mailchi.mp)

EASPD Newsletter | Let’s Achieve More Together

Click on the following link to access the information online: EASPD Newsletter 📰 (mailchi.mp)

Fighting Blindness | Time is almost OUT to make an impact.

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: Fighting Blindness Canada (sure-mail.net)

Fighting Blindness | Your November e-Newsletter is here!

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: Your November e-Newsletter is here! (mailchi.mp)

PSAC Newsletter

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: New cabinet, Pay Equity Act and more (campaign-archive.com)

NICE Announcement and Guideline on Diagnosis & Treatment of  ME/CFS

Click on the following link to access the newsletter online: NICE Announcement and Guideline on Diagnosis & Treatment of  ME/CFS (mailchi.mp)

Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum

Newsletter No 6, November 2021

CAP 26, climate catastrophe and disabled people.

Many of our member organisations especially in Small Island Countries are on the sharp end of the consequences of global warming making it all thee more necessary for these states to be supported in having inclusive emergency plans well thought out, consulted upon with DPO/OPDs and properly resourced. Article 11 of UNCRPD and SDGs support this approach. We have some really good materials on Environment and disability at https://commonwealthdpf.org/training/module-6/
Events at CAP 26 with a focus on disability include:

Friday, 05 Nov 2021, 12:30—13:45 (CET) – Disability-Inclusive Climate Action: Rights and obligations

Friday, 05 Nov 2021, 16:30—18:45 (CET) – An inclusive planet: inclusion, mental health and climate change

Thursday, 11 Nov 2021, 10:30 – 12:00 (CET) – Disability, Resilience and Inclusion in our Cities – inclusive design and community-led urban solutions for disability-inclusive climate resilience

The failure to include persons with disabilities in the world’s efforts to combat the climate crisis has dramatic consequences. Due to inaccessible disaster preparedness plans, systemic discrimination, and widespread poverty, people with disabilities are left behind in relief and response efforts. The impact of climate change – from rapid onset disasters such as typhoons and wildfires, to more gradual changes such as droughts, temperature increases, and sea level rise – have disproportionate effects on the lives, well-being, and livelihoods of persons with disabilities all over the world.

One recent example is the report published by Human Rights Watch documents the higher risk of heat-related illness and death to persons with disabilities and older people in British Colombia, Canada. This report clearly shows how the lack of a disability-inclusive approach when designing adaptation policies and plans leads to the exclusion of persons with disabilities.

Persons with disabilities may also be adversely affected by responses to climate change. Policies to reduce carbon emissions, such as carbon pricing schemes or bans of carbon intensive products, are often designed without considering the rights, perspectives, and requirements of the disability community, and do not address the differential costs and burdens that these changes may impose on individuals with disabilities.

These types of ableist climate mitigation policies create barriers for persons with disabilities and reinforce social inequities. For example, increasing the price of gas to encourage more frequent use of public transportation would be discriminatory against persons with disabilities if the public transportation is not accessible to them.

Like all residents of this planet, persons with disabilities have a responsibility to play an active role in combating the climate crisis. But they face many challenges to fulfill this responsibility. Information on the climate crisis and ways to address it are not often provided in accessible formats such as sign language for deaf persons, or plain language for those with intellectual disabilities. Recycling processes are often inaccessible for many groups including blind persons.

As the world moves forward with measures to combat climate change, it is vital that States and other actors design and implement disability-inclusive policies that enhance and protect, rather than undermine, the human rights of persons with disabilities.

“Documenting the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities is one of my priorities,” said Gerard Quinn, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. “We need to show the world how persons with disabilities pay the highest price for climate-irresponsible policies. Furthermore, persons with disabilities typically have little opportunity to influence these policies. This needs to be changed immediately. This is even more important to the future as we try to build more resilient and inclusive communities. No climate action would be considered legitimate and efficient without meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations.” IDA

CountryDeathsInfection rate Percent of Population who have been infectedFully Vaccinated Percent of Population who have been vaccinated ( 2 jabs)
United Kingdom138.5k12.44%67%
South Africa88.6k4.91%18%
Canada28.5 K4.39%74%
Sri Lanka13.5 k0.95%11%
Nigeria (comparison)2.8k0.101.2%

Covid 19 on going issues.

The weekly statistics we put out on our website show that Covid continues top be a major problem though many world leaders are following Boris Johnson in pretending it is nothing to worry about and we have cracked the problem with vaccination. The only problem, which does not bode well for the cash transfers required from developed to developing countries to get rid of fossil fuels and stop deforestation, is that cash transfers to COVAX are far from adequate.

By 18th October 848,299 people had died of Covid 19 across the commonwealth. 17 % of world deaths. Given the Commonwealth represent 40% of the world’s population a lower average rate. However, this will be no comfort to the large numbers of families who have experienced Covid elated bereavement or the larger numbers who have been infected and do not know what the long-term effects will be. Large population countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria have infection rates below 1% and have low vaccination rates. So new variants could still accelerate the pandemic. Covid has shown world leaders that they must think globally and act locally. Something many STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO To REACH UNDERSTANDING. So civil society, including DPOs, must mobilise from the grass roots.

Global Summit on Disability

It is with pleasure that the Secretariat of the Global Disability Summit (GDS) announces the launch of a new website ahead of the Global Disability Summit (GDS) 2022.

Brief informational piece on the GDS22 consultations (word format here)

This Secretariat is housed within the International Disability Alliance.

The website will contain all the most up-to-date information on the Summit. It will also track a set of global commitments, originally made at GDS2018, to help bring about the critical inclusion needed for the 15% of the world’s population with disabilities.

Structural bias in day-to-day life often leads to the seeds of discriminatory thought. Through this website, we want to celebrate the progress towards disability inclusiveness ahead of the Summit. By following all past and future commitments and supporting stakeholders to achieve the promises they have made, the GDS Secretariat will be able to provide substantive inputs and coordination to world changing discussions.

You can visit the website at www.globaldisabilitysummit.org and follow us on Twitter @GDS_Disability to get the most up-to-date information.

The Government of Norway, IDA and the Atlas Alliance will co-host the second Global Disability Summit (GDS II) the 16th and 17th February 2022. This Summit will further accelerate the implementation of the CRPD, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the previous commitments made during the first GDS in London in 2018.
WHO Regional Office for Europe, UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and the EDF organise a high-level European Regional Disability Summit, focusing on international cooperation on 8th February 2022. The aim will be to discuss how international cooperation in the broader European region can become inclusive of persons with disabilities. An outcome document proposing future commitment and solutions will be presented for adoption during the Regional Summit and presented at the GDS.

We want to hear your recommendations for making international cooperation in the European region disability inclusive. We welcome your input and ideas through this survey by 22nd November.

Ghana have joined as a co-host and there is a regional pre summit meeting in Accra on 1st and 2nsd December


CDPF Online Disability Equality Capacity Building Course a Great Success.

Make up of Course participants The 428 from 41 Commonwealth countries:- Nigeria 74, India 66, South Africa 43, Kenya 36, Bangladesh 32, Rwanda 30, Uganda 25, Zambia 19, Ghana 10, Sri Lanka 9, UK 9, Malaysia 8, Mauritius 7, Canada 6, Dominica 6, Tanzania 6, Belize 4, Namibia 4, Barbados 3, Eswatini 3, Gambia 3, Malawi 3, New Zealand 3, St Lucia 3, Trinidad 3, Fiji 3, Guyana 2, Jamaica 2, Lesotho 2, Mozambique 2, Nauru 2, Pakistan 2, Tuvalu 2, Antigua Barbuda 2, Botswana 1, Maldives 1, Solomon Islands 1, St Kitts 1, Tonga 1, Vanuatu 1, St Vincent 2 . Age breakdown 59 % aged 35 years or under. Gender breakdown 54% identifying as female.

Evaluation by participants We sent out 2 evaluations, one after the first 7 modules (126 respondents) and one at the end of the 14 modules (45 respondents) . See Table below for results. These show a consistently high average scoring out of 10 . Course Book, Presentation and Seminars rating was very similar between the first and second part of the course, ranging from 8.4 and 8.7. The Accessibility and Administration on both the first and second part of the course was 8.8 and 8.9. These are average scores and there was considerable individual variation on the scores. (See Figures 1-5 below). The Modules are again remarkably similar in score and all range between 8.4 and 9.00 out of 10. The lowest scoring Module was 11 Anti Racism and a number of participants did not see the relevance to them living in Black majority countries. However, we thought in the light of Black Lives Matter it was important and we took a historic roots of Empire approach. The next two lowest scoring were Module 1 Models and Assistive Devices (M4) both with 8.5. In the middle of the score range with 8.6 come Respect for Law (M7), Children (M8) and with 8.7 Environment (M6) and Influencing Government (M14). The most highly rated 7 Modules were Data (M12), Building DPOs (M13) with 8.8, Health (M3), Employment/Trade (M5) and Inclusive Education (M9) with 8.9, UNCRPD/SDG (M2) and Women and Girls (M10) with average score of 9 out 10.

Levels of Involvement Overall 341 participated in 1 or more online seminar. 184 in 6 or less and 157 in 7 or more. 11 participated in all 14 seminars. All who attended 1 or more seminars will get a certificate. This will specify if they attended at Basic (6 or less sessions,), Intermediate (7-9 Sessions), Good (10-12 Sessions), Excellent (13-14 Sessions) Level. We were able to identify 277 participants who attended. 154 Women (55.6%) and 123 Male (44.4%). 59.3% (162) were aged 35 or under and 40.7% (111) aged 36 or over

Accreditation 87 submitted Course for accreditation. These were graded and assessed as follows   Basic (1 module) 8- (9.1%), Basic + (2-7 Modules, 2 pieces) 27-(31%) , Intermediate ( 8-9 modules, 2 pieces) 10- (11.5%), Advanced (10 modules 3 pieces) 16- (18%), Excellent (12 Modules 4-7 pieces work) 23- (26%) or Outstanding ( Consistently gone beyond above criteria) 3 –(3.5%) Level. Overal 60 women (70.5%) and 25 men (29.5%) submitted work for accreditation.

Next Moves Given the time scale we were under, financial constraints  and level of involvement, CDPF Executive consider this Course was well worth running and had multiple benefits for the CDPF and for disabled people across the Commonwealth. We have the resource on-line and we need to disseminate widely connection to it around the Global Disability Movement, but more particularly to DPOs across the Commonwealth. So we propose the following moves and are seeking funding to support these.

A) Publicise the on-line resource widely;

B) Copy the resource, with a users’ guide onto multiple USB sticks and distribute in bulk to our DPO member organisations to distribute to the local level DPOs in their countries;

C) Translate the resources into multiple key languages in different parts of Commonwealth e.g. Portuguese, French, Hindi, Urdu, Swahili and other widely used languages;

D) Develop a properly funded on-line training wing of our organisation, capable of providing on-line Disability Equality Training, consultancy and advice jointly with representatives from DPOs in the country to their Governments on Implementing the UNCRPD and SDGs for Disabled Peoples Rights.

E) Develop in each country a cadre of Disability Equality Trainers to spread the knowledge and understanding to disabled people in their country.

Access to on-line modules is now open and are available on the www.commonwealthdpf.org/training website :


Models and Thinking About Disability – Implications for Action.

The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the Sustainable Development Goals and their Impact on Disabled People’s Human Rights.  

Health – focusing on Mental Health and Covid-19.  

Innovation – focusing on Improving Access and Assistive Devices.

Trade – focusing on Improving Livelihoods and Employment.   

Environment – focusing on the Impact of Humanitarian Situations

Respect for Law – focusing on Eliminating Stigma and Discrimination

Youth and Disability Rights in collaboration with Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network.

Inclusive Education

Women and Girls.

Anti-Racism, Equality and Respect for Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minorities.  

Data of Disability.  

Building DPOs – Campaigning and Increasing OUR voice

Influencing Government.

CDPF General Assembly 2022 to be an on line event.

We will be writing to all affiliated DPOS Full and Associate members to elect 2 or 1 delegate to represent them at the CDPF Virtual General Assembly. We want gender balance and affiliates to think seriously about putting forward younger delegates. Delegates will need to have access to the internet and zoom. Captioning and International Sign and other access needs will be met.

This will have 6 phases

Phae1  Delegates chosen from Affiliated Full member DPOs, Affiliated DPO Associates by Affiliated Organisations.

Phase 2 Rule changes circulated to delegates with on-line explanation of process and introduction to CDPF by Chair and Gen Sec.

Phase 3 Request for nominations for Executive Positions-Caucuses held in  regions-Caribbean, Pacific, Africa, South Asia of delegates to agree regional reps. Election statements circulated for consideration for all candidates for positions

Phase 4 Elections

Phase 5 Two events of 2 hours delegates can attend one or other on annual Report Finances and Future Work Plan amendments

Phase 6 Results of Elections, Agree Work Plan, Approve Membership List , Approve  Organisational changes.

Dates will be fixed and circulated soon.

The Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (Formerly Dfid) of UK Government are consulting on updating their Disability Strategy. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dfids-disability-inclusion-strategy-2018-to-2023). The CDPF are facilitating a meeting with FCDO on suggestions for future strategy on 30th November( 1 to 3 pm, GMT). This will be by invitation only as there is only capacity for 20 invitees. FCDO is holding other meetings with DPOOs in Kenya on morning 30th November in Nigeria on 15th and 18th  November and Bangladesh on 22nd November. Our meeting will cover representatives of CDPF, ROFA in UK and selected reps of other Commonwealth countries not covered above. However, all members and their organisation can respond to the consultation to Harriet Knowles of FCDO (harriet.knowles@fcdo.gov.uk )

CDPF make the following key point you may wish to consider making:

1. The UK Government have cut £17 billion from their Overseas Aid budget in 2021-2023 at a time of Covid and Climate Crisis when they should have increased it. They claim that as Covid had cost UK Budget domestically they felt justified in making the cut which has dramatically hit a number of crucial projects that disabled people were the beneficiaries. They have now said they will restore the cut in 2024, but the money lost will not be replaced.

2. The Climate crisis and the need for vaccinating everyone in the developing world requires more funding now and into the future.

3. Progress on Women and Girls economic empowerment and education must be prioritised as this is the most effective way of accelerating the drop in population growth and empowering Women. More must be done to systematically tackle Gender Based Violence and especially for disabled women and girls who are 2-3 times as likely to be victims than non-disabled women and girls.

4.DPOS need training on developing their capacity to project manage, account for expenditure be financially secure and to have good governance, accountability and run democratically.

5. New projects need to be co-produced with disabled people having THE MAJOR SAY Nothing About Us Without Us. We know what the issues are. We do not need a lot of research. We need funding to secure our organisations to hold grant and project manage. The major focus must now be on getting Governments to Implement the UNCPD and SDG Goals.

COVID and CRPD Human Rights legal advocacy follow up

“I am writing this follow up as a part of a collective of human rights organisations working to redress profoundly inequitable global COVID vaccine/therapeutics access that is being aggravated by certain wealthy States’ protection of pharmaceutical company monopolies over production. As inadequate and unequal global supply of COVID vaccines/therapeutics can prolong and aggravate the pandemic in ways that disproportionately and severely harm the rights of persons with disabilities, we would appreciate the chance to hear from members of the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum regarding this issue. We have been discussing filing a request to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability to conduct an inquiry into grave or systematic violations of the rights of people with disabilities in the Global South by States in the Global North that have opposed measures that would increase universal and equitable access to COVID healthcare technologies (vaccines, therapeutics, etc). Of course, we must do this in partnership with civil society groups/DPOs that have been monitoring this pandemic’s impact on people with disabilities to ensure that the issues DPOs wish to bring to light are covered and the demands DPOs wish to make are included using language that reflects their own work in this regard. We have so far engaged with DPOs in South East Asia, South Asia, the Pacific region, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

In an effort to inform this work, we would be grateful if CDPF would consider sharing with member DPOs the list of questions below, along with a general request for feedback on the proposed advocacy action. We would circulate the resulting proposed legal advocacy filing back to CDPF forinputs, comments, and continued discussion. The proposed questions are:

1.      How has the prolongation of the pandemic because of lack of vaccine access in 2021 particularly/disproportionately impacted persons with disabilities?
2.      Are certain persons with disabilities at greater risk for severe COVID or comorbidities given their healthcare needs?
3.      What has been the particular/disproportionate impact of pandemic lockdowns on persons with disabilities in 2021?
4.      What systemic forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities have been aggravated by the pandemic in 2021?
5.      How has the government addressed data gaps regarding the impact of the pandemic on persons with disabilities?
6.      How has the government addressed the prioritization of persons with disabilities for COVID vaccines and treatments?
7.      Is there discrimination in crisis/triage standards of care regarding access of persons with disabilities to scarce resources, such as ventilators?
8.      How has the government addressed the prioritization of caregivers for COVID vaccines and treatments?
9.      How has the government addressed the needs of persons with high support needs and/or comorbidities given the pandemic?
10.  How has the government addressed the needs of persons with disabilities in institutions during the pandemic? Those experiencing homelessness?
11.  How has the government addressed the need to guarantee the right of informed consent with respect to COVID healthcare for persons with disabilities?

The networks engaged in this work include ESCR-Net – International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights <https://www.escr-net.org/about/who-we-are>, the Global Network of Movement Lawyers <https://movementlawlab.org/global>, the People’s Vaccine Alliance
<https://peoplesvaccine.org/>, and the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations <https://www.inclo.net/about/>. The Human Rights Law Network <https://www.hrln.org/> in India, a member of several of these collectives, has played a leading role in this effort through its Disability
Rights Initiative <https://www.hrln.org/initiative/disability-rights-initiative

Led by persons with disabilities themselves, the *Disability Rights Initiative (DRI) of the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) *is recognized as the only one of its kind in providing a comprehensive range of socio-legal support services to India’s community of persons with disabilities. Together with all HRLN Units, the Disability Rights Initiative team has built country-wide alliances with national DPOs and NGOs. It has also cemented state-wise alliances with grassroots DPO movements of disabled persons. HRLN partners with coalitions and social movements for providing free legal aid and legal literacy programmes throughout India. This coalition comprises of NGOs, social movements, academics, students, activists, researchers, judges and lawyers in 24 states in India, dedicated to the use of the legal system to advance human rights, struggle against violations, and ensure access to justice for all.

*ESCR-Net – International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,* connects over 280 NGOs, social movements and advocates across more than 75 countries to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all. ESCR-Net seeks to strengthen
the field of all human rights, with a special focus on economic, social and cultural rights, and further develop the tools for achieving their promotion, protection and fulfillment.

The *Global Network of Movement Lawyers (GNML)* is part of Movement Law Lab (MLL) and is a network of lawyers around the world committed to using law to defend, protect and strengthen social movements. The mission of this Network is to build a mutually supportive community of
movement lawyers around the world, improve our strategies and tactics in real-time, and also serve as a forum for movement lawyers to dream well
beyond the present moment.

The *People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA)* is a coalition of organisations and activists united under a common aim of campaigning for a ‘people’s vaccine’ for COVID-19. This would be based on shared knowledge and freely available to everyone everywhere – a global common good. The
alliance’s members include Free the Vaccine, Global Justice Now, Public Citizen, the Yunus Centre, Frontline AIDS, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Sum  Of Us and UNAIDS.

The *International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations* is a network of 15 independent, national human rights organizations from different countries in the North and South that work together to promote fundamental rights and freedoms. Thank you very much for your time and attention”.   Fernando Ribeiro Delgado Strategic Litigation Working Group Coordinator

If you wish to participate send you contact details, organisation and country  and answers to the questions to  Fernando Ribeiro Delgado Strategic Litigation Working Group Coordinator at the following  fdelgado@escr-net.org  Richard Rieser General Secretary CDPF

Higher Level Political Forum. DPOs in countries listed get involved in your Government delegations.

The following is a brief update on the 2022 High-level Political Forum that will take place in July at the UN in New York. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level.  The theme for the HLPF in 2022 is “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” Additionally, the 2022 HLPF will review SDGs 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land), and 17 (partnerships for the Goals).  

Forty-five countries are presenting Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the 2022 HLPF include the following: Andorra*, Argentina**, Belarus*, Botswana*, Cameroon*, Comoros*, Côte d’Ivoire*, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador*, Eritrea, Eswatini*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Ghana*, Greece*, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Italy*, Jamaica*, Jordan*, Kazakhstan*, Latvia*, Lesotho*, Liberia*, Luxembourg*, Malawi*, Mali*, Montenegro*, the Netherlands*, Pakistan*, the Philippines**, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal*, Somalia, Sri Lanka*, Sudan*, Suriname, Switzerland**, Togo***, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates*, Uruguay*** Countries with one asterisk * are second timers, those with two asterisks ** are third timers, those with three asterisks *** are presenting for the fourth time, while those without asterisks are presenting for the first time.

10 Commonwealth countries are taking part.To engage and participate in the HLPF, please join the CRPD Forum listserv for engagement opportunities via the SGPwD. To engage in sustainable data work, please join the disability data listserv. We’ll also share opportunities via our UN TG listserv.  

Read more about VNRs, including from previous years.  Please find attached the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities Paragraph 89 Report that provides an overview of the SGPwD’s contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development since 2016. 

Cooperation Canada Newsletter

Click on the following link to access the information online: Member Insights | Aperçu des membres (mailchi.mp)

Rick Hansen Accessibility Professional Network | Register Today Before It Is Too Late

Click on the following link to access the information online: Register Today Before It Is Too Late (rickhansen.com)


TTC restored after suspected hack | Agency sees no service disruption, though user of Wheel-Trans disagrees | Ben Spurr , Toronto Star, Nov. 2, 2021

The TTC continued to grapple with the effects of a reported cyberattack Monday, despite the agency’s assurances the incident hadn’t significantly disrupted its operations.

As fallout from the suspected security breach stretched into its fourth day, the transit workers union reported that multiple operators had staged work refusals over allegedly unsafe conditions caused by internal communication systems being offline. Riders with accessibility challenges warned they risked being stranded because key features of the Wheel-Trans system were inoperable.

During the day Monday, the Toronto Transit Commission declined to answer questions about the incident or offer an estimate for when it might be able to restore the vital communications systems that went offline last week. On Monday evening, however, the agency told the Star it had finally restored the system that transit control uses to communicate with drivers and track vehicle locations, which it considers the most important element of the stricken network.

Earlier in the day, Carlos Santos, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, which represents almost 12,000 TTC workers, had said the union “has significant health and safety concerns” related to the hack and called on the agency to share what information it could.

The TTC revealed in a news release Friday it had been the victim of a suspected security breach known as a ransomware attack. The agency provided few details, but the incidents typically involve hackers encrypting portions of an organization’s network and demanding a ransom to restore access.

The attack forced the shutdown of the internal two-way communication system, known as Vision, that TTC transit control uses to speak with vehicle operators. Vehicle arrival information on platform screens and travel apps was also taken offline, making it harder for riders to plan their trips, while online bookings for Wheel-Trans and the TTC’s internal email service also went down.

Stuart Green, a TTC spokesperson, said Monday evening that Vision was back online and was being monitoring to ensure it was stable. The agency had also restored transit control’s ability to track vehicle locations, but the information wasn’t yet publicly available on trip-planning apps or platform screens.

While the TTC said Friday the attack “did not cause significant service disruptions and there is no risk to employee or customer safety,” some workers reported feeling unsafe.

On Friday, a driver working out of McNicoll division in Scarborough refused to start his shift because Vision was inoperable. According to a Ministry of Labour field visit report reviewed by the Star, the driver complained “there is no ability to activate a silent alarm to summon assistance in the event of an emergency.”

The TTC told the ministry it had advised the operator he could use his cellphone in an emergency, and buses have a driver-distress alarm that causes the vehicle’s horn to sound continuously and its four-way lights to flash.

The ministry inspector concluded the driver’s concerns didn’t meet the work-refusal criteria that would protect the driver under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In a letter to management Sunday, the union local asked whether personal employee information had been compromised, and whether workers would get paid on time. Some employees reported being unable to access their pay statements Monday.

Wheel-Trans, the TTC’s service for riders with disabilities, was also affected by the suspected hack. The agency has advised users to book trips by phone while its online booking system is down – but customers who called were initially met with a message that said Wheel-Trans was “unable to book any new trips at this time other than for life-sustaining or emergency medical purposes.”

Louise Bark, who uses Wheel-Trans to get to medical appointments and run daily errands, urged the TTC to resolve the booking outage as soon as possible, and “stop telling the public it has no significant impact on service.”

“People that use Wheel-Trans have had a major impact,” Bark said.

By Monday afternoon, Wheel-Trans booking line’s outgoing message had been changed to ask customers to defer booking their trips if possible. Bark reported she was able to schedule a trip, but only one day in advance instead of seven.

City to take back 30 per cent of Transit Plus | Joyanne Pursaga | Winnipeg Free Press, October 30, 2021

UP to 30 per cent of Winnipeg Transit Plus service is slated to be provided by city staff, starting in 2024. A motion to bring between 22 and 30 per cent of that service in-house by Jan. 1 of that year passed in a 10-to-6 council vote Thursday evening. At present, the entire accessible transit service is contracted out to private operators.

Coun. Brian Mayes has long pushed for the change, arguing a switch to some public operations would create competition for the private sector. That, he expects, would spark service improvements and help control the cost of the remaining private contracts. “The cost per ride has shot up and what this does is it tunes up the private operators. It says, ‘If you’re going (to not meet standards), we reserve the right to bring (service) back in house,'” Mayes said. The St. Vital councillor said the cost per ride for Transit Plus rose to $27.81 in 2019 from $22.74 in 2015, indicating competition solely between private businesses has not prevented prices from rising.

He notes both drivers and riders have filed major complaints about the service in recent years, including a drivers’ petition for the city to improve working conditions in January. The drivers alleged some contractors didn’t get adequate breaks and were concerned about vehicle maintenance. “This should help improve service,” said Mayes.

Mayor Brian Bowman opposed the idea, along with councillors Scott Gillingham, Jeff Browaty, John Orlikow, Janice Lukes and Kevin Klein. Bowman told council the change could greatly increase the city’s cost to provide the service. “This will increase the size of government and we know it will increase the costs to taxpayers. The most recent report that we have from our public service estimates an additional cost, on an annual basis, of over $2 million. I suspect… that the cost will be greater than that,” said Bowman.

United Nations

The UN DESA Highlights 2020-2021 is now available for download!

What does UN DESA do to promote sustainable development for all around the globe? Explore our UN DESA Highlights 2020-2021 to get a glimpse of the Department’s efforts during the past year.

The report offers audiences insights into UN DESA’s work and contributions to achieve internationally agreed development goals and shared social, economic, and environmental aspirations. It showcases the Department’s role in gauging trends, building capacities, and shaping solutions.

UN DESA Highlights 2020-2021 covers activities over the period of the 75th Session of the General Assembly (September 2020 – August 2021). Seven thematic chapters illustrate how UN DESA tailored its work to effectively address the impact of the overlapping crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report highlights contributions and impact as UN DESA supported UN Member States to address poverty and inequality, ensure sustainable financing, strengthen data capacities, shape digital transformation, protect our planet, accelerate action on the SDGs, and build resilience and preparedness.

Read the UN DESA Highlights 2020-2021 and share the link widely among your networks, so that they too can learn more about UN DESA’s multi-dimensional contributions towards sustainable development for all.


2021 Gathering Registration Is Open!

Click on the following link to access the information online: 2021 Gathering Registration Is Open! (mailchi.mp)


The G3ict DARE Academy Scholarship Fund Application is Now Open (Cycle 2)

The DARE Academy Scholarship Fund is G3ict’s pilot program dedicated to opening new potentials for persons with disabilities who are interested in and passionate about advocating for digital accessibility and to get certified as professionals in the field. 

From October 21- November 21, 2021, 20 scholarships, covering 100% of the costs of the IAAP-Princeton Course and CPACC exam applicable in applicants’ countries of residence, to individuals representing or actively engaged with Organizations of Persons with Disabilities are being offered as part of Cycle 2 of the DARE Academy Scholarship Fund. If you are interested, we invite you to apply today!

Why a person engaged in digital accessibility advocacy should take the time to take the CPACC Preparation Course and Exam to become a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC)?

To better understand cross-disability digital accessibility challenges and opportunities. 

To make their own organization more accessible. 

To better negotiate with their own governments the availability of accessible products, content, and services for their own communities. 

To join a global community of Digital Accessibility Champions sharing to this end know-how and good practices in advancing specific advocacy initiatives. 

To strengthen their negotiation position with public and private sector representatives in committees and task forces developing or implementing digital accessibility policies and programs.


In addition to being awarded a scholarship to get certified as an accessibility professional, awardees also receive: 

Access to the IAAP Membership for one year that consists of individuals and organizations representing various industries including the private sector, government, nonprofit, and educational institutions. 

Free registration for G3ict’s DARE Academy Webinar Series on Digital Inclusion based on findings of the DARE Index that are dedicated to contributing to the documentation process of countries’ best practices for ensuring the availability of a reliable and comprehensive source of educational references and awareness raising tools in the arena of digital accessibility and inclusive ICTs. 

An opportunity to participate in G3ict’s DARE Academy Global Network of Digital Accessibility Champions. The network is open for persons and organizations who are involved in areas of advocacy, awareness raising, knowledge development, and policy making around issues and strategies of inclusive ICTs.


To be considered for the DARE Academy Scholarship, applicants must: 

Be a person with disability,

Have the minimum of secondary education degree and be a minimum of 18 years to apply,

Be working or actively engaged in the field of digital accessibility,

Demonstrate a passion for promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in ensuring digital accessibility.

How to Apply 

Applications are processed by the G3ict’s Institutional Advocacy Division. If you are interested in submitting your application, please submit your application to be considered in Cycle 2 of the scholarship by November 21, 2021 (11:59 p.m. New York time). Applicants must ensure all information provided is accurate and in aptly detailed. All questions and fields indicated with an asterisk sign (*) are required. 

Please note: if you applied for Cycle 1 of the scholarship and were no selected, you are eligible to apply for Cycle 2 as part of our expanded application form.

Important links

Visit the DARE Scholarship webpage for more details on the Program of Study, Selection Criteria, Important Dates, Scholarship Award Process and FAQs.

Read Press Release – G3ict Announces Cycle 1 Scholarship Recipients.   

For any questions or further clarifications, please email us at dareacademy@g3ict.org.

Opportunity to Work for UNICEF

UNICEF is looking for a consultant to undertake a baseline survey on the inclusion of adolescents with disabilities in livelihood.
For more info and deadline for application, please visit and share the link below widely!


Best regards,
Yetnebersh Nigussie Molla
Program Specialist, Children with Disabilities
Nairobi, Kenya
Mobile: +254 793 863541
Skype: yetnebersh.negussie
Email: ymolla@unicef.org

PS3516 – notice of request for information for under-represented groups

Infrastructure Canada has posted a request for information regarding an employment systems review and is asking under-represented groups to identify barriers that would prevent them from bidding on the upcoming request for proposal.  Please forward this notice to any in your network who may be able to offer such services so they can provide feedback in time.


Procurement Services – Services et Approvisionnement

Infrastructure Canada

Contact us at – vous pouvez nous rejoindre:


Avis d’une demande de renseignement pour les groupes sous-représenté

Infrastructure a publié un demande de renseignement concernant une étude des systèmes d’emploi et nous demandons les groupes sous-représenté d’identifier des obstacles qui peuvent lui empêcher de soumettre une réponse à la demande de soumission (DS) qui s’en vient.  SVP, transférer cette avis parmi votre réseau qui peuvent offrir ces services pour qu’ils peuvent fournir des commentaires avant la lancement de la DS.


Procurement Services – Services et Approvisionnement

Infrastructure Canada

Contact us at – vous pouvez nous rejoindre:


Seeking a Production Coordinator (Prairies)!

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has a new position available in the Prairies. For the Job Posting please  visit https://jobs.nfb.ca/jobs.


Closing date of the competition: Nov 19, 2021

Location: Edmonton / Winnipeg

Salary Range: 05 – $49,081 to $59,692

Position Status: Temporary 1 year, Full-Time

I would be very grateful if you could kindly share this posting with the members in your network. 

Feel free to contact me should you require additional information.

Thanks in advance, and have a wonderful day,

Arlette Boghoskhan, CRIA | CIRC

(elle, she/her)

Conseillère, relations de travail, diversité et inclusion |Advisor, Labour Relations, Diversity and Inclusion

Ressources humaines | Human Resources

Office national du film du Canada | National Film Board of Canada

1501, De Bleury, Montréal (Québec)  H3A 0H3

C 514-299-7097  F 514-841-3500 | a.boghoskhan@onf.ca

Poste de Coordonnateur(trice) de Production disponible (Prairies) ! 

L’Office national du film du Canada (ONF) a un nouveau poste à combler dans la région des Prairies. Veuillez voir les pièces jointes pour l’affichage ou visitez https://emplois.onf.ca/emplois.


Date de fin du concours : 19 novembre 2021

Emplacement : Edmonton / Winnipeg

Échelle salariale : 05 – 49 081 $ à 59 692 $

Statut poste : Temporaire 1 an, temps-plein

Ce serait très apprécié si vous pouviez partager l’affichage avec les membres de votre réseau.

N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec moi si vous avez besoin d’informations supplémentaires.

Si vous ne désirez plus recevoir des avis de postes vacants de l’ONF, n’hésitez pas à m’en faire signe.

Merci d’avance, et bonne journée,

Arlette Boghoskhan, CRIA | CIRC

(elle, she/her)

Conseillère, relations de travail, diversité et inclusion |Advisor, Labour Relations, Diversity and Inclusion

Ressources humaines | Human Resources

Office national du film du Canada | National Film Board of Canada

1501, De Bleury, Montréal (Québec)  H3A 0H3

C 514-299-7097  F 514-841-3500 | a.boghoskhan@onf.ca


Annotated outline | Living independently and being included in the community: Guidelines on deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities, including in emergency situations.

Origin, process and purpose of the Guidelines

This section describes how the draft Guidelines originated, the process leading to the guidelines, and their main purpose.

Origin and purpose of the Guidelines

Origin of the Guidelines:

Human rights violations reported to the Committee during the COVID 19 pandemic resulting in further isolation, marginalization, exclusion, and institutionalization.

Process leading to the guidelines

Briefing of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitoring[1] to the Committee about worldwide survey on human rights violations during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Committee’s decision to establish a Working Group on Deinstitutionalization (23th session).

Seven regional consultations addressed to persons with disabilities and their organizations.

Outcomes of regional consultations prepared by the Secretariat of the Committee.

Annotated outline of the Guidelines prepared by the Committee’s Working group with the support of a consultant. The Working Group received inputs from the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalization[2].

Limited understanding by State parties and other actors about the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community (article 19).


Supplement the Committee’s General Comment No. 5 by providing concrete guidance to State parties and other actors on how to carry out deinstitutionalization processes, including in emergency situations, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Areas of action and concrete recommendations

Section A

Section A addresses State authorities and provide them with concrete guidance on how to recognize in practice what constitutes institutions, the culture of institutionalization, and de-institutionalization processes in line with the Convention. It also provides guidance to State parties that institutionalization can never be considered as a measure of protecting persons with disabilities, about their duty to end institutionalization and to address and eliminate root causes that lead to institutionalization. This section will be developed in manner consistent with general comment No. 5 of the Committee on the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community, without duplicating the latter content.

States parties shall[3]:

Recognise the extent of the concept of institution and institutionalization

Recognise that an institution is any setting in which persons with disabilities cannot exercise their choice concerning living arrangements, and where persons with disabilities lack control and autonomy about their daily lives, irrespective of their size or the kind of services that are provided therein to persons with disabilities[4]

Recognise and identify that institutions may have different forms, including psychiatric institutions, rehabilitation centres, half way homes, group homes, sheltered or protected living homes, transit homes, nursing homes and other congregated living settings, including small sized institutions. Recognise also that institutions also comprise practices that deprive persons with disabilities of their liberty such as leprosy colonies, camps for persons with albinism hostels, social care institutions, children’s shelters, special boarding schools, refugee camps, prayer camps. Different forms of institutions may vary from country to country.

Recognise that institutionalization also occurs in the private sphere, in urban or rural areas, through institutions run and controlled by non-state actors, including charities and church-run organization. Recognise also that States have duties in ending these type of institutions.

Recognise the persistence of a culture of institutionalization resulting in social isolation and segregation of persons with disabilities, including at home or in family, preventing them from interacting in society and being included in the community.

Recognise that confinement and lockdown in institutions, particularly during emergency situations, is an aggravated form of institutionalization.

Incorporate a concept of deinstitutionalization in line with the Convention, which is

Connected to realising human rights of persons with disabilities and therefore, human dignity

Focused at restoring the rights of persons with disabilities curtailed by institutionalization, and at providing persons with disabilities with genuine choices lo live independently and be included in the community.

Focused at: a) restoring legal capacity of persons with disabilities, and provide them with supported decision-making concerning all decisions, including living arrangements, b) establishing individualized support to live in the community, and c) ensuring access to accessible services in the community.

Recognize that moving persons from large scale institutions to small group homes that perpetuate control of third parties over daily routines and choices of persons with disabilities do not constitute de-institutionalization

End institutionalization in law and practice and restore the dignity of persons with disabilities

Recognise institutionalization as a human rights violation of multiple rights in the Convention and that it constitutes:

Disability-based discrimination;

Deprivation of liberty[5];

A harmful practice that entails different forms of violence, coercion, ill treatment and torture against persons with disabilities with profound impacts on their physical and mental integrity

A violation of the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and to be included in the community (article 19) of the Convention[6].

Recognise that institutionalization is not a form of protection of persons with disabilities, or as a “solution” for persons with disabilities or as an adequate form of support or the provision of services, such as health, education or rehabilitation. 

Identify, address and eliminate the root causes of institutionalization as framework for a successful deinstitutionalization

In parallel to designing and implementing deinstitutionalization processes, States parties should address and eliminate the underlying and root causes of institutionalization, which include: a) widespread poverty, extreme poverty, and homelessness of persons with disabilities; b) reliance of persons with disabilities on informal economy, exacerbated in emergency situations, including the covid-19 pandemic; c) lack of development of support in the community for persons with disabilities; d) lack of support to families of persons with disabilities, exacerbated during emergency situations; e) lack of alternatives to institutions; f) lack of coverage for the extra-costs of living with impairment; g) prevalence of  the medical model of disability, and related practices such as bio-medical determination of disability, the widespread use of coercion against persons with disabilities, particularly in mental health settings,  and widespread medicalization and judicialization of situations of crisis and mental distress experienced by persons with disabilities; h) prejudices, and disability stereotypes in the family and in society, including false beliefs that there are persons with disabilities who are unable to live independently, that children with disabilities are better protected by placing them in institutions and deep rooted cultural and social misunderstanding about the worth and value of persons with disabilities; i) Lack of meaningful participation of persons with disabilities, including in the management and response to situations of emergency., and j)the teaching and training of disciplines that inculcate the practice of coercion and institutionalization, such as “defectology” and “abnormal psychology”.

Section B

Section B addresses State authorities and provide them with concrete guidance to carry out deinstitutionalization processes, in line with the Convention. It guides States authorities on the main principles which should be respected in DI processes, the structural issues which required to be addressed and concrete implementation measures of DI processes

Deinstitutionalization processes (DI) should

Be guided in the following principles

1. Be inclusive of all persons with disabilities regardless of impairment, age, sex, gender, ethnic origin or any other grounds

Include all persons with disabilities regardless type of impairment or level of support required to live independently and in the community. All persons with disabilities are eligible for DI

2. Effectively shift from the outdated charity, paternalistic and medical models of disability to the human rights model of disability.

Ensure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from DI process on the basis of bio-medical assessments of severity of impairment, and that bio-medical assessments are not used to evaluate the provision of support in the community

Ensure freedom of persons with disabilities instead of control over their lives, equality instead of segregation, dignity instead of capacity-devaluation, personal support instead of institutional care, and active participation instead of passive recipient role.

Respect the dignity of persons with disabilities throughout the whole DI process

Incorporate an approach centred on persons with disabilities, and focus on empowering persons with disabilities to live independently and in the community

 Focus on persons with disabilities, and not on reforming institutions.  

Avoid one fit for all solutions, recognize the diversity of persons with disabilities,

Develop individualized plans, based on will and preferences of persons with disabilities

Raise awareness of persons with disabilities about their rights in the Convention,

Enable full and effective participation of persons with disabilities, and allow for their independent participation;

Ensure participation of persons with disabilities through their representatives organizations in all steps and decision-making processes concerning the DI

Information sharing through public website does not exhaust the duty to ensure participation.

Ensure that decision-making processes throughout the DI are fully accessible to all persons with disabilities, including for persons with intellectual disabilities, including by using information and communication technologies.

Provide reasonable accommodation when requested, to enable full participation of person with disabilities on an equal basis.

Foster an environment respectful of the independent participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations  

Ensure gender equality and gender diversity throughout the whole DI process.

Recognise gender-based discrimination, including gender-based violence to which women and girls with disabilities have been exposed in institutions and take it into account in the design and implementation of individualized support plans during transition from institutions to live independently.

Recognise discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and variations of sex characteristics to which persons with disabilities have been exposed in institutions and take it into account in the design and implementation of individualized support plans during transition from institutions to live independently.

Address multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination affecting persons with disabilities.

Pay particular attention to the situation of persons with disabilities affected by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination while in institutions.

Combat disability prejudices, stigma and stereotypes in the family and in society and recognize and restore the dignity and the worth of persons with disabilities in society.

Develop and implement sustainable awareness-raising plans of action on the rights of persons with disabilities addressed to all society, at the national, regional and local levels, and particularly to communities where persons with disabilities choose to be resettled.

Include in the curriculum the content of the Convention at all levels of the education system.

Ensure widespread dissemination of the content of the right to live independently and be included in the community.

Develop and carry out sustainable training and awareness-raising programmes addressed to the general public and all officials in all sectors.

Prevent violence and abuse, including sexual violence and abuse and bullying, against persons with disabilities, and effectively investigate cases and incidents of all forms of violence and sanction perpetrators.

Address structural issues, including through the reform of legal and policy frameworks, and practices perpetuating institutionalization

Be framed in legislation aligned with the Convention, which includes the following components

Repeal all forms of institutionalization in legislation, policies and in practice. Establish in law a moratorium of establishing new institutions

Review and repeal in mental health legislation any provision allowing for medical treatment without consent and detention based on impairment. [7]

Recognise in law the right to live independently and be included in the community and all its components as described in General Comment No5

Repeal legislation allowing for guardianship and establish supported-decision making [8](check below sub chapter 14),

Ensure that anti-discrimination legislative frameworks recognise guardianship and institutionalization as forms of discrimination based on disability[9].

Address the situation of specific groups of persons with disabilities who have been disproportionally  affected by institutionalization and have faced compounded forms of segregation: children with disabilities, older persons with disabilities, persons with disabilities requiring high levels of support, persons facing multiple discrimination, women with disabilities, persons with intellectual disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, people with disabilities belonging to indigenous or minority communities, persons facing multiple discrimination, persons with albinism and persons with disabilities experiencing crisis.

Foster accessibility and inclusion in the community

Ensure mainstream services in the community are available, acceptable, affordable, accessible, adaptable, sustainable and inclusive, and of appropriate quality, to all persons with disabilities.

Ensure reinsertion and return-to-work, away from sheltered employment or any segregated employment; including by ensuring access to employment opportunities in the open labour market.

Invest in accessible public housing programmes in the community, not in group homes

Ensure access to inclusive and quality education systems in the community, at all levels of education and particularly in rural and remote areas

Develop inclusive quality education as a main driver of inclusion

Accelerate the transformation of special education into a quality inclusive education system and abolish special education, special schools, boarding schools or any other models of segregated education

Train teachers and education professionals on inclusive and quality education, using general comment No 4

Provide individualized support and reasonable accommodation in the educational system.

Ensure restoration and inclusion in community life, through social networks, family ties when applicable, friends, peers, associations, etc.

1.      Foster development and maintenance of friendships and relationships

Ensure that access and provision of services in the community is respectful of the right to privacy of persons with disabilities.

Develop accessible health services in the community 

Ensure sexual and reproductive rights are respected;

Ensure all medical treatments are provided on the basis of free and informed consent and that quality mental health services are offered by personnel trained in human rights;

End the use of coercion, particularly in mental health settings;

End the use of long-term psychiatric medication.

Ensure access of persons with disabilities, and particularly those living in poverty and extreme poverty to mainstream social protection programmes on an equal basis with other;  

Ensure disability-specific programmes are available to all persons with disabilities, and that they cover disability-related costs.

Ensure that international cooperation is used in DI process in line with the Convention

Explicitly include the goal of deinstitutionalization in international development cooperation programmes and funds.

Ensure the use of funding through international cooperation in line with the human rights based approach to disability, including the following aspects: transparent processes for implementing international cooperation and accountability mechanisms

Ensure an open and direct consultative process with persons with the disabilities and organizations of persons with disabilities on the design and implementation of development projects funded by international cooperation.

Link deinstitutionalization to all actions and measures to implement the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal; mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities in all international cooperation efforts

Strengthen the role of regional international organizations in promoting DI processes in line with the Convention.

Ensure Implementation in line with the Convention

This segment will provide concrete and practical examples on the implementation of DI processes. It will strive to provide practical elements, nuanced and specific to particular institutional settings (Such as residential facilities which requires development of community accessible housing, and community based support services; mental health facilities which require law reform and development of alternatives to forced and coercive mental health care; and specific actions regarding the culture of institutionalisation of persons with disabilities segregated in family settings or at home) It will also strive to refer to practical elements related to specific population groups, such as children with disabilities, Indigenous individual with disabilities and migrants, and asylum seekers with disabilities

Adopt a well-planned and structured deinstitutionalization process, including a comprehensive strategy and plan of actions, with reasonable timelines, benchmarks, human, technical and financial resources, and in the meantime establish a moratorium on new institutionalizations and re-institutionalizations. Strategies and plan of actions should:

Ensure full respect of persons with disabilities’ autonomy, will and preferences, and genuine choices to live in the community

Ensure incorporation of individualized support, respectful of the will and preferences of persons with disabilities

Include measures to support persons with disabilities during the transition from institutions to live independently in the community

Pay attention to the need of supporting families of children and adults with disabilities, including siblings, in transition from institutions to life in the community, and prevent recourse to re-institutionalization.

Establish a short defined time frame for the transition

Set up a period for the discharge of persons with disabilities from institutions, without delay.

Ensure that support continues to be provided after the release from institutions.

Ensure DI process are prioritized and carried out timely

Adopt short, medium and long term goals

Avoid delays in the implementation of the DI process based on alleged lack of resources

Ensure expeditious implementation of emergency DI

Introduce a deadline for the closure of all institutions, including mental health facilities.

Ensure sustainable resource allocation  

Ensure maximum available resources

Allocate appropriate human, technical and financial resources

Reorient and transfer financial resources, from institutions to individualized forms of support to live in the community, in particular at the local level.

Establish earmarked budgets for individualized forms of support: personal assistance, peer-to-peer networks of support, personal budgets.

Ensure no retrogression, including preventing the use of resources in the construction or refurbishing of institutions.

Ensure appropriate governance of De-institutionalization process

DI is a State-led process, should include all relevant government departments and ensure comprehensive and inter-sectoral commitment throughout the government

Establish a leading authority

Establish a coordination mechanism, and division of responsibilities

Ensure the participation of persons with disabilities in the process, and their representative organizations; their views should be given due weight, and be prioritized over the views of families, service providers, caregivers, and charity and religious organizations, –  persons with disabilities should be the majority people in any governance group or meeting.

Ensure coordination and cooperation between public authorities and non-state actors involved in the process; 

Exclude institutions and service providers from the governance of the DI process; ensure that any former staff of any institutions wanting to join the DI process undergo vetting to prevent any person who has been involved in human rights violations participating in the DI process.

Ensure regular and accessible communication between different stakeholders (persons with disabilities, State officials, civil society organizations)

Ensure coherent implementation of deinstitutionalization between central and local governments and bodies

Clearly identify roles of state and non-state actors in the process

Ensure coordination with strategies, policies and actions plans in all areas of development (education, health, employment, social security, gender equality, etc.) and concerning different population groups (young, older, migrant persons with disabilities).

Prevent the emergence of new forms of institutionalization.

Implement the recommendations of subsequent chapters of these guidelines

DI strategies and action plans should be applicable and implementable during emergencies

Ensure the free choice of persons with disabilities, and respect their will and preferences

Ensure the availability of a wide range of options of non-congregated living arrangements and prevent persons with disabilities to be constrained to choose only among available support and services. (Disguised “false choice” around what is available).

Clarify that ‘choice’ over where and with whom to live does not extend to the choice to live in an institution; nor the obligation of States to create/maintain institutions.

Develop skills in open and inclusive environments;

Develop skills of persons with disabilities for independent living, including through support by peers

Ensure that young people are adequately prepared before exit from institutions psychologically and emotionally because it is often the only living environment they know;

Develop skills and ensure that persons with disability access modern information and communication technologies and devices

Enable persons with disabilities to have the opportunity to develop and utilise their creative, artistic and intellectual potential, through their participation in cultural activities, arts, leisure activities, sports, music, etc.

Develop awareness raising activities targeting persons with disabilities, their families, services providers and staff working with or for persons with disabilities, including staff of institutions, and society in general including during periods of transition.

Restore legal capacity

Recognise, ensure and restore the legal capacity of persons with disabilities who are  institutionalized (both the capacity to be holder of rights and the capacity to act under the law)

End De facto deprivation of legal capacity of persons with disabilities who are institutionalized

Develop supported decision-making regimes based on the will and preferences, and on consent of person with disabilities.

Supported decision-making should be available for all persons with disabilities regardless level of impairment.

 Supporters should be chosen by persons with disabilities, and not by third parties, including judicial authorities, family members, etc.

Supporters should respect the will and preferences of persons with disabilities.

Support should be available at nominal or no-cost for persons with disabilities

Repeal legislation allowing for the disenfranchisement of persons on the basis of impairment, and restore political rights of all persons with disabilities affected by institutionalization. 

Ensure the provision of individualized support, respectful of the will and preferences of persons with disabilities

Develop personal and individualized support, including personal assistance, respectful of will and preferences

Raise awareness of persons with disabilities about the availability and forms of individualized support.

Develop a wide-range of disability support, including by recognizing different types of support (peer-to-peer, support networks, etc.),

Ensure affordability, availability and accessibility of individualize support, including for persons with disabilities in rural and remote areas

Ensure support for children with disability in the family, and when the family is unable to care for a child with a disability, provide alternative care within the wider family and, failing that, within the community in a family.

Ensure access to assistive technology to promote autonomy.

Allocate sustainable and personalized financing mechanisms.

Develop forms of support culturally appropriate for persons with disabilities belonging to minorities, and maintain an intersectional approach, including children, women, LGBTI+, etc.

Ensure that the provision of personal assistance includes

Choice of personal assistance or any other support for independent living by the user

Provision of proper training to personal assistants that includes persons with disabilities as trainers, for ensuring respectful and professional assistance.

End of dependence on family members.

Personalised budgets for support, including budget for personal assistants are controlled by persons with disabilities with appropriate supported decision-making.

Develop specific inclusion strategies (country and culture specific): community dialogue for inclusion, open dialogue. How to use existing support (and social capital) in the community to develop inclusive communities.

Prevent disability specific supports that do not contribute to inclusion: such as day care centres, respite care and other so-called community-based services that do nothing to support inclusion

Separate support from institutions

Recognize the role of informal support, including the one provided by families, and ensure is in line with the Convention

Provide non-coercive crisis support, including peer support and respect the provisions previously made by the individual through advance directives.

Ensure De-medicalization of support during crisis

Ensure de-judicialization of support provided during crisis

Ensure income replacement and supplementation to cover disability related costs.

Ensure the availability and continuation of all support services during emergency context.

Be transparent and provide regular access to information in accessible formats and technologies

Ensure regular access to information about the DI process

Develop and use accessible communication formats for mass media and public information.

Provide persons with disabilities with accessible information about services and support available.

Involve persons with disabilities in the preparation of documents in accessible formats, related to the DI process, including in emergencies.

Train staff working for and with persons with disabilities to communicate effectively and understand the varying communication requirements and forms of communication.

Address trauma and provide redress to survivors of human rights violations in the context of institutionalization

Adopt measures to restore the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities who are in institutions or have faced institutionalization.

End De facto deprivation of legal capacity of persons with disabilities who are institutionalized and prevent directors or administrators of institutions from becoming guardians of persons with disabilities.

Adopt measures to end violence and ill-treatment in institutions

Stop over-medicalization, including any treatment without consent.

Address gender-based violence, including institutional forms forced sterilisation, forced abortion, forced contraception

Address the impact of permanent deprivation of liberty in institutions, including in mental health facilities.

Provide human rights-based support, which includes accessible emergency shelter, legal aid,  medical, psychological , social and peer-to-peer support

Provide individual and collective redress and reparations, including adequate compensation, to persons with disabilities affected by institutionalization, and persons that have suffered direct harm.

Acknowledge re-institutionalization as a form of re-victimization, and end re-institutionalization

Include a disability perspective in restorative and transitional justice processes.

Ensure accountability, end impunity,  and bring to justice perpetrators of human rights violations in the context of institutionalization

Identify all forms of violence against persons with disabilities, particularly against children with disabilities.

Reinforce mechanisms of reporting incidents of deaths, violence, ill-treatment, exploitation and abuse

Ensure that persons reporting abuses are not further subjected to mental health treatments of coercive and punitive nature and that they are given protection and safeguards against backlash, punishment, intimidation, reprisals and threats.

Provide access to justice to victims, by ensuring gender and age-sensitive procedural accommodations, and the provision of legal aid, independent of institutions

Combat stigma and prejudices against victims and witnesses of gender-based violence, and ensure safe environments for reporting cases and incident of gender-based violence to independent authorities.

Provide particular attention incidents of abuse against persons with disabilities by their family members, and abuses that took place in the private sphere by service providers.

Establish vetting processes for perpetrators

Investigate and impose administrative and/or penal sanctions authors of human rights violations in institutions, irrespective of their placement in the hierarchy of the institutions.

Overhaul DI in situations of risk, disasters and humanitarian emergencies, including in situations armed conflict.

Acknowledge that during emergency situations lockdown disproportionately affect persons with disabilities in institutions.

Prevent isolation, ill-treatment, disability-based discrimination and bias in triage protocols, avoiding preventable death

Ensure the collection of disaggregated data on persons with disabilities affected by emergency situations

Prevent homelessness of persons with disabilities released from institutions

Develop and implement inclusive emergency protocols

Ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community as a priority during emergencies

Provide support in the community to families of persons with disabilities in emergency situations

Include accessibility and reasonable accommodation in emergency protocols

Pay particular attention to specific groups of persons with disabilities, for example, persons with intellectual disabilities affected by isolation and confinement measures; deaf persons affected by the use of masks that do not allow for lip-reading;

Avoid standardized solutions, which infringe upon the inclusion of persons with disabilities, for instance, those who use augmentative and alternative means and modes of communication.

Develop accessible information about emergency protocols

Acknowledge that the congregate nature of institutions makes these places inherently dangerous, particularly during any type of health/natural disaster/humanitarian emergency

Ensure safety of persons with disabilities during emergency, through inclusion in the community

Acknowledge that health is compromised due to long-term use of psychiatric medication in institutions, which increase the risk of infection, sickness and death, during emergencies.

Acknowledge that improving conditions/modernising/investment in staff is not the answer, and that safety through inclusion in the community is the only safe environment.

Prevent homelessness and impoverishment of persons with disabilities during emergencies.

Ensure equal access of persons with disabilities to vaccination programmes and ensure access to information about available vaccines in accessible formats.

Ensure the continuation of disability support services during crises and prevent regression.  

Ensure access of persons with disabilities affected by armed conflict to humanitarian assistance and relief on an equal basis with other, ensuring also that information about assistance and relief is provided in accessible formats.

Ensure effective participation of persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of emergency response, relief and recovery.

Ensure effective implementation of accountability mechanisms to address human rights violations in situations of emergency.

Collect disaggregated data

Collect appropriate disaggregated data to understand the context in which persons with disabilities are living and to design policies, plans and programmes for DI and to measure implementation

Involve organizations of persons with disabilities in relevant decision-making processes including defining data collection priorities

Guarantee the privacy of personal data

Address the uncertainty about numbers and percentages of persons with disabilities affected about institutionalization, by compiling disaggregated statistics in a sustainable manner.

Ensure DI processes are monitored by independent authorities and by organizations of persons with disabilities

Ensure independent monitoring mechanisms, National Human Rights Institutions, ombudspersons, and equality bodies and monitor the implementation of DI process; ensure they have unrestrictive access to institutions, documents and relevant information;

Implement recommendations issued by independent monitoring bodies.

Ensure monitoring by organizations of persons with disabilities; ensure they have unrestrictive access to institutions, documents and relevant information.

Ensure that independent monitoring bodies, National Human Rights Institutions and National preventive mechanisms (NPMs) have a role in identifying violations of human rights of persons still living in institutions, address and implement their recommendations and protect persons with disabilities undergoing deinstitutionalization. 

Ensure monitoring during emergencies.

Draft outline -Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization of Persons with Disabilities, including in emergency situations

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

In September 2021, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted an annotated outline of its Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization of Persons with Disabilities, including in emergency situations. The process of preparing the Guidelines began in late 2020 and has continued during 2021. The outline describes the content of the Guidelines, currently under preparation. A draft version of the Guidelines will be published by the end of 2021 with a call for written submissions to all interested stakeholders.

The Guidelines will build on State party obligations, pursuant to article 19 of the Convention on the right to live independently and be included in the community, the Committee’s General comment No. 5 (2017) on article 19, and the Committee’s Guidelines under article 14. The guidelines will provide further concrete guidance to implement the right to live independently and being included in the community and will be a tool to support States parties and other stakeholders, in overcoming isolation, segregation and discrimination against children and adults with disabilities.

A bottom-up process: Regional consultations

The process started with a wide and highly participatory process of seven regional consultations for stakeholders in Africa, Asia Pacific, Central and South America, Caribbean and North America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Europe and European Union, Middle-East and North Africa.  The contributions and statements from more than 500 persons with disabilities and their representative organizations enabled the Committee to identify the main thematic areas for preparing guidance on deinstitutionalization.

The regional consultations took place online from January to June 2021 and were organized by the Committee’s Working Group on Deinstitutionalization established to promote genuine global action on independent living and in response to the shocking findings contained in the global report of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor, which exposed the harmful impact of the pandemic on persons with disabilities everywhere.  

In 2021, the Committee welcomed the formation of the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalization composed of representative organizations of persons with disabilities, the International Disability Alliance, the European Network on Independent Living, Inclusion International, and Transforming Communities for Inclusion, and other civil society organizations advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities, the Disability Rights Fund and Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, Disability Rights International, the Disability Unit at the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, and the Validity Foundation. The support of the Global Coalition has been instrumental for the organization of the regional consultations and the participation of persons with disabilities around the world.

During the regional consultations, women with disabilities, young persons with disabilities, persons with disabilities who have experienced institutionalization, persons with albinism, grass-roots and self-advocacy organizations and other civil society organizations presented their testimonies, experiences, and proposals for ending institutionalization, isolation and segregation. Universities and regional disability networks joined the Committee and contributed to the consultations and in preparation of the analytical regional outcome documents.

2021-2022: The drafting process of the guidelines and general call for submissions

The Committee will continue expanding the participation of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders in the process of developing the guidelines on deinstitutionalization in 2021 and 2022. With the support of the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalization and its consultants, it will prepare draft guidelines based on the inputs of a general call for submissions to all stakeholders.

States parties to the Convention, persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, independent monitoring frameworks, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders will be invited and will have an opportunity to make contributions to the process.

Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization, including during emergencies

The international consensus about the importance of participation of persons with disabilities and the crucial role of human rights in the recovery phase has been reaffirmed by several multilateral mechanisms and forums. The Secretary General of the United Nations urged governments to place people with disabilities at the centre of COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and to consult and engage people with disabilities.

The Committee has joined this call and the Guidelines on deinstitutionalization represent an opportunity in the post-pandemic period to build back better societies in which persons with disabilities are truly included and benefit on an equal basis with others from freedom of choice and a life included in the community.

The very high level of participation of stakeholders in developing the Guidelines thus far is a mark of the importance of this process and the Committee encourages national and regional actors to develop partnerships that can bring change and new opportunities for the participation of persons with disabilities in society.  

End of Document

[1] Membership in the COVID-19 DRM to be explained in this footnote

[2] Membership of the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalization and consultants

[3] Reference to Committee’s General comment No 5 (2017) to be inserted here, particularly paragraphs explaining State parties’ duties, including vis-à-vis non-state actors

[4] Reference to Committee’s General comment No. 5 (2017), particularly paragraphs related to obligations of states parties.

[5] General comment No. 1 (2014) see para. 40

[6] Committee’s General comment No. 5 and inquiry reports.

[7] Reference to Guidelines on article 14 to be included.

[8] Reference to GC No1 to be included here

[9] Reference to GC No6 to be included here