Volume 12 Issue 1
A New Look and Feel
CAILC Unveils its New Branding
Access to Recovery Project: Tool & Resource Development Continues
VILRC Techie Corner
Spotlight on the network
CAILC Welcomes a New Member
ILC of Waterloo Region Celebrates its 25th Anniversary
Better Community Project for Youth Leadership
Natural caregivers: A matter of balance
Employment for people with disabilities in Trois-Pistoles
CAILC Awards 2006
John Lord Award
CAILC Consumer Award of Excellence
Allan Simpson Award for Programming
National Director’s Volunteer Award
United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons 2006
Spotlight on Partners
Open Your Mind
The Lighter Side of Independent Living
My Crutches: A tale of Jekyll and Hyde
Social policy update
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2006
NO ANSWER II – A Review of Federally Regulated Organizations’ Telephonic Communications with People Who Are Deaf, Deafened, or Hard of Hearing (September 2006)
A New Beginning - A New Beginning - The Report of the Minister of Finance's Expert Panel on Financial Security for Children with Severe Disabilities (December 2006)
Healthy Lifestyles for Independent Living – Project Evaluation Complete
The Power of One.
Making things Happen – In Conversation with Jim Harnden
Spotlight on Access
Google Accessible Web Search for the Visually Impaired
Sign Language Interpretation for Federal Services
Voluntary Sector tools
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – Giving to Charity: Information for Donors
Values > Added
Web links & Tools
The Belonging Initiative
Health Canada – On-line Consultations on a Mental Health Commission
11th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED)
Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability Activate Yourself, Activate your Community The “Not Really a Conference” Conference
By Traci Walters
We are very excited to launch CAILC’s official new branding after a lengthy and very consultative process with the Independent Living Resource Centres and people with disabilities across Canada. This year marks our 20th anniversary and it was time for an image makeover. Since our inception our logo was never changed and we never had a slogan. The logo was red and white with a clear maple leaf on the left side and the other side of the leaf was sort of smeared off to the right. It was high time that we re-examined the image and messaging that we wanted to get across to other Canadians.
Delta Media, an Ottawa based Marketing and Public Relations-firm was hired to help the association develop our new branding. Bernie Gauthier, their Senior Managing Partner, took the lead. He has been involved with CAILC for many years and has worked with the CAILC Marketing Committee on numerous issues.
The consultative process included teleconference and face-to-face meetings with the CAILC Board of Directors, ILRC Executive Directors and other ILRC staff and senior volunteers. A survey was also created and circulated to approximately 100 people. It was very clear that stakeholders wanted to convey a visual image of collaboration, diversity, movement, synergy, energy as well as optimism and hope. They also wanted to hear messaging that reinforced a positive passionate feeling, somehow changing the way people think about disability and again optimism.
Many slogans were bantered about and we definitely knew we needed to have the word “disability” in the slogan. This was important for many reasons including the fact that many people especially the general public have no idea that the term “Independent Living” is associated with disability and a philosophy of self-determination.
It was also interesting to hear in the consultations that some people did not want the word disability in the slogan because they felt that the word is negative; however, it is very critical that we portray a sense of disability pride in our slogan. We need to say that disability is a positive experience, not always easy, but positive. CAILC and its members must at all times convey a message that there should be a sense of pride being a person with a disability and we need to be comfortable being who we are. More often than not, when people with disabilities are asked if they would like to be able bodied they say no because the disability has contributed significantly to who they are today. Our disabilities have provided insights into the world that other people don’t experience. This is our unique identity and therefore we are proud to put disability in our slogan. If someone is not comfortable being a person with a disability, it probably has something to do with the way society has negatively viewed people with disabilities which reflects in how they view themselves.
We had four different options of logos and the majority of people selected the logo we are presenting in this issue. People felt a sense of belonging, working together, integration and non-isolation. They felt that this logo portrayed this feeling.
The colours of the logo are also very important. We are trying to show an image of diversity and cross-disability (4 disability categories – sensory, mobility, intellectual and psychological). The four colours can also constantly remind us that there are 4 core programs to ILRCs, 4 principles of the IL philosophy – choice, control, flexibility and risk taking and 4 pillars to our Canadian IL Movement – empowerment, accessibility, inclusion and opportunities.
The slogan development was not easy especially when you are working in two official languages. We did conclude that it was next to impossible to achieve a direct translation that everyone was happy with. We did select French and English slogans that are not a direct translation; however, they transmit the same messaging. The slogan in French and directly translated into English is “seeing beyond the disability”; however, “Voir au delà du handicap" in French does not mean having to see with your eyes, it means thinking or imagining beyond the disability. The English version refers almost literally to seeing with your eyes.
In English the majority of ILRCs and the Board selected “Disability – a New Perspective”; however, we changed it to “Promoting a New Perspective on Disability” so it would be action orientated and read smoothly after Independent Living on top of the logo. We feel it is very important to the IL Movement to once again embrace the word disability as a positive experience. It’s all a matter of perception or perspective by ourselves first and then by others.
CAILC and the ILRCs will begin to unfold the new branding nationally and locally. Through this exercise we all agreed that over time we need to have a cooperative branding strategy in order to have an accumulative impact across Canada by providing a consistent look, feel and messaging.
By Mary Jane Clinkard
The Access to Recovery project continues to advance. As a result of the training sessions which took place in October 2006, training tools and online web-based resources continue to be developed and will be made available to our network and partners soon.
Our hope is that these tools will serve as a foundation for informing both consumers and service providers on the issue of persons with disabilities and substance abuse. For example, a series of fact sheets designed to educate consumers and service providers about substance abuse and independent living issues. The topics covered in the consumer fact sheets include: alcohol, tobacco, harm reduction, prescription drugs and drug interactions. The topics covered in the fact sheets for service providers include a general primer on the issue of substance abuse for persons with disabilities, and alternate formats and accessibility. In addition to these fact sheets, the summary of our national needs assessment on this issue has recently been edited and translated and will be available soon. As well, in keeping with the feedback we have received we continue to build our web-based resource of substance abuse-related links.
We are lucky to be able to have conference calls with both the Substance Abuse Advisory Group and also the representatives from the ILRCs who attended the Substance Abuse training at the AGM. Their continuous input has helped to ensure that this project is successful.
Picture: Access to Recovery project logo
By Kier Martin
As you may be aware, CAILC has undertaken a full redesign of its web site. The new site will incorporate a new look for CAILC with a brand new logo and slogan. In addition to the redesign of the www.cailc.ca a sibling site is being created www.vilrc.ca . The new Virtual Independent Living Resource Centre (VILRC) will offer training, resources, and a vast amount of information to the IL Network.
Both these sites and their resources will be bilingual, user friendly and fully accessible meeting the World Wide Web Consortiums- web accessibility standards (w3c.org). The new sites will reflect the needs of centres and support you in working with consumers in an online environment.
As we build these new tools of the IL network we would love to here from you with and suggestions, questions or if you are just curious to see what we are up to. As well, for any questions about the availability of the downloads listed below, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever need to create a PDF document (maybe once a year) and you don’t own a copy of Adobe Acrobat PDF Creator? Running out to purchase the software is not an option? Well now you can create a PDF (Portable Document Format) in a snap and FREE thanks to Acro Software www.cutepdf.com. Using their freeware CutePDF Writer 2.5 you can create as many documents as you like with out fear of annoying watermarks that has traditionally been associated with this type of application.
Did you ever delete unintentionally something or, being your office's Technical Wizard asked by a co-worker to get back a file they just accidentally deleted? Well now you deal with this more easily by keeping this tool in your bat-belt and show off your spectacular geekly powers. http://www.officerecovery.com/freeundelete/
Did I mention this stuff is free?
Recently TechSoup (www.techsoup.org) along with MailShell sponsored a 24 hour giveaway of MailShell’s Anti Spam Software. We were fortunate to get a few copies for centres, so if you are in need of some anti-spam software let us know. Imagine no more junk mail in the morning!
Mailshell Anti-Spam Desktop is a desktop-based spam-filtering solution for Windows users that intercepts incoming email messages before they reach the user's inbox.
Thunder Screenreader is a reliable new software tool that makes the computer speak. Without needing to see the screen you will be able to write letters and documents, hear what you have typed letter by letter or word by word, change the speed and voice, repeat what you have just heard and more. (Taken from www.xpscreenreader.com)
Screen reader programs will read aloud the content of an internet page or document and help you navigate through your computer by using voice. These programs are available to individuals or for commercial evaluation, for Thunder at www.xpscreenreader.com and for WebbIE at www.webbie.org.uk.
What is RSS stand for?
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication.
RSS is a great way for non-profits share and be informed on the latest information. RSS, will help you manage information you want to find, but is also an ideal way to get the word out about your centre’s events, mission or media releases. This web technology is change the way people access information on the web. An individual, or web site signs up to the media feed they want and it is sent directly to them real time. No more searching though the CBC web site for the latest articles instead get them sent straight to your Web Browser.
By Susan Forster
In 2006 Le Phénix—Service d’intégration sociale, located in Alfred Ontario, joined CAILC as a Centre Under Development. Their membership was announced at the 20th Anniversary AGM held in October in Richmond, BC.
Le Phénix is a cross-disability organization that serves a primarily francophone community in the Prescott-Russell area of eastern Ontario, situated between Ottawa and Montreal. Over the 20 years of its existence, the group has been consulted on diverse disability issues such as municipal accessibility plans, parenting, housing, health, sports and employment, and intervening in issues related to violence against persons with disabilities. One key accomplishment is the creation of a web site for the Francophone community – www.handicaps.ca. Le Phénix brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the national network, and we look forward to working with them as a new ILRC develops in this rural community.
Picture: Kelly Nadeau, Chairperson of CAILC’s Membership Committee, presents a Centre Under Development certificate to CAILC’s new Member Le Phenix. Hubert Théorêt (Le Phénix), Judith Parisien (Le Phénix), Kelly Nadeau (CAILC) et Linda Carrière Séguin (Chairperson, Le Phénix)
By Susan Forster
The ILC of Waterloo Region in Ontario celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2007. As the first ILRC in Canada, the Centre has many accomplishments to celebrate.
One of them is the distinction of installing the first hands free elevator in Canada. This small elevator (its capacity is one or two wheelchair users at a time) is technically a lift. It operates without voice commands, using motion to open and close doors so that wheelchair uses can come and go independently. Retrofitting with an elevator of this type is much less costly than installing a traditional one.
Another accomplishment was winning an award in 2005 from the Ontario Association of Architects in the ‘good design is good business’ category for the renovation and re-design of the upper floor of a 125 year old shoe factory that became the Centre’s 6th home that year. The award was a joint one showing a successful partnership between the leaser/owner of the building, the ILC and the architect. The Centre now has 4600 square feet of space in an accessible, downtown location. Original elements of the building were used where possible: wooden pillars remained and old windows were used for doors and office partitions to let in lots of natural light. Fred Kinsie, Executive Director, commented that the most common response from those entering the Centre is ‘Wow, this is funky and warm.’
Picture: A view of the interior of the new ILC of Waterloo Region, Ontario
By Susan Forster
The Richmond DRC recently began an innovative project for youth with disabilities. It has a curriculum that includes a series of workshops and training sessions on 1st Aid Training, conflict resolution, emergency preparedness and useful life-skills. As their web site overview states: “With an underlying emphasis on healthy lifestyles and safer communities, the project will prepare individuals to lead a more pro-active life in their community and encourage their leadership qualities to emerge.” For example, participants had the opportunity learn about city government and to attend a city council meeting.
A mentoring component is built into the curriculum, and participants will work on a group project. As well they are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Young Canadians Challenge, a program that encourages physical fitness, community service and learning new skills, culminating with going on an overnight journey.
One workshop presenter commented: “It was one of the most satisfying workshops I've led in a long time and I ask that you pass on to the young people and their mentors the admiration I have for their desire, willingness and potential to change the world around them for the better.”
To find out more about the project go to www.drcrichmond.ca.
There are many people who provide care and moral support to people with a functional limitation or who have experienced a loss of autonomy. Commonly known as natural caregivers, these people provide care and support in a non-professional capacity and without pay. There are believed to be more than 2.8 million people in Canada providing care or assistance to a member of their family or friend who has a physical, cognitive or mental health disorder. The Centre-Ressources pour la Vie Autonome (CRVA) Bas-St-Laurent recognizes the contribution caregivers make to the lives its clientele—people with disabilities. As a result, CRVA Bas-Saint-Laurent initiated a Canada-wide project entitled Natural caregivers: a matter of balance. The main goal of this project was to help improve the quality and condition of the lives of people with disabilities and their natural caregivers in Bas-St-Laurent.
This initiative, funded by the Government of Canada through the Social Development Partnerships Program, required us to hire a coordinator and project leader. The project ran for a period of one year, from December 19, 2005, to December 15, 2006.
The first stage of this project was to gather extensive information on home services and provincial and national organizations offering support to caregivers and to become familiar with existing research and studies on family caregivers.
Natural caregivers: a matter of balance involved three distinct phases. First, we developed a portrait of the situation of natural caregivers in Bas-Saint-Laurent. Next, we created an accompanying information guide for natural caregivers based on the needs identified in the study. Finally, we developed a network of support groups.
In order to develop a portrait of the situation caregivers face in Bas-St-Laurent, we held focus groups in Matane, Amqui, Rimouski and Trois-Pistoles.
A total of twenty-five people were asked for their feedback on the following topics:
The second part of this project involved developing an accompanying information guide aimed at all caregivers in the region, Québec and the rest of Canada. To develop this guide, we used the results of a previous study to identify six themes that were consistent with those raised by the majority of people we consulted during the focus groups. We retained the following topics:
- Developing self-esteem
- Asserting yourself and taking your place at last
- Identifying the signs of exhaustion and learning to cope
- Learning where guilt comes from in order to understand it
- Learning how to ask for help
- Overcoming life’s obstacles
Each section of the booklet contains exercises and tests, personal reflections, information to help dispel some myths, as well as helpful hints and advice.
To reach as many people as possible, the guide, in both English and French, was made available free of charge in printed form and on the CRVA Bas-Saint-Laurent Website (PDF file).
The third step in the project involved offering gatherings for caregivers. As a result of our consultations with caregivers, we recognized their need to share their experiences, break the isolation and get respite care. This was true regardless of the type of limitation the person in their charge had.
A support group can be defined as a group of people who live in similar circumstances and who wish to combine their resources to support one other and find solutions to common problems. In doing so, they hope to find ways to cope better with the particular situations they are faced with.
The first tangible result of our efforts in this project was the completion of a qualitative study. From this study we were able to develop a portrait of the current situation of natural caregivers in Bas‑Saint‑Laurent. This portrait was then sent to more than 30 organizations in the region (such as community groups, health and social services centres and agencies, people who work with natural caregivers, as well as natural caregivers themselves). More than 20 Québec-based support groups for natural caregivers also received this portrait.
The first conference on natural caregivers in the Bas-Saint-Laurent area was held in Matane on November 9. More than 70 people (caregivers, people who work with caregivers and government decision makers) attended the session where the portrait was presented. This event enabled attendees to learn a great deal about the situation of natural caregivers and raised awareness of the reality these people face.
The document was translated into English and made available to all caregivers and staff at ILRCs across Canada (almost 30 centres). Anyone interested in consulting this document, in either English or French, can do so by visiting the CRVA Bas-Saint-Laurent Website and clicking on Activités et projets en cours.
The second concrete result was the creation of an accompanying information guide for natural caregivers in Canada. A total of 780 copies of the guide were produced (250 English copies and 530 French copies). The list below is a summary of those targeted and who have received one or more printed copies of this guide. They also have access to the document at no charge at the CRVA Bas-Saint-Laurent documentation centre and on the Website.
Now that the project is complete, we can say we are pleased with the results of the activities undertaken as part of this project. The first study ever on the realties faced by natural caregivers in Bas-Saint-Laurent was conducted. Next, support groups were created, allowing more than 30 caregivers the opportunity to break the isolation they were experiencing and. This allowed them to receive moral support from their peers. Finally, about 600 copies of our booklet, Accompanying information guide for natural caregivers, have been distributed thus far in our region, throughout Québec and across the country.
Nonetheless, we believe that the work needed to improve the well being of family caregivers is only just beginning. There is still much more work to be done. We hope that our efforts have created a greater awareness and that the situation of natural caregivers becomes a major concern in our society. Finally, we have shown that there is a need for services to support natural caregivers; a greater appreciation must be shown for the work these people do.
After two years of research and collaboration with the regional community, CRVA Bas-Saint-Laurent launched a new business last November aimed at workplace integration for people with disabilities. This business specializes in manufacturing mattresses, which will be sold under the name MATLAB, a bilingual acronym derived from mattress laboratory.
CRVA had been looking for an opportunity for several years that would provide a platform for adapted employment for its clientele. Although the programs “Navigating the Waters” and Cheminement vers l’emploi [pathway to employment] were very successful in our community, it was always difficult to integrate people with disabilities into the regular workforce. Employers in both the private and public sector always have a good reason for not hiring people with disabilities; in spite of all the policies that been have adopted over the last twenty years, “an integration policy does not exist.”
MATLAB recovers discarded mattresses and box springs in the RCM (regional county municipality) of Bas-Saint-Laurent and then reconditions them for sale to various institutions (hotels/motels, homes for the aged, student residences, inns and vacation resorts) as well as individuals in Québec City and the regions of Bas‑Saint‑Laurent and Chaudière-Appalaches. Since the processes involved are relatively simple and not easily automated, this business will give people with a limitation concrete experience in the workplace and help them to become independent. In the medium term, MATLAB can obtain the designation of Adapted Work Centre (AWC); this will be the first AWC for businesses in this field in Québec. Managed by CRVA, the business has created twelve new positions, ten of which are filled by people with handicaps.
This project will provide not only significant economic benefits, but also considerable social benefits. In addition to creating jobs in a region with high unemployment and providing a platform for workplace integration for people with a limitation, this project contributes to meeting the targets set in the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy.
Picture: MATLAB logo
Tracy Odell won the John Lord Award for Participatory Action Research at CAILC’s AGM 2006. The title of her research project was “Not Your Average Childhood: Lived Experience of Children with Physical Disabilities Raised in Bloorview Hospital, Home and School 1960-1989”. This research project was a major research paper submitted to the Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies at York University in 2005. In order to conduct this research, Ms. Odell interviewed 16 adults with physical disabilities who lived at Toronto’s Bloorview Hospital, Home and School between 1960 and 1989 and documented their personal experiences. Ms. Odell has a very personal interest in this project because she lived at Bloorview from age seven to eighteen. Her research is a powerful, consumer-grounded reflection on life at Bloorview for children with disabilities as well as an important reflection on institutionalization.
Picture: John Lord, Jihan Abbas and Tracy Odell
Colleen Faulkner won the CAILC Consumer Award of Excellence. Not only is she a member of the Halifax ILRC, but she is also a former staff member at the Halifax ILRC and at the ILRC in St. John’s. She is presently working towards her Master of Science degree at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax and hopes to become a registered dietitician. Ms. Faulkner created a detailed volunteer policy with supporting procedures and also a volunteer co-ordinator manual for the Halifax ILRC. She also edited two issues of their newsletter. While she was in St. John’s, Ms. Faulkner helped to co-ordinate the ILRC’s annual flea market, BBQ and contributed articles on nutrition for their newsletter. She is willing to educate others about cystic fibrosis and share her personal experiences.
The Allan Simpson Award for Programming was awarded to the ILRC Thunder Bay for the Creating Employability Options program. CEO complimented the Navigating the Waters program by bridging the gap between consumers and employers by providing wage subsidies, tuition and self-employment supports. ILRC Thunder Bay secured funding for this program at the local level through Service Canada. This program has expanded in terms of success rate and helping consumers to secure employment. CEO includes people with disabilities in meaningful ways and has allowed the ILRC Thunder Bay to create many different partnerships in the community. This program can be transferred to other ILRCs who are able to secure local funding for similar IL based employment programs. .
Picture: ILRC Thunder Bay, Ontario - Wendy Savoy (Executive Director), Cynthia Hays (Chairperson), Katrina O’Neil and Tom Pugliese
The winners of the Volunteer Award are the IL Impact Project Advisory Group members: Laura Hockman (Vernon), Tracy Knutson (Regina), Mike Murphy (Kingston), Katie Paialunga (Ottawa), Wendy Savoy (Thunder Bay), Sandra Carpenter (Toronto), Kier Marin (St, John’s), and Robert Mitchell (Winnipeg). The members of this group help with the IL Impact Project Conference calls and assist the IL Impact project manager with various aspects of the project.
CAILC’s 5th Annual Celebration of the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons was held in the Confederation Room at West Block, Parliament Hill on November 30, 2006. Almost 200 people were in attendance to observe the day and the future opportunities for persons with disabilities through this year’s theme “E-Accessibility”. The United Nations describes E-Accessibility as “Access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) creates opportunities to everyone in society ... When available to everyone, information technologies foster individuals to reach their full potential, and for persons with disabilities it allows them to play their part in society’s development.”
This year’s event was particularly exciting because CAILC celebrated its 20th Anniversary; twenty years of IL in Canada! We were delighted to partner with the National Film Board of Canada for the ILRCs’ celebrations. They provided two new documentaries, “Shameless” and “The Tie That Binds” for local screening opportunities.
Nationally, Paul-Claude Bérubé, Chairperson of the CAILC Board of Directors was our Master of Ceremonies and led us through an exciting event. Jutta Treviranus from the University of Toronto began the evening with a presentation on Adaptive Technology and the limitless possibilities for persons with disabilities now and in the future.
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentations from Steven Estey of CCD, and Dave Shannon, a CAILC board member. Steven Estey is a representative of the Canadian Delegation at the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and both he and Dave Shannon had the opportunity to present to the Convention delegates. They spoke passionately about the future potential of the new Convention on Persons with Disabilities, and called on Canadians to get involved, talk to their government representatives, show their interest, and let the Government know that we want to see Canada continue its positive involvement and leadership internationally.
Al Etmanski from the PLAN Institute is currently consulting the Legacies Now Initiative for the 2010 Olympic Games. He revealed many of the City of Richmond’s plans to create a fully accessible city in time for the Olympics. Also, two representatives from the federal government, Pierre Poilievre, MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, and Peter Julian, MP and NDP Critic for Persons with Disabilities spoke of the evolving role of people with disabilities in Canadian society. Our keynote speeches were followed by a reception and networking opportunity for all participants.
A special thank you to all of our sponsors, partners, and supporting organizations. It is only with the collaboration and hard work of every person, organization, government department, and business that the UN Day celebrations are made a success!
Sponsors: Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Scotia Bank, Main Branch, The Ottawa Citizen, Allegra Printing and Imaging, Conference Interpreters of Canada, AVW Telav Audio Visual Solutions, and Compusult.
Picture: CAILC’s 20th Anniversary cake
By Glenn O’Farrell
President & CEO
Canadian Association of Broadcasters
Pascal Ribreau, Chef; Evelyne Gounetenzi, Project Manager; Luca “Lazylegs” Patuelli, B-Boy; Kaye Leslie, Human Resources Specialist.
These four individuals from the disability community with various occupational backgrounds are featured in a Public Service Announcement being aired on Canadian private broadcasters’ stations. This 30-second television PSA titled Open Your Mind aims at demonstrating and encouraging the employability of persons with disabilities in a variety of fields.
All media, and particularly television can play a strong role in changing public attitudes on social issues.
Over the past year, the CAB has made significant progress in developing and launching a wide range of initiatives and activities to help foster diversity in broadcasting. The Open Your Mind PSA campaign is among the initiatives recently undertaken by Canada’s private broadcasters, and was guided by the CAB’s Research Report on the Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming.
The Report was produced by a Steering Committee comprised of ten private broadcasters, and included significant input from an Outreach Committee made up of persons with disabilities, many of whom have experience with the broadcasting industry. The Research Report included an unprecedented qualitative research study, on the presence, portrayal and participation of persons with disabilities in television programming.
In this context and in light of the best practices recommended in the report, the CAB undertook a number of additional diversity initiatives, including the launch of the Diversity in Broadcasting website (www.cab-acr.ca/diversityinbroadcasting) in May of 2005. The Diversity in Broadcasting website has evolved into a central repository for broad range industry-wide information, including studies, reports, links, and events, and provides a wealth of information and resources both for broadcasters and for those who wish to break into the broadcasting industry.
Among other initiatives undertaken by the CAB, a manual on Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector was produced. This booklet is designed as a guideline to the types of employment available in the broadcasting and affiliated production sector. The brochure is made available on the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting Web site in an accessible and printable format and is being promoted to the disability community, educational institutions and relevant government agencies and/or departments across Canada.
Another key initiative included the development of a manual titled Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology – Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals. The manual contains recommended guidelines when referring to persons with disabilities. The manual for news professionals was developed in partnership with the Radio Television News Director Association (RTNDA) and has been distributed to all CAB and RTNDA members. It is also available on line in a printable and accessible format on the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting Web site.
The CAB and its members have undertaken these initiatives, because we see that we can exercise a significant and positive influence over public attitudes and perceptions of persons with disabilities. By taking these concrete steps to encourage a shift in attitudes, and by bringing greater diversity, both on screen and behind the scenes, we hope to foster a better understanding of those in our communities with disabilities.
Picture: Glenn O’Farrell, President & CEO, Canadian Association of Broadcasters
Picture: Evelyne Gounetenzi, Project Manager
By Christine Malone
At times, I have a love/hate relationship with my equipment. Many of us have seen how different devices have been used to gain or maintain independence and improve quality of life. There is a flip side here though rarely discussed – these supports have a dark side. Having grown up with a disability, I learned at an early age the impact that various pieces of equipment, such as crutches, a wheelchair or a scooter can have on my daily existence. When first learning to use my crutches I was taught the mechanics of how to walk, the care and maintenance issues, and most importantly the valuable skill of how to fall, with my newly acquired appendages. What they don’t tell you is how, over time, these devices develop a personality all their own.
Having learned to walk with them at the age of 10, my crutches have been my constant companions for most of my life. The relationship we have is a dynamic and ever changing one. As in any new relationship, there is nervousness and trepidation. How will this work in the long run? Will we be a good fit? As when any two entities come together there is the feeling out process- a power play if you will. Who is calling the shots? In the beginning a few well-timed falls in the learning process allowed the crutches a show of superiority. There are the displays of frustration on my part toward my attendants. In moments of anger I have thrown a crutch (or two) being irritated by the inflexibility of our situation The key is to never toss them too far out of reach as to leave myself truly at a loss!
Over time a comfortable and symbiotic relationship seems to develop. As a kid my crutches were often a source of amusement. From time to time they were called upon to act as machine guns or swords in an imaginary battle thought up by my cousins and I as we entertained ourselves during family gatherings. They also took the form of a great ice breaker with others- an inquisitive child looks on and asks about them and how they work. This often led to other questions and conversations. However, this was also the type of situation where my “Mr. Hyde” could appear. If not handled correctly this could turn ugly, becoming all about the crutches and little or nothing to do with the person attached to them. There were instances as a teenager when the dark side of my “pals” would emerge making me stick out, when all I wanted was to blend in.
As an adult I have come to value and respect my crutches. I appreciate the options that having such equipment have afforded me. “The girls”, as I have sometimes referred to them, have often gone above and beyond the call of duty. Besides giving me mobility and independence, they have given me that extra arm length needed to reach a light switch or automatic door button, saving me that all important two steps at the end of a long day. More then once they have been used to reach something on a higher shelf. Who needs a putter for mini golfing when I have trusty old “lefty” here? Together, my crutches and I have gotten out of more then a few scrapes.
To demonstrate that the duel personas of “the girls” are still intact they will often assert their authority at unexpected moments. These are the times when I may be a little too cocky about my abilities, or not conscious enough of my surroundings. The resourceful pair may choose to enlist the assistance of that patch of black ice on the sidewalk, or the rogue dust bunny in the corner of my apartment. Together they work to cause a fall, or better yet, a near fall (because I am more thankful for what has NOT happened). Things once again, seem to be back in balance.
Through the years my crutches have seemingly developed their own character and personality, and our relationship has had its ups and downs. I have learned many valuable lessons from having them. One of the most being, you can’t control the fall, might as well go with it…..and whenever possible protect your head!
By Jihan Abbas
This is the fourth in a series of comprehensive reports on disability in Canada. The report provides an overview of key government initiatives within different federal departments that address disability issues.
The report is organized to give information in the following areas:
The report provides a thorough overview of available government supports and services as well as evidence and statistics that reflect the social and economic realities for persons with disabilities in each of the outlined areas.
The full report is available online:
This report illustrates how federally regulated organizations are failing to meet the needs of Canadians who cannot use regular telephone systems. Findings suggest that more often than not, persons using a TTY line to access banks, communications, and transportation organizations get no answer. The report also outlines key recommendations to help address this issue.
The full report, including recommendations is available online (PDF file):
Initiated by the Minister of Finance, this report reflects recommendations from a panel on how families, with the support of government, can provide for the future financial security of their family members with a disability.
Their key recommendations of this report are that parents have the ability to set aside up to $200,000 tax free in Disability Savings Plans for their children, and that the government provide annualized cash grants to parents of children with “severe” disabilities. It is argued that these measures would begin to address the systemic poverty faced by many with disabilities.
The full report is available online.
By Jihan Abbas
A third-party evaluation of this project was recently completed. The following are highlights from the findings of this evaluation:
It is clear from the evaluation that the project was not only a success, but that there is great interest from consumers in continuing activities related to healthy lifestyles.
For more information about this project, or to access tools and resources created through it, visit the national project section of CAILC’s web site (www.cailc.ca).
<<The power of one is a new feature in the CAILC Bulletin that will highlight the contributions of individual advocates. If you know someone who has made a significant contribution through their actions and would like to share their story, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.>>
By Mary Dufton
Do you want to make a difference in your community? How do you make things happen? Where do you start? What do you think it takes to be a leader?
I spoke with Jim Harnden, Executive Director of the Cowichan Independent Living- Disability Resource Centre in Duncan, British Columbia and CAILC board member. I asked him about his contributions to the disability community, what has inspired him to be a leader and how we, as Canadians with disabilities, can make a difference in our communities.
Jim sees his role in the Independent Living Centre as someone who is part of an important team of individuals with many talents and skills that all have a passion for what they do in the community. According to Jim, “As a director, I am often the one who makes things happen. I am not always the idea generator. I have so many in the community to thank for that.”
Like others with disabilities at an early age, Jim concluded that there needed to be equal opportunities created not just for himself, but for many others facing challenges similar to what he had been experiencing.
From being called “a sickly child” to “crippled” to “handicapped” and more recently “disabled”, he knows that there is still much more to be done to make our communities inclusive for people with disabilities.
“I envision a world some day that such labels won’t be necessary and that we as citizens in our respective communities will be identified by our own accomplishments regardless of importance or significance to society,” Jim says. “Using one of the philosophies of the Independent Living lens has allowed me to be me and to share my experiences with those I meet and work within my community.”
Jim elaborates further, “I have always tried to take control of my own life and ensured that any attitudinal barriers I faced in the workplace were addressed. I always wanted to be identified for what I can do, rather than for what I cannot. Yes, there were risks that I took by promoting an independent lifestyle, because I was often seen as a rebel. I made sure I was well informed of my rights as an individual, not a person living with a disability, and choices were made by me and not by someone else who may have thought that they were doing the right thing. I have made it a point to share my life experiences to promote independent living within the many circles that I have been involved with.”
Jim is not only involved in the disability community in his day job. He also works with other service providers and various levels of government. He is on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities, as well as the Cowichan Valley Region District-Safer Communities Committee. He is also a member of Community Policing and an advisor to Social and City Planning for the community. He is an active member of the Lions Clubs International serving the Cowichan Valley.
“Being an active member of all of these groups allows me to address concerns of persons with disabilities not just in our community but throughout the province and even at times, nation-wide,” Jim says.
Jim believes that one of the biggest barriers that we still face in our community and across the nation is the ability to be heard and identified as equal citizens.
“Certain accommodations are readily made for so many “able-bodied” individuals in Canada, but when it comes to accommodating a person with a disability, there is a lengthy and difficult process which generally includes paperwork, assessments, funding issues and especially, determining who is responsible for dealing with the issues at hand,” he says.
Jim is winner of the Black Tie Excellence award, which is given by the Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce. This award recognizes an individual’s achievements in service delivery.
Jim is proud to be a Canadian, a person who lives with a disability and one who has been awarded by his peers in receiving the Black Tie Excellence award. However, Jim emphasizes that there were many in the community who were honoured for their achievements. He says, “They too need to be recognized. By working together, we build a better Canada for all.”
Jim offers this advice for those of us who would like to make a difference in our communities:
“Be prepared to tell your story and make sure that you are well-informed. However, knowing who to tell your story to is important. Often stories are told to the wrong parties. I have found that there are many people who are eager to hear your stories that may affect the daily life of a person living with a disability. If someone says that they have the ability to create change, whether it is to change society’s perceived notions or to make others aware of certain issues, make sure that they have the “ability” to hold true to their promises.”
Adds Jim, “It is also important to identify whether your issue is one that is affecting others in your community and to gather others that may require assistance to be part of moving those issues forward. There are many opportunities in your community to assist others in self-advocacy. There is power in numbers”.
I couldn’t agree more.
Mary Dufton works for the federal public service on issues related to abuse of people with disabilities and seniors.
Picture: Jim Harnden, Executive Director, Cowichan Independent Living – Disability Resource Centre in Duncan, British Columbia
By Jihan Abbas
This online search engine created by Google provides users with a way to search for web content with accessible search results ranked higher. Results that are more likely to conform to web accessibility guidelines are thus ranked higher when performing searches using this method.
To try the Google Accessible Web Search visit - http://labs.google.com/accessible/
Canadians who are Deaf scored a major court victory with respect to federal government services. The Federal Court of Canada recently ruled that the federal government must provide sign language interpretation to Canadians who are Deaf accessing government services.
The CRA regulated registered charities under the Income Tax Act. As a part of their commitment to providing donors with relevant information to help make informed choices they have created this online portal with links to resources and tools.
This web site has a wealth of information on the impact of charities and the voluntary sector in Canada. Included in this web site is information about the various sub-sectors, resources and links, and user submitted stories on how they are making an impact.
To learn more, visit - http://www.valuesadded.ca/
The goals of this national coalition are to nurture belonging and end the isolation faced by many persons with disabilities. This regularly updated website highlights activities and attitudes that are moving us towards a culture of belonging.
Note: This web site is currently only available in English.
Canada (Montréal) will be hosting TRANSED from June 18-21 2007. With a chosen theme of “Benchmarking, Evaluation and Vision for the Future", the conference will explore technological innovations that respond to an aging population and persons with disabilities with inclusively in mind.
To learn more about this visit the conference web site:
March 9-11, 2007
Creating an opportunity for Canadians with disabilities to set their own agenda, participate in discussions they choose, and use their own experiences and expertise to tackle the issues. For more information visit www.youthambassadors.ca
Picture: Youth Ambassadors across Canada – Activate Yourself, Activate Your Community: The “Not Really a Conference” Conference logo
Opinions expressed are those of the Contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres (CAILC)
We would like to thank Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) for making this newsletter possible through their ongoing financial support to CAILC and our member Centres. Without them, this type of citizenship engagement would not be possible.
Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres
170 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1104 Ottawa, ON K1P 5V5
Tel: (613) 563-2581 Fax: (613) 563-3861 TTY: (613) 563-4215
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cailc.ca
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