Tag Archives: Canada

Urgent action is needed to protect the rights of people with disabilities during the COVID crisis

A boy using a wheelchair is being comforted by a friendly-looking nurse.
Access to health care is a human right.

We’ve signed a joint letter asking the government to urgently address the unique vulnerabilities of people with disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 crisis. The government must act now to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to medical treatment and care during this crisis.


New Tools That Explain Ontario’s Accessibility Law

Ontario flag
Ontario flag

Did you know that Ontario adopted a strong accessibility law over ten years ago? The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) from 2005 aims to make the province fully accessible by 2025. Unlike Quebec’s disability law, the AODA applies to both the public and private sectors. It also includes penalties to ensure compliance.

Quebec Accessible has developed bilingual plain language tools to help you understand Ontario’s accessibility law. They explain what businesses, non-profits and government agencies must do to make their services accessible to people with disabilities.

What can Quebec learn from Ontario’s groundbreaking law? Find out by using the new tools on our website! Be sure to share them with your networks.

And if you have already done so, check out our tools on Quebec’s disability law.

Stay tuned for information about our campaign for the provincial elections this fall!


New Federal Accessibility Bill Receives No Coverage in the French Media

On June 20, the federal government presented Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act. Canada’s disability community has been waiting for this bill for decades. The bill aims to eliminate and prevent barriers facing people with disabilities in areas within the power of the federal government (ex: employment, the physical environment, information technologies). If passed, the bill would help ensure the full inclusion and social participation of more than 600 000 Quebecers with disabilities.

Although this historic event was covered in the major anglophone media (CBC, The Globe and Mail, CTV, The Star, National Post), it received no coverage in the francophone media. This is unacceptable. Disability issues are social issues that affect us all. They deserve better media coverage.

Quebec Accessible denounces this oversight in the French media. Like all other citizens, the voices and experiences of people with disabilities deserve to be heard. How can we critically examine the issues that affect us and ensure that our rights and freedoms are respected if our issues are ignored by the media?

We urge the French media to give equal attention to disability issues. Let’s unite our voices and take the space we deserve in Quebec society! Please share this message with your networks.

Overview of Bill C-81: The Accessible Canada Act

Canadian flag
Canadian flag

The disability community has been advocating for a federal accessibility law for decades. On June 20, the Government of Canada finally tabled Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act. If passed, this bill could go a long way in reducing barriers facing people with disabilities.

Unfortunately, the bill only applies to areas within the power of the federal government, such as:

  • broadcasting and telecommunications
  • travel between provinces by plane, train, bus or ferry
  • banks
  • postal services
  • Parliament

Below is an overview of the bill and recommendations for improving it. Hopefully this new bill will inspire Quebec to update its own disability law. Continue reading Overview of Bill C-81: The Accessible Canada Act

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Canada 1 / Quebec 0

On December 1st, the Government of Canada announced that it was starting the process of ratifying the  Optional Protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It’s about time! Ninety-two countries have already ratified the Protocol.

Canada ratified the CRPD in 2010, but it hasn’t yet ratified the Optional Protocol. Essentially, this Protocol would allow Canadian organizations and citizens to file a complaint with the UN if their rights aren’t respected. Canada, the provinces and the territories will therefore have a new incentive to create an accessible and inclusive society!

In a video highlighting the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, reminds us that “people with disabilities still face barriers to fully participating in society both in Canada and around the world”. The Minister, herself a disabled person, invites us to join her in “celebrating Canadians with disabilities and embrace a cultural change about accessibility and inclusion in Canadian society”. Continue reading International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Canada 1 / Quebec 0