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Use Three Great New Tools in This Federal Election to Support Passage of a Strong Canadians with Disabilities Act

Barrier-Free Canadas News Release and New One-Page Leaflet, and Motion Before Toronto City Council to Support Passage of the Canadians with Disabilities Act

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

September 24, 2015

SUMMARY

Heres even more accessibility news for you as the last four weeks are under way, leading to Canadas October 19, 2015 election.

1. Circulate the New Barrier-Free Canada News Release

On September 24, 2015, Barrier-Free Canada issued a news release to all major media outlets. Set out below, it announces that a series of major disability organizations in Canada have endorsed the call for the next Government of Canada to pass a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act. That law would add to and not replace provincial accessibility laws like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

So far, only the Green party has committed to support a Canadians with Disabilities Act. This non-partisan grassroots campaign seeks to get all parties to make this pledge. As this news release points out, all eyes will be on the All Candidates’ Meeting at Ryerson University in Toronto on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm. The parties will be asked to give a clear commitment at that event. It is not too late for you to RSVP to attend that event. To learn how to RSVP no later than September 25 for the September 29, 2015 Toronto All Candidates event on federal disability issues, visit http://accessfef.eventbrite.ca

We encourage you to:

* forward this news release to your local media.

* Call your local media. Urge them to cover this issue.

* If any candidate appears on a talk show on TV or radio, call in to raise this issue with them.

2. Print Up and Distribute New Barrier-Free Canada One-Page Leaflet

Barrier-Free Canada has made public a great new leaflet on the need for a strong Barrier-Free Canada. It explains the issue in a short, punchy way, for readers who know nothing about this issue.

Short and sweet? You can print this leaflet on one side of one page. We set it out below. You can also download the Barrier-Free Canada one-page Canadians with Disabilities Act leaflet in MS Word format by visiting http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/barrier-Free-Canada-Election-leaflet-dated%20Sept-16-2015.docx We encourage you to:

* Email the text of this leaflet to friends and family.

* Print up copies of this leaflet. Post it on public bulletin boards. Give it out to the public. Get others to do the same.

* If you go to an All Candidates’ Debate or other election campaign event, print up copies of this leaflet and give it out to people attending the event.

3. Motion at Toronto City Council Urges Toronto to Support Barrier-Free Canadas Call for Enactment of Canadians with Disabilities Act

Yet more support for this cause! Toronto city Councillor Jim Karygiannis, seconded by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, has introduced a motion before Toronto City Council. It calls on the City of Toronto to support Barrier-Free Canadas call for enactment of the Canadians with Disabilities Act.

We set out this motion below. We heartily commend these Toronto City Councilors for bringing forward this motion. We urge the Toronto City Council to quickly pass it.

Between 1995 and 2003, people with disabilities and their friends and families did a fantastic job of convincing many city councils around Ontario to pass resolutions like this, that called for the enactment of new Ontario accessibility legislation. This helped us win the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005.

We encourage you to:

* urge your city councilor to vote for this resolution and to press for its quick adoption, if you live in Toronto.

* If you dont live in Toronto, urge your city councilor to present a similar motion to your municipal council.

* Let your local media and Barrier-Free Canada know what steps you take, and what results you get.

4. Other Ways to Help Raise This Issue

For other ways you can quickly and easily help the campaign for a Canadians with Disabilities Act during this election, check out the Barrier-Free Canada Election Action Kit. It gives a full background on this issue and great ideas of how to help, aimed at readers who known very little or nothing about this issue. To check out the Barrier-Free Canada Election Action Kit, visit http://www.barrierfreecanada.org/election-2015/election-kit/

Go onto Twitter and Facebook to retweet and share tweets and posts on the Canadians with Disabilities Act blitz. Search on the hashtag #CanadiansWithDisabilitiesAct

If you just have a few minutes to retweet a series of tweets on this issue, you can really help out. People have been doing a great job at this over the past weeks.

5. What To Do About Barriers You May Face in the Voting Process

Sadly and inexcusably, elections in Canada are still not fully barrier-free for voters with disabilities across Canada.

We encourage voters with disabilities to vote at advance polls if at all possible. If you wait for Election Day October 19 to vote, you may encounter barriers that dont get fixed in time. By voting at an advance poll, you can raise any accessibility concerns and try to get them fixed before Election Day.

If you encounter any barriers in the voting process or when trying to attend an All Candidates Debate, a candidates campaign office, or other election campaign event, video record or photograph the barrier, if you can. Let your local media know what happened. Publicize it on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Let Barrier-Free Canada know what happened with as much detail as possible. Email info@barrierfreecanada.org

Send your feedback to us at aodafeedback@gmail.com

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Learn all about our campaign for a fully accessible Ontario by visiting http://www.aodaalliance.org

MORE DETAILS

Barrier-Free Canadas September 24, 2015 News Release

Originally posted at http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/barrier-free-canada—canada-sans-barrieres-canadas-largest-disability-organizations-endorse-barrier-free-canadas-call-for-a-canadians-with-disabilities-act-529117691.html Barrier-Free Canada – Canada Sans Barrieres
Canadas Largest Disability Organizations Endorse Barrier-Free Canadas Call for a Canadians with Disabilities Act
Toronto (September 24, 2015) The leaders of Canadas largest disability organizations serving upwards of four million Canadians with disabilities are urging government leaders, influencers and the public to support a new non-partisan campaign to introduce federal legislation to ensure accessibility, inclusion and equal opportunity for Canadians with disabilities, and to fulfill Canadas commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

They collectively endorse Barrier-Free Canada and a call to action to create a Canadians with Disabilities Act.

Barrier-Free Canadais an initiative to advocate for enactment of a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act, a law that will enable people with disabilities to live to their full potential. The Canadians with Disabilities Act would apply to all persons in Canada with disabilities whether visible (physical) or invisible (learning and/or intellectual, mental, sensory or mental health) and whether episodic or permanent.

Today, more than four million Canadians live with some form of disability. Due to the aging population, this number will grow to more than nine million over the next 15 years. Aging is the biggest cause of disability. That means that by 2030, 1 in 5 people will have a disability.

Rick Hansen Foundation, CNIB, March of Dimes Canada, Canadian Hearing Society, Spinal Cord Injury Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Canadian Disability Policy Alliance, Every Canadian Counts, ARCH Disability Law Centre, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, Canadian Association for Community Living, and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities together have called on Canadas political leaders in this federal election to commit to creating a Canadians with Disabilities Act.

David Lepofsky, a member of Barrier-Free Canadas steering committee, and a lawyer who is blind says, We live in a world thats not designed for us; we live in a society thats full of barriers, legal, bureaucratic and attitudinal. We need to get rid of those barriers so that we can all fully participate. Twenty five years ago the U.S. enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act. Its time for Canada to catch up!

“We strongly urge all parties to support the enactment of legislation to make accessibility and inclusion a reality throughout Canada for the benefit of Canadians with disabilities, their families and a stronger Canada. In this hotly-contested and close election, every issue and every voter counts, says Lepofsky.

On September 29th there will be a Federal Election Forum where a Canadians with Disabilities Act will be discussed, starting at 6pm at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre, 341 Yonge Street, Toronto. Contact: David Lepofsky 416 425-3463 ext 7389 or email aodafeedback@gmail.com

Text of the Barrier-Free Canada One-Page Leaflet

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrière
www.barrierfreecanada.org info@barrierfreecanada.org

Join the Call for Passage of a Canadians with Disabilities Act!

Do you think Canadians with disabilities should be able to travel on airplanes or trains? Do you think they should have equal access to services provided by the Government of Canada? Should they be able to enjoy whatever CBC posts on its public websites? Should they be able to enter their neighbourhood polling station and independently mark their own ballot?

The parties plan to spend billions of dollars on new infrastructure. Do you think they should ensure that public money is never used to create new barriers against people with disabilities?

Many of over four million Canadians with disabilities still dont enjoy all of these opportunities. They face too many accessibility barriers. They should not have to individually fight these barriers, one at a time, by endless human rights complaints. They need Parliament to pass the Canadians with Disabilities Act to ensure that the federal government does all it can to ensure that Canada becomes barrier-free. The US passed the Americans with Disabilities Act 25 years ago. Its time for Canada to catch up!

The October 19 election gives Canadians a unique opportunity to move forward on the long road to a barrier-free Canada for more than 4 million Canadians with physical, mental, sensory or other disabilities. Everyone needs a Canadians with Disabilities Act! If you dont have a disability yet, you will get one as you grow older.

So far, the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democratic Party have not made this commitment in this election. In the 2006 election, the Conservative Party promised a national Disabilities Act. To date, it has not introduced that legislation. The Green Party has promised to pass a Canadians with Disabilities Act, but has not committed that it will fulfill the principles for that legislation that Barrier-Free Canada developed.

Barrier-Free Canada, a non-partisan, volunteer, grassroots movement, advocates for the Canadians with Disabilities Act, to lead Canada to become fully accessible to all people with disabilities. It is non-partisan. It doesnt endorse or oppose any party or candidate.

You can help! We aim to get all parties to support passing the Canadians with Disabilities Act.

* Press the parties and candidates in your riding to commit to support the passage of the Canadians with Disabilities Act.
* Visit www.barrierfreecanada.org Register your support for the Canadians with Disabilities Act!
* Follow Barrier-Free Canada on Twitter *BarrierFreeCa Re-tweet our tweets! We are tweeting all candidates to seek their support. Like our Facebook page. Share our posts there www.facebook.com/barrierfreeca

Text of Motion to Be Presented to Toronto City Council

Notice of Motion

City Council support efforts by Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrieres (BFC/CSB) to urge the new Parliament of Canada to enact The Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA) – Councillor Jim Karygiannis, seconded by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam

Recommendations:

Councillor Jim Karygiannis, seconded by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, recommends that:

1. City Council support efforts by Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrières (BFC/CSB) to urge the new Parliament of Canada to enact a Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA).

Summary:

Many of the more than four million Canadians with disabilities face far too many barriers to accessibility and equality including government services; employment; housing; and, public information.

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrières (BFC/CSB) is a non-partisan, grassroots movement that is advocating for The Canadians with Disabilities Act, as a catalyst towards Canada becoming fully accessible to all people with disabilities.

The purpose of The Canadians with Disabilities Act is to achieve a barrier-free Canada for persons with disabilities. According to the (BFC/CSB), The Canadians with Disabilities Act would not replace The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act but would complement the provincial legislation.

In its set of principles with respect to the proposed Act the organization states:

‘The Canadians with Disabilities Act should apply to all persons with disabilities whether they have a physical, mental sensory, learning and/or intellectual disability or mental health condition, or are regarded as having one, whether their condition is episodic or permanent, and whether their disability is visible or invisible to others.

It should apply to all accessibility barriers, for example physical, legal, bureaucratic, information, communication, attitudinal, technological, policy or other barriers. It should apply to the Parliament of Canada as well as to all federal government entities, federally-owned public premises and facilities, federally-regulated companies and organizations, recipients of federal grants, subsidies, loans or other funds, and any other persons or organizations to whom the Government of Canada can apply it.’ September 30 and October 1, 2015