Message from CCB President: Canada accedes to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Canada accedes to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

News release

December 3, 2018         Ottawa, Ontario                   Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada is working to create a truly accessible Canada. Today, as part of these efforts, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, along with the ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Canadian Heritage, announced that, with the support of all provinces and territories, Canada has acceded to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Accession to the Optional Protocol means that Canadians will have additional recourse to make a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, if they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated.

Along with the proposed Accessible Canada Act, which was recently adopted by the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, today’s announcement shows that the Government of Canada is taking another step towards creating a barrier-free Canada.

Recently released data from Statistics Canada reinforce the importance of a more inclusive and accessible Canada. The 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities shows that the prevalence of disabilities among Canadians is greater than many realize, with 22% of Canadians identifying as having a disability. The new data will be used by the federal government to help build a more inclusive society that benefits all people in Canada – especially persons with disabilities – through the realization of a Canada without barriers.

Quotes

“Over the last year, our government has taken important steps to help realize a barrier-free Canada. Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we celebrate those accomplishments and look towards the future of accessibility in Canada with optimism. Canada’s accession to the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities builds on our work and sends a clear message that we are committed to the rights of persons with disabilities and committed to giving all Canadians a fair chance at success.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“Canada joining this UN convention is about protecting and promoting the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. As a country, we need to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and enjoys the same rights. Today is a step forward to making that goal a reality.”
– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I am proud that the Government of Canada is taking this step to advance the rights of persons with disabilities. Enabling the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to consider complaints of violations of rights under the Convention is an important way to strengthen and protect the human rights of Canadians with disabilities.”
– The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Promoting and advancing human rights for everyone is a fundamental part of our Canadian identity. It is important that federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to work together to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. I am proud of the intergovernmental consultation held in support of Canada’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and I look forward to driving further change.”
The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“This announcement regarding the Optional Protocol, along with this government’s intention to pass the proposed Accessible Canada Act, sends a strong message to Canadians with and without disabilities that this government truly believes in inclusion and equality for all. This is one positive step to ensuring that Canadians with intellectual disabilities have their voices heard and that we are one step closer to ensuring we are not the left behind of the left behind.”
–  Kory Earle, President, People First of Canada

Quick facts

The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) is an international human rights instrument that requires State Parties to the Convention to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. Canada ratified the Convention in 2010.

The Optional Protocol establishes two procedures. The first is a complaint procedure that allows individuals and groups to take complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the case of an alleged violation of their rights under the Convention. The second is an inquiry procedure that allows the Committee to inquire into allegations of grave or systematic violations of the Convention by a State Party.

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention by States Parties.

As of November 2018, there are 177 States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with 93 States Parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

Under Bill C-81, approximately $290 million over six years would serve to further the objectives of the proposed legislation.

One in five people—22 percent of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over, or about 6.2 million individuals—had one or more disabilities, according to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities.

The survey also reports that people with severe disabilities aged 25 to 64 years are more likely to be living in poverty than their counterparts without disabilities (17 percent) or with milder disabilities (23 percent).

Related products

Associated links

Contacts

Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
819-997-5421
ashley.michnowski@canada.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter

 

Louise

 

Louise Gillis

National President

The Canadian Council of the Blind

20 James St. Suite 100

Ottawa, ON. K2P 0T6

1-877-3040968

613-567-0311

(902)304-1276

ccbpresident@ccbnational.net

www.ccbnational.net

 

 

Guest Post: NNELS/SDPP-D Federal Grant Updates, November 14, 2018

SDPP-D Federal Grant Updates – November 2018

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

 

*Note: This is a text version of the Federal Grant Updates page on the NNELS website, which can be accessed by activating this link.  We thank CCB staff and all the other partners who worked on this project, as well as those who will work on the next stage.  #AccessibilityMatters.

 

Press Release from Employment and Social Development Canada: /Government

funds library network service expansion to make more published works

available in formats accessible for Canadians with print disabilities

 

*

 

From January to June 2018, NNELS worked on a series of special projects to enhance the production and availability of accessible-format material in Canada. The project was funded in large part by a grant from the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D). In September 2018, the BC Libraries Cooperative received an additional $1 million to carry out a series of new special projects to build on the momentum created from the previous grant work. New projects focus on three main areas: accessible publishing, accessible reading, and braille availability.

 

Summaries of these projects follow, and this page will be updated as the projects are carried out. For answers to your questions please write to

support@nnels.ca

 

 

  1. Accessible Publishing

 

NNELS continues to work with partners to support publishers in creating born accessible material.

 

 

  1. a) Accessible Publishing Summit

 

This invitation-only summit will be held in Toronto on January 28th and 29th, 2019, and will include stakeholders in the ebook production, distribution, and reading chain. We will create and distribute a set of best practices for accessible EPUB relevant to  communities along that chain; related documentation will be publicly available online. We are working with Laura Brady <https://twitter.com/LauraB7&gt; to organize this event.

 

 

  1. b) Accessible Publishing Workshops

 

In February, Lisa Snider of Access Changes Everything will host ten, two-day accessible publishing workshops across Canada. We have invited publishers and publishers’ associations to contact us if they would like to host a workshop in their city. The two-day workshops will allow the first day to offer a theoretical grounding for hands-on, practical experience on the second day.

 

 

  1. c) EPUB Accessibility Reports/Audits

 

We will be working with Lisa Snider, Farrah Little, and our stellar team of accessibility testers to create accessibility reports for 60 EPUB files from 30 Canadian publishers. In the first week of November, we sent an invitation to publishers and have received a great response, especially from Ontario publishers. We hope to have all 60 files by December 1st. Publishers can sign up here.

 

 

  1. d) DAISY Consortium Partnership

 

We are funding the DAISY Consortium to develop and enhance their open-source, user-friendly version of the Ace by DAISY. To date, Ace by DAISY has been a command-line tool, but the new release has a graphical user interface. DAISY is also preparing the Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base

<http://kb.daisy.org/publishing/&gt; and EPUBTest.org

<https://epubtest.org/&gt; website for language localization,

And translating both Ace by DAISY and EPUBTest.org into French.

 

On November 6th, we were invited by DAISY to a conference call to review their latest version of a test book used at EPUBtest.org to test different reading applications. One of our accessibility testers was able to attend and wrote afterward, “It was so much fun to just talk our lingo for an hour with them. I learned a lot, too. I’m able to present more refined recommendations to cover images in my reports now, and I’ve finally figured out how page navigation is supposed to work! I couldn’t believe it when people started signing off. I almost said, “Hey wait a minute, this was supposed to last an hour,” then I checked the time and was astonished to see that it indeed had.”

 

DAISY is actively including our team in their work: we are learning so much from them and so grateful for this opportunity!

 

  1. e) Plugins for Publishers

 

Publishers have asked for plugins they can use with their ebook editing software to automate repetitive tasks and improve accessibility. We posted an RFP for a plugin developer which closed on November 2nd, and we are working on next steps.

 

  1. Accessible Reading

 

 

  1. a) Purchasing

 

We have approached eBOUND to inquire about purchasing titles published since our last round of funding, and to invite participation from publishers who did not work with us in the spring. We also sent an invitation through Canadian publishers’ associations to purchase their material directly from them or through their distributors.

 

We have agreements in place with two major digital audiobook vendors to purchase jointly with CELA/CNIB. Purchasing is beginning mid-November. We have budgeted a total of $100,000 for new content.

 

 

  1. b) Testing Library Reading Apps

 

Our team of accessibility testers are exploring the accessibility of library reading applications, with input from DAISY and CELA. The purpose of this project is to give vendors specific feedback about their reading apps so that audiobooks and accessible ebooks are available to all readers through those platforms. The team is currently testing the OverDrive app on a variety of platforms. NNELS will share the results with the vendors and the Canadian public library community.

 

  1. c) Partnership with Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired

 

We are thrilled to continue working with the Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired <https://campbowen.ca/&gt; to further develop the beta version of their Production Tool, a tool that automates and streamlines the EPUB remediation process. As part of this process, Camp Bowen will create 18 accessible-format titles for the NNELS repository.

 

 

  1. d) National Requests

 

We are once again accepting nation-wide requests to produce books that are not currently available in accessible formats. A link to submit requests will be distributed and posted here soon.

 

 

 

  1. Braille Availability

 

 

  1. a) Print-Braille Childrens’ Books

 

In partnership with the Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN) in Manitoba, we are producing 5 titles in French to be distributed through every provincial and territorial Public Library Authority. Special thank you to staff at BAnQ for helping us select titles! This project builds on previous work done with VIRN to expand the Canadian print-braille collection.

 

 

  1. b) Hardcopy and Electronic Braille Pilot Project

 

Our Saskatchewan-based Braille Production Coordinator, Riane LaPaire, is coordinating the production of 50 hardcopy and 50 electronic braille titles for distribution through NNELS and Canadian public libraries. This pilot project will inform future decisions on choosing braille producers, braille quality, and distribution methods. This project is based on recommendations from the “Improving Braille Availability in Canadian Public Library.

 

 

Guest Post: Barrier Free Canada Press Release, June 22, 2018

Barrier Free Canada applauds the tabling of the Accessible Canada Act by the

Minister of Science, Sport, and Persons with Disabilities

OTTAWA (June 22, 2018) – Barrier Free Canada/Canada sans barrières (BFC/CSB)

is celebrating the introduction on Wednesday of the long-awaited federal

accessibility legislation, the Accessible Canada Act. It is hoped that the

legislation will help to make accessibility and inclusion a priority for all

federally-regulated and federally-funded organizations.

Over the past several years, BFC/CSB and a myriad of other charitable and

not-for-profit organizations have worked tirelessly holding consultations,

conducting research, and preparing recommendations and advisory reports to

inform the content of this federal legislation.

“Wednesday was a momentous day,” said Donna Jodhan, President and founder of

BFC/CSB. “Canadians with disabilities have long dreamt of the day when

accessibility and inclusion in government services would be clearly

mandated, and we are now one step closer to that full inclusion.”

In 2010, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of

Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), pledging to address the exclusion and

accessibility barriers that people with disabilities face in Canada. The

introduction of this legislation is a tangible step toward making this a

lived reality for Canadians with disabilities.

Legislation exists to protect the rights of Canadians with disabilities

within the federal sector, such as the Canadian Human Rights Code, the

Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the UNCRPD itself. But as Anthony Tibbs,

Treasurer of BFC/CSB and a lawyer with Merchant Law Group explained, “These

tools are reactive and provide remediation for people whose rights have been

denied – but only if the person is willing or able to fight through a court

process. What Canada needs, and what we hope this legislation will offer,

are proactive standards (and meaningful oversight) to prevent the

discrimination from happening and take the enforcement obligation off the

backs of the people who are meant to be protected.”

Jodhan added, “A few years ago I was forced to take the federal government

to Court because government web sites and online services were needlessly

inaccessible to me as a person who is blind. I hope that federal legislation

mandating accessibility will avoid anyone else having to repeat that

adventure in the future.”

BFC/CSB will be reviewing the proposed law in detail in preparation for

hearings anticipated to be held after parliament returns by the committees

tasked with reviewing the legislation.

BFC/CSB is a non-partisan not-for-profit organization that has been

advocating for legislation to ensure accessibility and inclusion for

Canadians with disabilities at both the federal and provincial levels for

more than five years.

# # #

For more information, write to info@barrierfreecanada.org or call Anthony

Tibbs (514-248-7777).

Dear Members:

The Government of Canada has developed a new mobile app as part of their Job Bank. Below is an invitation for you to participate. If you are interested, please try the app and suggest any improvements. Further details on downloading the app and where to submit your comments are outlined below.

(French message follows)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are writing to solicit your feedback on a new app the Government of Canada has developed as part of its Job Bank.

The mobile app helps users find employment by providing full access to the job opportunities found on the Job Bank website, and by including mobile features such as GPS location-based searching and push notifications for when new matching jobs become available. It also provides customized job searching with filters such as “persons with disabilities”, “youth” and “Indigenous people”.

The Government of Canada has done testing to help ensure accessibility standards are met and focused on the performance of mobile screen readers (testing: VoiceOver, TalkBack, Zoom, Colour Ratio, etc) and other assistive technology tools.

The Job Bank team is new to the mobile app space and so they invite you to try the app and suggest improvements. You can send your feedback through the in-app Contact Us feature or via this link. Your general feedback on Job Bank’s services to the disability community will also be welcomed on http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/disability.

The app is available on Google Play and the App Store.

Please also share this with your networks and encourage them to use it and to provide feedback.

For more information about how Job Bank services can help people with disabilities find employment and help employers hire persons with disabilities, you can visit: http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/disability.

And, as always, we encourage you to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, Accessible Canada on Facebook and follow the hashtag #AccessibleCanada and #AccessAbility for the latest information.

Sincerely,

Krista Wilcox
Director General
Office of Disability Issues
Tel: 819-654-5577
Cell: 613-266-5676
krista.wilcox@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Chers amis et collègues,

La présente vise à solliciter vos commentaires sur une nouvelle appli que le gouvernement du Canada a élaborée pour son Guichet-Emplois.

L’appli mobile aide les utilisateurs à trouver un emploi en offrant un accès complet aux possibilités d’emploi qui se trouvent sur le site Web du Guichet‑Emplois et comprend des fonctions mobiles comme la recherche géolocalisée par GPS et des notifications instantanées lorsque de nouveaux emplois correspondants deviennent disponibles. L’appli permet également de faire des recherches d’emploi personnalisées avec des filtres comme « personnes handicapées », « jeunes » et « Autochtones ».

Le gouvernement du Canada a effectué des essais pour s’assurer que les normes d’accessibilité sont respectées et axées sur les performances des lecteurs d’écran mobiles (essais : VoiceOver, TalkBack, Zoom, Colour Ratio, etc.) et d’autres outils de technologie d’assistance.

L’équipe du Guichet-Emplois en est à ses débuts dans l’espace des applications mobiles et vous invite donc à essayer l’application et à suggérer des améliorations. Vous pouvez nous envoyer vos commentaires au moyen de la fonction Contactez-nous de l’appli ou de ce lien. Vous pouvez aussi nous faire part de commentaires généraux sur les services offerts par le Guichet-Emplois à la collectivité des personnes handicapées à l’adresse https://www.guichetemplois.gc.ca/rapport_note.do?cid=12203&lang=fra.

L’appli est disponible via Google Play et l’App Store.

Veuillez également partager le présent message sur vos réseaux et encourager vos contacts à l’utiliser et à fournir de la rétroaction.

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements sur la façon dont les services du Guichet-Emplois peuvent aider les personnes handicapées à trouver un emploi et aider les employeurs à embaucher des personnes handicapées, visitez https://www.guichetemplois.gc.ca/rapport_note.do?cid=12203&lang=fra.

Comme toujours, nous vous encourageons à suivre @AccessibleGC sur Twitter, Canada Accessible sur Facebook et les mots-clic #AccessibleCanada et #AccessAbility pour obtenir les renseignements les plus récents.

Cordialement,

Krista Wilcox
Directrice Générale
Bureau de la condition des personnes handicapées
Tel: 819-654-5577
Cell: 613-266-5676
krista.wilcox@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

***End of e-mail***

Sincerely,

Dar Wournell
National Secretary
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
Toll-Free: 1-800-561-4774
Website: http://www.blindcanadians.ca

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blindcanadians
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/blindcanadians

_______________________________________________
You are receiving this message because our records indicate that you are an Active or Lifetime member of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. For more information, please call 1-800-561-4774 or e-mail secretary@blindcanadians.ca.

* Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/blindcanadians
* Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blindcanadians
* Check out the web site: http://www.BlindCanadians.ca

Re-post: Statement to CELA patrons and supporters

Hi GTT Program Blog Readers.  I was asked by Karen McKay, Communications Manager, Centre for Equitable Library Access to distribute this statement.

 

Statement to CELA patrons and supporters

 

Over the weekend Global News released a story about the absence of federal funding for accessible book production in the 2018 federal budget. CNIB, one of our key production partners, raised the issue in letters to key members of the federal government which outlined the impact this decision would have for the estimated 3 million Canadians with print disabilities.

 

Federal funding for accessible book production is used to convert published works into accessible formats including human narrated audio, e-text, braille. Since its founding on April 1, 2014 CELA has been managing the collection guided by the CELA Collection Policy and library best practices. Without this funding for accessible book production, CELA’s ability to develop the collection and deliver new materials to patrons would be seriously constrained and would constitute a giant step away from the equitable library service we strive to deliver.

 

We fully support and thank the CNIB for their advocacy on behalf of Canadians with print disabilities. We were heartened to hear that the federal government has now reconfirmed its commitment to funding accessible book production and that it continues to work towards a long-term strategy for the production of accessible materials. CELA remains committed to providing accessible library services to our patrons through CELA member libraries across the country, and to working with the federal government and all stakeholders to devise a long-term solution.

 

Guest Post: Minister Qualtrough introduces National AccessAbility Week to promote accessibility every day, everywhere in Canada

Minister Qualtrough introduces National AccessAbility Week to promote accessibility every day, everywhere in Canada

Hello,
As Canada’s Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities, I believe that our country’s diversity is our strength—and when we include people with disabilities, we create a stronger Canada for everyone.
It is my pleasure to announce that launching this spring, for the first time in many years, an annual national week devoted to inclusion and accessibility.
From May 28 to June 3, 2017, National AccessAbility Week will celebrate, highlight and promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces across the country.
We’ve made great strides in promoting inclusion for Canadians with disabilities, but there is still much work to do.
To create a truly inclusive society, we need to change the way we think, talk and act about barriers to participation and accessibility—and we need to do it right from the start, not as an afterthought. An inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed.
National AccessAbility Week will aim to bring this perspective to the forefront for Canadians, and highlight some of the important initiatives this government and its partners are undertaking to bring about this change.
Please join us in celebrating National AccessAbility Week. I invite you to host events in your own local communities, and participate on social media. More information will be available in the coming weeks on Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada, and I encourage you to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, Accessible Canada on Facebook and follow the hashtag #AccessibleCanada and #AccessAbility for the latest information.
Together, let’s continue working towards an Accessible Canada.
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities