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Real Change means an Accessible Canada for all

By: 
Melissa Graham

December 3, 2015

On December 3rd, let’s remind Trudeau what an #AccessibleCanada4All looks like.

Canada has a new government, and with that new opportunities for change, new potential, new possibilities. Among those possibilities is the Canadians with Disabilities Act.

It seems that Trudeau has taken up the call, and made this potential Act a part of the mandate for our new Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtrough.

But what does this mean in terms of real change in the disparity of equity that disabled people face across this country?

There are some promising points here, Minister Qualtrough has a background as a human rights lawyer and Paralympian; this suggests that she is familiar with the struggles we as disabled people face.

Unfortunately, this potential legislation is already being framed in terms that will favour some of us over others. There are people who firmly believe that this national idea should follow in the path of provincial legislation that came before it, such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This legislation was not so much focused on preserving our rights, as it was about getting disabled people involved in the economy, employment and industry.

These are still important points, but sometimes the more privileged disabled people tend to forget the many other hurdles that keep so many more of us behind.

•    The need for accessible, affordable housing.

•    Protection of the rights of parents with disabilities.

•    Accessibility in healthcare, including Indigenous Peoples and refugees.

•    Police training in effectively and sensitively working with disabled people.

•    Distribution of Health and Social transfers to address the inequities in the systemic barriers that exist between provinces and territories.

These are just a few examples, I’m sure there are many more. This is why I’m asking all disabled people in Canada and their allies to make their voices heard.

Thursday December 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It is also the day before Prime Minister Trudeau’s Throne Speech. That is why on December 3rd I’m asking all of you to show our new Prime Minister and his Cabinet what an Accessible Canada for all looks like. Using the hashtag #AccessibleCanada4All please take to social media and remind them that real change is not a continuation of the status quo, where only the most advantaged of us move forward. This is our time. Let’s make it count.

Please share the #AccessibleCanada4All campaign with your networks.

This is shared from the blog exposingableism

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