ARCH Strategic Plan 2018-2023
Strategic Planning Committee: Teresa Daw, Laura Upans, Roxanne Mykitiuk, Douglas Waxman, Doreen Way, Kerri Joffe and Robert Lattanzio
In Consultation with Taylor Newberry Consulting
A society in which laws, policies and legal systems ensure full participation, inclusion, dignity, and equal rights without discrimination for persons with disabilities.
ARCH Disability Law Centre, as a specialty legal clinic with a provincial mandate, undertakes to achieve this Vision by:
- Advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities, including the removal of systemic barriers;
- Promoting awareness and providing education on the rights of persons with disabilities;
- Addressing issues that have a particular impact on low income persons with disabilities;
- Ensuring that ARCH’s work has Ontario-wide impact;
- Engaging in national disability rights work and influencing the realization of international disability rights norms in Canada and Ontario;
- Continuously developing and utilizing ARCH’s expertise in local, provincial, national and international law as it affects persons with disabilities;
- Addressing the heightened disadvantage and discrimination faced by persons with disabilities, including as a result of other intersecting grounds of discrimination, including gender, race, age, language, place of origin, economic status, sexual orientation, and others.
Values and Principles
ARCH is guided by the following set of core values:
- The dignity and worth of all persons with disabilities must be respected;
- Persons with disabilities have the right to dignity, equality, self-determination, disability-related supports and full participation in a barrier-free inclusive society;
- Persons with disabilities themselves are in the best position to determine their own priorities;
- All persons have a common responsibility to create inclusive communities accessible to all persons with disabilities.
Additionally, ARCH is guided by the following set of core organizational principles:
- ARCH operates in accordance with the above core values;
- ARCH is a community-based organization, governed by a Board of Directors composed of a majority of persons with disabilities;
- ARCH is accountable to persons with disabilities in Ontario, its members and its funders.
During the Strategic Planning day, Staff and Board members identified 4 strategic objectives that will guide ARCH’s work over the next five years. These strategic objectives are presented below; the order in which they are presented should not be taken as an indication that some objectives are more important than others.
Strategic Objective 1
To strengthen good governance of the Board of Directors and enhance and maximize its efficiencies and effectiveness.
ARCH’s Board functions efficiently, effectively, with a renewed sense of engagement and appropriate governance structures in place.
1 – Review and update the Board’s governance model including its structure for Board and Board/Staff standing and ad hoc committees.
2 – Identify and implement effective approaches to deepen ARCH’s engagement with its Membership and Community Partners.
3 – Explore opportunities for board development, leadership and succession planning.
Strategic Objective 2
To ensure that ARCH is best positioned to continue providing the highest quality professional legal services to persons with disabilities and to achieve impactful systemic outcomes in ARCH’s areas of practice.
ARCH’s high quality legal work and advocacy will continue to be an important resource for persons with disabilities, disability rights communities and legal service providers.
1 – Review and optimize available resources, including human resources, financial resources and other resources, to best deliver and support ARCH’s legal services and programs.
2 – Review and update internal policies, practices and procedures on how ARCH identifies and undertakes its work to ensure accountability, a focus on identified systemic legal issues, interconnectedness of work and transparency.
3 – Identify and implement effective new strategies for providing resources and information in clear and accessible language to persons with disabilities, and to the legal profession, on new, complex and emerging issues related to disability rights.
Strategic Objective 3
To advance positive change in identified systemic legal issues of importance to disability communities across Ontario.
ARCH maximizes its impact shaping positive legislative, policy and jurisprudential changes by proactively focusing its available resources.
1 – Proactively identify systemic legal issues that arise in ARCH’s areas of legal practice and develop legal strategies to address them.
2 – Achieve an appropriate balance of time and resources in order to enhance Staff’s capacity to conduct focused systemic work.
3 – Explore communication strategies for more effective use of media and social media to advance ARCH’s work and systemic change.
Strategic Objective 4
To ensure that ARCH continues to be responsive to issues of greatest concern to disability communities, from a cross-disability perspective, from intersectional identities, and in under-represented communities.
ARCH is accountable to the disability communities it serves in fulfilling its mission, vision and values in response to those communities’ needs.
1 – Continue outreach initiatives to Indigenous, racialized, Francophone, rural, isolated and vulnerable disability communities.
2 – Ensure that ARCH’s work considers and addresses the impact of poverty, indigeneity and intersecting grounds of discrimination.
3 – Ensure that ARCH considers the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in developing its positions on disability rights issues.
Evaluation and Monitoring
Implementation plans and evaluation metrics will be developed to monitor the operationalization of this Strategic Plan and will be reviewed on an annual basis by the ARCH Board and Staff.