OP Lab: Learning, Sharing, Actioning!
Did you know? Canada recently agreed to follow the Optional Protocol (OP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
What does this mean? The CRPD is an international law aimed at promoting, protecting and ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms for persons with disabilities. The Optional Protocol allows people in Canada to make a complaint to the United Nations, in some situations when they believe their rights under the CRPD have been violated.
The OP LAB offered the opportunity to learn more about the Optional Protocol and to be part of a Canada-wide network engaged in acting for the implementation of the CRPD!
OP Lab was an ARCH-led project which aimed to develop awareness of the CRPD, its Optional Protocol and other UN disability rights tools. It also aimed to build capacity within disability and legal communities to use the CRPD and other UN disability rights tools to advance disability rights in Canada. ARCH completed all OP Lab live sessions – 8 for community advocates, 3 for lawyers, and 1 joint session for both. OP Lab had approximately 180 community champions registered from across Canada, and approximately 50 disability rights lawyers from across Canada. The aim for the live sessions and the virtual classroom platform was to create space for advocates and lawyers to work through together the various tools available including the CRPD’s Optional Protocol in a cross-disability accessible space in multiple languages (French, English, American Sign Language, Langue des signes Quebecoise).
ARCH gratefully acknowledges OP Lab project partners:
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC);
British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS);
Canadian Association of Community Living (CACL);
Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD);
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW);
Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC);
Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec (COPHAN);
Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD);
Independent Living Canada (ILC);
People First of Canada;
National Coalition of People who use Guide and Service Dogs in Canada;
National Network for Mental Health (NNMH);
Tlingit Sovereign Nation; and
York University – Osgoode Hall Law School.