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ARCH Alert Volume 17, Issue 3

ARCH quarterly newsletter with news and information on disability law. Published on December 20, 2016.



Inside This Issue


Schedule 1 Class Action Reminder

By: Yedida Zalik, Staff Lawyer

 

Important reminder: February 28, 2017 is the deadline to send in a claim for money from the Schedule 1 Class Action, Clegg v. Ontario

If you lived somewhere on the list below, check the dates beside the name of the place where you lived.  If you lived there between those dates, then you may be able to get money from the settlement.

  • St. Lawrence Regional Centre in Brockville between April 1, 1975 and June 30, 1983
  • D’Arcy Place in Cobourg between September 1, 1963 and December 31, 1996
  • Adult Occupational Centre in Edgar between January 1, 1966 and March 31, 1999
  • Pine Ridge in Aurora between September 1, 1963 and August 31, 1984
  • Muskoka Centre in Gravenhurst between August 28, 1973 and June 30, 1993
  • Oxford Regional Centre in Woodstock between April 1, 1974 and March 31, 1996 or in the “Mental Retardation Unit” or “MR Unit” of the Oxford Mental Health Centre between January 1, 1969 and March 31, 1974
  • Midwestern Regional Centre in Palmerston between September 1, 1963 and March 31, 1998
  • L.S. Penrose Centre in Kingston between April 1, 1974 and March 31, 1977
  • Bluewater Centre in Goderich between April 1, 1976 and December 20, 1983
  • Durham Centre for Developmentally Handicapped in Whitby between April 1, 1974 and September 28, 1986
  • Prince Edward Heights in Picton between January 1, 1971 and December 31, 1999
  • Northwestern Regional Centre in Thunder Bay between April 1, 1974 and March 31, 1994

You do not need to go to court to make a claim. You just need to fill in a claim form. A support person can fill it in for you, but the cheque will have your name on it.

You could get up to $2000 if you were harmed or hurt at a place on the list. You could get up to $42,000 if you write about how you were harmed or hurt. The money does not affect ODSP and you do not need to pay tax on it.

ARCH has more information about who can make a claim and how to make a claim on our website at:

http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/important_reminder_Schedule_1_class_action_claims_Clegg_v_Ontario

You can also watch a video about the claims process at:

http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/node/1135

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Highlights of ARCH’s Work in 2016

By: Amanda Ward & Kerri Joffe, ARCH Alert Editors

 

What a year 2016 has been! ARCH navigated through some significant changes in 2016, while continuing our work on existing disability law issues and beginning work to tackle new concerns. As we wind down the year, we would like to share with you some highlights of ARCH’s work over the last 12 months.

2016 was our first full year under the skillful and dedicated direction of Executive Director Robert Lattanzio.

A huge change for ARCH this year was our move to a new location as part of the Co-operative of Specialty Legal Clinics of Ontario. We are just about settled into our new office at 55 University Avenue in downtown Toronto. ARCH is now co-located with 9 other specialty legal clinics and the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario.

2016 was a busy year for our law reform and policy work. ARCH made law reform submissions, worked with government officials, committees, the Law Commission of Ontario, and community-based coalitions on a variety of legal issues affecting Ontario’s disability communities. ARCH partnered with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and several other disability organizations on the Vulnerable Persons Standard, which recommended safeguards for Medical Assistance in Dying legislation. ARCH is working with disability organizations from across Canada to write a shadow report to Canada’s first Report to the United Nations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. ARCH was invited to be a member of a working group, established by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, which recommended changes to current systems to support persons who are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. ARCH has continued to work with the Law Commission of Ontario on legal capacity and decision-making issues. We are actively engaged in consultation processes regarding Canada’s proposed federal accessibility law. ARCH also continues to be involved in advocacy efforts regarding the AODA, including supporting recent calls for an Education Accessibility Standard.

2016 was also a busy year for litigation at ARCH. ARCH intervened in Thompson v. Ontario, 2016 ONCA 676, a constitutional challenge to the involuntary detention and Community Treatment Order provisions of Ontario’s Mental Health Act. These provisions permit persons with mental health disabilities to be involuntarily detained and treated in a psychiatric hospital in certain circumstances. They also permit the forced administration of psychiatric treatment for certain persons with mental health disabilities who live in the community. ARCH argued that these provisions violate sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because they subject persons with mental health disabilities to detainment and forced treatment where the use of this type of coercion is not necessary. These provisions perpetuate stereotypes that persons with mental health disabilities are in need of coercive psychiatric treatment.  ARCH also raised the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a relevant source of law to assist the Court’s Charter analysis, as Article 14 of the Convention prohibits detention because of disability. ARCH also represented a student in a human rights complaint against York University. The case was settled, and as a result of the settlement, York University students are no longer required to disclose the specific nature of their mental health diagnosis in order to get academic accommodations. Instead, students at York are now required to provide a letter from a medical practitioner that confirms that the student has a mental health diagnosis, and requires accommodations for their mental health disability. Just last week, ARCH represented the Empowerment Council and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities as interveners in Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, Supreme Court File No.: 36636, a case before the Supreme Court of Canada. The case involves an employee who was terminated from his employment after a minor incident when he failed to disclose his addiction disability in a safety sensitive workplace. One of the legal issues in this case is the scope and content of an employer’s duty to accommodate, including in circumstances where an employee’s failure to disclose is disability-related or due to stigma.  The Court’s determination of these issues will be of great significance to the disability communities and may have far-reaching effects.

In 2016 ARCH continued to provide our Summary Advice and Referral Service to thousands of persons with disabilities in Ontario. This service is available to all Ontarians with disabilities, regardless of their income. Through this service ARCH staff lawyers, as well as law students in the Disability Law Intensive Program at York University, provide legal advice, information, and referrals directly to persons with disabilities in Ontario.

ARCH is assisting a number of persons from around the province to make claims in the Schedule 1 class action settlement. Through this settlement, persons labelled with intellectual disabilities who were hurt, harmed or abused when they lived at Schedule 1 institutions in Ontario can make claims for compensation. Earlier this year, ARCH produced a webinar about the Schedule 1 claims process to assist family members, agency staff and others who are supporting people labelled with intellectual disabilities to make claims in this class action settlement.

In 2016, ARCH regularly travelled to communities across Ontario to provide public legal education workshops on disability rights issues. One highlight was our travel to 3 communities in northern Ontario to present on inclusive education and the rights of students with disabilities. Another highlight was the huge amount of work done by Respecting Rights. Respecting Rights is a committee of self-advocates labelled with intellectual disabilities, advocacy staff and ARCH lawyers who work together to promote respect for the rights of persons labelled with intellectual disabilities in Ontario. In 2016 Respecting Rights was very busy providing accessible rights education workshops to persons labelled with intellectual disabilities, their families, and developmental services agency staff all over Ontario. Over 650 people labelled with intellectual disabilities and their support networks participated in legal education workshops provided by Respecting Rights this year. Respecting Rights also conducted a number of accessible law reform activities, including supporting people labelled with intellectual disabilities to learn about and respond to the Ontario Ombudsman’s Report “Nowhere To Turn”.

2016 brought ARCH many opportunities to promote, protect and advance the rights of persons with disabilities in Ontario.

We hope you enjoy this final edition of ARCH Alert for 2016. We wish everyone a happy New Year, and look forward to continue working with our wonderful community in 2017 towards an accessible, equitable Ontario for all.

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Canada begins work to ratify Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

By: Yedida Zalik, Staff Lawyer

 

The UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities

On March 11, 2010, Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. By ratifying, Canada showed that it agreed to all the principles and obligations in the Convention.  This means Canada is not supposed do anything that goes against the Convention.

The Convention is based on principles such as respect for dignity, freedom to make one’s own choices, non-discrimination, full and effective participation in society, equality between men and woman, equal opportunities for people with disabilities and accessibility.

Countries have responsibilities flowing from these principles. These responsibilities include making sure that people with disabilities have:

  • Access to justice
  • The opportunity to live independently in the community
  • Access to information and communication
  • Access to education and health
  • Access to work and an adequate standard of living
  • The opportunity to participate in political, social and cultural life
  • And other responsibilities

 

The Optional Protocol

The Optional Protocol to the Convention gives a stronger role to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and gives people with disabilities a way to complain to this Committee if their rights under the Convention are not being respected. The Committee is a group made up of experts who are separate from governments.

Although Canada ratified the Convention in 2010, it did not ratify the Optional Protocol. 92 other countries have ratified the Optional Protocol.

Finally, on December 1, 2016, Canada’s Federal Government announced that it would begin work to ratify the Optional Protocol. As part of this work, Canada is talking about the Protocol with Provinces, Territories, Indigenous Governments and organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Government is planning to finish the work next year, so that Canada can ratify the Optional Protocol in 2017. Once Canada ratifies the Protocol, people in Canada will be able to make complaints to the Committee if the Canadian Government fails to follow the Convention or violates the rights of people with disabilities. There are certain conditions that must be met before a person or group can complain to the Committee. For example, in most cases the person or group must have exhausted all available domestic remedies. This means that before complaining to the Committee, the person or group must have tried to resolve their complaint using all the legal and administrative processes in Canada that have to do with their complaint. The Committee will have the power to investigate claims of serious or system-wide violations of the Convention. The Committee has the power to make recommendations to Canada for resolving complaints it receives.

Canada’s commitment to ratifying the Optional Protocol will give people with disabilities and disability organizations in Canada new ways to promote disability rights and full inclusion.

To read the Optional Protocol go to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/OptionalProtocolRightsPersonsWithDisabilities.aspx

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ARCH’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities Event

By: Johanna Macdonald, ARCH Staff Lawyer and Onsite Lawyer at St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team

 

On December 2, ARCH celebrated this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities by hosting a book launch and panel discussion on disability rights in our health care system.

Proceeds from the sale of Dr. Jeff Nisker’s novel, “Patiently Waiting For…” are donated to equity seeking organizations. For information about Dr. Jeff Nisker, go to http://publish.uwo.ca/~jnisker/ . For information about his novel, go to https://www.amazon.com/Patiently-Waiting-Jeff-Nisker-ebook/dp/B01C4M3AJO . Everyone attending ARCH’s event received a free copy. Dr. Nav Persaud (http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/scientists/nav-persaud/), clinical champion of the Health Justice Project moderated the panel. The panel included Dr. Nisker, patient expert and disability rights advocate Julie Devaney (https://www.juliedevaney.com/), and Health Justice Initiative ARCH Staff Lawyer, Johanna Macdonald (http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/Services/health-justice-initiative).

This year’s theme for International Day focused on the role of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities. The first three goals – ending poverty, ending hunger, and ensuring healthy lives for all were particularly relevant to our afternoon celebration.

The panel spoke about failures in our health care system to abide by even basic disability rights. The controversy of ‘prescribing social determinants of health’ within a predominantly medical model of disability framework was highlighted. Panellists described the crushing effects of our government’s neoliberal push for fiscal restraints, and the inadequate legislative teeth in community health care services to ensure healthy lives for all.

All panel members were involved in creative pursuits to bring equality and social justice to the forefront of the health and justice fields. Julie and Jeff have both written novels and plays, and Johanna is working as a lawyer in a new partnership between the health and legal fields.

Aligning with the day’s celebrations – ARCH welcomed the news that our Federal Government ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  One of the critiques coming from the panel highlighted the lack of accountability that patients and community members have when their rights are violated.  Though there will continue to be barriers, the Government of Canada’s ratification of the Optional Protocol creates another avenue for redress – a positive development!

The event is best captured in ARCH’s tweet threads found at https://twitter.com/archdisability, and Julie Devaney’s Patient Expert Blog at https://www.juliedevaney.com/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities/ . Check both of them out, and also the links above to learn more about the panellists’ activities in art and disability rights social justice advocacy to create a more inclusive and equal society.

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Recent Developments in Education Advocacy

By: Luke Reid, Staff Lawyer

 

Over the fall and winter, ARCH did a lot of work to advance the rights of students with disabilities in Ontario.

In October, Executive Director, Robert Lattanzio, and Staff Lawyer, Luke Reid, spent several days in the northern Ontario communities of Dryden, Fort Frances and Kenora, giving seminars to parents and advocates about education rights and advocacy for persons with disabilities. ARCH partnered with Community Living Ontario and Inclusive Education Canada on this important work.

Topics covered during the seminars included a wide range of human rights concerns in the delivery of educational services. ARCH discussed the necessity of promoting inclusive classrooms and practical tips for advocating on behalf of a student with a disability. While in northern Ontario, ARCH consulted with passionate advocates, many of whom raised issues about inclusive education that are unique to northern Ontario communities. ARCH also consulted with experts and advocates on some of the unique barriers to education which Indigenous children with disabilities face in northern Ontario communities. ARCH hopes to continue building our relationships with students with disabilities, education advocates, and members of Indigenous communities in northern Ontario through our inclusive education work.

On December 5, 2016, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced to the legislature that the Province of Ontario would begin the development of a new accessibility standard for education under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

 

New Accessibility Standard for Education

Premier Wynne’s announcement was made following an open letter from 22 disability organizations, including the AODA Alliance and ARCH, which called for the introduction of an education accessibility standard in order to remove the many barriers that prevent over a third of a million Ontario students with disabilities from fully participating in Ontario’s education system.

ARCH welcomes this announcement from Premier Wynne. A new education accessibility standard has the potential to proactively address many of the existing barriers that face students with disabilities. “The goal of a standard like this is to get everybody on the same page and provide some kind of equal starting point,” said Robert Lattanzio, executive director of ARCH, in a recent Toronto Star article. Access to appropriate disability accommodations would enable students with disabilities to learn effectively and reach their potential. Importantly, an education accessibility standard that requires schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions to proactively remove barriers will mean that fewer students and families have to fight to remove one accessibility barrier at a time.

To read more about the open letter sent to the Premier and her recent announcement about the education accessibility standard, go to:

http://www.aoda.ca/22-major-disability-organizations-send-premier-wynne-an-open-letter-calling-for-the-wynne-government-to-agree-to-develop-an-education-accessibility-standard-under-ontarios-disabilities-act/

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/12/05/groups-urge-premier-to-remove-barriers-for-disabled-students.html

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/12/05/wynne-aims-to-remove-barriers-for-students-with-disabilities.html

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The Ontario Human Rights Commission Releases a New Policy on Ableism and Discrimination at ARCH Annual General Meeting

By: Tess Sheldon, Staff Lawyer

 

The Ontario Human Rights Commission recently released its updated “Policy on Ableism and Discrimination Based on Disability”. The Commission launched the Policy at the latest Annual General Meeting of ARCH Disability Law Centre on September 29 2016.

Chief Commissioner, Renu Mandhane, was the keynote speaker at ARCH’s Meeting. She introduced the new Policy, which includes examples of discrimination facing persons with disabilities.  Ontario’s Human Rights Code protects people with disabilities from discrimination and harassment.  This protection extends to five “social areas”, including housing, employment and when receiving goods, services and using facilities.  The Human Rights Code can be a powerful tool for protecting and advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. The Commission’s Policy explains how the Human Rights Code protects persons with disabilities from discrimination in the five social areas.

The Commission is one part of Ontario’s human rights system, alongside the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) – www.sjto.gov.on.ca/hrto/ and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) – http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/home . One of the Commission’s key roles is to educate individuals and organizations across Ontario about human rights obligations and policies.

The Commission’s new Policy replaces an earlier version of the Commission’s “Policy and Guidelines on Disability and the Duty to Accommodate” from 2001. The new Policy is different from the last policy, including because of its attention to “ableism”, which refers to the expression of systemic values about persons with disabilities that undermine their inherent personal value and worth. Persons with disabilities are often subject to systematic abuse, neglect, exclusion, marginalization and disadvantage. That exclusion has historical roots in common Canadian ableist misconceptions, stereotypes and prejudices about persons with disabilities, including presumptions that they are incapable of making health care treatment decisions. Ableist attitudes also inform decisions about what is in the best interests of persons with disabilities.

The Commission’s new Policy is important because disability continues to be the most cited ground of discrimination in applications made to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.   The Commission is responsible for the preparation, approval and publishing of other policies like this one. The Commission also recently released its Policy on Drug and Alcohol Testing in 2016: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-drug-and-alcohol-testing-2016. In 2014, the Commission released its Policy on Preventing Discrimination Based on Mental Health Disabilities and Addictions: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-preventing-discrimination-based-mental-health-disabilities-and-addictions. These policies set standards, provide guidance on interpreting the Human Rights Code and have been given a lot of weight by Courts and the Human Rights Tribunal.

To read the Commission’s Policy on Ableism and Discrimination Based on Disability, go to: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-ableism-and-discrimination-based-disability

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Ontario’s Proposed Law on Medical Assistance in Dying

By: Kerri Joffe, Staff Lawyer

 

In June 2016, Canada passed federal legislation setting out how medical assistance in dying can be provided. Earlier this month, Ontario announced that it was introducing proposed provincial legislation in relation to medical assistance in dying. This proposed legislation is called the Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act. If passed into law, this proposed legislation will amend several other laws, and would address issues related to medical assistance in dying that fall within provincial jurisdiction. For example, it will ensure that work-related benefits such as insurance payouts and workplace safety benefits are not denied to someone only because of a medically-assisted death. It will protect physicians and nurses from civil liability when they provide medical assistance in dying to patients. It will require that the Coroner be notified of all medically assisted deaths and will allow the Coroner to decide whether to investigate the death.

The Government of Ontario has said that patients, health care providers and others will have opportunities to provide feedback on the proposed legislation.

More information about Ontario’s Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act is available. For more information, go to https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2016/12/ontario-introduces-legislation-on-medical-assistance-in-dying.html

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R v. C.W.: First Case Applying Section 13 of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights Act

By: Mariam Shanouda, Staff Lawyer

 

On July 6, 2016 the Ontario Court of Justice released its ruling in R v. C.W., [2016] O.J. No. 5647, an application from the Crown requesting that a complainant in a criminal case be permitted to have a support dog with her as she testified.  The importance of this decision is that the Judge’s ruling applies section 13 of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR).  This is the first reported case where section 13 of this relatively new legislation has been considered and applied by a court.

The CVBR came into force on July 23, 2015 and its purpose, as set out in its Preamble, is to enshrine the interests and rights of victims throughout the criminal justice system.

Section 13 of the CVBR states that: (e)very victim has the right to request testimonial aids when appearing as a witness in proceedings relating to the offence.

Prior to the enactment of the CVBR and the section 13 provision, any complainant or witness who needed support when testifying in court, had to rely on section 486.1(1) of the Criminal Code.  That section states the following:

In any proceedings against an accused, the judge or justice shall, on application of the prosecutor in respect of a witness who is under the age of 18 years or who has a mental or physical disability, or on application of such a witness, order that a support person of the witness’ choice be permitted to be present and to be close to the witness while the witness testifies, unless the judge or justice is of the opinion that the order would interfere with the proper administration of justice.

The difference between the two sections is the use of the phrase support aids in the CVBR as opposed to the phrase support person in the Criminal Code. By stating that complainants are entitled to the use of support aids, the CVBR is broadening the scope of what supports complainants can use when testifying in court or tribunal.

In R v. C.W., the complainant did not need or did not want the assistance of a support person.  Rather, she felt that the support dog, whose name is Gordon, would be the appropriate support aid for her.  In reaching his decision, Judge Band emphasized the difference between the CVBR and the Criminal Code when it came to what kind of support aid is permitted in the courtroom to support complainants who are testifying.  On page 2, paragraph 2, Judge Band states that the request for a support dog to be allowed into the courtroom would fail under the Criminal Code because that section only refers to support persons.

Judge Band encouraged the parties before him to consider section 13 of the CVBR and stated that the Act demonstrated Parliament’s view that victims should be allowed to request testimonial aids when appearing in legal proceedings having to do with a criminal offence.

In addition to permitting Gordon to attend while the complainant testified, Judge Band also allowed Gordon’s handler to attend the proceedings but only for the purposes of handling Gordon, not as an additional support to the complainant in the case.

In this case, the application of section 13 is quite significant. It is the first reported decision where section 13 has been applied in a legal proceeding.  The enactment of the CVBR demonstrates the need for the law to continue to evolve, and this was recognized by Judge Band when he stated the following:

The rub is that section 486.1 (of the Code) refers to support persons. It is a piece of legislation that, as far as I know, predates the advent of the proposed use of support dogs to assist witnesses in giving their testimony in this country.

By enacting the CVBR, Parliament recognized that support to complainants, victims and witnesses does not always come in the form of a person and that accommodation comes in many different types and forms of support aids.  Lastly, but just as important, the CVBR broadens the scope for what type of support aids persons who require support can be permitted to use.

ARCH will continue to monitor the use of section 13 of the CVBR.

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Proposed Law on Genetic Non-Discrimination

By: Kerri Joffe, Staff Lawyer

 

An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination, also known as the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, is a federal bill that prohibits requiring someone to undergo a genetic test or disclose the results of a genetic test as a condition of providing goods or services, entering into or continuing a contract. It also prevents discrimination on the basis of a person’s genetic make-up. The bill is currently being studied by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. If passed into law, the bill would prevent insurance companies, federal service providers and businesses from requiring someone to take a genetic test or disclose the results of a genetic test in order to obtain goods, services or insurance. It would also protect employees from being discriminated against, based on their genetic characteristics, in federal employment. Health care practitioners and researchers would be exempted, meaning that doctors, researchers and other health care providers would be permitted to require someone to undergo genetic testing in order to provide medical treatment or to conduct scientific research.

To read the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, go to: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=8185825

To find out how the bill is proceeding through the legislative process, go to: http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Bill=S201&Parl=42&Ses=1&billId=8063160&View=0

 

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Library Corner: A Look at Advances in Access to Information in 2016

By: Mary Hanson, Librarian

 

2016 brought some welcome advances in access to information for persons with print disabilities.

In June Canada became the 20th country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty intended to “end the book famine” faced by persons with vision loss or who have other print disabilities by easing copyright restrictions and improving access to international literature and knowledge.  The Treaty, in effect Sept. 30 2016, requires Canada and other signatories to:

  1. allow persons with vision disabilities and their organisations to make accessible format books without the need to ask permission first from the copyright holder; and
  2. allow the import and export of accessible formats of books and other copyrighted works, again without permission from the copyright holder.

Canada made these copyright amendments with Bill C-11, which was passed into law in July. For more details go to http://www.worldblindunion.org/english/news/Pages/The-Treaty-of-Marrakesh.aspx .

Earlier this year, the Canadian Library Association in collaboration with national disability organizations released updated Guidelines on Library and Information Services for People with Disabilities. These Guidelines provide recommended practices for libraries of varying types and sizes to ensure accessible and inclusive services and to actively advocate for equitable access. For more information about the Guidelines, go to http://cfla-fcab.ca/en/programs/guidelines-and-position-papers/guidelines-on-library-and-information-services-for-people-with-disabilities/ .

A reminder for those who have not yet discovered this free online resource – The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) website (http://celalibrary.ca/ ) provides immediate access to books, newspapers and magazines in formats that people with print disabilities can read, such as audio, digital text and braille. Join online. Go to http://iguana.celalibrary.ca/iguana/www.main.cls?surl=CELA-TutorialFiveStepsToGetStarted&theme=celadefault&lang=eng or ask your local public library to help you sign up.

Recent additions to our ARCH Library in the 15th floor Resource Centre include personal accounts of how the health-care system treats the vulnerable. The authors were among participants in a panel discussion on disability rights and health justice, held recently by ARCH to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

  • Devaney, Julie, and David Molenhuis, eds. Mess: The Hospital Anthology. Barrie, ON: Tightrope Books, 2014. (on ARCH shelves at 362.11 CA Dev 2014) In this collection of essays, poetry and graphic art, the contributions from patients, family, doctors, patients, researchers, and journalists portray real life experiences from within hospital walls.
  • Nisker, Jeff. From Calcedonies to Orchids: Plays Promoting Humanity in Health Policy. Toronto: Iguana Books, 2012. (on ARCH shelves at 362.1042 CA Nis 2012) Physician, teacher and researcher uses the power of theatre to address issues of ethics, empathy and injustice in health care.
  • Devaney, Julie. My Leaky Body: Tales from the Gurney. Fredericton: Goose Lane editions, 2012.
  • (on ARCH shelves at 362.11 CA-ON Dev 2012) A frank – and sometimes darkly funny – memoir, by a patient with ulcerative colitis, of her journey through hospitals and doctors’ offices. The author advocates for reform to achieve truly patient-centred care.

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ARCH on Social Media

ARCH on Social Media

ARCH is on social media. You can find us at:

Check ARCH’s website www.archdisabilitylaw.ca for the Latest ARCH News, publications (including past issues of the ARCH Alert), submissions, fact sheets and more.

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Become a Member of ARCH

If you would like to become an individual member of ARCH, please visit our website at www.archdisabilitylaw.ca or contact our office to request an Application for Individual Membership form. Membership is free.

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Donating to ARCH

While ARCH receives core funding from Legal Aid Ontario and grant funding from other sources, we also rely on the donations from individuals. We ask you to consider being a part of our work by contributing whatever you can. If you are able to assist please donate to ARCH through www.canadahelps.org.

Or you can send your donation cheque to:

Office Manager
ARCH Disability Law Centre
55 University Avenue, 15th Floor
Toronto, ON M5J 2H7
We will promptly send you a charitable receipt. Charitable No. 118 777 994 RR 0001

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About ARCH Alert

ARCH ALERT is published by ARCH Disability Law Centre. It is distributed free via e-mail or mail to ARCH members, community legal clinics, and others with an interest in disability issues. ARCH is a non-profit community legal clinic, which defends and promotes the equality rights of persons with disabilities through test case litigation, law/policy reform and legal education. ARCH is governed by a Board of Directors elected by representatives of member groups reflecting the disability community. The goal of ARCH ALERT is to provide concise information, so that people are aware of important developments and resources. Articles may be copied or reprinted to share with others provided that they are reproduced in their entirety and that the appropriate credit is given. We encourage those who receive it to assist with distribution of information in this way. We do ask that both Word and Text Formats are distributed to ensure accessibility.

Co-Editor: Kerri Joffe
Co-Editor: Amanda Ward
Production & Circulation: Theresa Sciberras

We welcome your comments, questions and feedback. We will endeavour to include all information of general interest to the community of persons with disabilities and their organizations, but reserve the right to edit or reject material if necessary. Please address communications regarding ARCH ALERT to:

Theresa Sciberras, Operations, Program and Administrative Assistant,
ARCH Disability Law Centre,
55 University Avenue, 15th Floor
Toronto, ON M5J 2H7

Fax: 416-482-2981 or 1-866-881-2723
TTY: 416-482-1254 or 1-866-482-2728
e- mail: scibert@lao.on.ca

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Contact ARCH Alert

If you enjoyed this issue of the ARCH Alert, please consider sharing it with others. Word and text versions of our most recent and older issues of the newsletters are available on our website at https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resources/arch-alert/

ARCH Disability Law Centre
55 University Avenue, 15th Floor
Toronto, ON M5J 2H7

  • Telephone: 416-482-8255
  • Telephone Toll-free: 1-866-482-2724
  • TTY: 416-482-1254
  • TTY Toll-free: 1-866-482-2728
  • Fax: 416-482-2981
  • Fax Toll-free: 1-866-881-2723

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Last Updated: December 20, 2016

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