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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 offers you the opportunity to learn more about the Optional Protocol and be part of a Canada-wide network engaged in acting for the implementation of the CRPD!

ARCH will be offering courses in 2 streams, one aimed at community members and one aimed at disability rights lawyers:

Become an OP Champion in your Community!

  • Participate in a series of 8 courses to understand the Optional Protocol, and how it can be used effectively to advance CRPD implementation in Canada
  • Topics will include:
    • What is the CRPD? What is the Optional Protocol? How do they work together?
    • How does the Optional Protocol work?
    • How can individuals use the Optional Protocol?
    • Can the Optional Protocol be used for larger, systemic issues that affect people with disabilities in Canada?
    • How does the UN deal with complaints under the Optional Protocol?
    • Action planning for using the Optional Protocol
    • Current implementation and barriers to implementation of the CRPD in Canada
  • Courses will be held on Wednesday afternoons, from 1:00 PM (ET) to 3:00 PM (ET), on the following dates:
    • September 16, 2020
    • September 23, 2020
    • September 30, 2020
    • October 7, 2020
    • October 14, 2020
    • October 21, 2020
    • October 28, 2020
    • November 4, 2020

Become an OP Legal Expert!

  • If you’re a lawyer with expertise in disability rights and the CRPD, you can participate in a series of 3 courses to deepen your technical understanding of the Optional Protocol, and develop strategies for innovatively using the CRPD in litigation and law reform to support community efforts for CRPD implementation
  • Topics for the 3 courses will include:
    • Optional Protocol procedures and jurisprudence
    • Legal barriers to CRPD implementation and strategies for using the CRPD in litigation and law reform
    • Use of the Optional Protocol in foreign domestic jurisdictions: what can we learn and apply to the Canadian context?
  • Courses will be held from 1:00 PM (ET) to 3:00 PM (ET), on the following dates:
    • Monday, October 5, 2020
    • Thursday, October 15, 2020
    • Thursday, October 29, 2020

Complete OP LAB courses, and become part of a Canada-wide Network engaged in acting for the implementation of the CRPD!

  • This network will be launched with a joint meeting of the OP Champions and the OP Legal Experts, on Thursday, November 12, 2020, from 1:00 PM (ET) to 3:00 PM (ET)
  • Courses will be delivered through an interactive, accessible digital platform that will allow dialogue and discussion among participants and presenters
  • All courses and materials will be as fully accessible as possible, and will be offered in English with French translation, as well as ASL and LSQ translation/interpretation
  • Courses will be facilitated by ARCH lawyers and partners, and will include presentations from guest speakers, discussions and learning exercises

Applications will no longer be accepted after Friday, February 14, 2020, at 5:00 PM (EST).

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);
DAWN Canada;
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.



Last Modified: June 17, 2020

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