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Press Release – ARCH launches OP Lab: Learning, Sharing, Actioning!

ARCH launches today OP Lab: Learning, Sharing, Actioning!

The OP Lab offers a series of courses about the Optional Protocol (OP) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Courses will include presentations from guest speakers, discussions and learning exercises.

Participants in the OP Lab will join a Canada-wide network to advocate for the implementation of CRPD rights, and come up with innovative solutions on how to use the Optional Protocol in a strategic way.

The Optional Protocol (acceded to by Canada in 2018) is considered an additional part of the CRPD that allows people to make a complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in some circumstances when they believe their rights under the CRPD have been violated.

“With the OP Lab, we hope to build greater capacity in disability communities across Canada to advocate for governments to follow the CRPD”, says Kerri Joffe, ARCH staff lawyer.

OP Lab courses will be facilitated by ARCH lawyers and ARCH’s disability community 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); 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.

To enable a true connection amongst disability communities across Canada, the OP Lab courses and materials are available in formats that allow as much accessibility as possible. “This is crucial for creating the OP Lab network, where we hope to create inclusive space to foster real conversations amongst communities that are infinitely diverse” says Robert Lattanzio, ARCH Executive Director.

Courses will be offered in English with French translation, English and French live captioning, and ASL and LSQ interpreting. Materials will be available in English and in French, in ASL and LSQ and alternative formats will be available upon request.

The OP Lab will be hosted in D2L’s Brightspace, a cloud-based learning platform. ARCH and D2L’s Accessibility team are working in collaboration to offer the courses as fully accessible as possible.

This project is being funded by the Government of Canada (Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component).

For more information, go to

To watch ARCH’s video on the CRPD, the Optional Protocol and the OP Lab, go to:

To apply for the OP Lab, go to

December 3, 2019