Annual Report: 2000-2001

Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will see farther.
—Orison Sweet Marden
Four years ago I was elected Chair of CCD, following Francine Arsenault in that position. She had led the organization during some of its most progressive activity, and had added greatly to its profile both in Canada and abroad. As it turned out, the foundation of credibility which she had laid served us well when federal policy changed and presented a threat to CCD's very existence.
We all remember well the days when we were searching for some way to survive in the face of the new Liberal government's intention to eliminate our funding within three years. That threat to "A Voice of Our Own" was very real. Thankfully, CCD's standing has been well established, and the government's plan to phase out the funding was not as easily done as they had expected. Nevertheless, those were anxious times. We decided to reassert our right to exist by working within the Scott Task Force. That decision turned out to be the right one, and, while the recommendations of the Task Force might have been half-heartedly received by the government, the vitality and veracity of CCD was made abundantly clear.
Since those bad old days of three years ago much has been accomplished. A summary of that work can be found in the reports of the National Coordinator and the Chairs of our Committees and Working Groups in this and other Annual Reports. Outstanding among this work has been the increased collaboration with other groups, individuals, and organizations, both within the community of people with disabilities and outside it.
It has always been the case that, while Council gives direction and expresses the grassroots thinking of CCD's members, it is the work of our committees and groups which creates the practical and concrete manifestations of that direction and thinking. I hope that this will continue to be the case, even as the composition of the committees change, and their agendas reflect current and future realities. It is not by chance that government now often seeks out our views before proceeding in areas where they know our issues are affected.
Sincerely, I want to thank all the members who have worked so hard to achieve and maintain our status. I want to acknowledge the clear thinking and judgment of those who have advised us politically on actions and positions. The writers of briefs, the threshers of ideas, and the speakers who voice our positions in public and private areas, are all essential parts of CCD's impact on decision makers, and on our public image.
I have said often that CCD is fortunate in its office leadership and staff. There is a comfortable understanding of roles which must be cherished and maintained. However, we can not be complacent and dependent on a few workers, no matter how capable they are. We are aware that many an organization has foundered when confusion of roles became a part of the leadership pattern.
CCD has to remain dynamic - ready to adjust to situations as they unfold, and more importantly, before they unfold. We have to aim for more than disability supports which might result in equality at the lowest levels. We have to make clear our vision of integration and inclusion throughout all social and economic levels. We want the potential to be clerks in the shop, but we also want access to the front office and the ownership positions. We want not only to be students, but also the potential to be members of boards of governors or university presidents. We have to identify and shatter the glass ceilings wherever they exist.
Vigilant membership, informed and alert Council, deliberate and determined Executive, responsive and responsible staff, with inspired leadership, will assure a continued progressive future for CCD as it seeks equal citizenship status for every person in this country.
Again, I express my gratitude for assistance of all kinds, and from all quarters during my term as Chair. I send best wishes to the incoming Executive and Chair.
Respectfully submitted
by Eric Norman
National Chairperson

National Coordinator's Report

A few rambling thoughts.
Re-investment in social service systems supposedly is the order of the day, however, the reality is that supports are not improving but are decreasing. At a time when governments are deciding how to allocate surpluses, it is amazing that we continue to see reductions in service delivery.
Across Canada people with disabilities are witnessing a decrease in access to public transportation, greater eligibility restrictions for income support, less access to job training, increasing use of inaccessible information technologies, and discrimination so blatant as to question the fundamental right to life. Certainly this is not the vision the consumer movement had for the turn of the century. After 25 years of struggle people with disabilities are still a long way from the "equal benefit and protection of the law" guaranteed in our eighteen year old Charter.
Reasons for this sorry state of affairs are frankly not particularly clear other than to say that the discrimination people with disabilities face is more profound and pervasive than we had suspected. Compounding this situation is the fact that the federal leadership we had come to expect has been drastically curtailed by the politics of jurisdiction. The Government of Canada has given up a great deal of ground and has in essence abandoned citizens with disabilities. Whether this can be reversed or whether a pan Canadian impetus can be created for collaborative action among the provinces and territories remains our challenge.
An interesting phenomenon during this radical restructuring of the federal government is the coalescing of a number of consumer and service organizations working in partnership to address disability issues. This partnership has occurred almost uncommented upon and while leaving many uneasy, appears to be the way of working in the future. Does this diminish the consumer voice? It can but ultimately all organizations and ideas are judged by the quality of their presentation. Consumer organizations have come a long way in the sophistication of their arguments. The equality rights analysis CCD and other consumer advocacy associations bring to public policy debates is acknowledged and valued when heard. Truly this is our trump card, a perspective on issues that embraces diversity and explores the meaning of equality. As long as CCD remains true to these principles we have relevance and value in public debates. This is the true secret of CCD's 25 year success and I trust will be the mainstay of our next 25 years.
The most enjoyable part of my job is the continual learning from members of the board, committees and other advocates. Thank you. To the CCD office staff I say, thank you for your support and energy, my job is easier because of your skills and commitment.
Respectfully Submitted by
Laurie Beachell
National Coordinator

CCD Awards 2000

British Columbia Coalition of People with Disabilities - BCCPD Reta Alden
Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities - ACCD Irene Feika
Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities - SVOPD Norman Vall
Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities Inc. - MLPD
Persons United for Self-help Northwest Ontario Inc. Ron Ross
Confédération des Organismes Léon Bossé de Personnes Handicapées du Québec - COPHAN
PEI Council of the Disabled
Nova Scotia League Cumberland County for Equal Opportunities - LEO Transition to Work
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities of Newfoundland and Labrador - John Dunn
People First Canada
National Network for Mental Health - NNMH Julie Flatt
Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada - TVAC
Canadian Association of the Deaf - CAD Jules Desrosiers
Disabled Women's Network Canada - DAWN Shirley Masuda
National Educational Association Jennison Asuncion of Disabled Students - NEADS Joby Fleming

Member Organizations, their Representatives, and CCD Executive

Eric Normal, Chairperson
Henry Vlug, Vice-Chair
Paul Young, Vice-Chair
Lucie Lemieux-Brassard - Treasurer
Michael Huck, Secretary
Chloé Serradori, Member-at-large
British Columbia Coalition of People with Disabilities - Sam Rizvi
Disabled Women's Network - Kathy Marshall
Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities - Margo Brunner Campbell
Sasktatchewan Voice of Persons with Disabilities - Michael Huck
Members-at-large - Lucie Lemieux-Brassard, Mary Ennis
Manitoba League of People with Disabilities Inc. - Cathy McGowan
Canadian Association for the Deaf - Henry Vlug
Natioanl Educational Association of Disabled Students - Susan Vida
The National Network for Mental Health - Constance McKnight
Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada - Randy Warren
People First Canada - Paul Young
Confédération des organisms des personnes handicapées du Québec - Chloé Serradori
Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities - Bill Crawford
PEI Council of the Disabled - Tony Dolan
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities of Newfoundland and Labrador - Marie White
Persons United for Self-Help Northwest Ontario, Inc. - Marilyn Warf


Laurie Beachell, National Coordinator
Clare Simpson, Comptroller
April D'Aubin, Research Analyst
Mel Graham, Communication Officer
Steve Estey, International Development Officer
Terry Zeglen, Administrative Assistant
Julia Vela, Word Processor/ Secretary
June Mayo, Receptionist/ Administrative Aid