Annual Report: 2012/2013

Executive Committee

  • Tony Dolan, Chairperson
  • Marie Ryan, Past Chairperson
  • Pat Danforth, 1st Vice Chair
  • Steve Estey, 2nd Vice Chair
  • Anne M. McPhee, Treasurer
  • Marc Workman*/Anne M. McPhee***, Secretary
  • Carmela Hutchison, Member-at-Large on Executive

Member Organizations and Their Representatives

  • British Columbia Coalition of People with Disabilities – Pat Danforth
  • Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities – Doreen Gyorkos*/Dave Storey**
  • Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities – George Thomas
  • Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities – Harry Wolbert*/Carlos Sosa**
  • Citizens With Disabilities-Ontario – Terry Green
  • Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec – Richard Lavigne
  • Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities – Ralph Ferguson
  • PEI Council of the Disabled – Anne M. McPhee
  • Coalition of Persons with Disabilities NFLD and Labrador – Michelle Murdoch
  • NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities – Matthew Anderson*/Denise McKee
  • Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians – Marc Workman*/Anthony Tibbs**
  • Canadian Association of the Deaf – Doug Momotiuk
  • DisAbled Women's Network Canada/Réseau d'action des femmes handicapées du Canada – Carmela Hutchison
  • National Educational Association of Disabled Students – Natalie Fougere
  • National Network for Mental Health – Jean Beckett
  • Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada – Mercedes Benegbi
  • People First Canada – John Cox/Calvin Wood

Members-at-Large on Council

  • Steve Estey
  • Steven Freygood


  • Laurie Beachell, National Coordinator
  • April D'Aubin, Research Analyst
  • Clare Simpson, Comptroller
  • Vangelis Nikias, CRPD Project Manager
  • Julia Baires-Arauz, Office Manager (Retired 2012)
  • Maureen Colgan, Administrative Assistant

* Resigned during the year.
** Appointed during the year.
*** Elected during the year.

Chairperson's Report

Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson

2012-13 was not a typical year for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD). In June 2012, the organizations funded by the Social Development Partnerships Program-Disability (SDPP-D) learned that over a two-year period Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) would reduce grant funding from the SDPP-D, while developing a competitive funding program. This change necessitates that the 17 national organizations (and CCD's and IL Canada's provincial members) funded by SDPP-D contract their operations to address funding shortfalls of 35% this fiscal year and 65% next year. The hardship produced by the transformation of the SDPP-D extends deeply and is being experienced profoundly by everyone who is part of the sector.

Despite the necessity of a major course correction required by the funding reforms, in 2012-13 CCD nurtured the activities that have made it a leading organization in the disability community and it also seized new opportunities. CCD provided advice to federal government departments and House of Commons' Committees, shared its disability rights analysis in a court of law and made its views known to the Canadian public. I met with the Hon. James Flaherty, Minister of Finance, the Hon. Diane Finley's staff, the Hon. Thomas Mulcair's staff, Bob Rae, then Leader of the Liberal Party, and the Standing Committee on Finance. CCD also worked on building partnerships that will assist the organization respond creatively to the new environment. The organization began looking for new streams of revenue. Moreover, CCD initiated a social media-based funding campaign and developed supplementary funding proposals for government. In the coming months, CCD will continue to ramp up its fundraising efforts and cultivate contemporary partners who share a commitment to access and inclusion.

Laurie Beachell, in the National Coordinator's Report, commented that an epoch has ended for CCD. With that closure, a different phase of work is beginning for the National Council, the Committees, volunteers and staff. Indeed, as we respond to our new circumstances, we can think of ourselves as pioneers exploring a new reality. We can be inspired by earlier pioneers, who approached their new home with excitement, a willingness to innovate, to work hard and a desire to succeed and excel. The CCD team is approaching the novel conditions that we face with tenacity along with some trepidation, because undertaking radical change is not easy and this must be acknowledged.

As this is not an election year for CCD, the current Executive Committee continues in office until the 2013-14 Annual General Meeting. Pat Danforth (1st Vice Chair), Steve Estey (2nd Vice Chair), Anne McPhee (Secretary/Treasurer), and Carmela Hutchison (Member-at-Large) serve with me on the Executive Committee.

The CCD Executive Committee is working diligently, along with staff, to develop plans and proposals for addressing the challenges before the organization. At our November 2012 meeting, the CCD National Council was both resolute and strategic in its decision-making. As Chair, I know that the Council and the Committees have my back. We are a team – a team to be reckoned with! Thank you to everyone on the CCD team.

I want to express my appreciation to Ralph Ferguson, the CCD Council representative appointed by NSLEO, for encouraging CCD to experiment with crowdfunding and to thank Rhonda Wiebe, Co-chair of the Ending of Life Ethics Committee, who became the public face of our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Rhonda presented the case for contributing to CCD's Help to Live Not Die campaign in a video that was part of the campaign.

This year, Julia Baires-Arauz retired from CCD and I thank Julia for her exceptional contribution to the organization. Everyone at CCD wishes you the very best in your new endeavours.

CCD's mission and purpose is to be the voice of Canadians with disabilities and to promote access and the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. In the coming years, the organizations in our sector will change, but I am confident CCD will not stray from its values and principles. In 1980, Allan Simpson, one of the founders of the disability rights movement, which he referred to as the consumer movement, wrote,

History demonstrates that most citizen movements either become a part of the establishment or fade away to make room for new movements. It is therefore quite conceivable that parts of the consumer movement will be institutionalized and other aspects will fade in the future. But what will be important to ensure is the permanent provision of an autonomous open disabled persons' forum.

CCD has always been an autonomous body where people with disabilities come together to formulate recommendations for government and other sectors of society on how to remove and/or avoid barriers that exclude people with disabilities. Hence the guiding principle of CCD has been A Voice of Our Own. In the coming months, the whole CCD team will be working to ensure that CCD continues as a strong voice for the Canadian disability community.

Tony Dolan,
CCD National Chairperson

National Coordinator's Report

It feels like the end of an era. For years the voice of people with disabilities at the national level has been supported. In fact, the first funding for CCD (then the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH)) was the focus of a Cabinet Memorandum in 1979. At that time CCD and its provincial member groups were named within a Cabinet document and operational funding was established. Since that time CCD, other national organizations and CCD's provincial members have been supported to bring to policy tables their experience and expertise. That great equality initiative is now coming to an end with the announcement in June of 2012 that grant funding to national disability organizations would be reduced to ZERO over the next two years.

While the current government has supported and initiated a number of new programs and services for persons with disabilities such as: the Registered Disability Savings Plan, expansion of the Opportunities Fund, Enabling Accessibility, a new and improved disability data collection strategy, an Employers' Disability Forum, etc.; none of these initiatives support policy development, research or capacity building of the disability sector. Yet it is these things that have created the positive changes that are so well documented in CCD's publication Celebrating Our Accomplishments.

Transition and transformation are the name of the game and while it is important to remain open to new ways of doing and being, essential also is recognition and support for the voice of people with disabilities and their families which has been the catalyst for change for over 35 years. CCD and others require ongoing support to ensure that the sector can play the fundamental role of providing good advice and expertise in policy, program and service design and development. This must not be lost and it is our challenge to help governments understand the impact of funding cuts on the disability sector.

Certainly new partnerships need to be created and new ways of doing business must be explored but we must ensure that the foundation of the disability sector remains vibrant enough to be able to help others find new solutions and new avenues forward. For over 35 years the central component of that has been people with disabilities and their families speaking out on issues of concern to them. That cannot and must not be lost.

It has been my privilege to work in this sector for many years. I will be leaving within a year but my heart and my passion remains the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in Canadian society. The era may be coming to an end but change will continue because people with disabilities, their families and their allies will continue to push for the removal of barriers and for society as a whole to be more accessible and inclusive.

Many thanks to all of your for your good work and support.

Laurie Beachell,
CCD National Coordinator

Social Policy Committee

During 2012-13, the CCD Social Policy Committee assisted CCD to bring a number of social policy issues to the attention of the federal government.

CCD Chairperson Tony Dolan was called as a witness before the Standing Committee on Finance. Tony was questioned by Finance Committee members for close to an hour. The MPs were interested in learning CCD's views on making the Disability Tax Credit refundable, the effect of proposed changes to the Old Age Security benefit on Canadians with disabilities and the Registered Disability Savings Plan. On 21 March 2013, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered the Federal Budget and it included a number of measures for people with disabilities. CCD applauded the extension of the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities for one year and for making the Opportunity Fund and the Enabling Accessibility Fund permanent programs. We continue to engage the federal government at every opportunity on the need to focus on Canadians with disabilities and enable changes which have broad application for them.

Vangelis Nikias and Laurie Beachell were called as witnesses by the HUMA Committee which is studying employment and people with disabilities. CCD informed the Committee that it is time for people with disabilities to stop being the "community in waiting" for employment. CCD encouraged the federal government to become a model employer of people with disabilities.

Tony Dolan represented CCD at the "Disability and Work Conference: Global Strategies to Equity", where he moderated the session "Getting A Job, But Not Just Any Job: Towards Competitive Meaningful Employment." We know that attachment to the labour market is critical for all Canadians including persons with disabilities – as it enables a quality of life which is difficult to attain when one is unemployed and/or living in poverty.

CCD was a supporter of a Private Member's Bill, C-400, which would have ensured that the Federal Government takes a leadership role in developing a strategy to address homelessness. CCD urged Canadians to contact their MPs and seek their support for Bill 400. Unfortunately, the Bill failed. We will continue to avail ourselves of opportunities to support efforts to address homelessness in our communities.

"Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship," CCD's research project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, continues to develop research reports on poverty. It is moving into its final year during which it will be primarily focused on developing policy reform options which will alleviate the poverty in which so many Canadians with disabilities live. This work is directed by Yvonne Peters, Marie Ryan, Laurie Beachell, Michael Prince, and Michael Bach. CCD also continues to collaborate with Canada without Poverty on the Dignity for All campaign.

This year CCD worked with Elections Canada to make the electoral process more accessible to people with disabilities. CCD assisted Elections Canada develop a plan for a workshop where people with disabilities would share their insights as voters with disabilities with Elections Canada staff.

Laurie Beachell continues to sit on the Roundtable on the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit, which advises HRSDC staff on administrative improvements that can be implemented without changes to the legislation.

Laurie Beachell and Marie Ryan participate on the Technical Advisory Group, which is advising on the development of Canada's newest data base on people with disabilities which will replace the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS). Reports to date, suggest that the new data base will be superior to PALS, particularly with respect to ease of use.

Marie Ryan, Roy Hanes, John Rae, Gary Birch, Sandra Carpenter and Michael Prince are the members of the Social Policy Committee.

Marie Ryan, Chairperson,
Social Policy Committee

Human Rights Committee

Once again, the CCD Human Rights Committee has had a busy year. Highlights include: continued work on litigation, research and presentations on the impact of the Meiorin case and the duty to accommodate, and revitalizing the work and composition of the Committee.

1. Test Case Litigation

Moore v British Columbia Ministry of Education and the Board of Education School District No. 44 (North Vancouver)

On November 9, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) handed down a landmark decision on disability rights. CCD intervened in this case at the BC Court of Appeal, as well as at the SCC.

In the Moore case, the SCC said that students with disabilities are entitled to receive the accommodation measures they need to access and benefit from the service of public education. In this regard, the Court said that adequate special education is not "a dispensable luxury". The Court acknowledged that such measures serve as "the ramp that provides access to the statutory commitment to education made to all children in British Columbia."

At the SCC, CCD was represented by Gwen Brodsky, Yvonne Peters and Melina Buckley. CCD challenged the lower court rulings which said that to get accommodation, persons with disabilities must show that they have been treated worse than other persons with disabilities. CCD argued that requiring this kind of comparison – which can lead to a race to the bottom – is unnecessary and inappropriate. CCD's position is that when an exclusionary barrier is identified, the next step is to provide accommodation to remove the barrier. CCD's argument relied on a long line of human rights cases that say that the right to nondiscrimination means that service providers and others must take positive steps to accommodate and remove barriers to provide access for persons with disabilities. CCD is pleased that the SCC agreed with this approach. The SCC decision in the Moore case represents a significant victory for disability rights litigation in Canada.

Ross Eadie and the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) v MTS Inc.

In collaboration with the Access to Technology Committee, the Human Rights Committee has decided that CCD should seek Interested Party status in Ross Eadie's complaint to the CHRC. Mr. Eadie's complaint involves an inaccessible MTS service, set top boxes for televisions. A set top box is a device that enables a television set to become a user interface for various services and also enables a television set to receive and decode digital television broadcasts. The set top boxes offered by MTS are not usable by persons who are blind or visually impaired.

Mr. Eadie's complaint has been referred by the CHRC to a tribunal. If the hearing takes place, CCD will apply for interested party status. CCD believes that a positive decision in this case would be a step toward improving access to information and communication technology for blind and visually impaired Canadians. Presently, the respondents in Mr. Eadie's case are pursuing a number of procedural matters, so CCD has not made its application to the Tribunal.

2. Research

In March of 2012, a paper entitled "Accommodation in the 21st Century" was released. The paper was prepared by Gwen Brodsky, Shelagh Day and Yvonne Peters and was sponsored by CCD, the CHRC, and The Poverty and Human Rights Centre. The paper assesses the promise of the 1999 landmark SCC case known as the Meiorin case. The paper describes the important gains made in Meiorin regarding the duty to accommodate, an important component of equality rights for persons with disabilities. The paper goes on to describe how post-Meiorin cases have begun to undermine and attack these gains and create difficult legal issues. The paper can be found at

3. Meetings

Canadian Human Rights Commission

On 27 November 2012, Yvonne Peters, Laurie Beachell and Marie Ryan met with Commissioners and staff of the CHRC – David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner and three other Commissioners; Ian Fine, Acting Chief of Staff; and Harvey Goldberg, who has been CCD's liaison on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). CCD discussed, with the CHRC, collaborative efforts around the CRPD and future human rights cases. CCD requested that the CHRC publish a special report on the Moore case, explaining the importance and potential impact of the Supreme Court of Canada decision. When the request was made, CCD stressed the importance of a report that would be usable by the widest range of people in the disability community.


CASHRA selected CCD's abstract to present at the 2012 Conference, Are We There Yet? – A National Human Rights Conference. CCD was involved in two presentations at this conference. Laurie Beachell presented on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Yvonne Peters, Gwen Brodsky and Shelagh Day presented highlights of their research paper: Accommodation in the 21st Century.

Presentation at University of Ottawa

On 21 February 2013, Yvonne Peters, Shelagh Day and Gwen Brodsky participated in a panel presentation on the Moore Case.

4. Contributions and Revitalization of Committee

Over the last several years, the CCD Executive has allocated funds to the Human Rights Committee to enable it to pursue test case litigation and research. The Committee is grateful for this support and believes that CCD has received a good return on its investment in the form of important litigation and research results aimed at advancing the equality rights of persons with disabilities. In addition to CCD funds, each member of the Committee has contributed numerous hours of pro bono time with respect to litigation, legal advice, research and administration. CCD is fortunate to have some of the leading equality rights lawyers and human rights experts on its Human Rights Committee.

As CCD's human rights work depends extensively on pro bono legal work, two new members were added to the Committee last spring to assist with Committee activities. Joining the Committee were Dave Wright, a lawyer with the Manitoba government and CCD counsel in the SCC D.I.A. case, and Joëlle Pastora, articling student with the Public Interest Law Centre and previous CRPD researcher for CCD.

The Committee members are: Dean Richert, Co-Chair, Anne Levesque, Co-Chair, Jim Derksen, Pat Danforth, Gwen Brodsky, Frances Kelly, Ravi Malhotra, Yvonne Peters (Consultant), Dave Wright, Joëlle Pastora Sala.

Dean Richert and Anne Levesque, Co-chairs,
Human Rights Committee

Ending of Life Ethics Committee

The National Council of Representatives created the Ending of Life Ethics Committee as a subcommittee of the Human Rights Committee to address euthanasia and assisted suicide, because these practices reinforce disability discrimination and ableism. Through its work the Ending of Life Ethics Committee seeks to oppose the cultural shift that promotes the view that life with disabilities is worse than death for people with disabilities.

At the 2012 Annual General Meeting, the CCD Council agreed that Toujours Vivant – Not Dead Yet (TV – NDY) would become a CCD project, guided by the Ending of Life Ethics Committee. TV – NDY has received a charitable donation of $100,000 from a private donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Amy Hasbrouck, a woman with personal experience of disability and who lives in Quebec, founded TV-NDY and continues to further develop the group. Amy Hasbrouck, who is a lawyer, has worked closely with Not Dead Yet in the United States. Amy has effectively presented the disability rights case against euthanasia to the media on numerous occasions this past year and she has been educating organizations and individuals about the dangers of euthanasia and assisted suicide. She brings incredible talent, passion and dedication to the ending of life issue and CCD is fortunate that Amy is part of the team working to counter the pro-euthanasia forces at work in Canada.

On 15 June 2012, Justice Lynn Smith in Carter v. Attorney General declared that Canada's assisted suicide prohibition violated Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. CCD and the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) were granted joint intervener status in the case, on appeal to the BC Court of Appeal. On 18 March 2013, CCD and CACL joined the Attorney Generals of British Columbia and Canada before the BC Court of Appeal.

David Baker was counsel for CCD and CACL on this case. For CCD, the Ending of Life Ethics Committee, with input from the CCD Human Rights Committee, directed the intervention.

On behalf of CACL and CCD, counsel argued that the Criminal Code ban against assisted suicide should remain in place, because assisted suicide reinforces disability discrimination and puts vulnerable persons at risk.

CCD opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia because it creates a double standard. Virtually all people who have lost their lives from assisted suicide have a disability. When non-disabled people express the desire to kill themselves, society mobilizes and provides suicide prevention measures in keeping with Canadian values of interdependence and mutual support. When ill people and people with disabilities ask to be helped to commit suicide they are often encouraged to go through with an assisted suicide rather than offered suicide prevention services.

CCD conducted its first social media fundraising campaign in support of its legal intervention in Carter v. Attorney General. Rhonda Wiebe, Co-chair of the Ending of Life Ethics Committee, did a video, explaining CCD's work against assisted suicide and the video was a key element in the campaign. The campaign, which was titled "Help to Live Not Die", received $5,663 via on-line donations and an additional $1,200 was received from donors who sent cheques directly to CCD. The Ending of Life Ethics Committee is deeply appreciative of the support of community members and allies whose donations made our first experiment with "crowdfunding" a success.

On 12 – 13 October 2012 in Toronto, the Conference Board of Canada held a Summit on Sustainable Health Care and invited Rhonda Wiebe, Co-chair of the Ending of Life Ethics Committee, to participate in a debate on assisted suicide. The debate motion was: end-of-life decisions belong to the individual. Rhonda argued against the motion. The other participants were: Moderator: Ralph Benmergui, Senior Advisor to the President, Sheridan College; Arguing for the motion: Wanda Morris, Executive Director, Dying with Dignity Canada; Daniel Weinstock, Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University. Arguing against the motion: Bernard J. Lapointe, Eric M. Flanders Chair in Palliative Care, McGill University. Materials developed by Rhonda for the debate are available on the CCD web site.

CCD publicly raised concerns about CTV's 16x9 episode "Taking Mercy". During this program, Annette Corriveau lobbied for legalized euthanasia, because she contends her adult children, Janet and Jeffrey, would be better off dead than living with their disabilities. Janet and Jeffrey, who have Sanfilippo syndrome, have intellectual disabilities. Global Television enlisted Robert Latimer and his supporter, university professor Arthur Schafer, to legitimize Annette's position. Canadian courts convicted Latimer for the murder of his daughter Tracy, who had Cerebral Palsy. Tracy, much like Janet and Jeffrey, could not walk, talk or feed herself. While Janet and Jeffrey have a chronic condition, they are not terminally ill, facing imminent death. When CTV rebroadcast the program, they added a new segment with a discussion panel that included Amy Hasbrouck, TV-NDY, who presented the disability rights perspective.

During the fiscal year, the Ending of Life Ethics Committee has kept the public, the media and Members of Parliament informed about the threats being posed to the equality of Canadians with disabilities by the promotion of acceptance for assisted suicide and euthanasia. These materials are available on the CCD web site.

The Committee consists of Dean Richert, Co-chair; Rhonda Wiebe, Co-chair; Jim Derksen, Marc Workman, Hugh Scher, Alex Shadenberg, Anne Kresta.

Rhonda Wiebe and Dean Richert, Co-chairs, Ending of Life Ethics Committee

Transportation Committee

The CCD Transportation Committee monitors the modes of passenger transportation in federal jurisdiction (rail, air, ferry and interprovincial bus) to ensure that new barriers are not created and to encourage the elimination of existing barriers. The Canadian Transportation Act prohibits undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities. The Act established the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) as the regulatory agency for the transportation industry.

The CTA has the authority to adjudicate complaints from persons with disabilities about undue obstacles to mobility in federally regulated modes of transportation. CCD's Transportation Committee monitors the CTA's decisions on complaints concerning undue obstacles to mobility.

The CTA has established an Advisory Committee to provide advice to the Agency on access issues. Pat Danforth represents CCD on the CTA Advisory Committee. The committee last met in October 2011 and focused on the carriage of mobility aids, service animals, seat assignments, safety attendants and other issues.

The Transportation Committee commented three times on the CTA document titled "Consultation Document Regulatory Proposal to amend the Air Transportation Regulations (SOR/88-58)," which sought input on issues such as the carriage of mobility aids, service animals, and seat assignments. CCD supported the amendment on space for service animals. CCD urged that mobility aids and devices must be considered as extensions of the traveler with a disability and carriers' responsibilities to carry mobility aides must not be reduced. To reduce these responsibilities would create undue obstacles to the mobility of travelers with disabilities. (CCD's response is available on its web site.)

In May 2012, the CTA undertook a consultation on what it termed "safety attendants". In response to CTA's consultation, including a face to face meeting in Ottawa, CCD emphasized to CTA the principle of self-determination which has already been accepted in the federally regulated transportation system through cases such as Adelia. This principle upholds the right of passengers with disabilities, rather than carriers, to decide when it is necessary to travel with an attendant. Like other passengers, passengers with disabilities are entitled to the dignity of risk.

Pat Danforth (Chairperson), David Baker, Robin East, Terry Green, Susan Ralph, Claredon Robicheau, Bob Brown comprise the CCD Transportation Committee.

Pat Danforth, Chairperson,
Transportation Committee

International Development Committee

The International Development Committee focuses on: the monitoring of, and public education about, international human rights treaties, the promotion of policy on disability and development, and collaborating with other organizations on issues of mutual concern.

Human Rights Treaties

One of the rallying themes during the drafting stage of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was "nothing about us without us" and CCD has been engaged steadfastly in the proceedings related to the monitoring and implementation of the CRPD. For example, annually countries that have ratified the CRPD meet at a Conference of States Parties (CoSP) where they consider issues related to the implementation of the CRDP. Steve Estey has been attending these conferences for CCD. In 2012, the fifth session of the CoSP focused on women with disabilities and access to technology. The Government of Canada supported the participation of Bonnie Brayton (DAWN/RAFH Canada) and Gary Birch (Neil Squire Society) in the CoSP. CCD decided that to maintain continuity it would support Steve Estey's participation in the CoSP (12-14 September 2012).

People with disabilities, their representative organizations and other civil society groups must be aware of the content of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and use it when meeting with politicians and decision-makers to advance the adoption of measures in support of access and inclusion. CCD believes that an informed and mobilized disability community, working with its friends and supporters, can, progressively, achieve an inclusive society. Through the federal Interchange program, CCD gained the opportunity to bring Vangelis Nikias on staff as its CRPD Project Manager to promote awareness about the CRPD.

Using a disability rights and independent living framework, CCD has been interpreting the potential of the CRPD to university students, government officials, unions, the general public and people with disabilities and their organizations. This report shares a few examples of the promotional work on the CRPD that has been undertaken.

In May 2012, Vangelis brought to the attention of Olivier De Schutter, the UN Food Rapporteur, CCD's work on poverty reduction and the sections of the CRPD relevant to food security.

In May 2012, Vangelis spoke at an event at the University of Ottawa titled "Emerging Issues in Public Law: Equality." In February 2013, Vangelis presented at an event organized by students with disabilities at the University of Waterloo. University instructors, such as social work professor Roy Hanes, have invited Vangelis to attend their classes as a guest presenter. Vangelis has also been consulted by a wide range of university students and academics who are undertaking research on the CRPD.

In June, Vangelis addressed an HIV/AIDS conference organized around the theme "Making Services Accessible for People with Disabilities: Human Rights Tools and Practical Tips."

For several months, Vangelis has been working with the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto and ARCH Disability Law Centre collaborating on the Disability and Rights for Citizens project. This involves raising awareness of CRPD content in a series of workshops addressing various groups of persons with disabilities. The content includes relating specific CRPD provisions to issues identified by CILT.

In October 2012, CCD contributed a submission titled "Renewed Political Commitment and Leadership: An Imperative for the Realization of the Human Rights of Canadians with Disabilities" to the United Nations Human Rights Council in response to the upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Canada. CCD also developed a fact sheet about disability for Canadians working on the UPR. In this work, CCD has been collaborating with Canada Without Poverty, Social Rights Advocacy Centre and Amnesty International.

In December, CCD assisted CUPE by developing a fact sheet on the CRPD for use by the CUPE members. CCD appreciates brother Ray Smith's commitment to increasing the CUPE membership's awareness of the disability rights agenda.

On 14 February 2013, at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Steve Estey participated in a panel presentation along with David Shannon (Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission) and Penny Hartin (World Blind Union). The theme for the panel presentation was "Examining Canada's Human Rights Obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): How Can a Civil Society Shadow Report Improve Accountability?" Steve explained that through shadow reports the disability community will have the opportunity to share its perspective on both Canadian successes in advancing the status of Canadians with disabilities while at the same time acknowledge the gaps and barriers that remain. CCD presented to the Government of Canada its recommendations with regard to a framework for Canada's report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In February 2013, CCD responded to the call for abstracts for CASHRA 2013 and submitted two proposals describing CCD's public education activities on CRPD. Steve Estey and Vangelis Nikias are scheduled to present a session on 30 May 2013 titled "Do One Billion People Have the Right to Inclusion" at this prestigious human rights conference, which will be held in Halifax, NS.

On 19 March 2013, Vangelis Nikias participated in a panel discussion at the University of Ottawa Human Rights Centre. The title of Vangelis's presentation was "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for an Accessible and Inclusive Society: The Role of Canadian Advocacy Groups".

At the November 2012 Council meeting, there was discussion about enlarging CCD's footprint on the internet. Vangelis has been interviewed for internet radio and a number of his presentations are available on YouTube.

Disability and Development

On 22 January 2013, Vangelis Nikias participated in a consultation addressing how the World Bank should improve its environmental and social protection safeguards. He explained how the inclusion of concepts such as affirmative action and reasonable accommodation in Bank safeguards could influence countries that borrow from the World Bank to adopt policies that would assist them achieve the goals of their poverty reduction programs.

On 30 January 2013, CCD responded to a call for submissions from the Department of Finance by submitting a document which suggested ways for the World Bank to improve its outcomes on poverty reduction, consultation and compliance with human rights standards.

Collaborating with Other Organizations

CCD is the Canadian member of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI). CCD Chairperson Tony Dolan and Vangelis Nikias met with DPI Chairperson Javed Abidi, when he was visiting Canada. CCD keeps DPI apprised of its interventions on issues of shared concern, such as the World Bank's consultation on safeguards.

CCD is a member of Mines Action Canada (MAC) and the Canadian Council on International Cooperation. Mary Reid participates in the activities of MAC on behalf of CCD and as CCD's representative raises issues relevant to people with personal experience of landmines. In May 2012, Vangelis attended the CCIC Annual Forum, which focused on "Changing realities, changing roles and the future of Canadian CSOs."

The Canadian Network on Disability and Development is a Toronto-based group of NGOs that collaborate on development issues. CCD dialogues with members of this group about common issues, such as the 2015 revision of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Disability organizations would like to see the see the revised MDGs more reflective of the needs of people with disabilities. The global disability community consists of over one billion people, 80% of whom live in developing countries. To be effective, development aid needs to be inclusive of people with disabilities.

Steve Estey (Chairperson), Mary Ennis, John Rae, Yutta Fricke and Jim Derksen are the members of the International Development Committee.

Steve Estey, Chairperson, International Development Committee

Access to Technology Committee

Both the CCD Human Rights Committee and the Access to Technology Committee have been monitoring the complaint that Ross Eadie has made to the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) about MTS's inaccessible set top box, which prevents him from fully enjoying many of the television services that he pays for. The system requires the user to interact with visual menus which appear on the television screen without an audio component, making them inaccessible to service subscribers with vision impairment. Both Committees are in agreement that CCD should seek interested party status in the Eadie case. Currently, MTS is using various legal strategies to prolong the case, thus much time has been spent addressing procedural and jurisdictional issues. When these are resolved, CCD will approach the CHRC to become an interested party is the case.

Practically from the time of Izzy Asper's first announcement of his goal of creating the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, CCD has been making the case for access and inclusion to the Museum. The Museum has established an Inclusive Design Advisory Council and CCD is well-represented on the Council. John Rae, Co-chair of the CCD Access to Technology Committee, is serving on the Council as are Jim Derksen, a member of the CCD Human Rights Committee, Valerie Wolbert, an MLPD Council Representative, and others. Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator has been attending all meetings of the Council. The Museum has made a commitment to exceed the standard for access that has been set by the American Smithsonian Museum. CCD is hopeful that the Museum will be a catalyst for the development of new accessible information and communication technology, which will have application in other venues.

The Canadian media has been commenting on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights throughout its construction. In January, Yvonne Peters, CCD Human Rights Committee member, and Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator, participated in a press conference which focused on the Museum's commitment to accessibility, including accessible technology.

On 27 March 2013 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched a public consultation on whether video relay service (VRS) for Canadians who are deaf, hard of hearing or shave a speech impairment should be offered. CAD has been leading on the VRS issue for many years and CCD will be collaborating with CAD with regard to the consultation.

The members of the Committee are: John Rae, Gary Birch, Jeffrey Stark, Henry Vlug, Jim Roots, Valerie Wolbert.

John Rae and Gary Birch, Co-chairs,
Access to Technology Committee

CCD's TOP TEN Accomplishments for 2012-13

Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson, met with the Minister of Finance James Flaherty and the Standing Committee on Finance.
The House of Commons HUMA Committee called CCD as a witness to discuss public policy on the employment of persons with disabilities.
Steve Estey brought CCD's views to the UN's 5th (2012) Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and CCD did numerous educational sessions for unions, IL Centres and CCD members.
The BC Court of Appeal granted CCD and the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) intervener status in the Carter case, which is seeking to legalize assisted suicide.
In 2012, Toujours Vivant – Not Dead Yet (TV – NDY), a new disability group opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide, came under the umbrella of the Ending of Life Ethics Committee, as a project.
CCD has encouraged the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) to be a frontrunner on access and inclusion. In response, the CMHR formed an Inclusive Design Advisory Council (IDAC) with participation from a number of people with disabilities involved in CCD. In 2013, the CMHR promised publicly to exceed the Smithsonian Museum's accessibility standards.
Marie Ryan and Laurie Beachell are advising HRSDC on the development of a new data collection strategy to replace the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The new data will be more useable by the community.
Through CCD's Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship project, John Stapleton researched the increased representation of people with disabilities in social assistance programs.
At the Supreme Court, the Human Rights Committee registered a victory in the Moore Case.
CCD experimented with crowd funding through Indiegogo and raised $7,000 for its intervention in the Carter case.

CCD Awards 2013

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities
John Simpson
Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities
Ron Wickman
Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities
Valerie Wolbert
Citizens With Disabilities-Ontario
Pat Seed
Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities
Linda MacRae Triff
PEI Council of People with Disabilities
Ray Mahar
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador
Ray McIsaac
Canadian Association of the Deaf
Roger Carver
Bonnie Brayton
National Network for Mental Health
Jean Beckett
Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada
Judith Pilote
People First of Canada
Cathy O'Donnell
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
Paul Thiele
NWT Disabilities Council
Pooja Chugh

Financial Statements

To view the financials, please see the Microsoft Word version of this annual report, or contact CCD to obtain the report in alternate format.