Canadian Civil Society Supports Dr. Laverne Jacobs for the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities

June 13, 2022 | For Immediate Release

Dear Delegates of the 15th Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,    

On June 14th, you will elect the 2023-2026 Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and set the trajectory of global disability rights for years to come. As representatives of Canada’s Civil Society, we are contacting you today to humbly request that you endorse Dr. Laverne Jacobs’ nomination to the Committee, a consideration she so rightly deserves, but more importantly, that the world’s disability community needs. Dr. Laverne Jacobs is not only a disability law professor, social justice advocate, and human rights lawyer but a dynamic and insightful leader in both domestic and international disability rights movements. Today is a monumental and consequential time – the COVID-19 pandemic and its related response have brutally demonstrated that the fight for the full realization of the rights of persons with disabilities is far from over. With her over 20 years of experience, bold visions and lifelong commitment to promoting and expanding disability rights nationally and internationally, we know that a more suitable candidate than Dr. Laverne Jacobs would be difficult to find.

Dr. Laverne Jacobs is Canada’s first-ever nominated candidate to the UN CRPD Committee. This demonstrates unparalleled commitment and confidence in her nomination by the Government of Canada and highlights the recognition of Dr. Jacob’s intersectional approach and life-long vision to the realization and expansion of international disability rights for all. A law professor at the University of Windsor, Dr. Jacobs has and continues to work to see the evolution of law incorporate the full realization of disability rights. Her work as lead author of the first Canadian disability law textbook ushered in a new, vibrant generation of disability rights scholars. Dr. Jacobs' disability and anti-racism advocacy work advances an intersectional approach to legislation and policymaking, and her work directly led to the creation of the Accessible Canada Act - a landmark federal legislation promising barrier-free access by 2040. These are but a few of her accomplishments.

In closing we would like to thank you for your time and attention to this letter of endorsement of Dr. Laverne Jacobs, and to say that although this letter in no way can truly attest to the benefits that Dr Jacob’s election to the UN CRPD Committee would bring, we hope it will be enough to warrant your support. As members of Canada’s Civil Society, we are confident that Dr. Jacobs’ passion, knowledge and experience be an instrumental addition to the Committee as it charts a progressive and empowering path for all members of the global disability community.

Sincerely and in solidarity,
Representatives of Canada’s Civil Society

Heather Walkus

Chair, Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Maureen Haan

President and CEO, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

Neil Belanger

Chief Executive Officer – Indigenous Disability Canada

Krista Carr

Executive Vice-President, Inclusion Canada

Shelley Fletcher

Executive Director, People First of Canada

Frank Smith

National Coordinator, National Educational Association of Disabled Students

Susan Hardie


Louise Gillis

Past President, Canadian Council of the Blind

Wissam Constantin

President, Canadian Association of the Deaf

Stephen Baranyi

Full Professor, University of Ottawa

Tammy C. Yates-Rajaduray

Executive Director, Realize

Bill Adair

Executive Director, Spinal Injury Canada

Catherine Frazee

Professor Emerita, Toronto Metropolitan University School of Disability Studies

Sherry Costa-Lorenz

Provincial Coordinator, Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities

Sarah Jama

Executive Director, Disability Justice Network of Ontario

Nicole Diakite

Executive Director, Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuqatiit Society