No justice for the intellectually disabled

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Jun 10 2011
… it is only the already disadvantaged category of witnesses … who must answer questions about their understanding of the duty to tell the truth,” added LEAF legal director Joanna Birenbaum. “No other category of witness is required to do so… “There is consensus that access to justice for persons with mental disabilities is a critical issue … While there are a number of reasons why women with mental disabilities are so highly targeted for sexual assault, the staggering rates of assault are in part because of these women’s lack of access to justice.”

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Grassroots group takes back patients’ stories

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Jun 25 2011
Allowing ourselves to be put under the microscope may be a necessary evil as a marginalized group trying to combat stereotypes and get disability issues into the mainstream, where they belong. In an effort to get social policy-makers to focus on us, we need to catch their attention… Now a group calling itself “a grassroots collection of individuals” is saying “Hands off our stories.” They are trying to reclaim the narrative process, reshaping it into something that is more equitable.

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Push is on for national housing policy

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Dec 04 2010
Surely we’ve reached the tipping point. It’s time to act… Bill C-304, a private member’s bill introduced by MP Libby Davies (Vancouver East)… calls for “a national housing strategy to ensure that the cost of housing in Canada does not prevent individuals and families from meeting other basic needs, including food, clothing and access to education.” To attend or endorse the meeting, email Yutaka Dirks at dirksy@lao.on.ca.

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Discrimination, disrespect a fact for people with disabilities, study finds

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

May 29, 2010
…women were more concerned about discrimination and exclusion in social participation while men focused on lack of autonomy. It also found women were more likely than men to report experiences of discrimination, exclusion and disrespect at work. Reports of denial and violation of human rights were prevalent in all areas examined by the study. These included education, work, income, family life, social participation, information and communication, health and access to justice.

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Disability case headed to court [interactive web technology]

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

May 8, 2010
Ottawa says: “Canada is committed to making federal government websites accessible to the broadest audience possible, including for the visually impaired. To give effect to this commitment, the Treasury Board adopted internationally recognized web accessibility standards through the Common Look and Feel Standards for the Internet in May of 2000.” Sounds good on paper but Treviranus says the way the Common Look and Feel Standards are written make them counterproductive when it come to designing interactive websites accessible to Canadians who are blind.

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Friday, April 9th, 2010

March 15, 2010
Twenty-five years in the disability movement – here are just a few of the many markers along the way… [from 1983 – 2008]

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Disabled leave the shadows and their mark

Friday, April 9th, 2010

March 15, 200
Bit by bit, the message is getting out. “Our issues have gone mainstream,” says Lepofsky. “Queen’s Park politicians have started thinking of voters with disabilities. The fact that disability issues really have to be included in policy strategy proves that.”… “There’s a sea change in acknowledging disabilities,” says Melanie Panitch, director of Ryerson’s school of disability studies. “We’re seeing activism through broad-based groups and coalitions looking at poverty.”… [but] “We’re stalled for lack of federal leadership,” says Marcia Rioux, head of York University’s school of critical disability studies… “During the good times, when the economy was strong, we should have got further. There’s no trickle-down for people with disabilities.”

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Milestone reached, but still so far to go

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Mar 20 2010
After years of hard work by advocates, last week Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (www.un.org/disabilities). That means all communities should be open to everyone no matter how they move, communicate or process information… Theoretically, all these rights already have been mandatory for a long time under both federal and provincial human rights codes. In practice, respecting the rights of people with disabilities is still a hit-and-miss affair.

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