SHINING THE SPOTLIGHT ON INVISIBLE DISABILITIES
Cross-country consultations successful in gathering recommendations for future federal legislation
FREDERICTON, NB (February 28, 2017) — Earlier today at the Wu Conference Centre, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) announced the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project that has been funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability component. CHHA is leading a national consultation process with the help of 20 Canadian disability organizations that represent the interests of over 9 million individuals who are relying on these consultations to contribute to Canada’s planned accessibility legislation.
“The Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities project has allowed us to host consultations from coast to coast,” says Glenn Martin, Executive Director, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. “Although our communities may be different, the objectives are the same. With the help of our national partnerships, including CHHA’s National Network of 30 chapters, branches and their respective governments, 400,000 participants will be invited to contribute to improving accessibility and ensuring inclusion of all Canadians with disabilities.”
Guests at the event heard words of encouragement from the Honourable Ed Doherty, Minister of Service New Brunswick, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and the Minister responsible for Poverty Reduction and the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation.
“As in other provinces, the input received in New Brunswick will assist the federal government in developing and bringing forward important accessibility legislation affecting persons with disabilities,” said Doherty. “The national consultation process, being led by the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, will help identify and examine ways in which federal legislation can create an environment to provide all Canadians with disabilities with the support and resources they need to thrive as full participants in our society.”
Following the announcement, guests were invited to participate in a public consultation to share their experiences and form recommendations for federal accessibility legislation to address the accommodations that they or their members need to learn, live and work in Canadian society.
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is Canada’s only consumer-based organization formed by and for Canadians living with a hearing loss. A national non-profit organization, CHHA works cooperatively with professionals, service providers, and government bodies to provide information about hearing loss issues and solutions. CHHA’s goal is to increase public awareness of hearing loss and to help Canadians with hearing loss fully integrate into Canadian society. CHHA represents the interests of over 3 million Canadians who are hard of hearing. CHHA has 23 branches, 6 provincial chapters and one national network.
About the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is leading a partnership of 20 organizations in conducting consultations with members and the public to determine the issues that federal accessibility legislation must address to ensure equal access for those with an invisible disability. The goal of these consultations is to deeply engage with participants to determine the issues accessibility legislation must address and how it can bring federal institutions in Canada closer to achieving the goal of barrier free access for all.
Consultation participants are invited to examine the challenges facing Canadians with disabilities in times of transition, particularly:
- youth as they transition from high school to university and university to the workplace;
- veterans as they transition from service to civilian life; and
- seniors as they transition out of the workforce and into retirement and healthy aging.
Lead Spotlight Advisory Partners:
- Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA)
- Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAC);
- National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS);
- Royal Canadian Legion (RCL);
- Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW); and
- Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
Spotlight Project Partners:
- Canadian National Society of the Deaf-Blind;
- Canadian Deaf Blind Association;
- Communicaid for Hearing-Impaired Persons;
- The Hearing Foundation of Canada;
- Canadian Academy of Audiology;
- Brain Injury Canada;
- ARCH Disability Law Centre;
- Media Access Canada;
- Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University;
- Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion;
- Canadian Mental Health Association- Ontario;
- Neil Squire Society;
- Mental Health Commission of Canada;
Follow the Spotlight Project: Facebook and Twitter #CHHASpotlight
For more information, contact:
Project Manager, Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities