Hi Everyone

We are doing this last push to invite you all to sign up for this exciting free on-line training through ARCH Disability Law Centre. The course is 4 hours one Saturday a month for four months starting last Sat in March. The National Coalition is one of the partners in developing the training with ARCH. The purpose is to develop advocacy skills and a strong knowledge about how implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can and will impact you locally. Its also about developing relationships and building a network of people to work with. There are video links below this email that will explain more.  
What does that mean to you in your day to day and why is it important for you to consider taking this course?

1) Our Human Rights in Canada are based on us, the individual. Not a charity, not a business, not an agency, just us, the individual, we have standing in Human Rights law. 
2) As a result, everything that is being decided on our behalf by Governments Local, Provincial and Federal, including funding to organizations that provide services on our behalf, fundraise on our behalf and sit at the decision making tables, impact us the individual, every day. 
3) Nothing about us, without us, gets lost in translation when those that are invited to sit at the decision making tables are not us. They usually have no constituency in which to get advice and direction from and make sweeping decisions about us without us.    
3) How involved do we want to be in making decisions that impact ourselves and each other on a daily basis? What knowledge do we need and how do we get it?  Why spend 16 hours of my life over 4 months to take this course? 
4) One example of why this is important, is when a simple process of developing training methods and standards for PTS Dogs for Veterans, was highjacked. 
5) From early 2015 to April of 2017, two years of secret meetings and development by many unelected, non representative groups of people with no connection to us, developed standards that if adopted by the Federal Government, would have taken away our individual rights to choose and decide where we go to get our dogs and create a mandatory National Registry.    
6) This National Registry of us under a certification model included people we don’t know inspecting our homes, going through our financials and taking our dogs away from us to test them. Then they would decide if they would certify our dogs and they would be allowed to work with us in Canada. Thinking back it is as ridiculous sounding as it was almost three years ago. But it happened and the Federal Government funded it. This was the misplaced thinking of people at the decision table secretly deciding what was best for us. .
7) That is when our Coalition began. We said no and through all of your hard fought advocacy, shut it all down by March 2018. 
8) Unfortunately the almost half a million dollars that was spent, failed to produce any training methods and standards for PTS dogs for Veterans. That is what happens when people sit at tables without being responsible back to the people whom decisions impact and move their own agenda’s.    
9) This is brewing to start up again, standards accreditation and certification Federally. The same people who started working on that standards fiasco mess since 2009 and almost pulled it off in 2017, are still committed to having it happen and we are constantly responding to their push to do it all over again.
10) why take this training? Because we need more of us to have the knowledge, capacity and skills to continue to protect our hard earned rights and push back when decisions are being made that are eroding them. The more understanding each of us have, we can catch the game way ahead of 2 years of development and stop it before it starts. That is why many of us worked with ARCH to develop this training and to continue with more.    

As people who have already gone through round one of the standards debacle, I encourage you all to consider learning and preparing for no doubt another round that is coming our way in the next year, not to mention the provincial issues we are already dealing with. Understanding the legal protections of our Rights in the Convention will allow us, individually and together to articulate why these types of ideas are backwards thinking and do not promote a rights based one. We need to be able to argue from a position of strength and knowledge and we all deserve to have that knowledge. 

Thanks everyone. The videos and further information are next with the information in French following.

Yvonne Peters 
Heather Walkus,
National Coalition of People who use Guide and Service Dogs in Canada 
email: info@hooh.ca 
Phone: 250-499-0780     

Hands Off Our Harnesses, Hands Off Our Hounds   H.O.O.H

From: ARCH Staff 1 <archsta1@lao.on.ca>

Hi Heather!
I hope you are doing well.
As promised, I’m writing to let you know that we have the course dates confirmed.
OP Lab for OP Champions
·        March 28, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        April 25, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        May 30, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        June 27, 12-4 PM (EST)
OP Lab for Legal Experts
·        April 21, 2-4 PM (EST)
·        May 19, 2-4 PM (EST)
·        June 16, 2-4 PM (EST)
Joint Meeting for OP Champions and OP Legal Experts
·        September 15, 1-2 PM (EST)
We will be accepting applications until Friday, February 14, 2020, at 5:00 PM (EST). The information has been updated in our website:www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/initiatives/advancing-the-un-crpd/op-lab
Please share this as widely as possible, and as always let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you and have a great day,
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
OP Lab Project Coordinator
416-482-8255, extension 2221
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
Please consider the environment before printing this email.

As a reminder, here’s the promotional information for the project:
1.   All information about ARCH’s initiative on the CRPD, and the OP Lab: https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/initiatives/advancing-the-un-crpd/op-lab/
2.   People who want to participate in the OP Lab will need to submit anapplication here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5281955/OP-LAB-Application-Form
3.   See attached a one-pager about the OP Lab, in English and in French.
4.   Primer video about the CRPD, the Optional Protocol and the OP Lab: www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwozUKpvREOrGGzpMHTXCw
5.   Factsheet about the CRPD and the Optional Protocol:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resource/factsheet-the-crpd-and-the-optional-protocol/
6.   ARCH Alert article about the OP Lab: https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resources/arch-alerts/
All of these were shared through ARCH’s social media:
·        Facebook@ARCHdisabilityLawCentre
·        Twitter @archdisabilitylaw
·        OP LAB activities, including networking, will be encouraged on social media through #OPlab.
Here are the links in French:
·        Website/application form:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/la-mise-en-oeuvre-de-la-cdph-des-nations-unies/op-lab-apprendre-partager-agir/
·        Youtube video primer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQSU5WwWZdU&t=12s
·        Factsheet:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/resource/fiche-dinformation-la-cdph-et-le-protocole-facultatif/
·        ARCH Alert article:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/arch_alert/arch-alert-volume-20-issue-4/#lancement-op-lab
Thank you again,
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
OP Lab Project Coordinator
416-482-8255, extension 2221
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
Demain nous lancerons l’OP Lab: apprendre, partager, agir!, dans le cadre des célébrations de la Journée internationale des personnes handicapées.
Aidez-nous à promouvoir ce projet dans vos réseaux et médias sociaux!
Le lancement comprendra :
·        un courriel que nous enverrons demain avec des informations sur l’OP Lab
·        une vidéo sur la CDPH, le Protocole facultatif et l’OP Lab dans la chaîne YouTube d’ARCH :www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwozUKpvREOrGGzpMHTXCw
·        un article sur l’OP Lab dans l’ARCH Alerte du 3 décembre : https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resources/arch-alerts/
·        une Fiche d’information sur la CDPH et le Protocole facultatif :https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/resource/fiche-dinformation-la-cdph-et-le-protocole-facultatif/
Ceux-ci seront tous partagés demain via les médias sociaux d’ARCH :
·        Facebook @ARCHdisabilityLawCentre
·        Twitter @archdisabilitylaw
Toutes les activités d’OP Lab, notamment le réseautage, seront encouragées sur les médias sociaux à travers#OPlab.
Les personnes souhaitant participer à l’OP LAB doivent s’inscrire et nous souhaitons encourager autant de personnes que possible à s’inscrire. Vous trouverez le lien vers le formulaire d’inscription sur le site Web d’ARCH: www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr  
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
1. ARCH Disability Law Centre
55 University Avenue, 15th floor
Toronto, ON, M5J 2H7
Tel:   416-482-8255 or 1-866-482-2724 (extension 2221)
TTY: 416-482-1254 or 1-866-482-2728
Fax:  416-482-2981 or 1-866-881-2723
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
ARCH’s office is physically accessible.  ARCH is a scent-free environment. We try our best to keep our office and events free of scents and fragrances.  These may cause health problems for staff and visitors. We ask for your cooperation by not wearing perfumes, aftershave, lotions or any other scented products when visiting us.
The information contained in this email may be legally privileged and confidential.  If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying or distribution of this material is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this email in error, please immediately destroy this message and kindly notify our office. 
Please consider the environment before printing this email.

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Looking for Christmas Spirit?

Looking for Christmas spirit?


Please be advised that all employees planning to dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way are required to undergo a Risk Assessment addressing the safety of open sleighs.


The assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple passengers. Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be entered. To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.


Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available for collection by any shepherds planning or required to watch their flocks at night. While provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation hut, all facility users are reminded that an emergency response plan must be submitted to account for known risks to the flocks. The angel of the Lord is additionally reminded that prior to shining his/her glory all around s/he must confirm that all shepherds are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to account for the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of Glory


Following last year’s well publicised case, everyone is advised that legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr. R Reindeer from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.


While it is acknowledged that gift-bearing is commonly practised in various parts of the world, particularly the Orient, everyone is reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality Guidelines and all gifts must be registered. This applies regardless of the individual, even royal personages. It is particularly noted that direct gifts of currency or gold are specifically precluded under provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Further, caution is advised regarding other common gifts, such as aromatic resins that may initiate allergic reactions.


Finally, for those involved in the recent case of the infant found tucked up in a manger without any crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will be arriving shortly.


Wishing you a very Merry Christmas – be safe out there…….



Morning After Election Thoughts About Poverty and Disability in a city with NPA Green 💰🧐 and Greens | mssinenomineblog

Last night as I watched the make up of council unfold I said to someone “I’m scared” and then immediately regretted my choice of word. This isn’t Trump – the new yardstick for measuring how bad election results can be. The truth is there is no one word to describe how I feel but anxious…
— Read on mssinenomineblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/morning-after-election-thoughts-about-poverty-and-disability-in-a-city-with-npa-green-💰🧐-and-greens/


Vancouver’s Curb Cut’s – Nothing to Brag About. | mssinenomineblog

“You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22   “The calculated simulated of enthusiasm…is also common within contemporary culture. In a variety of configurations, the applause sign has become a social principle.” Stuart McEwan,…
— Read on mssinenomineblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/vancouvers-curb-cuts-nothing-to-brag-about/


The BC and Canadian governments must stop using wage subsidies to market the hiring of persons with disabilities
Wage subsidies in Canada do not work in providing long term employment for persons with disabilities and improving attitudes towards hiring them. For the most part, the job ends when the subsidy ends. Supposedly, there are safeguards to prevent employers abusing subsidies, but they are rarely enforced.

Apart from it being disturbing that employers are paid to hire qualified and often experienced workers simply because they have a disability, offering these inducements to employers to sweeten the deal to hire them has a tendency to cross ethical boundaries not to mention a tendency to attract employers who want to abuse the system and not be accountable in giving proper experience.

There is already a segment of the general population that believes that people with disabilities should be paid less than the general workforce, because they believe they are not as apt as others. So wage subsidies are a type of compensation. In a way, a subsidy is also like saying to employers “here we don’t want you to lose money in hiring the disabled” and thus this reinforces the wrongful perception that they are not as able and productive as other workers – that they are risky hires.

Still, despite all this, wage subsidies are still being used to market the hiring of persons with disabilities in Canada. They have been used here for decades without showing that they improve employment for persons with disabilities.

I was the “beneficiary” of a broken system that rarely had any checks and balances to hiring persons with disabilities. I began my career with 5 consecutive wage subsidies. [Two with the same disability agency. I also had 2 subsidies with government departments after they had just done a mass layoff of government workers. I was the cheap temp and was told that I was just keeping the seat warm until the next subsidy hire. The other subsidy was with another disability agency that was caught with wage subsidy fraud by a proactive employment caseworker (I found out there were a handful of caseworkers before this one who saw the fraud going on but did nothing.), and I was pulled out and placed elsewhere. Most times, I was only paid the subsidy portion and the employer never topped it up.] Wage subsidies were my option of last resort when I couldn’t get anything else. I hated them because they did not work, and because I felt I was being used by the employers who got them. However, I was out in the workforce for a period which allowed me to put something on my resume and money in my pocket, gave me a sense of purpose and dream about the future, be independent and contributing, have a social life and meet people, and to collect unemployment afterwards. However, having too many short term jobs right from the start had hurt my future career prospects because many employers saw red flags from a job applicant with too many short term jobs and long gaps in unemployment. I had found that having a patchwork career history from an outsider’s viewpoint did not match up to how a degreed professional’s work history should have looked like – a progressive career stream. Further, because of where I had worked, my resume screamed out disability and made employers even more suspicious. Disability discrimination created this but my red flag career history did not help me to get interviews. You can only hide or minimize so many red flags in career gaps and underemployment as well as explain so many short term jobs before drawing unwarranted suspicion — that is if you get an interview. Now with applicant tracking systems (online applications) that can screen out applicants with too many short term jobs and long employment gaps, experiencing underemployment, or not having the “right” current and previous job titles, securing employment has become that much harder for many persons with disabilities.

Many persons with disabilities will accept wage subsidy jobs as a job of last resort because the alternatives may be worse – employment gaps, financial problems, and welfare. There really is not much out there when you need to put food on the table and a roof over your head. They cannot wait for change to happen in improving the employment situation for people with disabilities. Life must go on.

Many of them may never be the beneficiaries of long term sustainable programs to get employers wanting to hire persons with disabilities. They will be too rusty, too old, and perhaps will not even be around while they wait for employers to change their attitudes towards hiring them.

It has been well known in the disability employment services community that, for the most part, wage subsidies do not lead persons with disabilities to securing long term and meaningful employment. When some disability employment service professionals have to apologetically say they can only offer you wage subsidies, you know that they even do not believe in them.

Attitudinal barriers from employers is the number one barrier facing persons with disabilities in employment. Offering subsidies to persons with disabilities is only reconfirming their misconceptions that persons with disabilities are not worth it or as capable as those without disabilities. However, the government, employers, and other influential stakeholders have not offered any effective alternative so that many persons with disabilities do not feel forced to continue to use wage subsidies in order to survive.

#BCElxn17 #BCPoli #BCPoverty #NotRealWorld #VanPoli #PovertyReduction #RaiseTheRates #EndTheClawbacks #AffordableHousing #LivingWage #FoodSecurity

Prepared by the BC Disability Caucus



BC Disability Caucus

Other links:

Imagine you’re either a person of colour, a woman, non Christian, LGBTQIA, an indigenous person, etc., and a prospective employer acknowledges that you’re qualified for the job, but won’t hire you “unless they get a wage subsidy”.

You would probably scream “HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION!” right?

But as you’re reading this, there’s an employment program for people with disabilities that seems okay with this. https://www.facebook.com/BCDisability/posts/1988799498032018:0

Research shows Wage Subsidy’s don’t work http://ow.ly/QExc30dE0V5

BC Liberals Disability Jobs Plan – A Joke? https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/bc-liberals-disability-jobs-plan-a-joke/1839309299647706

Online Applications Are More Likely to Screen out Job Seekers with Disabilities https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/online-applications-are-more-likely-to-screen-out-job-seekers-with-disabilities/1809502839295019

Beware of fake job postings https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/beware-of-fake-job-postings/1832875820291054

Is it offensive to sell persons with disabilities as great workers because they work harder as they are grateful to have a job? https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/is-it-offensive-to-sell-persons-with-disabilities-as-great-workers-because-they-/1812688175643152

The Mental and Financial Cost of Being Perpetually Marginalized and Excluded from Employment As Persons with Disabilities https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/the-mental-toil-of-being-perpetually-marginalized-and-excluded-from-employment-a/1812276292351007

Wrongfully Screening Out Job Applicants with Disabilities https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/wrongfully-screening-out-job-applicants-with-disabilities/1808691592709477

Many B.C. disabled job seekers have no opportunity to access disability employment services funded by the Opportunities Fund https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/the-bc-and-canadian-governments-must-stop-using-wage-subsidies-to-market-the-hir/1902225193356116/

How would you respond as a reference if an employer called you up to ask if a job applicant had a disability? https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/how-would-you-respond-as-a-reference-if-an-employer-called-you-up-to-ask-if-a-jo/1839865192925450/