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Ability & EnterpriseCCRW Logo2 2
Leading the way for Inclusive Employment
 December 1, 2011
Disability icons
December 3, 2011
International Day of Persons with Disabilities

In This Issue:
  • Together for a better world for all:  Including persons with disabilities in development.
  • United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 3 - General Principles

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Together for a better world for all:  Including persons with disabilities in development.

With the International Day of Persons with Disabilities  rapidly approaching (December 3, 2011), we have been thinking about this year’s theme “Together for a better world for all: including persons with disabilities in development”.enable logo

“Together” means all of us working and evolving to create a better world for everyone, including persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are the world’s largest minority group. Disability touches all individuals, regardless of race, gender or religion. According the World Health Organization’s World Report on Disability, Sisters 21 billion people are affected by disability . Despite significant improvements in cultural and physical accessibility here in Canada a lot of work remains to fully include all persons with disabilities. (To download a 10MB PDF version of the report - click here)

The second part of this year’s theme: “including persons with disabilities in development” reminds us to include the voices and contributions of persons with disabilities in achieving accessibility. It is essential that the experiences of men, women, youth and children with disabilities be included in any and all discussions around developing strategies in creating a more inclusive and accessible society.

It is important to remember it is not just the right thing to do, it is also the law. From Employment Equity in 1986, we have now adopted a more holistic approach to accessibility and inclusion. In March of 2010, Canada ratified United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).  The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. Sharon at Variety Village Dec. 3, 2010

The Convention is a legal document that outlines standards of inclusion and accessibility in relation to all aspects of life. Ratification of the UNCRPD means Canada is committed to achieving these standards and to creating an inclusive and accessible nation/society/country.

What is really exciting about the UNCRPD is that Accessibility is not only a general principal it is built into how the convention understands disability: “Recognizing that disability is an evolving concept... persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” This definition affirms that barriers experienced by persons with disabilities are relational to the external environment. 

WendyBlairVicOntario has created the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This legislation is developing specific requirements to make Ontario fully accessible by 2025. This can only be achieved if all of us participate in the process to create environments that remove barriers and enable full participation for all of Canada’s citizens and ensure Canada achieves its commitment and obligation to accessibility.

This International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a rallying point for all of us to take action and move toward creating a more inclusive and accessible society.

On December 3rd, it is time to take steps to look at ways to remove barriers and include persons with disabilities in your organization. CCRW can help you achieve this goal. Moncton Disability Awareness Week

For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Smith, Manager of Employer Consultations and Partnerships.
1 800 664 0925 x 228

The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)
is a national not-for-profit organization. Our vision to create a Canada where all persons with disabilities have equal employment opportunity. We would be glad to support you in achieving greater accessibility and inclusion in your workplace. How can we help you?

UNCRPD Article 3 - General principles

The principles of the present Convention shall be:

a. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons;

b. Non-discrimination;

c. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

d. Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;

e. Equality of opportunity;

f. Accessibility;

g. Equality between men and women;

h. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.

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WORKink® is Canada's most powerful online career development and employment portal for Canadians with disabilities. Visit WORKink®

Call for Article Submissions!

If you have something that would be of interest to the membership, we would be happy to consider it for a future issues of Abilities & Enterprise, please contact Monica at


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