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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.

 


 

Accessibility Standards Canada-Quarterly Newsletter

Grants & Contributions Update

We would like to thank everyone who submitted a proposal to our latest call for proposals for our grants and contributions program. Our program supports research projects aimed at identifying and removing barriers to accessibility. This research will help inform accessibility standards in the future.

 

Our most recent call was launched in June and closed in August 2022. As a first step, we invited Canadian organizations to submit an Expression of Interest. It allowed applicants to describe their project and show how it meets the program's objectives and priorities.

Organizations from across Canada have submitted projects to advance accessibility research to help shape the standards of the future. We are thrilled that we have had such an impact on the community.

 

We will now select the projects that will proceed to the second stage of the process. We will inform the organizations whose projects are selected. They will be asked to complete a more comprehensive funding application form. This will allow us to learn more about:

  • Their projects;
  • Their goals; and,
  • Expected outcomes.

These projects will then be thoroughly evaluated. Funding decisions will be made based on the results of this evaluation. We look forward to funding excellent projects that will bring positive outcomes for all Canadians. Together we help make Canada an accessible country for all.

 

Website Modernisation

Our website has a brand new look! We’ve been hard at work rebranding our website to enhance its design and its accessibility. Here are a few changes you’ll notice:

  • We changed the way we organized information. It is easier for you to find what you are looking for.
  • We created alternate communication formats for users, including:
    • Accessible forms;
    • Long text versions of infographics; and,
    • Sign language videos.
  • We made the look of our website unique and modern. The design is clean, professional, engaging and, more importantly, accessible.

We’re innovating while respecting the Government of Canada communication guidelines and the Standard on Web Accessibility. We’re continuously working with web accessibility experts. We take notes of the feedback from the disability community.

 

Accessibility is always a work in progress and the site will continue to be updated.

 

Building an accessible Canada also extends to the web and we hope to lead by example. Please inform your respective networks! Let us know your opinion.

 

Agreement signed with Saskatchewan

On August 11, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services. We will work together towards the removal of barriers to accessibility. This MOU will:

  • Make it easier to share information and best practices;
  • Help to ensure the federal and provincial governments do not duplicate work; and,
  • Promote a high level of accessibility across the country.

It is our goal to promote the harmonization of accessibility standards across Canada. Agreements like this MOU with the Government of Saskatchewan make it easier to have a consistently high level of access in every province. We look forward to signing collaboration agreements with more provinces and territories! You can read our news release for more details.

 

Heads up: Public review of Model Standard for the Built Environment - accessibility draft standard

Our team has been hard at work preparing the draft standard for the Model Standard for the Built Environment. The draft standard will be ready for public review shortly and we need your help! Public reviews of draft standards are crucial to ensure that the work we do reflects the reality of diverse communities across Canada. Stay tuned for more information! We will contact you when the public review process will start.

 

The Board of Director’s Corner

On September 20th, we held our second virtual annual public meeting from Montreal. A magical moment! The event brought together nearly 300 participants from across Canada, but also from abroad. Members of the Board of Directors and our office presented our accomplishments for the past 12 months. On this occasion, we also proudly welcomed:

  • The first Chief Accessibility Officer of Canada, Ms. Stehanie Cadieux; and,
  • The first Accessibility Commissioner of Canada, Mr. Michael Gottheil.

Together with our CEO, Mr. Philip Rizcallah, they spoke about their respective roles. Thank you to the participants, the presenters, as well as our technical support team. You all contributed to making this event a great success.

 

Our organization has completed its 3rd year of existence. We have come so far in such a short time! We currently have 13 standards under development. Early 2023 will mark the approval of our first standard. More than ever, the disability community is invited to contribute to our achievements through:

  • Technical committees;
  • Consultations;
  • Grant program;
  • Presentations in your community; and
  • Annual public meetings.

“Nothing Without Us” is an ongoing commitment to the community by our organization. We cannot move forward without your input. Let us know your interest, concerns and questions.

 

Our dedicated team continues to work towards an accessible Canada for us all. We invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to up to date with our latest news.

Leah Bowman at 10:08 AM
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