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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.



Feedback Needed for Public Review on Accessibility

You are invited to participate in a public review of a new accessibility standard!


This public review will be your first opportunity to provide feedback on our draft model standard for the built environment - accessibility. A second opportunity will be provided at a later date before the standard is published.

As part of this public review, our technical committee welcomes your initial feedback. Input from Canadians is vital to the development of accessibility standards that remove and prevent barriers.

As you know well, the principle of “Nothing without us” is at the core of everything we do. This means that we include people with disabilities in every step of our work. As a result, our technical committee is composed of over 50% of persons with disabilities. We lean on the knowledge and lived experience of people with disabilities and other experts. We believe this leads to better results for all Canadians.

There are common areas where people with disabilities may encounter barriers in the built environment. This standard differs in many ways from other standards. It focusses on equity-based requirements that go beyond minimum technical requirements.

The built environment has many elements. To ensure a fulsome document, Accessibility Standards Canada has made the decision to draft it in two phases. The first phase of the public review will run until Saturday, January 7, 2023 at 23:59 (EST).

This public review of the draft standard covers the following topics:

-exterior and interior paths of travel
-building entrances and access to storeys
-ramps and curb ramps
-doorways and doors including power door operators
-passenger loading zones and access aisles
-washrooms and universal washrooms including showers
-signs and wayfinding
-assistive listening systems
-emergency notification systems

-fire protection and refuge


You can consult the draft standard  by clicking here to go to our website.

You are invited to provide your feedback on the draft standard using one of the following means:

By completing the online form and submitting your feedback directly through our website
By downloading the fillable form in a PDF or Word format and sending it to us by email, along with any related files


By submitting your comments in text, audio, or video format

All the necessary instructions on how to send us your feedback can be found on our website. The Standards Team contact information is also provided should you need any assistance with this public review process or have any questions.

Please know that in the future second version of the standard, the technical committee will aim to make sure it serves as many persons with disabilities as possible.


During that second public review, the technical committee intends to:

-update and expand existing requirements
-examine the needs of persons from more disability communities, including persons who are neurodiverse and persons with environmental sensitivities
-develop parking requirements
-add diagrams

-include information to help readers understand how the Standard removes and prevents barriers in the built environment for everyone, including persons with disabilities


We are proud of what our technical committee members have accomplished. Through them and with your feedback, we are contributing to a more inclusive and barrier-free Canada.

We welcome your expertise and look forward to receiving your feedback!

Chief Executive Officer of Accessibility Standards Canada, Philip Rizcallah


Trish Coupal at 12:01 PM
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Help Protect the Legal Rights of People with a Disability in Ontario

The RDSP Action Coalition of Ontario wants to make you aware of a legal issue a person with a developmental disability may face after 2023 when trying to open an RDSP. While the federal government has a temporary measure in place, it will expire in 2023. This means that the only way a person with a disability who may not have legal capacity can open an RDSP is if another person becomes their legal guardian. Imagine someone having to relinquish ALL THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS simply to open an RDSP. And there are other situations where guardianship will be required in order to access and use an RDSP. How can we stop this?


The RDSP Action Group's advocacy campaign has received a positive response. But we still need your help to spread the word.


Please visit www.weneedaction.ca to learn more about the issue and what they can do to help. You can also contact Natalie Jones at njones@p4p.ca to receive materials you can share on your social media platforms

Trish Coupal at 12:16 PM
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Let's Advocate!

Tell the government non-profits need core funding to support their missions, resilience and impact!


Over the next few months, the government will write Budget 2023 and decide how federal dollars will be spent for the next year. We need you to ask your MP and federal Ministers to make core funding for nonprofits a top priority in the next budget. Tell the government they must start providing core funding to the nonprofit sector to support nonprofit missions, resilience and impact. It only takes a minute!


Fill out the form below by clicking "Add your Voice". A letter will be sent to your MP, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier, and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould. 


Add Your Voice!

Trish Coupal at 11:08 AM
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Bill C-22: Canada Disability Benefit Legislation Update

It's been a busy week for Inclusion Canada as we continue to advocate for the quick passage of Bill C-22: the Canada Disability Benefit! 

Monday - Meeting with Members of Parliament & Debate


Monday - Meeting with Members of Parliament & Debate

On Monday, October 17, Inclusion Canada senior staff and other members of the disability advocacy community attended an evening reception with Members of Parliament organized by our friends from Disability Without Poverty. This event was attended by every party's disability critic, many Members of Parliament, Senators as well as Minister Qualtrough. 


During this event, disability advocates urged MPs to expedite the passage of Bill C-22. In a surprise turn of events, Bill C-22 was moved up for debate to that afternoon instead of on Tuesday as originally scheduled. As a result, the debate finished on Monday evening during the reception and the vote for Second Reading was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


Tuesday - Bill C-22 Passes Second Reading

At 3:00pm EST on Tuesday, MPs voted in a unanimous decision to pass the second reading of Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Act. 


Every single Member of Parliament voted in favour of the Bill. It was a monumental and encouraging sign to have all-party support. This vote is a result of everyone's hard work in reaching out to MPs to discuss the importance of the legislation and the creation of the Canada Disability Benefit.


We all need to be proud of this moment. 


This vote moves Bill C-22 to the Committee stage, where MPs on the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) will study the Bill and hear from witnesses, people with disabilities, disability groups and others.


There is a lot more work to do before the Bill is passed into law and there are only 40 or so sitting days left in the Parliamentary calendar until the end of the year,


Inclusion Canada supports fast-tracking the Bill through the committee stage as quickly as possible while ensuring the Bill is adequately considered in the legislative process. After the Bill is considered by the Committee it then returns to the House of Commons for the Report Stage and the Third Reading debate before its final vote. Then it is sent to the Senate where it will go through all the same stages it went through in the House of Commons. 


We will be pushing for a speedy process and quick passage for all these steps so the work can begin on designing and creating the Benefit through the regulatory process.


Our objective is to have the Bill passed by Parliament by December 2022 and see the Canadian Disability Benefit created as quickly as possible in 2023.  


Wednesday - Rally for Bill C-22 on Parliament Hill 

On Wednesday, October 19, Disability Without Poverty hosted a rally on Parliament Hill in support of Bill C-22. The rally was well attended by Parliamentarians, disability advocates, and other disability organizations, including Inclusion Canada.


The intention of the rally was to raise awareness and garner support for C-22 by demonstrating to government the importance of this benefit for people with disabilities in Canada. 


What's Next? 

The fight for the Canada Disability Benefit is far from over. Although a unanimous vote to pass second reading is a very encouraging step, there are other necessary steps before the Bill can become law and before the work on the design and implementation of the Benefit can happen.


It is up to the disability community and allies to keep up the pressure to get Bill C-22 passed in 2022. Inclusion Canada encourages individuals, family members, friends, and allies of the disability inclusion movement to contact your MPs and Senators to express the importance of passing C-22 in 2022.


Living with a disability should not mean living in poverty! Let's change this! 


How you can continue to help:
Click here to find your Member of Parliament or Senator. 


Contact them and let them know you are thankful for their support so far. Ask them for their continued support and for the speedy passage of Bill C-22.


Leah Bowman at 2:08 PM
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Rally for #CDBBy23 on Parliament Hill

Wednesday, October 19 - 12pm


Fast track Bill C-22! Join Disability Without Poverty, advocates with lived experience, allied organizations, and others in Ottawa to urge Parliament to pass critical disability justice legislation. 


We are hosting a rally in Ottawa on Wednesday, October 19th at 12 noon, which will occur during the same week as the UN Day for the Elimination of Poverty. ASL and LSQ, interpretation will be provided.


After the high of Bill C-22 being tabled for second reading on September 20, the debate and the delay, the defeat of a unanimous consent motion, we are hearing the hurt, anger and resentment from people with disabilities and advocates.


More than ever before, we must show our unity and power as disabled people, families, groups and organizations. With roughly 40 sitting days left until the end of the year, we need to push hard to get Bill C-22 passed, now! 


Join us for a rally in Ottawa on Wednesday, October 19th at 12 noon.


Please share this within your networks and communities. You can use the hashtags #CDBby23 and #PassC22in22 on your social media.


Can't make it to the rally? To show your support on social media, we encourage you to use the text “We endorse this rally for #CDBby23. Come stand in solidarity with us October 19. 12 noon - Ottawa."


Let's make sure our voices are heard!


Meet / Call / Email your MP

Write to your local MP today using DWP and March of Dimes Canada’s tool, which sends an email to your MP in just a few clicks!


Close to 3,400 of you have written to your MPs to let them know how important it is to move people with disabilities out of poverty. We must continue to make sure the Canadian Disability Benefit remains a national priority. 

Leah Bowman at 3:42 PM
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Blog Contributor Portrait
Name: Trish Coupal
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Last Post: May 14, 2024
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Name: Rachel Cave
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Name: Leah Bowman
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Last Post: November 8, 2022
Waterloo Region Family Network
Name: Waterloo Region Family Network
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