Dear Community Members,
We would like to take a moment to explain what happened with the ASL for the 2018 march, and express our regrets.
The Toronto Disability Pride March (TDPM) organizers had tried something new this year. We made a deal with the City that they would provide us with ASL and tokens in exchange for some of our speakers discuss the LEAG committee and its work.
We had set up a back-up plan for ASL, then cancelled it when the City told us they could follow through. We did not know there was a miscommunication until this year’s event began.
As such TDPM failed a significant portion of our community that relies on ASL for communication. We deeply regret that this occurred, and are taking steps to ensure that it does not happen again. It is unlikely that we would risk such a partnership with the City in the future without serious consideration and community input. At this time, we plan to fundraise for our own ASL supports for 2019 as we have in the past.’
We also recognize that it took longer than it should have to post this apology, and for that I take personal responsibility. I encourage anyone who wishes to respond to contact me directly.
Below is the response we received from the City of Toronto.
With our sincerest apologies.
Melissa Graham – Founder and co-organizer
Hi Kaarina and Kevin. [Two of our organizers.]
I am so sorry about the ASL interpretation mess up. In digging into what went wrong, it appears that despite confirming that they would be able to provide the service, the company that we contracted with was not able to come up with individuals who were available on Saturday.
The last minute notification only went to one of our support assistants by e-mail who happened to be off sick at the end of the week, and not you directly Kaarina, nor me, despite them having our contact information and the knowledge that the service was not being provided directly for the City but for TDPM. I would think at a minimum they would have alerted those who were actually organizing the event and were actively engaged in communication with, particularly as they were pulling out at the last minute?
This is truly unfortunate and we have learned an important lesson about the challenges of booking ASL interpretation. I just wish that that lesson wasn’t learned as a result of such a negative impact on your event.
Please accept our most sincere apologies that we couldn’t deliver successfully on our promise.
I’m glad to hear that despite this, the TDPM went off well and was a success. Look forward to hearing more about it and seeing the video once that is posted.
All my best,
Policy Development Officer
Poverty Reduction Strategy
Social Policy, Analysis & Research
Social Development, Finance & Administration
City of Toronto