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Our Apologies about the ASL this year

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,

Sean

 

Sean McIntyre

Policy Development Officer

Poverty Reduction Strategy

Social Policy, Analysis & Research

Social Development, Finance & Administration

City of Toronto

(416) 392-6488

Sean.McIntyre3@toronto.ca

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Man painting fence that says housing is a human right.

Open letter urges Prime Minister to make good on his commitment to the right to housing

At a press conference in Ottawa on August 14th, advocates released an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau signed by over 170 organizations and prominent Canadians urging the Prime Minister to make good on his commitment to the right to housing by enshrining that right in upcoming National Housing Strategy legislation.

Over 150 individuals and organizations have endorsed the letter! You too can join the call.

Visit the Legislate the Right to Housing Website.

Call for Volunteer Marshals – TDPM 2018

The 8th Annual Toronto Disability Pride March will be taking place on the afternoon of Saturday, September 22nd, 2018.
We are looking for volunteers to serve as marshals for the march route (Queen’s Park to Ryerson University, 99 Gerrard Street East).
New marshals are asked to attend a brief training session on Saturday, September 15. (More details will be provided to people who volunteer. Returning marshals are also kindly encouraged to attend, if possible.)
If you are interested in marshaling or have any questions about what it means to be a marshal, please contact TDPM by:

1.  Commenting below the original post;

2. Messaging us on Facebook; or,

3. Filling out the volunteer form on our website.

One of our head marshals will connect with you.

Thank you!

Come out to the Rally to Fight the Cuts to Social Assistance TODAY!

Come out to the Rally to Fight the Cuts to Social Assistance TODAY!

The Ontario PCs have announced they are slashing a planned increase to social assistance rates from 3% to 1.5%.  Other reforms including increasing the employment income earned on ODSP before clawbacks and the Basic income Pilot have also been cancelled.

ACORN Members accorss Ontario are ready to stand up for Social Assistance Rates!  Come out and fight for ODSP and OW!

Meet us on August 9th at 10:45AM at Bay and College!  From there we’ll march to the Ministry of Community and Social Services on Grosvenor St.

When: TODAY: Thursday, August 9th at 10:45AM

Where: Bay and College – Meet at the corner – Look for the ACORN Flag!

Please let us know if you can make it by responding to this email or calling 416-461-9233.

Check out our Facebook Page for updates and events.

“Employment, employment, employment” and Ableism

Sit Down, Fight Back

I’m going to get right to the point here. An increased minimum wage is not harming disabled people. It is however doing a great job at highlighting the ableist and saneist bias that continues to exist within employment in Ontario and social services.

When Bill 148 was still being debate, there were some who used disabled people to make a shameful and disgusting argument against raising the minimum wage, because they felt that employers would not want to pay a disabled person $14 or $15 per hour. Mark Farber is one such person.

People in the disability community might remember Farber. He received a number of accolades and significant publicity for hiring people with disabilities at his business (which just happened to be a Tim Hortons franchise). He now works as a public speaker encouraging employers to hire people with disabilities. He just doesn’t think they’re worth the new minimum…

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White banner with Together we Succeed! written in green

Accessibility Now Rally: October 11th

Join us Wednesday, October 11, 2017 starting at 4pm at Yonge & Bloor (north east corner) as Community takes to the streets to advocate for #accessibilityNOW

 

The list is extensive concerning barriers that TTC maintain/create thus breaching the AODA, Human Rights Code, Charter of Rights & Freedoms.  Here are 8 that reflect an overall concern:

 

  • Structural/Discriminatory Barriers – Presto Gates – the 1 or 2 installed in a station are significantly less than the inaccessible gates that are installed in the same station (think 1960s drinking fountains: ‘whites only vs colored’)

 

  • Psychological Barriers – doing the very least so it can be said it was done – installing the least number of elevators (usually 1) in subway stations in order to claim/identify that that station is accessible. When that 1 elevator is no longer working, that station is no longer accessible.

 

  • Attitudinal Barriers – failing to be proactive about ensuring that bus drivers follow policies about deploying ramps, allowing passengers using wheelchairs on first, stop between stops, etc…

 

  • Policy & Practices Barriers – failing to recognize the dignity, independence and rights of all patrons including people identified as having ‘disabilities’. IMO, “disability” is really created by the systems/systemic barriers that perpetuate the construction of barriers that disregard the fundamental humane rules of recognizing the humanity of individuals in society and their right to freely participate in all aspects of life.

 

  • Communication Barriers: – failing to provide inclusive signage

 

  • Technology Barriers – failing in providing clear inclusive announcements, information and messaging

 

  • Organizational Barriers -failure to ensure access to accessible transportation when rerouting takes place

 

  • Architectural Barriers – not demonstrating that accessibility is a priority and more importantly, that it is a right- not an option!

 

Join us starting at 4pm at Yonge & Bloor (north east corner) on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  Bring some friends too.  We had a crowd come out last year.  We expect a bigger crowd this year as more people recognize the need to organize and come together collectively to advocate for and protect our rights!

 

Together we succeed!

 

The #accessibilityNOW rally starts at 4pm and ends at 7pm but afterwards, in solidarity, we plan to head up to Yonge and St. Clair (by subway) to 25 St. Clair Ave. East to show some support to our Community members who have been holding a vigil for over two months to bring attention to the suicide crisis of Indigenous youth.  We want to lend our support reminding them that we are in solidarity with them; we acknowledge what they are doing and what is being done to Indigenous communities across Canada.

 

If you are to be picked up by Wheel Trans, we suggest a pick up time around 8:45pm or later depending on how much time you plan to spend at the vigil in front of 25 St. Clair Ave. East.

 

Together we succeed!