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Canada Comes Out for the Disabled
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Canada Comes Out for the Disabled

I was recently put to the challenge of writing a post about the history of disability rights in Canada. Well, I haven’t been lucky enough yet to find some good information about this online, so for the time being, I write abour other good news that has come out of Canada fairly recently.

As most of you probably remember, the Olympics took place in Vancouver in 2010. They also hosted the Paralympics the same year, and Canadian disability activists didn’t waste that opportunity, which proved useful. Canada took a major step that year.

On the eve of the Paralympics, Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This meant quite a few things for those who suffer with an impairment or disability of any kind, whether permanent or temporary. First, this passage carried an important message: Canada is committed to people with disabilities.

The convention’s aim was to make people with disabilities into independent persons. Most countries and societies around the world have seen the disabled population as being dependent, weak and helpless. But these folks will no longer be perceived as needing charitable help in Canada. They are now equal citizens of their country.

However, since this time, it's become clear that quite a few updates and implementations are going to be required by each of Canada's provinces’ own governments, in order to fully make this a reality. For one, schools need to become fully accessible and inclusive. Usually, those who wish to attend a school that is not ready to accept them, are sent off to the closest special needs schools. In the future, that will no longer be the case. All schools must now hire the needed personnel, including assistant teachers, interpreters, and various other aids, and administrators must make the necessary building additions in order to accommodate those with physical limitations.

The purpose of all of this is to make disabled persons feel welcome. While some students thrive better in environments where they can be with those who are like themselves, those who choose to be "mainstreamed" in regular schools often do not have the option to do so. The new rules will enable all parents and children to decide what the best choice is for themselves, instead of having to accept institutionalization, simply because the current systems aren't ready to take the necessary steps.

There is a bit of irony in this situation in more ways than one.  For exmple, when the Canadian representatives arrived at the UN to sign the convention, they had to make a last-minute change to the location of the news conference because it was not wheelchair accessible.

My question is:  Who booked the room?



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Leave a Comment

  1. pftsusan
    Very interesting. Voted. I invite you to my new one, "Wheelchair Users Can Fly Helicopters" and vote if you like it.
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    1. SignLanguage
      It was a very good article!
      Log in to reply.
  2. Broken English
    Broken English
    Voted. I love this blog and the first line particularly grabbed my attention! (Maybe when you get round to writing about the history of disability rights in Canada, you could name-check the person who gave you the idea?? Ha ha!) I also love the last line! I think you may like my latest blog, A Brief History of Stephen Hawking, so come on over!! :-)
    Log in to reply.
    1. SignLanguage
      Hmmm... do you think that person deserves it? ;) Oh, all right. I'll make a reference to car mags and hope people get it.
      Log in to reply.
      1. Broken English
        Broken English
        Car mags??? I don't get it - do you mean Mags, as in short for Maggie?? (I don't know where the car bit comes in though, except I am very attached to my car!! Not very "green" of me, I know!)
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  3. Lil Nana
    Lil Nana
    Hummm...I went to vote for this one, and it says I already voted...duhh...senior moment...I guess you can say I really liked it
    Log in to reply.
    1. SignLanguage
      Thanks for the 'double-vote'! ;)
      Log in to reply.
  4. Rene
    Voted. That is great news.. very encouraging. :) Please check out Everything in Moderation, vote & comment if you like it. Thanks! :)
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