CAD Winter Report 2010-11

News & Events

CAD Winter Report 2010-11
April 30, 2011
CAD Winter 2010-11 Report
By Doug Momotiuk, President

We received a donation of 150 Blackberry devices from RIM and 6 months free service from Telus, which we distributed to the Deaf Community through the affiliates.

I attended the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)’s National Council Meeting as CAD representative. CCD reported on its “Evolution of Access” project, which identifies new barriers and emerging access issues for Canadians with disabilities; Deaf participants identified issues regarding communication, video accessibility, and education. The CCD Council members also discussed a proposed federal income program that would replace provincial/territorial social assistance and welfare programs for most working-age persons who have severe disabilities.

The CAD was one of 150 organizations that signed an open letter calling upon governments to implement and monitor the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The letter also called for a national plan to focus on poverty, disability supports, employment, and accessibility.

We made progress at improving internal and external communications and public relations. Scott Wood and Jim Roots have made improvements to the website design, vlogs, and advertisements. We began sending regular video emails to the affiliates to keep the Deaf Community informed.

The CAD continues to advocate on the issue of Deaf education in Newfoundland following the closure of the Newfoundland School for the Deaf. We helped set-up the Committee For Deaf Education (Newfoundland and Labrador), which collected funds to pay for advertisement that challenged the Minister of Education on a number of points.

Students at Centre Jules Léger (CJL, the Deaf French Provincial School in Ottawa) walked out of classes in protest in February 2011. Their three demands were: open-up registration to new students, hire a competent director with proven knowledge of the Deaf and hard of hearing community as a linguistic and cultural minority, and provide quality Deaf education that respects the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing Franco Ontarian students. The CAD wrote a letter of support and also attempted to generate media coverage in support of the students. Jim Roots participated in a meeting with school administration, student leaders, and four other associations in an attempt to negotiate a settlement. At this time (April 2011) there is still no satisfactory agreement to resolve the issues.

CAD representatives participated in Bell Canada’s VRS Feasibility Study Advisory Committee. Jim Roots attended the first session on March 3rd. Frank Folino and I attended the second session on March 18th. All three of us participate in an ongoing closed on-line discussion group, too. Bell contracted with Mission Consulting of California to do this feasibility study. The CAD and other Deaf organizations provided their feedback on the project scope, technologies, ASL & LSQ interpreters, and quality of services. It should be noted that the CAD was successful in stubbornly insisting that for the first time ever, the Deaf organizations will receive a donation from Bell for their time and expertise. From now on, all Deaf associations should demand to be paid for their expertise and not taken for granted by large corporations like Bell.