Where We’ve Been: National Disability Summit

“We know we’re heading towards a Canada where barriers for persons with disabilities are eliminated. A Canada where persons with disabilities have a seat at the table, and a Canada that is inclusive by design.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Closing Remarks

Building an Inclusive Canada: A National Disability Summit was held on May 9th & 10th at the Delta Hotel. The first event of its kind, the summit brought together participants from all sectors, including the disability community, industry, all levels of government, academia and international organizations, to take stock of progress on accessibility and to discuss a vision for a more inclusive Canada.

The summit took the form of panel discussions, breakout sessions and key note speeches. Minister Qualtrough was present throughout much of the event; she gave the Keynote on the 1st day and she also made Closing Remarks.

The principle topics discussed were employment, financial security, human rights, social inclusion, intersectionality and community engagement. With respect to working toward an inclusive economy and job market, participants had conversations about where there was potential for real change in addressing barriers to employment and innovative models that were being used on a small scale in Canada and elsewhere.

Amongst participants and speakers alike there was universal support for the passage of the new federal accessibility legislation, Bill C-81, and consensus on the value of this legislation to begin the process of realizing an inclusive Canada. EARN was represented at the summit and we shall look forward to finding out more about next steps in this conversation.

To read the full text of Minister Qualtrough’s Closing Remarks: closing-remarks-building-an-inclusive-canada-a-national-disability-summit/