1’ x 1’




  The Voice of People with Disabilities: Making a Difference in Manitoba 1
was compiled by     Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities Social Planning Council of Winnipeg Disabilities Issues Office of Manitoba Council of Canadians with Disabilities

with the generous support of the Allan Simpson Memorial Fund, managed by the Winnipeg Foundation. Note: An electronic copy of The Voice of People with Disabilities: Making a Difference in Manitoba can be found on the Manitoba League website: www.mlpd.mb.ca


                                                             1  The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those held by the  organizations that compiled it.  The articles present personal reflections about the accomplishments  which have been achieved by the Manitoba disability community.   










Table of Content

Minister’s Message
The Honourable Jennifer Howard, 1 Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities 

Paula Keirstead 4 Co-chair, Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Jess Turner 8 Co-chair, Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Allan Simpson Memorial Fund
Allan Simpson Memorial Fund Events 13

Creating Change
The Times, They Were A’changing
David Steen 19


Women with Disabilities - Thirty Years
Emily A. Ternette 25

The Canadian Disability Rights Movement Goes International
Yutta Fricke 28

Still a Long Ways To Go!
Chris Summerville, D.Min., CPRP 32

Winnipeg Community Centre of the Deaf
Manitoba Deaf Association, Inc. 35

A Voice Like No Other: Ours
Diane Driedger 38



We All Have a Voice
Bonnie Heath (Dubienski) 41

Toward a Barrier-Free Province
Patrick Falconer 44

The Creation of the Disabilities Issues Office
Yutta Fricke 48

Looking Back....
Marsha Dozar 51

Building on the Foundation of Independent Living
John Young 54 

RCMDB: A Unique Program in Canada
Jane Sayer 57 

Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy: Promoting Independent, Trustworthy and Lasting Social Connections
Dean Richert 60 

Changes to Manitoba Building Codes
Gail Finkel 63 

Disability Access and Inclusion: Benefits for Others
Laurie Beachell 68

Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW): Looking Back and Looking Forward into the Future
Colleen Watters 72 

The Voice of Manitoba First Nations with Disabilities
Diane Scribe Niiganii, BGS, BA (4 year) 75 

Personal Reflection
Emily A. Ternette 81



  A Seachange in the Attitude Towards Disability Nicola Schaefer 84 A Reflection on 30 Years……“The Power of the Dream” Dale Kendel 87 Self and Family Managed Care Terry McIntosh 92 Your Vote Please Ross Eadie 95 The Emergence of Individualized Funding in Manitoba--“In The Company of Friends” Clare Simpson 98 Long Journey to Citizenship Janet Forbes 103 106 For My Loving Mother and Father Bonnie Heath (Dubienski) My Personal Reflections on the Last 30 Years of Manitobans with Disabilities Lori L. Ross 109 The Development of Self Managed Attendant Services in Manitoba Dave Martin 113 Wolf Wolfensberger and His Impact in Manitoba Zana Marie Lutfiyya 116 Transitioning into Adulthood in Manitoba – A 30 Year Retrospective Anne Kresta 120 Freedom of Choice Is Important Leslee Gislason 125 iii .

  Celebrating Our Accomplishments Antoinette Zloty. RSW 128 The Impact of the Social Development Partnerships Program on the Ethnocultural Disability Communities Dr. Zephania Matanga 131 Access and Inclusion Are Good Public Policy Valerie Wolbert 134 Records of a Living History Sara Harms 137 Allan: A True Model of Humanity Rick Zimmer 140 Recreation/Leisure Integration: The First Frontier? Laurie Beachell 143 Jane’s Story Jane Sayer 147 A R T: Art Renovates Thinking Jane Burpee 150 Taking Our Rightful Place in the Community Harry Wolbert 154 Personal Reflection on Accomplishments of the Disability Movement Over the Past Thirty Years Don Fuchs 157 Just a Normal Life! Zanna Joyce 160 iv . BSW. MSW.

Is It Too Much to Ask? Olga Krassioukova-Enns 174 When No Other Approach Will Serve Mel Graham 178 Mental Health Disability and Homelessness Current Thinking Marcia Thomson 180 Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Take Two: Living the Experience Debbie Van Ettinger 183 A Dream that Became a Success Story Dave Martin 186 Education And Work Opportunity Knocks Brian Stewart 191 189 Transitioning from School to Work in Manitoba Anne Kresta 196 Reflections on the Supported Employment Movement in Manitoba v .  Housing Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Take One: Reviewing the Experience Ken Cassin 167 165 Reflections on Universal Design in the City of Winnipeg Judy Redmond 171 Visitability .

  Oly Backstrom 201 30 Years of the Disability Community Communicating with Labour to Increase Hiring Daniel Halechko 204 Challenges in the Labour Market Rob McInnes 207 Advocacy for Inclusive Education – In the Beginning – One Family’s Story Laura and Karen Schnellert 210 The Door That Opened A Crack When Opportunity Knocked Mel Graham 213 “Hard” Facts and “Soft” Values: Teaching Medical Students about the Lived Experience of Disability Rhonda Wiebe and Joseph Kaufert 216 Human Rights Yvonne Peters 223 221 A Missed Wedding. a Landmark Protest and a Legal Victory Inclusion of Disability Rights in the Equality Rights Section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Jim Derksen 229 Systemic Settlements of Human Rights Complaints Have Removed Barriers Dianna Scarth 233 Jordan’s Principle Anne Levesque 237 Rights for Persons with Disabilities in Manitoba Derek Legge 239 vi .

D. was it merely an inconvenience to call out stops?” Ross Eadie 245 Accessible Taxicab Services in Winnipeg Jim Derksen 249 The Development of an Accessible Urban Transportation System Dave Martin 253 Disability Studies Disability Studies Olga Krassioukova-Enns 261 259 A Community Effort: Interdisciplinary Disability Studies at the University of Winnipeg Michelle Owen 265 A View from the Academy Nancy E.  Transportation 243 When Ross Eadie Held Up the Bus: “For bus drivers. Hansen. Ph. 270 Disability Studies: A Transforming Space Deborah Stienstra 273 vii .

  viii .

  1 . Winnipeg MB Greetings. As Manitoba’s Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities. people with disabilities over the past few decades. Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities On the occasion of the Allan Simpson Memorial Fund Date: March 21. Legislative Building.  Minister’s Message the Honourable Jennifer Howard. and for. 2012 Place: The Rotunda. 450 Broadway. I am inspired by the accomplishments made by.

the disability movement challenged this attitude by advocating that people with disabilities had the right to be included in all aspects of society. in June 2011. the disability community worked with Manitoba’s government to see the establishment of a provincial Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities. however. Accessible and supportive housing options are more widely available. it was widely believed that people with disabilities had little to offer society. Improvements have been made to income and employment programs. The Accessibility Advisory Council Act was passed by the provincial Legislative Assembly. This led to the release of Full Citizenship: A Manitoba Provincial Strategy on Disability (2001) and the creation of the Disabilities Issues Office. Inclusive education is now the norm as children with disabilities are attending regular classrooms across the province. People with disabilities are now protected by Manitoba’s Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. More recently. Programs supporting people with disabilities to live in the community have expanded. This advocacy has had a profound effect on Manitoba. 2   . Community accessibility has improved.  Just a short time ago. Accessible transportation systems now exist in many communities. In 2000. The council created by this Act will identify barriers that people with disabilities face and find new ways to prevent and remove those barriers. Starting in the 1970s.

I congratulate the disability community for publishing this historical account of the successes that have been achieved.  While government has been a partner in these developments. it is important to reflect on how far we have come. The disability movement has also led the way in finding solutions to remove the barriers preventing people with disabilities from enjoying full citizenship. Thank you.   3 . Their powerful advocacy has educated all of us about the needs and concerns of people with disabilities. Although more work needs to take place to ensure people with disabilities are fully included in society. it is important to recognize that Manitobans with disabilities and their organizations have been instrumental in much of the progress that has occurred.

Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities Thirty-eight years ago I was a young idealistic woman who wanted to find my path to make some kind of positive contribution to this world. Presently she works at Legal Aid Manitoba as a Community Advocate with the  Poverty Law Unit. provincial.  women's issues and poverty and has addressed these issues at the local. national and  international levels.  1 4   . I stumbled upon a group of “nice” people living with various types of disabilities who were really working hard to have their views heard and                                                              Ms Paula Keirstead is an individual and systemic rights advocate primarily in the areas of disability.    Foreword BY PAULA KEIRSTEAD1 Co-chair.

My personal and professional education and awareness began then. Brian Stewart. Clare Simpson had such a clear sense of who they were. Michael Rosner. what they wanted. my eyes are only one part of my whole being and therefore I assumed I would be considered based on what I could do. I was awestruck. but I didn't see myself as one of them. Elizabeth Semkiw. not just on what I couldn't do. only as someone on the edges who could help out when needed. I didn't define myself as a person with a disability and couldn't imagine society would either. Unrealistic and inaccurate visual challenges were placed before me and used as reasons to refuse accepting me into a profession I had wanted to be in since I was seven years old. Henry Enns.  rights respected. Little did I know that my life would be permanently and irrevocably altered having joined my voice with other members of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities Inc. Jim Derksen. I was devastated and   5 . and how they wanted to contribute to society as valued citizens. I was wrong and felt that rejection when I tried to pursue postsecondary education. You see even though I acquired a significant visual disability within hours of my birth. After all.! The individuals I met like Allan Simpson. I decided to lend a hand and do what I could to help these “disadvantaged” people out.

! It was. and still is. While I ultimately obtained my Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Manitoba I always say that I learned how to be an effective social change agent as a member of the MLPD Inc. It was at that moment I embraced the rights. the result of which was not only devastating but also discriminatory. this school of disability activism that I continue to turn to and participate in and presently offer leadership and experience as Cochairperson. institutions. 6   . and channelled my skills and abilities into letting society know what we all miss out on when we limit our view of which individuals can contribute to our world and share the rights and responsibilities of being full citizens. and I dare say governments have been educated about the realities of persons living with disabilities and what is needed to level the playing field so all can be full citizens. My experience is not unique in that there are numerous examples of where individuals.  confused. self-help philosophy of the MLPD Inc. When I talked with my new colleagues at the MLPD Inc. about this during our many issue/strategy committee meetings they helped me see that there were attitudinal and social barriers to my participation as a person with disability.

has spawned many skilled and committed citizens with all types of disabilities who have enthusiastically participated in the shaping and enhancement of our society as a whole. in our province has instigated and supported many positive changes in our society which are so eloquently shared in this booklet by the many contributors.  Having an active organization such as the MLPD Inc. Welcoming the new energy and ideas of the youth with disabilities will ensure that the legacy of the disability rights movement in Manitoba is alive and well!   7 . A strong and vibrant MLPD Inc.

  Jess currently works for the University as an Accessibility Advisor. Jess has spent many years living overseas. Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities As recently elected Co-chair of MLPD. During my time at the University of Winnipeg. In the two short years I have been involved with the organization. with a Bachelor of Arts in Conflict  Resolution Studies and Psychology.  Although she grew up in Winnipeg.  Foreword BY JESS TURNER1 Co-chair. and loves to travel and  experience new cultures. I have been involved in the organization for two years now. making the transition to MLPD seemed to be a very natural and timely move.  1 8   . I actively participated in Students for Inclusion and helped raise awareness concerning the accessibility of the university. As a recent graduate. I have learned a great deal about                                                              Jess Turner is a recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg.

and   9 . I am constantly enlightened and invigorated by those who are involved with the League. but that these youth will represent the diverse population of our community. This booklet has been created to celebrate the 38 glorious years that MLPD has been around for. and become active in. more young people must become involved with the League to pass the torch and continue to fight the good fight! As Co-chair. more young people to become involved with the organization. united voice as this province seeks to enact and implement accessibility legislation. by highlighting accomplishments and sharing personal anecdotes. Aboriginals. Transgender). For this reason alone. serve as positive mentors to me and other younger members. And as a younger member of the League. by sharing an endless supply of knowledge and experience. but also serves to underscore the value that MLPD and its members will continue to provide for decades to come. the League. pretty much since its inception. it is my hope that not only will more young people become inspired by.  the various issues persons with disabilities still face in our community. Those who have been involved with MLPD. I strongly encourage. It is vital that disabled members of the community present a strong. Gay. and will actively strive to get. Bisexual. including LGBT (Lesbian.

how people develop a healthy identity as a person with a disability. and have done research into. Aside from the issues that persons with disabilities face on a day-to-day basis. It is my hope that other young people with disabilities can have similar experiences through their involvement with MLPD. 10   . These members of our community present a unique set of challenges. My involvement with the League has helped shaped my identity as a person with a disability and will continue to have impact on the directions I take in the future. I am particularly interested in. I believe that societal changes with regards to the perception of disability can only come about if we are able to present a healthy image of ourselves to others and exhibit an active voice within the community. as well as providing a fresh perspective on the issues we all face as persons living with disabilities and chronic illnesses.  Newcomers especially. Warm Regards.

worship and enjoy leisure activities alongside others. go to school. To make this a reality. To ensure that people with disabilities have a voice in community decision-making.  Allan Simpson Memorial Fund       Allan Simpson (1939-1998) believed everyone. Allan’s dream was that inclusion would become what all people with disabilities could expect from society. The concrete results of Allan’s dedication can be seen in: Canadian Wheelchair   11 . Allan worked tirelessly to build the disability movement. has a place in their community and that people with disabilities should live. including people with disabilities. he recruited teams of people to develop community organizations. work.

the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities. The Fund is used to:  Support initiatives which contribute to the full and equal participation of people with disabilities in community life. Donations for the Allan Simpson Memorial Fund may be forwarded to: The Winnipeg Foundation 1350 One Lombard Place 12   .  Sports. The Allan Simpson Memorial Fund. the Winnipeg Independent Living Resource Centre and other Centres across Canada and CBC’s show “Moving On”.  Develop new Independent Living initiatives of persons with disabilities. the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. supports community development and team building among people with disabilities. the housing program at 1010 Sinclair.  Recognize the achievements of persons with disabilities. established to recognize Allan’s contribution to the disability movement.

R3B 0X3   13 . Manitoba.  Winnipeg.

Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Community Legal Education Association. B'nai Brith Canada. DisAbled Women’s Network Manitoba. 14   . People First of Canada. University of Winnipeg . Community Living – Manitoba. Manitoba Interfaith Council. LEAF Manitoba. Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. People First of Manitoba. Ph.  Allan Simpson Memorial Fund Events 2008 “People with Disabilities from Holocaust to Human Rights” Program: Lecture by Dr. Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties. Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities. University of Manitoba Disability Studies Program. and showing of documentary film “Liebe Perla” Partners: Arthur Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice.Global College. Jewish Federation of Winnipeg – Women’s Campaign.D. Independent Living Resource Centre of Winnipeg. Simi Linton. Little People of Manitoba.

the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Luncheon Speaker Hon. Concern. Edward Schreyer (Political Perspective) Jenny Gerbasi (City of Winnipeg). Ross Eadie (Building Code and the Political System). Steven Fletcher. Partners: Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.   15 . Rt... Hon. 2004 “Abuse. Joel Casselman (Visitable Design). Chris Summerville (Mental Health Issues). Diane Scribe-Niigani (First Nations). Awareness and Action.Have Things Improved Since the Death of Cory Moar?” Program: Workshops about the Cory Moar Case. Inquest. Lori Wiebe (Communications Technology).  2005 “Access the World” Program: Guest speakers shared their views on the various dimensions of access: David Northcott (Poverty).

Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Partner: Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Dianna Scarth. Roeher Institute. Partners: Independent Living Resource Centre and Council of Canadians with Disabilities. 2003 (December) “Twenty Years of Litigating for Disability Equality Rights: Has It Made A Difference?” Program: Panel with Yvonne Peters. Sarah Lugtig. 2003 (June) “Addressing Violence and Abuse Against Persons with Disabilities” Program: Lecture by Cam Crawford.  Partners: Association for Community Living Manitoba. 16   . Jim Derksen.

    17 .

  18   .

                    Creating Change                   19 .

          20   .

was the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP). of change.     21 . a year-long event of international stature sandwiched                                                              1  David Steen:      Experience in the governance of several consumer organizations  Experience in the governance of a professional rehab organization  Experience in the management of a professional rehab organization. and drove public consciousness and governments at the local. It spanned several years. national and international levels to new and different ways of perceiving and addressing issues of disability. They Were A’changing It was a period of unrest. an awakening. 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons: International One such event in 1981. regional. currently serving as the CEO  of SMD  Experience in living with a disability and seeing on a daily basis the stark contrast between reality  and the dream.    BY DAVID STEEN 1 The Times. It included numerous milestone events. each of which added to the collective transformation of thinking about our society and the place of people with disabilities within it.

org.  between a consumer protest at the 1980 World Congress of Rehabilitation International. enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens.dircsa. income security. 22   . “…The theme of IYDP was “full participation and equality”. and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development…” http://history.DPI) and the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the latter part of 1981. The Committee produced the Obstacles Report which put forward 130 recommendations on all aspects of public policy including human rights. the Government of Canada appointed an all-party Special Committee on the Disabled and the Handicapped to undertake a comprehensive review of federal legislation pertaining to persons with disabilities. hosted by the Canadian Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled (CRCD) and Rehabilitation International (which ultimately led to the creation of Disabled Peoples’ International . defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies.au/19001999/international-year-of-disabled-persons/ 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons: Canada “…In respect of the International Year.

Citizenship became an important goal for the disability community in Canada. For the first time. Most importantly. People with disabilities were becoming vocal in expressing their desire to be considered full citizens rather than passive recipients of services. The original version of the Charter.  assistive devices. the government was consulting people with disabilities about the types of policies and programs that would best help them achieve full citizenship. Due to strong   23 . the rise of consumer-based organizations of and for people with disabilities helped people with disabilities lobby for policies and programs that expressed their needs and desires. The Obstacles Report was unique because it put forth policy recommendations that arose from the voices of people with disabilities. One of the most important advances for disability-related policy in Canada was the constitutional recognition of the rights of people with disabilities in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. did not include any reference to “mental and physical disability” as specific grounds of discrimination. This achievement marked the first important step of the disability community in their lobbying efforts. transportation and communications. proposed by the federal government in October 1980.

an opportunity. As a result of a seemingly simple conversation with Al.ca/policy/overview/c ommunity. he was an icon because of his untiring efforts for the advancement of disability issues. and other consumerdriven organizations. In fact. playing leadership roles with the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped (MLPH). an occasion to raise the profile of disability issues and to do so under the mantle of the United Nations. I ended up helping draft a letter requesting Provincial involvement and support for IYDP. E-Quality Employment. Al was neither shy nor retiring and he was quick to take advantage of an opportunity. It was too good to pass up. IYDP was just that. One thing led to another. the phrase was added to the final version in April 1981…” http://www.  and persistent lobbying of the organizations of the disability community in Canada. a meeting 24   .disabilitypolicy.php 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons: Manitoba One of the most unwavering advocates for people with disabilities was Al Simpson. Ten Ten Sinclair. He was extensively involved at the local level. He was a player on the national stage in 1980 as part of the consumer protest at the World Congress held in Winnipeg.

This fund supported a grant program which helped small communities become more accessible by removing the obvious barriers. But the impact of IYDP went well beyond the benefits and excitement of these grant recipients. Numerous small self-help disability organizations received financial support for a variety of special projects. with crossdisability representation. and the Manitoba Organizing Committee (MOC) for IYDP was born.   25 .  here. a phone call there. Office space was secured in the Provincial Archives building and 3 staff were hired or seconded from the Province to assist the MOC in administering a fund in support of IYDP activities in Manitoba. stairs. Al had been successful in ensuring solid Provincial support for this consumer-driven IYDP initiative. A steering committee was created. a lot of encouragement from Al. Al and several other leaders from within the Manitoba disability community served on the Committee and guided its work throughout the year. narrow doorways and inaccessible washrooms.

more inclusive and caring world. service clubs. the enthusiasm. IYDP and the momentum it created helped evolve our understanding of access and inclusion. and it helped set the stage for the inclusion of section 15 into Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It was that moment in time when the stars aligned and we had an opportunity to make a difference. senior policy analysts in government and leaders in business were energized to find new ways of making Manitoba more accessible and inclusive. IYDP bolstered our confidence in negotiations about the Charter. the Obstacles Report and other events. There was energy and excitement about doing something new. It encouraged us to dream our dreams of a better. the momentum which had been generated by the protest at the Rehabilitation International Conference. IYDP was that moment in time when everyone saw the value of addressing the needs of persons with disabilities. IYDP helped maintain the energy. IYDP heightened our expectations of what was possible and it made us hungry for more.  IYDP successfully raised the profile of disability issues in Manitoba. We knew we had the 26   . it fed our growing awareness of human rights and the true meaning of citizenship. Boy Scout and Girl Guide troops.

  leadership to champion human rights and inclusive concepts of citizenship. and that one person can make a difference.   27 . leaders who believed that removing barriers was the right thing to do. his life and his accomplishments stand as a testament to the fact that dreams can become reality. Al Simpson was one of those leaders.

However.  Emily is currently the Co‐chair of  DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Manitoba. in June of 1985.Thirty Years Thirty years ago. In this report. Pelletier indicated that violence against women with disabilities exists everywhere . at home and on the streets. rural areas. Ternette has done work in the area of disability in Winnipeg for the past thirty years. a networking meeting was held in Montreal resulting in a Report: Women with Disabilities written by Jacqueline Pelletier.  BY EMILY A. the disability rights movement had not identified women with disabilities as having any issues specific to that population.  Her  associations include employment with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) and  contract work with the Independent Living Resource Centre (ILRC).in cities. in hospitals. TERNETTE1 Women with Disabilities . Women with disabilities are at greater risk of violence than                                                               Emily A.  1 28   .

In the late 1980s and early 1990s. that DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada emerged. Resources for Feminist Research published an entire issue specifically on women with disabilities. there is a form of “ableism” occurring that excludes women with disabilities who want to create change for all women . DAWN Canada did groundbreaking work on shelters for women with disabilities with a project called “Bridging the Gaps . In 1983. Voices From the Shadows: Women with Disabilities Speak Out by Gwyneth Matthews was published.   29 .both on a social and political level. Poverty and Housing: An Update on Non/Resources for Women with Disabilities”.that is.  other women. though. It was at that networking meeting. with a handful of women listening to that Report. What was and still is missing.Violence. prior to 1985. Of course. talking and writing about their lives. is that women with disabilities are not being embraced by the mainstream women’s movement . women with disabilities had been organizing. This project developed a tool called the National Accommodation Accessibility Survey (NAAS) which has provided important information for government to use in order to improve accessibility to women’s shelters.

we have a long way to go. Carmela Hutchison went to Ottawa to present a Brief on Economic Security to the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women. DAWN Canada’s President. What is most important is that women with disabilities are more visible in the wider women’s community. Employment opportunities are somewhat better and access to healthcare is improving. held a conference that would focus on an effective strategic development that would work towards ending the isolation and exclusion of women with disabilities and help these women develop their strengths and leadership potential. along with other community partners. and they are benefitting from us being there. However. They found many. The goal was to allow women with disabilities to participate in policy and social program developments aimed at improving their social conditions. and took their findings to Women’s Worlds 2011. DAWN Canada. 30   . In 2006. There have been some changes for women with disabilities over the past 30 years.  Also in those early years. DAWN Manitoba held a Healthcare Forum to determine the gaps in the healthcare system for women with disabilities in the province. In February of 2011.

    31 .

   32   .  BY YUTTA FRICKE1    The Canadian Disability Rights Movement Goes International This is the way my former boss Henry Enns told the story: It was Monday evening. June 23. Winnipeg. Canada. The atmosphere was pregnant with excitement… Never before in the history of humanity had disabled people from all over the world had an opportunity to come together to share their experiences… One after another they                                                              1  Yutta Fricke was the Development Program Director at DPI from 1988 ‐ 1999. 1980.

Back then. disability advocates wanted to eliminate social and environmental barriers. the professionals concluded that individuals with disabilities did not have the required expertise. Instead. They rejected the resolution   33 . The overseas guests with disabilities were greeted by Canadians promoting a common purpose: equal representation of people with disabilities in RI. RI was one of few international organizations speaking for persons with disabilities. Because the United Nations had designated 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. Despite intense lobbying and creative pressure tactics (like Dinosaur Awards for backward thinkers).000 healthcare professionals.  began to tell their stories of oppression. Among the 4. Henry was referring to the 1980 Rehabilitation International (RI) Congress held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. rehabilitation counsellors and administrators were some 250 disabled people from over 40 different countries. their vision was full participation and equality of persons with disabilities. government officials. it was especially important to revolutionize RI’s medical model focussing on individual diagnoses and lifelong rehabilitation. exclusion and rejection.

the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (now the Council of Canadians with Disabilities) had organized a number of meetings for the participants with disabilities. 14 people were elected to form the steering committee of the new international organization. it became clear that people with disabilities needed more than a voice at the RI table. With the resolution defeated hours before. 34   . called out “Do I hear that you want to create an organization of your own?” the response was resounding.  to have at least 50% of all members of RI governing bodies be people with disabilities. the barbeque served up much more than burgers. when Henry Enns. Enter Plan B: In preparation for the RI Congress. And so the idea of Disabled Peoples' International was born. By the end of the evening. As individuals from all over the world told their stories of oppression. including a barbeque following the RI General Assembly. with the support of allies like Allan Simpson and Jim Derksen. And so. and with fire in their hungry bellies.

  Winnipeg was the right place at the right time. the history of the international disability rights movement reached its most significant milestone: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities became international law. it is a story we share with our worldwide community of persons with disabilities. features prominent roles for Canadians. People with disabilities around the world were gaining a sense of their own identity. particularly from Sweden. By the 1980s.   35 .” Furthermore. future meetings could be planned and in 1981 a National Assembly in Singapore elected the first Council of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI). So. In 2008. the United Nations and increasing numbers of governments were socially prepared for this “last civil rights movement. with additional support. the Mennonite Central Committee offered the fledgling organization financial support early on. together they caught sight of their liberation. While this story. and the continued presence of DPI headquarters in Canada decades later. Within a year. the Canadian disability advocates convinced their government to fund international organizing and training of people with disabilities.

      BY CHRIS SUMMERVILLE. As a provincial and national leader and advocate for a transformed. CPRP 1 Still a Long Ways To Go! Historically. recovery‐ oriented mental health system.MIN.  In 2007 Prime Minister Harper appointed Chris to the Board of Directors of the Mental Health  Commission of Canada. and in general..  He is a Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) and also certified with Living  Works as an ASIST Suicide Intervention Master Trainer. Chris is  committed to addressing the social prejudice and accompanying discrimination associated with mental  illness. D. he has served on numerous provincial and national boards. it has been difficult to help the public understand mental illness from a disability perspective.  1 36   . Chris has been the Executive Director of  the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society since 1995 and is also the CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of  Canada. While most people understand that the presence of severe mental                                                                As a family member and a recipient of mental health services.

psychosis. mind and spirit in the context of community supports. as well as across all of Canada. treatment and recovery from mental illness. Such a holistic treatment model has not always been characteristic of mental health services. Whatever is happening to a person’s brain chemistry-wise.” This is not to say that environmental factors do not influence the onset. take his/her medication and forget about a life of hopes and dreams. Now we know that mental illnesses are just as much physical involving the body’s “chemistry. a diagnosis of a mental illness 30 years ago was a “kiss of death” diagnosis. Too often mental illness has been categorized merely as a character or spiritual or “bad emotional” problem. it is an emphasis on body.  illness can and does interfere with a person’s ability to live. love and learn. Here in Manitoba. etc. depression. a holistic or person-centred approach is needed in helping people live beyond the limitations of the mental illness. the presence of stress triggers the symptoms of mental illness: anxiety. the reason for this has not been appropriately understood. However with the advent of psychiatric or psychosocial rehabilitation model in the ‘70s. A person was told to go home.   37 . Thus. For those with “severe and persistent” mental illness going home was being placed involuntarily in “insane asylums” in Brandon or Selkirk. No one talked about recovery or even the possibility of a quality of life. Whether called a bio-psychosocial-spiritual perspective.

” Mental health spending in healthcare has always been at the bottom of healthcare spending even though 1 in 5 people will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime. loss of liberty and movement.  more attention was given to people living in the community as long as there were the appropriate supports and services. Workplace accommodation is virtually nonexistent. lack of meaningful employment and income. Stigma is still a major problem preventing people from seeking help. It only failed in that the money saved by closing hospital beds was never transferred into the community for the needed housing and mental health supports. we still lag behind in enough housing and supportive community services. Whether called social prejudice or stigma. This has been 38   . Many have noted that what is most disabling about mental illness are not the symptoms in themselves. but how society has reacted towards those with mental illness. organized and persistent in its advocacy. the resulting actions have led to discrimination: inadequate housing. “Deinstitutionalization”. “NMBY” has been the mantra of society towards those with severe mental illness: “not in my backyard. as it was called. was a good thing. While today we have more effective treatments and there is more emphasis on rehabilitation and recovery. But the mental health community is more visible.

however modest.   39 . in mental healthcare funding.  primarily due to the provincial government’s funding of mental health self-help organizations and increase.

WCCD. The workshop focused on developing the pride. Winnipeg Community Centre of the Deaf The decade from 1985 to 1995 was an important one for the Winnipeg Community Centre of the Deaf (WCCD). promoting awareness of American Sign Language (ASL) and the Deaf experience. INC. This was a time when Deaf people were establishing themselves as members of a cultural and linguistic minority in Canada and throughout the world. and b) that 40   . co-sponsored a “Deaf Culture and Pride” workshop that played a major role in determining the organization’s activities for the next decade. and confidence of Deaf individuals. The Deaf Human Service Worker Training Program was a direct result of two issues that were identified: a) that Deaf individuals were often the recipients of services that were not culturally and linguistically sensitive.  BY MANITOBA DEAF ASSOCIATION. In 1985. with the Children’s Home of Winnipeg. identity. and providing recommendations to assist in Deaf community development.

  traditional postsecondary education programs were unable to satisfactorily meet the needs of Deaf adults for whom English functioned as a second language. Both these programs addressed the unique educational and family needs of Deaf people by focusing on their abilities and incorporating a bilingual (ASL and English) and bicultural (Deaf and hearing) approach. recreation directors. Administrators were recognizing that the people who know what is   41 . early childhood educators. By actively involving the Deaf community with the identification of an issue. Both the classroom and field training was individualized and geared specifically to the needs of the Deaf participants. and community developers. The Deaf Human Service Worker Training Program followed a cooperative learning model where participants would alternate between two weeks of classroom learning and six weeks of on-the-job learning. gathering information. Other programs established at this time included the Deaf Literacy Program (DLP) and Sign Talk Children’s Centre. and developing action plans. Through this program Deaf people successfully took on the roles of counsellors. WCCD helped to remove the stigma of Deaf people as “recipients” of services. group home workers.

and it will be interesting to see how Deaf people will respond to these new challenges. Today’s Context: In consideration of the important programs and services that were established in the early 1990s.  best for the Deaf community are Deaf people themselves. 42   . internet. For example. In some ways the success of these programs has resulted in diminishing the advocacy role of the Deaf Community. The influence of inclusion and technology are changing the function of Deaf community organizations. but they continue to have an influence on the Winnipeg Deaf Community today. some of them have changed or no longer exist. video phones) reduce the need for personal care and face-to-face meetings and interaction. professional services and accessible technology (text messages.

Society wasn’t set up for them.  BY DIANE DRIEDGER1   A Voice Like No Other: Ours In 1981. No. there existed a voice of people with disabilities. It wasn’t in them. waiting to be fixed by professionals. two organizations arose in the Prairies: Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped (now Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities) and the Saskatchewan Voice of the Handicapped. the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons. 2010). mobility and sensory saw that they had a lot in common as a “people”. society had been built without their participation and society did                                                               Diane Driedger is Provincial Coordinator of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD). At that time. in their bodies. People with all kinds of disabilities. It had been increasing its volume since the early 1970s.  1   43 . Her  latest book is Living the Edges: A Disabled Women’s Reader (Inanna. The problem wasn’t what the rehab providers said it was.

without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. as COPOH representatives talked to Government about access to Canadian society and insisted on participation in an International Year that was their namesake. This World Plan of Action evolved over the years with input from COPOH and its international counterpart. had been around for 6 years and it had spread its membership across Canada. COPOH’s representatives were involved in government delegations to the United Nations to draft a World Plan of Action for Disabled Persons that included the very heart of the disabled people’s movement: we need to be involved in all levels of planning about our own lives as people with disabilities. . over the next decade. Indeed. and eventually became the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. One reporter in Ottawa even called COPOH “KAPOW” on the Hill. and encourage their participation in public affairs. . the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH) which the Manitoba League helped found. Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI). 44   . including: . The Convention boldly states: Promote actively an environment in which persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in the conduct of public affairs. adopted by Canada in March 2010.  not seem interested in hearing how that had happened. In 1981.

In 1980.   45 . RI denied people with disabilities the right to have a majority voice in the running of an international organization concerned with “fixing” their lives. Incensed. Forming and joining organizations of persons with disabilities to represent persons with disabilities at international.  ii. the two hundred and fifty disabled persons present from 40 countries and all regions of the world. national. They had a Secretariat at the Congress to enable people with disabilities to meet several times. decided to found its own voice with the motto. the idea for DPI was born in Winnipeg at the Rehabilitation International (RI) Congress. a world voice of people with disabilities. There. Newfoundland. The Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped and COPOH had planned ahead. “A Voice of Our Own”. Canadians have continued to be involved in the running of DPI through the Development Office and the World Secretariat in Winnipeg and then in St. Manitobans were very involved in the founding of DPI as the Secretariat was in Winnipeg and Henry Enns of the Manitoba League was the Chair of the international Steering Committee. regional and local levels (Article 29). In 1981. I was present as a Manitoba League staffperson when COPOH was a catalyst in the founding of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI). John’s.

46   . The Manitoba League and COPOH. our voice endures. 30 years later. and are world leaders in confronting the barriers that face persons with disabilities. now the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) have been fortified by strengthening the representation of people with all types of disabilities in their structure.  Indeed.

The                                                               Bonnie Heath (Dubienski) is the Executive Director for both the E‐Quality Communication Centre of  Excellence (ECCOE) and the Resource Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf‐Blind (RCMDB). Certified Interpreter by the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) (Past  President) and currently President of Critical Link International (CLI). with a grant for job creation from the federal government. There were no formal postsecondary training programs at the time to train interpreters and so in the fall of 1982. 1982.  1   47 .  BY BONNIE HEATH (DUBIENSKI)1 We All Have a Voice Established on March 15. Red River Community College (RRCC) offered its first ten month program. the Independent Interpreter Referral Service (IIRS) began providing sign language interpretation services to Deaf and hearing Manitobans. Interpreter  Educator.

Bruce Koskie. IIRS was able to secure provincial government funding. The federal government funding diminished by one-third each year and in the final year. Bruce Jack. Jocelyn Dubienski and Keith Cooper. Rick Zimmer. March 15th. IIRS also received very welcomed guidance from some of Winnipeg’s greatest advocates. 2012. This was achieved by demonstrating through careful. statistical reporting that the need was real and that IIRS had the confidence of both government and the community. 48   . Jim Derksen. The core philosophy of IIRS stemmed from a belief that children of Deaf parents should not be called upon to interpret and that individuals requiring ASL/English interpretation are entitled to independent and professional service. Their input resulted in the strong structure we have today – 30 years to the date. To name a few: Allan Simpson. the Honourable Muriel Smith. Frank Rogodinski. for her confidence in us and for her guidance over 30 years. We are forever grateful to the then Minister of Family Services.  program now is a four-year undergraduate degree program jointly offered by Red River College (RRC) and the University of Manitoba. Allen Simms.

We are grateful to all the interpreters.   49 . and notetakers both past and present for their professionalism and hard work. This resulted in the establishment of the Resource Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf-Blind (RCMDB) under the E-Quality Communication Centre of Excellence (ECCOE). the private sector. We are proud of our work in medical. Deaf-Blind. public service. legal. it is our daily mission to facilitate the ongoing communication between Deaf. As a community agency partner to all three levels of government.  IIRS was created as a not-for-profit agency with registered charity status governed by a community-based board of directors – 51% of whom are Deaf. another significant turn of events occurred when the Deaf-Blind community asked IIRS to offer the same communication services to their community. In 1996. and hearing Manitobans. The name change to ECCOE occurred to acknowledge the inclusion of Deaf-Blind persons. intervenors. recreation and all other settings where communication takes place. and countless other nongovernment organizations.

                                                              Patrick Falconer is a Winnipeg‐based social policy consultant who has had the honour of serving as the  consultant to the Barrier‐Free Manitoba Steering Committee since the beginning of the initiative in 2008. not conjecture .it's the barriers faced by persons with disabilities that prevent or limit their full and equitable participation in activities and opportunities that most others take for granted.  1 50   .  BY PATRICK FALCONER1 Toward a Barrier-Free Province Beyond a common humanity. barriers are the one feature of daily life that is shared by all persons with disabilities. This is a simple fact.

in enhancing public attitudes toward disability issues. What they do not offer. Nor do these advances offer the powerful tools needed to prevent new barriers that are being created every day. and in the removal of many of these barriers.  Impressive progress has been achieved through the efforts of many over the last 38 years in securing the legal and human rights of persons with disabilities. These advances were hard-won and remain essential. We believe that that:  Enacting such legislation is a basic matter of human rights. nonprofit and nonpartisan initiative to secure systemic reform to take these incredibly important next steps . is a reasonable prospect for the timely and systematic removal of the pervasive barriers that still remain in the public realm. however.   51 . Building on the shoulders of giants.strong and effective provincial accessibility-rights legislation. Barrier-Free Manitoba began work in 2008 as a cross-ability.

Cover all disabilities.  The removal of barriers is good basic public policy that will benefit everyone. Over three short years. 4. Move beyond the complaints-driven system to comprehensively address discrimination and barriers.that the legislation: 1.   The removal of barriers is an entirely realistic and attainable duty. Reflect a principled approach to equality. 3. 52   . thousands of groups and individuals within and beyond the disability community have endorsed our call for legislation based on nine key principles .  Enacting such legislation is about doing what is right and reasonable. 2. Establish a definite target date to achieve a barrier-free Manitoba.

Not diminish other legal and human rights protections. The provincial government has listened. Supersede all other provincial legislation. mandatory and date-specific standards in all areas related to accessibility that will apply to the public and private sectors. 7. It has established a new Council in law with the responsibility to provide recommendations for legislative reform by midJune 2012. Incorporate ongoing leadership opportunities for the disability community. 8. regulations or policies which provide lesser protections.  5.   53 . 6. Establish a timely and effective process for monitoring and enforcement of the standards. 9. It has committed to making Manitoba a leader in promoting and protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities. Require the development of clear. progressive.

54   .  We have high expectations that the Council will table the type of recommendations that set the stage for transformative change. We have even higher expectations that the provincial government will table the strong and effective accessibility-rights legislation that is required by the spring of 2013.

and to the Province that gave the office its mandate.  She is grateful to Tim Sale  and Jim Derksen for sharing their memories about the creation of the DIO.  1   55 .      BY  YUTTA FRICKE1 The Creation of the Disabilities Issues Office Manitoba’s Disabilities Issues Office (DIO) owes its existence to the disability advocates who inspired Full Citizenship: A Manitoba Provincial Strategy on Disability (2001). including to:   Act as a centre of responsibility for the coordination of disability policy Support and monitor the use of the Disability Access and Inclusion Lens in all provincial programs and new initiatives                                                               Yutta Fricke is the Acting Executive Director of the Disabilities Issues Office. and for hiring her back in 2003.

Sale sees his contribution as removing roadblocks that prevented the fulfillment of the community’s goals. Jim Derksen (200204). healthcare and evolving jurisprudence around disability rights all affect public policy and.” Mr. he believes: “We were well ahead of most jurisdictions back then. Sale recently reflected that his main role as the first Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities was developing the Full Citizenship policy paper and establishing the DIO with a clear purpose: “The most important function of the DIO is to permeate all government decisionmaking with a disability lens.   Ensure regular.. 1999-2003) and the DIO’s first Executive Director. the role of the DIO. and we still are. Mr. particularly among Aboriginal Manitobans with disabilities.. two individuals deserve special acknowledgement for their leadership: former Minister Tim Sale (Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities. While he stressed the ongoing challenge of poverty.” He noted that changing technology. effective and meaningful consultation with representatives of the disabilities community Within government. In terms of conceptualizing 56   . likewise.

  the DIO. “All departments were called upon to do things differently.” Another individual who was critical to the DIO’s creation is former Premier Gary Doer.” The DIO is a legacy shared by many Manitobans. Who was going to do it? Mr. Doer’s association with the creation of the MTS Centre and the return of the Jets. whose rationale was as follows: With a Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities and a provincial plan. Full Citizenship called for new attention to accessible communication.   57 . Sale believes “his most important legacy is the establishment of the disability portfolio (and Healthy Child Manitoba). it was obvious that a new policy office was needed. Derksen recalls the priority given to distinguishing the portfolio of the new minister and office from the mandates of the departments of Health and Family Services. who advocated then and continue now to engage with the DIO and ministries across government to act on our vision of full citizenship for Manitobans with disabilities. information and coordination across government. he credits Jim Derksen. Mr. Contrary to Mr.

  58   .

 She has worked in direct service  delivery. I knew that this organization provided services to individuals that were considered “very challenging” and that the                                                               Marsha Dozar has worked in community/supported living since 1984.. resource developer. Red River  College instructor.  staff and government in her quest to help make life better.. Marsha has worked closely with individuals with disabilities. It was a late afternoon in the mid 1980s when I arrived at my office that was located in a basement of one of the group homes run by a midsized agency in Winnipeg. After more than 25 years of working in  community development.  BY MARSHA DOZAR1  Looking Back.. staff and Board trainer. families. I had just been hired as Executive Director and came into the position armed with management skills but little or no experience.. event organizer.. and facilitator.. she continues to be inspired and amazed at the resilience of people and the  possibilities. been an advocate.  1   59 . history or knowledge of “mentally handicapped people”.

fulfilling years . who they spent time with and what rules and policies would. I must admit they were good years . be written to help structure their days. promising to uphold the mission and integrity of a unique funding model in Manitoba called In the Company of Friends (ICOF). They hired their own staff. We were proud at how “innovative” we were and we worked tirelessly to make life good. I made a commitment. or would not. hired their staff. clothed.learning years and for the most part.  practices of the agency were deemed progressive and cutting edge. chose where they wanted to live. I accepted a contract position as Executive Director of Living in Friendship Everyday (LIFE). who they lived with. bathed and spent time with them. amazed by what we continue to learn 60   . we established their daily routines. fed. Welcome Home (the province’s attempt to reduce the number of residents living at MDC) was moving into full force and we were busy building group homes for the next 20 people that would be moving in shortly.at least for me. We developed policies that would protect the residents. Eight people lived in the home that housed my office and the same eight people spent their days in a neighbouring church basement day program. I sit here today. In late 2007. Sixty-two men and women with intellectual disabilities were receiving ICOF funding and living a self-managed lifestyle with the help and support of friends and family.

Looking back is a celebration of accomplishment and movement and a reminder of how far we   61 . and help facilitate. We went from directing clients to supporting citizens in 25 short years. succeeding. their families and friends needed to share or even manage their own power and create their own dreams. We believed that our job as professionals was to protect. people working in real jobs (with support if needed). we did what we knew how to do. getting married. the family that quietly said "no" and became the catalyst for the Vulnerable Persons Act. empower. learning. having babies.  .as I move into my fifth year with the organization. In the 1980s. developing competencies. So often I face the dilemmas of each day and get lost in the frustration of things not changing. control and direct people each day. relationships. living. Our task was to assist. I’m reminded of countless accomplishments that occurred in the years in-between my introduction to “the field” and today – things in which I was able to play a part and see firsthand. failing. trying new things. We had our visions of how life could be for people and didn’t consider how narrow our dreams may have been. It took us several decades to realize that individuals.

  have come – a moment to pause and celebrate before we move on. 62   .

    63 .  BY JOHN YOUNG1 Building on the Foundation of Independent Living One of the greatest achievements of the disability community has been the founding and delivery of the Independent Living philosophy in Manitoba. Recognition and practice of the IL                                                              1  John Young is the Executive Director of the Independent Living Resource Centre – Winnipeg. it was a relatively new and unexplored concept but one that had a propensity for success within the disability community. When the IL philosophy was brought to Manitoba some 30 years past. one that couples the concept of independence with integration.

  philosophy resulted in greater levels of inclusion in socio-economic and political participation for a population once viewed as marginalized and unrealized. the Independent Living Resource Centre (ILRC-Winnipeg) was led by Allan Simpson. Allan worked with an annual budget of approximately $750. ILRC has propelled its programming to the frontlines in consumer support and independence: Personal Attendant Community Education (PACE).000. services and expertise. full participation in the community and the impact of cutting edge. At that time. Allan was a key proponent and believer that a new era would be realized only when persons with disabilities are seen as valuable participants in service delivery. the majority of which was government sourced. ILRC promotes integration in livelihood. And so the foundation was laid but much work had to be done. A leading agency in service delivery. The ILRC has come a long way since the founding years of the ‘80s. community-directed programming wherein government and private sectors approach the disability community to purchase goods. In the middle ‘80s. for within this dynamic population there is an enormous amount of expertise and merit. Realizing the limitation of depending on a single source of income.6 million. Now passing an operating budget of $3. ILRC-Winnipeg today is at the forefront of this new era. Self 64   . a curriculum derived from persons with disabilities’ input and direction.

participation. This is the legacy being created by the disability community in Manitoba – we are moving away from marginalization and into a new era of expertise and equality. the very facets that form the basis of Independent Living.   65 . Persons with disabilities have more control today over their own destinies through self-direction than ever before. community-owned model. through the support of a proactive Provincial government. are becoming mainstream examples of a 21st century spectrum of supports.  and Family Managed Care (SFMC) and Brokerage. direction and integration through a holistic. both leading programs in community living that. We can state with confidence that the legacy in today’s disability landscape is one forged from responsibility.

  66   . the Manitoba Provincial Government offered to work with                                                              1 Jane Sayer RCMDB Coordinator and Curtis  Hainsworth Service Support Provider (SSP)  demonstrating tactile hand over hand  communication at a training workshop. Manitoba Division.  BY JANE SAYER1 RCMDB: A Unique Program in Canada Under the leadership of Bonnie Heath and with the assistance of the Manitoba Government: Department of Family Services and the Manitoba Deaf-Blind Association (MDBA).and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). The RCMDB is one product of MDBA's advocacy. E-Quality Communication Centre of Excellence (ECCOE) established the Resource Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf-Blind (RCMDB) in 1996. Jane has been employed at the RCMDB  for the last 14 years.   Jane Sayer was a founding member and the first Chairperson of the Manitoba Deaf‐Blind Association  (MDBA).the consumer/advocacy group . She served on the Canadian National Society of the Deaf‐Blind (CNSDB) for ten years (2000‐2010)  and is still involved as the CNSDB Transportation representative. Due to differences in philosophies between the MDBA .

was hired as the RCMDB Coordinator of Services in 1997. Intervenor services are overseen by ECCOE. Jane Sayer. It has been acknowledged across Canada and internationally   67 . This means the organization has the services of highly skilled intervenors who have been trained in all forms of communication. disease or conditions. Intervenor services are provided to adults who are Deaf-Blind as a result of accidents. Many of the philosophies of ECCOE were exactly what the Deaf-Blind community had been searching for. They were amazed at the many different communication needs. a person who is Deaf-Blind. A steering committee was set up to ensure DeafBlind Manitobans could have a say in their program. trauma.  MDBA to find a new agency to provide services to the acquired Deaf-Blind population. ECCOE promotes their belief that independence and full access to the world is fundamental and should be made possible for consumers by access to communication services. It is interesting to note that it was only after ECCOE took over this program that government ministers noted that this was the first time they had ever met DeafBlind people. This is a unique program in Canada and it is now celebrating its 15th Anniversary.

recreation and exercise. to assist Deaf-Blind people with quality of life issues. bill paying. It has been a joy to have witnessed people undergoing positive personality changes: from being isolated and not feeling capable. The purpose of this program was to train people. People are healthier and happier and are more involved in living and enjoying the world around 68   .  that Manitoba has some of the best intervenors and they serve as role models for others. This assistance can be given in regards to such daily events as shopping. both employees and volunteers. reading mail. to becoming leaders in the Deaf-Blind community. or to getting out of the home to participate more actively in the community. A Service Support Providers (SSP) program was established in 2007. RCMDB came to realize that this high level of training was not always needed for assignments with individuals in the Deaf-Blind community.

 Yutta Fricke and  Jane Sayer at the Deaf Resource Centre  Communication Devices Launch   69 .  them. Josie Vitucci an ECCOE Intervenor.

recognizes how important it is for everyone to feel included. He is a long time board member for Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy. and basic needs seriously. respected.  1 70   . environmental sciences. Dean is Co‐chair of the End  of Life Ethics Committee. We all need others to take our hopes. Trustworthy and Lasting Social Connections Many of us can feel alone and isolated.                                                               Dean Richert is a Winnipeg‐based attorney with a strong interest in disability rights law. Wolf Wolfensberger. an international movement created by Dr.  BY DEAN RICHERT1 Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy: Promoting Independent. religious studies and law. Citizen Advocacy. His education  includes studies in theology. supported and encouraged. heard. dreams. and serves on the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Canadians with  Disabilities.

Now. I didn’t go anywhere and I didn’t know what to do with my life. trust and relationships are what are really important in everyone’s life. These independent. to speaking up for their rights. there’s always something to look forward to.” Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy seeks out individuals needing support through various community   71 . “I was bored of everything. Citizen advocates support protégés as they seek everything from obtaining safe and suitable housing. an advocate has said. Citizen Advocacy sets up matches between advocates and protégés (people with disabilities) so they can work together to face challenges and participate in community life. Love. Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy (WCA) began recruiting and supporting trustworthy. and offer companionship in times of sickness and difficulties. lasting connections promote community connection and mutual learning.” In turn.  Some people with disabilities who have been marginalized socially find it very hard to make friends and maintain trusting relationships. “Being a citizen advocate constantly reminds me of our common humanity. As one protégé put it. one-on-one relationships between advocates and protégés in 1973. doing things and going places with others isn’t always easy. [my advocate] and I have a lot of fun together. They share social and leisure time together. caring. Visiting.

Frequency of contact is a decision made between the two people matched.org/wca/ 72   . Advocates are independent of the human service system. WCA is partially funded by the provincial government. a wide range of people can be reached regardless of ability or situation. After WCA gets to know a potential protégé. they plan their own visits and activities. Four or five citizen advocacy matches are made each year in Winnipeg.  connections. grow and become stronger through these relationships. so it often takes months to find the right individual. a matching citizen advocate is sought through personal networks. WCA maintains contact with both individuals for the duration of the match and provides them with ongoing support and learning opportunities. Several meetings are facilitated by WCA. You can learn more about Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy at http://winnipegcitizenadvocacy. lifelong. and many matches have been ongoing – some have lasted more than 30 years and have been. and after both parties are comfortable with each other. In this way. Becoming a citizen advocate is a significant commitment. and relies on support from donors and fundraising efforts to continue its work. or are likely to be. The beauty of citizen advocacy is that it involves people from many different walks of life who learn.

    73 .

2012 over 50 progressive changes to the Manitoba Building Code became law. This led to  specializing in universal design in the local. based on the belief that accessibility is a social issue. and advocate attempting  to create positive interactions between people and the environments that surround them. Arch. which has been recognized  through publications and design and research awards. not one of life safety. Psychology..  BY GAIL FINKEL1 Changes to Manitoba Building Codes What has been achieved? On January 1. What existed 30 years ago? The purpose of building codes is to ensure occupants a safe environment. researcher. Through all these years the code only required creating                                                               Gail Finkel. there is a catch-22. and international arenas. has worked as a consultant. They will effect the design of new construction for most building types with the exception of residential construction. M. national. Though the Barrier-Free Section of the code now exists. Initially accessibility was not included.  1 74   .A. B.

reviewed the Barrier-Free Design Section of the Manitoba Building Code from a universal design perspective.  Every public doorway has been widened from a minimum 800 mm to not less than 850 mm.   75 . Also. What exists now? What has changed? A committee of the Manitoba Building Standards Board. were not mentioned.  some accessible entrances. the term “pedestrian” is now defined in the Code as any person who walks or uses a mobility device. will be barrier-free. now require power door openers. and enforcers of the code. as well as doors into washrooms with multiple stalls. comprised of people with disabilities. rather than 50%.  Exterior entrance doors. who made them a reality. Examples of these changes include:  All pedestrian entrances. professional designers. The amendments they proposed were approved by the board and went to the Minister in charge of Codes. while the crux of life safety. fire exits. Jennifer Howard.

while previously only one was needed. 76   ."  Classrooms. with colour. are now required to inform changes in elevation greater than 225 mm. visual alarms were only required in buildings "intended to be used primarily by people with hearing impairments. and theatres 100 m2 or larger must have an assistive listening system that covers the entire seating area. auditoriums. or have a ramp leading to grade.  Stairways and ramps require handrails on both sides. texture. resiliency and sound cues. Before this change. emergency exits were not mentioned at all in the Barrier-Free Section of the Code.   A barrier-free path of travel shall be provided throughout the building and to all of the building exits.  Fire alarms will now have both visual and audible signal devices. The assistive listening devices must be hearing aid and cochlear implant compatible. All exterior emergency exits on the ground level will be at grade. Previously. meeting rooms.  Detectable warning surfaces.

 The areas that do not require barrier-free washrooms have been reduced and the locations and numbers of family washrooms increased.  Theatres and arenas will have more accessible spaces for people using wheelchairs or scooters.  Space between 2 doors in a vestibule has changed from 1200 mm to 1500 mm plus the distance of the door swing. Differing sizes.  Washroom stall size has increased from 1500 mm deep to 1600 mm and the stall door has been made wider from 800 mm to 850 mm.   The path of travel has been widened from 920 mm to 1100 mm.   77 . How has the disability community/the wider community benefitted from the achievement? Using a universal design approach to improving codes creates a new perspective to how we view the occupant and her/his needs.  Ramp landing size has been increased.

Design requirements must be set in such a way that all may benefit. The Universal Design Committee is starting the next phase. a trolley. A doorway must be wide enough for a baby carriage. The new amendments have moved the codes toward this goal and the good news is that the process is not done. strengths. and abilities are inherent in our humanness. or someone using crutches. to look at the Codes addressing residential environments.  shapes. 78   . a person with their dog guide. a walker. a wheelchair. For example a fire alarm must be both visual and audible.

    79 .                                                              1  Laurie Beachell is the National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD).  BY LAURIE BEACHELL1 Disability Access and Inclusion: Benefits for Others The disability rights community here in Manitoba has struggled for years to remove barriers to full participation and inclusion. That struggle has created a much more accessible and inclusive society than what existed in the early ‘70s when groups like the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities were formed. These accomplishments not only removed barriers for Manitobans with disabilities but made life easier for a broad range of other Manitobans. They did the heavy lifting and many today are benefitting from the improved access achieved by the disability community. Some of the major components of today’s more accessible communities are a legacy from the League’s pioneers. The work that is being done today to eliminate new emerging barriers will also have future beneficiaries who are not part of today’s struggles.

Frequently I use captioning. policy proposals. all were created because of the advocacy of the disability rights community. accessible taxicabs. enjoy the outcomes of that work. rural Handi Van services. Who are the beneficiaries of these services beyond persons with disabilities? They are moms and dads with kids in strollers. It is equally true that simple things like curb cuts demanded by the disability community have great benefit for others. who probably would not identify as having a disability.  Take transportation for example. low floor buses. seniors who can no longer climb the bus stairs. research. The Deaf and hard of hearing communities worked tirelessly for years to ensure captioning of broadcast services and to ensure that phones were hearing aid compatible. professionals who use briefcases with wheels. Captioning is now an option for all who have a hearing impairment. small children with short legs who have difficulty negotiating the high bus steps. Thousands of hours of advocacy. travellers with luggage taking public transit to the airport or bus station. My hearing has diminished as I age and soon I will probably identify as having a disability but for now use of captioning keeps the TV volume at a reasonable level and our household happier. Many older persons. Handi-Transit. You only need to think of people in airports keeping up with the news via 80   . lift equipped intercity buses. complaints and political meetings went into their creation.

access to a whole range of technical aids has been developed– scooters. menus in large print. Captioning is also of huge assistance to new Canadians learning English or French. or developed. parks with asphalt walking trails. devices for reaching and picking up. personal assistance getting from the ticket agent to the aircraft doors. larger elevators. visitable housing. to understand that the Deaf community has done all of us a great favour by creating new ways of making information accessible. bathrooms with grab bars. many of the innovative independent living or community living options that were created by persons with disabilities have a benefit beyond what was originally envisioned: new housing options have been created. etc. homecare is being delivered in more innovative ways. On the service side. large print books in libraries or talking books. Many of the components that champions of AgeFriendly Communities now point to as successes really were begun by. Some examples are automatic door openers. The impetus for all these things came from people with disabilities bringing their concerns to key decision makers. because people with disabilities spoke out about their needs.  captioning on large screen TVs or people in a bar following the commentary of a hockey game by reading the captioned commentary. furniture   81 .

Truly making Manitoba more inclusive and accessible has improved the lives of persons with disabilities but many others share in that benefit. Access and inclusion is not simply about disability but about making our society more barrier-free for all. 82   . etc. Much of the impetus for the development of these devices came from addressing the needs of people with disabilities and removing barriers for persons with disabilities. Everyone benefits. Investment in access and inclusion will be paying dividends to Manitobans long into the future.  that helps you stand up.

  BY COLLEEN WATTERS 1 Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW): Looking Back and Looking Forward into the Future Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW) began as National Access Awareness Week (NAAW) in 1988 following Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion                                                               Colleen Watters is a Policy Analyst with the Disabilities Issues Office (DIO) Manitoba Government.  She is  a member of the MLPD Provincial Council and chairs the Ethics Committee.  In the 1990s. she served as  Provincial Coordinator of Manitoba Access Awareness Week.  1   83 .

education. businesses. Bell Canada and Canada Post. and the focus changed from awareness-raising to concrete action. 84   . CTV. Stonewall and Steinbach. McDonald’s. In 1994. Promotional materials included a newsletter and a t-shirt with a logo and Manitoba Access Awareness Week in print and Braille. With financial support from the Secretary of State and Human Resources Development Canada (now Human Resources and Skills Development Canada). Events were organized in Winnipeg and communities such as Brandon. communications was added as a sixth theme. employment. the first MAAW Committee included representatives from disability organizations and businesses such as the North West Company and Manitoba Hydro. In Manitoba. NAAW was a partnership between the federal. the Pas. Thompson. housing and recreation. Canadian National Railway (CN). provincial and municipal governments. NAAW was intended to ensure the full participation of persons with disabilities in community life and worked to remove physical and attitudinal barriers to accessibility in five areas: transportation. including: Air Canada. Local communities sprang up in provinces and territories across Canada to coordinate events.  World Tour. Royal Bank. volunteers and major corporate sponsors.

including a kickoff with entertainment. Disability associations. a steering committee of Manitoba disability organizations and the provincial Disabilities Issues Office have led the crossdisability public awareness events each spring. federal funding was discontinued but the Manitoba committee continued until 1998.   85 . From 2004-2008. noon hour information and training events. Barrier-Free Manitoba. In 2009. revived the MAAW tradition in Manitoba. there were no MAAW activities. In 1997. Since 2010. disability organizations and businesses to improve accessibility in the six theme areas. MLPD organized the awards celebrations. and an awards celebration. a cross-disability coalition created to promote accessibility legislation.  A highlight each year was the annual awards celebration to profile the contributions of people with disabilities. Between 1999-2003 (with provincial support). Winnipeg Transit and media became involved in a weeklong public awareness campaign that focused on specific barriers and solutions to improve access for Manitobans with disabilities.

with an emphasis on partnership building among stakeholders. 86   .  As we look to the future. including in rural Manitoba. efforts are being made to reach new organizations. The goal is to ensure MAAW continues to thrive and grow in the future. businesses and communities.

jurisdictional issues. First                                                               Diane Scribe Niiganii has been involved in First Nations disability issues since 1998 and describes herself  as an “Ankylosing Spondylitis Survivor. BA (4 year)1 The Voice of Manitoba First Nations with Disabilities First Nation people with disabilities in Manitoba face many health and social challenges that include.  1   87 . residential schools issues. Diane is foremost a writer and has  recently self‐published articles entitled “Disability‐Curse or Gift” and “Disability and the Sacred Teachings”  on her own blog. Diane was appointed to the Accessibility Advisory Council for the Province of Manitoba  in the fall of 2011. BGS.  BY DIANE SCRIBE NIIGANII.” Among her many interests. Yet despite all these challenges. but are not limited to. homelessness and poverty.

During the 1990s the First Nations disability movement gained momentum with the Aboriginal Disabled Self-Help Group. Most of us live in urban centres because we cannot access services we need in our home communities and for many of us. These are realities that have not changed much in the last 30 years. The First Nations disability movement began in Manitoba in the 1980s when First Nations people with disabilities in Winnipeg began to participate in the mainstream disability movement. the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Working Group. and the First Nations disABILITY Association of Manitoba.  Nation people with disabilities in Manitoba continue to have a strong voice and we continue to speak out about the issues that affect us directly. Approximately one in four First Nation people on reserves in Manitoba live with some form of disability. Efforts were made by many First Nations people with disabilities to educate not 88   . Many First Nation parents have had to give up their children with severe disabilities because of water issues and lack of services in their home communities. From the beginning. it was evident that our issues were unique. Many children with disabilities on reserves cannot access the many services that a child with a disability living off reserve can access. we can never go home.

In the fall of 2011. and training.   89 . the Government of Manitoba made an important and positive step forward by appointing an Aboriginal representative to the Accessibility Advisory Council. We are continuing to demand that federal and provincial jurisdictional issues be resolved effectively and with our input. We began to participate by being involved with committees and working groups in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations. Even with the introduction of Jordan’s Principle in 2007. referral services. Because of this. Through peer support. advocacy. The First Nations disability movement will never diminish and will only get stronger as long as the issues that affect us are not addressed. research. there continues to be many First Nations people with disabilities and parents of First Nation children with disabilities who continue to speak out about our issues. but also First Nations leadership and frontline workers. First Nations people became increasingly aware of their rights and the issues that affect them directly. very little has changed in terms of access to services on First Nations.  only mainstream organizations.

  90   .

                  Inclusion                   91 .

  92   .

and just beginning my journey with the disability movement. I drove my car everywhere and there were few parking spaces close to buildings (a                                                               Emily A.  1   93 . a women=s group that works towards eliminating the  barriers in society that exist for women with disabilities in Manitoba. if I couldn’t. or. I’d find a way through it. Ternette has worked in the area of disability in Winnipeg for the past thirty years.  BY EMILY A. then I wouldn’t address it at all.  Emily is currently the Co‐chair of  DisAbled Women=s Network (DAWN) Manitoba. I was the same as everyone else! At that time. I had been brought up to ignore my physical limitations. if there was an obstacle in my way.  Her  associations include employment with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) and  contract work with the Independent Living Resource Centre (ILRC). Putting my head in the sand was my solution to everything. That is. TERNETTE1 Personal Reflection I was in my late 20s thirty years ago.

“Handicapped” parking spaces are now in all parking lots. .. These spaces are located close to buildings’ doorways and you require a placard placed in your car’s window which can be 94   . legislation exists in the area of accessibility at all three levels of government that affect all new and renovated buildings..  priority for me as walking long distances was difficult) that were allocated to drivers with disabilities.a groundbreaking document written by people with disabilities that outlined what the federal government needed to do to remove obstacles that existed in society for people with disabilities. If there were.and the list went on! The Obstacles Report also came out 30 years ago . there was always a bureaucratic maze to go through to get one! I had recently finished a project at the University of Manitoba identifying physical barriers that needed addressing for students with disabilities and there were many . elevators that you couldn’t use without getting a key. low lighting which obstructed sight lines for people with low vision. I felt that we were finally going in a positive direction! Thirty years later.stairs with no railings. doorways and washroom stalls that weren’t wide enough for wheelchairs.

I certainly appreciated curb cuts. ramps and curb cuts are still important. as well as low floor buses and attitudes of the public towards people in wheelchairs. but we’ve got a long way to go yet!   95 . Now that I spend more time in a wheelchair.  purchased from the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities. We’ve come along way in 30 years. Prior to breaking my ankle in 1998. ramps alongside stairs. There is no one experience that demonstrates the significance that accessibility legislation has had in my life. handrails and “handicapped” parking spaces. What I’ve found most important is to be able to go to a public place and access a washroom stall that is wide enough for me to turn around in and to do what I need to do with ease.

 the biography of  her daughter Catherine. At that                                                              1  Nicola is the author of Does She Know She's There?.  BY NICOLA SCHAEFER1 A Seachange in the Attitude Towards Disability In the early 1980s it was becoming accepted across North America that individuals with the most complex physical and mental disabilities could . for the last four decades. real friends and real lives in their own communities.and should! . Nicola has. (Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 1999).  96   .have real homes. been happily involved as a volunteer in the  disability community and also in the production of chamber music in Manitoba.

  time in Manitoba.another entity created by ACL . In 1983 L’Avenir (our cooperative) was approved as a provider agency. Arnold moved from the Manitoba Developmental Centre (MDC) into his own home in Winnipeg and my daughter Catherine moved from her parental home to the ground floor of a house owned by Prairie Housing Cooperative . Individuals who needed assistance in expressing their opinions had joint membership with a relative or advocate. and dozens of family members.   97 . friends and support staff. there were no government funded community agencies prepared to serve individuals with such disabilities.Winnipeg formed a cooperative. however. Consequently. together with the Association for Community Living . including founding members Arnold and Catherine. Fast forward to January 2012 and a lovely dinner party for L’Avenir’s 22 members (we’ve always been intentionally small). Three years later.Winnipeg. a group of parents and advocates. the central idea of which was to give the members (all with the most complex needs) the authority to define the nature of the services they required and control over available resources.

since 1980. among them: earlier diagnosis of disability.support to families. increased inclusive education .] 98   . including in public transportation (Catherine can now go downtown by bus!). followed by intervention and .thus perpetuating its existence rather than using the money to help its inhabitants have a life in the community. particularly in Winnipeg. a heightened profile of People First. Huge gratitude is due to all the visionaries. advocates and activists paid and unpaid . [One black mark must be noted: the NDP’s wretchedly regressive decision in 2004 to earmark 40 million dollars to “redevelop” the Manitoba Developmental Centre (MDC) .who have helped make this happen. Children and adults who have obvious “inconveniences” with which to contend are now so much part of our society as to be oddly unremarkable. there have been tremendous advances in the disability field. the availability of adapted wheelchairs. vastly improved accessibility everywhere. communication devices and other technical supports. hundreds more people with disabilities living in ordinary settings (thank you. All these advances have resulted in one overriding achievement: a seachange in the attitude towards disability. Manitoba Marathon).so important .  In Manitoba.from childcare to university.

    99 .

                                                              Dale Kendel was the Executive Director of Community Living Manitoba from 1976 to 2009. Dale lives in Winnipeg. Dale was one  of the 5 co–founders of the Manitoba Marathon in 1979. Manitoba.  BY DALE KENDEL1 A Reflection on 30 Years……“The Power of the Dream” This is a story of people who have inspired others by their resilience and their desire to live with dignity in the community. This is the story of three decades in the evolution of a system.   1 100   .

and Francis. over this three decade period. he came with a garbage bag of clothes. named Bob. Most were very old and had probably been shared with others.  and how this system provided services to meet individual needs of people who have been. The clothes on his back were the best he owned. This is a story about Community Living. rejected and misunderstood. From:  a “Medical model” to “community development and support model”  “occupy and observe” to “enable and support”  “care for” to “rights and responsibility”  “segregation” to “being welcomed in communities” When James arrived on the doorstep of his new group home. Kathy. is characterized by dramatic contrasts. after 21 years at the provincial institution. This is a story of people who live with an intellectual disability. “A garbage bag of personal possessions is a symbol of our past failure. We must ensure that   101 . Many didn’t fit him. at some time in our history. Ralph. Sam. Our development of services and supports. Amanda.

Words like: Normalization. is extraordinary. fair and equal justice.” (Kendel speaking at a CACL conference in Saskatoon. rights and responsibility. independence and interdependence. 1986) The progress story. personcentred planning and inclusion. These stand in 102   . but are now commonplace. Things like:  Attending a neighbourhood school  Having your own apartment  Working for a company and being paid for the work you do  Participating in community recreation  Making decisions about your own life Our history is immersed with key words that have influenced the values and vision of this evolving system. We can. dignity of risk. We must occasionally stop and reflect on things that were once considered impossible. over 30 years.  people living with an intellectual disability can live in our community with dignity and respect. integration. and must do everything possible to change this outrageous circumstance.

the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The slogan of the People First campaign was “Label jars not people.  sharp contrast to stereotypical words that label and show misconception and disdain. the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Opening Doors. Options for   103 .” The “R” word slowly disappears. Over 30 years. We learn from Stephen Dawson. We have the Vulnerable Persons Act (replacing part 2 of the Mental Health Act). Cory Moar. Planning for transition to adult life has been implemented. Early childhood and day care options are provided. we have seen substantial growth in the dollars being spent by Governments. Tracy Latimer and many Human Rights Commission stories. Supports to families have expanded. and the 1986 Report to the Premier that guided our development. We have three decades of policy change by both the Federal and Provincial Governments. We have Full Citizenship. The number of service/support agencies in Manitoba has increased from 32 to 109. Inclusive education began in our schools. Our history is immersed with high profile situations that shocked our complacency. the “Eve” case.

who have persevered. and survived with minimal support. This has been about staff and volunteers of many organizations that enabled and created new options. because it was “my place and my keys. apartments. Most recently. I never had keys before. we have seen the introduction of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). and work incentives. including group homes. supported employment. We continue to learn from our history and we 104   . or even the new clothes he purchased.” This has been a story about the collective accomplishment of individuals who live with an intellectual disability. This has been about individuals and families who dreamed of the possible and were willing to try. have greatly expanded. not the new bed. When Bob moved out of the Pelican Lake Training Centre and began a new life in his shared apartment with his friend Jason. We celebrate this progress. It was the “keys” to the front door of the apartment.  living in the community. but continue to be challenged by the distance still to go. This has been about the work conducted through the Community Living movement and the Manitoba Marathon. the most important possession was not the television.

  105 . There’s a place for people living with an intellectual disability . We aren’t finished yet.  continue to dream about the future.It’s called Society.



Self and Family Managed Care
Well, 30 years ago I was a young punk, and didn’t think about the barriers that would be in my way as I became an independent woman. I was like most young adults; I wanted to move out and be independent. At that time there were not many options for people with disabilities to live independently. The option I chose was a transition housing project. The other option was to stay at home with my parents and use the Manitoba Home Care Program that provides
 Terry McIntosh was born and raised in Winnipeg.  She was the only one in her family with a disability,  but that was no reason for special treatment. Terry was always treated just like her two brothers by her  mother. And due to that Terry never saw barriers; she looked at them as stumbling blocks and advocated  to break down the blocks. So, in 1985, it was a natural fit for her to start work at the Independent Living  Resource Centre (ILRC) Winnipeg. Since then she has been Chair of the Manitoba League of Persons with  Disabilities and is now on the Council as Past‐Chair. 




home support to individuals who require health services or assistance with activities of daily living. The Home Care Program provides its services based on need to individuals 18+ years old. It was established in September 1974. The only problem with the transition housing was an individual could only stay for a period of time, at which time you could either move back home or move to a Fokus Housing Unit, which is a shared attendant care model. For that reason, I moved to a Fokus Unit. The model was great, however with my work schedule and my busy social life, it was hard sharing staff, being scheduled for everything. I was continuously trying to juggle my scheduled calls, or missing calls.

It was around this time there were a group of people who were also having similar concerns. This group came from members of the Independent Living Resource Centre (Allan Simpson) and Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (Mike Rosner) and some other individuals such as Elizabeth Semkiw. After many years of negotiations with government, in 1991 the Manitoba Government, through its Home Care Program, initiated a two-year pilot project (Self Managed Attendant Care) that was based in Winnipeg. Twenty-nine persons were given the funds and full responsibility to demonstrate their ability to meet their own personal care and household maintenance needs, through hiring/firing, directing and managing their own staff. In 1994 the program spread throughout



Manitoba and became Self and Family Managed Care (SFMC). Family Managed Care was made available in response to family members wanting to keep their loved ones at home for as long as possible. I thought, wow, what a great opportunity to buy my own home, renovate it to my needs and then have the opportunity to have my own staff.

Well, it took me a few years to save up and reach my goals, but in 2000 I bought my house and went on the Self and Family Managed Care program. This is the ultimate definition of Independent Living to me. I have total control of everything in my life at this point. And since the beginning of the SFMC program there has been approximately 400 self and family managers in Winnipeg.

I won’t go into all the benefits of being on the program for they are endless. I will mention only that the individuals/leaders who advocated those many years ago also had a dream and proved that it only takes a few individuals to change the way things are. They set a new trend for others to follow. I took a chance then, due to these individuals, and it was a good thing.

Our community has a long way to go – there is much work to be done!





  Your Vote Please
Four days in April, 1992 sent me on a path leading to a successful election to Winnipeg City Council in October, 2010. During an Independence ’92 plenary session that included Henry Enns and Allan Simpson, people from around the world heard about great success in Independent Living advocacy efforts in the industrial world, but the following words rang
 At 51 years old, Ross Eadie lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two teenage boys.  Currently Ross works  as the elected city councillor for the Mynarski Ward (North End and West Kildonan).  With a strong sense  of citizenship, Ross Eadie has advocated for many improvements that have added to the well‐being of  many people.  Ross’s activity and experience can be found at www.rosseadie.ca. 




out to me: We have yet to elect persons with disabilities into governments at all levels where we can influence decisions from within. Imagine if people with disabilities had been sitting in cabinet while a new Charter of Rights and Freedoms was discussed in the context of what it should cover. Including the rights of persons with disabilities in the Charter would have started at the beginning, instead of requiring a huge effort to include them near the end of the process.

Advocacy efforts drove me to become a politician at the municipal level. The city comes into one’s life more often than the other levels. But, I have campaigned at the federal, provincial and school board levels, which involve education, health, housing and income. All four of these issues are at the top of the list to improve life for persons with disabilities and those without disabilities.

We have had some success in electing persons with disabilities in Canada. At least two persons who are blind have been school board trustees in the prairies. A woman with a disability has been the mayor of a small city, and a man using a wheelchair became the mayor of Vancouver. A person who is deaf became a member of the Ontario government, and a woman with a disability has become the Minister of Labour in Manitoba. A man who experiences quadriplegia and a woman who experiences paraplegia have




become Members of Parliament. I am sure there are more examples, but there needs to be many more to be representative of our society.

One interesting point must be made in terms of electoral progress in Canada. None of these people ran on the issues of people with disabilities. We were part of campaigns about issues everyone in society is concerned about. Each of us has political ideals from our political parties. We are women and men; fathers and mothers; single and married; gay and lesbian; and of many ethnic backgrounds. It can be difficult to hear from voters who want to make your disability an issue, but I truly believe the huge effort in educating the public over the past 30 years has made this a very small number of voters.

It is my belief that much more success will come in electing persons with disabilities in the next decade. I am not sure about where my political career will culminate before retirement, but I do know nobody will be asking me to wait at the door while they get money to donate to “the blind guyˮ. They know it is “your vote please.”



  1 112   .  She has been  active in the disability rights community since the mid‐seventies and involved with the program “In The  Company of Friends” for 18 years.      BY  CLARE SIMPSON 1  The Emergence of Individualized Funding in Manitoba--“In The Company of Friends” Thirty years ago I had recently ended employment with the Manitoba Association for Community Living (30 years ago the organization was called the Canadian Association for the                                                               Clare Simpson is currently an employee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

my husband Allan and I were invited to meet a young adult man who had lived most of his life in an institution in Winnipeg. Amant Centre since the age of 2. In the late summer of 1993. Manitoba!) – the name change alone is a significant accomplishment!! At the Board of Directors level in the organization there was considerable discussion about moving people out of the institutions in Manitoba. Ron had lived at St. and that each would enjoy more private space and could better participate in and contribute to community life. dreams. He required the use of a wheelchair for mobility and needed assistance   113 . to sharing space with others. confined to the budget of the residence. to eating as a group. This was true. Individual aspirations. energy. skill and motivation of residential staff. He was non-verbal. confined to staff whom they may or may not get along with. small community residences were springing up in urban and rural areas. The idea was that people living in small groups within a community would be a step closer to community inclusion. disabled due to spastic cerebral palsy and also had an intellectual disability.  Mentally Retarded. and goals often were not realized due to the limited time. however there was still one major hurdle – individualized funding!! People living in community residences or small group settings are still confined to the common good of the “group”. to recreating as a group.

make decisions on how to spend their time. purchase goods and services. So began a new adventure for my family as Ron invited us to join his Support Network and help him plan for his move into the community. to over 60 individuals. On meeting this personable. In 2011. It is a program 114   . Participants in the ICOF project would receive dollars directly to live their life – hire staff. At the same time I was aware that the Manitoba Government. rent an apartment. In The Company of Friends. family and associates) who would voluntarily support a person to make life decisions.  with most aspects of his personal care – AND he wanted to move out of the institution. had come together as a Steering Committee and were about to launch a demonstration project to promote deinstitutionalization – In The Company Of Friends (ICOF). I was amazed to witness his forward thinking and determination to make a change in his life. Manitoba now funds the program. together with a group of determined individuals from the community. ICOF is one option of supported living within the Department of Family Services. This project was to demonstrate that an individual with an intellectual disability could live in the community with the guidance and advice of a Support Network (a group of friends. handsome and determined man.

independent of the provincial Income Assistance program.  which has moved well past the demonstration phase. At times it is very hard work. He lives where he chooses. he is making the same difficult decisions about money management that most people face. but having watched Ron develop and grow in character. food. Manitoba is unique in that participants budget and receive funds for all aspects of their life (housing. It is an example of Individualized Funding. staffing. transportation. An organization called Living in Friendship Every Day (LIFE) was formed in 2000 to provide a resource to the participants of ICOF. he hires staff of his choosing. leisure. The one criteria is that a Support Network of friends and family must be in place and active with each participant. having access to his own funds to determine his own lifestyle. etc. full of decisions and new experiences. to monitor and assist with the maintenance of Support Networks and to ensure the integrity of the ICOF model is upheld. I have been involved on Ron’s support network for 18 years. For Ron. has been life changing. Other provinces in Canada now have programs similar to ICOF. His life has been challenging. he plans volunteer/leisure time of his choosing.   115 .).

personal determination and allows a person to develop a lifestyle of their choosing. Life has changed dramatically for people who are a part of the ICOF supported living program over the past 30 years.  convinces me with no doubts that Individualized Funding gives to an individual personal freedom. the concept of Individualized Funding has been demonstrated as a positive step forward. While traditional caregiving services still exist in all provinces across Canada for individuals with an intellectual disability. 116   .

  BY JANET FORBES1 Long Journey to Citizenship A decade after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons in 1971. She has worked for more  than 30 years in various capacities with Community Living in Manitoba and Ontario. the Manitoba Task Force on Mental Retardation presented the Challenges for Today Opportunities for Tomorrow to the Honourable Len Evans.  1   117 . Ontario. She is  active with several provincial and national committees working to promote human rights and inclusion for  all people. with Brandon  Community Options and the former Children’s Psychiatric Research Centre in London.                                                               Janet Forbes is the current Executive Director of Community Living Winnipeg. Minister of Community Services and Corrections.

guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities we focus on building communities that include everyone. when I met individuals and their families. Since 1958. I heard excitement and hope but also fear and anxiety. During the closure of Pelican Lake.  The report reflected the understanding of needs of people with intellectual disabilities at the time. Over the past 30 years we have witnessed important milestones including the 1980s Welcome Home initiative. we will find support. 118   . If we surround ourselves with people who care deeply about us. the proclamation of the Vulnerable Persons Act in 1996. The Vulnerable Persons Act changed the status of people to be one of presumed capacity. It is not always an easy path but it is the right journey. the closure of Pelican Lake Centre in the early 2000s. we all need to push forward. Its focus was on prevention. Now. Community Living Winnipeg’s work has been to ensure people have support to live as fully participating citizens. Thinking of those emotions in the context of new experiences for anyone revealed the same message. assessment and service standards. Sharing a person’s experience moving from an institution back to community has been a privilege.

Always. The obligation to make our communities accessible and welcoming rests with all of us. Sadly. Much work still lies ahead. We honour the pioneers of the community living movement. life in an institution is merely an imitation of real life. which is possible only when people enjoy equal status to that of other citizens. Human rights take precedent over prevention. when we learn better we do better. but also to deepen our understanding of what citizenship means. there is steady progress. and we reflect.  We have a new way of thinking about people influenced greatly by the rise of the self-advocacy movement in the 1980s.   119 . people are still living in large congregate settings. In spite of efforts to make it different. Outcomes and quality of life prevail over standards. In a time when things seem to move so slowly. People First pushed us to change our language. With each person who remains a member of community we learn.

  BY BONNIE HEATH (DUBIENSKI)1 For My Loving Mother and Father Having been asked to submit a 400-word essay – I struggle to describe an almost 60 year journey. almost without exception. Imagine. Interpreter Educator.  She is the Executive Director for both  the E‐Quality Communication Centre of Excellence (ECCOE) and the Resource Centre for Manitobans who  are Deaf‐Blind (RCMDB). It appears that a young Deaf man has escaped from Selkirk by riding the train into Winnipeg. Certified Interpreter by the Association of Visual Language  Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) (Past President) and currently President of Critical Link International (CLI).  1 120   . you will be asked to interpret at some point during your day. I am in Grade 4 and the Winnipeg Police come and take me from school to interpret for them at the Hartford Police Station. Having Deaf parents means. Despite my                                                               Bonnie Heath (Dubienski) has grown up in the Deaf Community.

At age 17.  being nine years old. same man. In 1975 I walked into the then Kiwanis Centre of the Deaf and there he was. the man I had met in Grade 4. Apparently I had gestured to her that when I grew up (noting very clearly with my hand over my head indicating taller and taller) I would be an interpreter. 1982. Fast forward to Grade 8: same thing. The need to educate interpreters soon became apparent and I started teaching at   121 . Germany. After applying for a Canada Community Service Project grant via Jim August (whom I had worked with at the North YMCA). I remember how pleased he was that I knew sign language. same police station. There I met many young Deaf Canadians. I was interpreting at Red River Community College (RRCC) and shortly thereafter for the Canadian Team at the Deaf Olympics. the Independent Interpreter Referral Service (IIRS) opened in March. It is now January 2012 and he still lives there. in Cologne. 1981. I think it was at this point that the seed was planted for my career although my Mother would tell you I decided my fate at age 7. The story has a happy ending on many levels.

Celebrating thirty years – based on the concept that Deaf. My son was born in September that year as well and so I went back to work after six weeks of maternity leave to not one job. Deaf-Blind. We are the only Canada Community Services Project still in existence in Canada. Mornings were spent at RRCC and afternoons at IIRS.  RRCC in September of 1982. and hearing folks have the right to talk to one another! We all have a voice and to the many interpreters and intervenors my heartfelt thanks for your commitment and professionalism! 122   . IIRS (now the E-Quality Communication Centre of Excellence. ECCOE). is a not-for-profit organization operating under the supervision of a board of directors voted for by the community it serves. but two.

 rather than  backward. Lori continues to play a vital role in the development of  disability awareness for the communities of Winnipeg and Manitoba. transportation. She loves  music. Always looking forward.  BY LORI L. from accessible housing. ROSS1 My Personal Reflections on the Last 30 Years of Manitobans with Disabilities Thirty years ago is when the Independent Living disability movement really had momentum.    123 . friends and family and the all‐elusive “joie de vivre”. as well as being instrumental in the  creation of programming that will propel the IL movement into the 21st Century and beyond. animals. Lori is proud to say that she is living a happy and fulfilling independent lifestyle. attendant                                                              1  For the last 40 years Lori has been and continues to be an active participant and advocate for the  Independent Living movement in Manitoba.

to name a few. Let’s start with our attendant care services which have gone from government run to consumer controlled with such programs as Fokus Housing. Grant McDonald. education. Henry Enns. As a longtime staff of the Independent Living Resource Centre I had the opportunity to see the growth and changes to a variety of services. most of these great people have passed away and with their loss the movement has slowly fallen along the wayside. People with disabilities took the bull by the horns and demanded to be heard. it was happening. you name it. John Lane. As well. Don Ament and many.  care. I’ve often wondered why the younger generations of consumers don’t see the direction all of our hard work is going. I’ll touch on just a few such services which enable consumers to more equally participate in the community. Jim Derksen. Elizabeth Semkiw. they proved they were more than capable of taking control of their lives regardless of the type or level of disability they had. Larry Crouse. many more. Self and Family Managed Care. Veronika Demereckas. Don’t get me wrong. the youth of our day are individually succeeding and the services that were created generally still exist however this is where my frustration kicks in. were: Allan Simpson. Theresa Ducharme. To most people with disabilities in Manitoba the leaders. Dave Martin. 124   . Sadly. employment.

the tenants living in Fokus’s shared care model are not as interested or dedicated to its operation as in the beginning and are finding they are losing control of their personal care because decisions need to be made and bureaucracies such as management and unions take over above the IL philosophy and consumer control which is the very foundation this model was created from. Our youth with disabilities can access the education they want with accommodations when   125 . These types of supports enable consumers to live in the community rather than institutions or in care facilities. While the Handi–Transit service which was created as a parallel transit service now financially penalizes passengers for “No Shows” and is contemplating the same penalties for cancellations. For whatever reason. An unfortunate result for Winnipeggers however is our winter weather makes it practically useless for the whole winter season due to the snow and the cold.  and Brokerage where consumers are in control and hire their own staff and direct them to do everything that needs being done – the ultimate in personal care. Our public transportation has implemented the use of accessible transit buses improving access to consumers to participate in any and all their endeavours. this is a money grab on a sector already seen as a vulnerable population.

  necessary but. In conclusion. babysitting. my friends and I personally keep advocating and educating the community that as people with disabilities we can and do have positive contributions to make in our community and we will be heard whether they want to hear us or not. working at McDonald’s or Tim’s. Even volunteer experiences for consumers are challenging because society believes people with disabilities are the individuals who need the support from volunteers. Even though there are a few incentive programs for employers to hire people with disabilities. not just for me but for everyone who has a disability and for those who will become 126   . such as delivering papers. etc. which gives them the lessons of responsibilities and their financial benefits. supported and fought for. My concern is where are the new leaders. the movers and shakers? Who will continue to represent and follow the true course of consumer control and the Independent Living philosophy in the years to come? I’m not Allan Simpson or any of those “movers and shakers” of the past. as we know. there is an even greater struggle for youth with disabilities to be hired because they have no previous work experience.. not the other way around. but I truly support and believe that what they accomplished over the last thirty years needs to be nurtured. employment is challenging for everyone.

  disabled. and we all must keep the movement and ideology alive.   127 . Independent Living is for everyone.

One idea captured the imagination of many people in the room however. I was invited to attend a community consultation on how to make provincial Home Care attendant services work better for Manitobans with disabilities.  From 1983 to  2000. The Department had been receiving many complaints from users of attendant services.    1 128   . A participant spoke about a concept being used in a couple of American                                                               Dave Martin is the Senior Advisor on Disability Issues with the Province of Manitoba. About 50 people attended the consultation and discussed options including changes to the Department’s delivery of services or contracting them out to a private company. he was the Provincial Coordinator of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities. The meeting was organized by the Department of Health which was providing Home Care service to Manitobans. as Provincial Coordinator of the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped (now Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities).  BY DAVE MARTIN1 The Development of Self Managed Attendant Services in Manitoba In 1986. and sincerely wanted to explore ways of making improvements.

a vote was held and the majority of participants decided to ask the Department to study this selfmanagement model. The committee met regularly for about a year discussing issues ranging from how much government monitoring should occur on the expenditure of funds. He formed a committee. along with representatives from the Independent Living Resource Centre. and some individual community members. Committee meetings were   129 . After considering the consultation report for a couple of months. because it would give people more control over the supports they receive. the Honourable Larry Desjardins. taxation of the funds people would receive. and the effect a self-managed attendant option might have on employees working for the government’s service. agreed to explore this new concept. the Minister of Health at the time. Ten Ten Sinclair Housing. At the end of the consultation. and asked it to prepare a proposal on how a self managed attendant system might work in Manitoba. chaired by John Lane from the Canadian Paraplegic Association. the Home Care office.  states where Home Care users were given money from government so they could purchase their own service. For me this was a revolutionary idea that made so much sense. I was appointed to sit on the committee to represent the MLPH. liability if something goes wrong.

After a long wait. I believe we all felt we were doing something that would make a difference in the lives of many people with disabilities. the pilot was deemed a success and it was announced the option would become a permanent part of the provincial Home Care Program. but exciting as we slowly crafted a proposal to be submitted to the minister. By working together. government and the disability community had created something special.  gruelling. 130   . Three years later. in 1991 the government hesitantly proceeded with a three year pilot project of self managed attendant services in Winnipeg.

 In recent years this has included facilitating the  participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the research process. She joined the University of Manitoba in 1992. From 1971-73. Migrating to the USA in 1950. Her longstanding research interest has  been identifying and examining the factors that help or hinder the valued social participation of  individuals with intellectual disabilities in community life. Wolfensberger was a visiting scholar at the National Institute on Mental Retardation (NIMR) in Toronto. Program Analysis of Service Systems and a series of monographs on changing the human service                                                               Zana Lutfiyya completed her graduate training and postdoctoral work at the Center on Human Policy. Wolfensberger wrote several significant works during that time.D. including The Principle of Normalization.  1   131 . in Psychology and Mental Retardation from what is now Vanderbilt University. the war left an indelible impression on him and his view of the world. as participants and in  helping determine research goals and questions. Germany in 1934. He came to appreciate the importance of an individual reaching out to help someone else because it was the right thing to do. A prolific author.  BY ZANA MARIE LUTFIYYA1 Wolf Wolfensberger and His Impact in Manitoba Wolf Wolfensberger was born in Mannheim. Sheltered by a family in Alsace during WWII.  Syracuse University. he earned a Ph. Citizen Advocacy.

The “Wolfshops” covered a range of topics related to the improvement of services for people with an intellectual disability. along with the individualization of supports to enable each person to grow in competence. These workshops continued after he moved to Syracuse in the fall of 1973. His work on normalization (and later. No other scholar provided such an incisive description of the importance of perceptions and social imagery. Wolfensberger (often referred to as “WW”) had a significant impact on how many of us in Manitoba came to understand human services and the lives of people with an intellectual disability. He was the first to coherently argue that the segregation. and where he lived until his death on February 27. congregation. He initiated a series of workshops that brought people to NIMR and took him across Canada. and social isolation of individuals with disabilities and the dominance of professionals were unacceptable and harmful service design principles. Social Role Valorization) promoted the importance of meaningful social integration and a valued role in community life. 2011. He began to identify wider patterns and implications for other socially devalued groups in the early 1980s. and this changing perspective was reflected in his writings and workshops. WW thought that every service system needed a set of checks and balances and proposed an innovative schema of protective and advocacy services. the primary focus in his work.  system. including 132   .

We now have a greater appreciation of. founded in November 1973. As John VanWalleghem (2012. But we still have work to do. Wolfensberger’s lessons are still applicable today. not all Manitobans have the opportunity to live in the community. an individual and relational form of advocacy. we have moved past those initial goals that Wolfensberger encouraged us to work for. personal communication) noted.  Citizen Advocacy. About 400 citizens still live in institutions in this province. Wolfensberger’s impact can be more clearly seen in the work of those who studied with him. While some are still offered. and respect for. the competence and perspectives of individuals with an intellectual disability. In some ways. is still in existence today. This recognition is found in the Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act. A training program for human service professionals was opened at Red River College. Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy. Even after 40 years of effort. Hundreds of Manitobans attended a variety of “Wolfshops” (some stretching to eight days) in the 1970s – 1990s. Wolfensberger was   133 . Agencies offering daytime and residential supports were established. schools welcomed students with disabilities and recreation programs were created.

134   . When one is used to thinking the way everyone else thinks because it’s the social norm. I think that WW articulated the beginning of that concrete reality which motivated a lot of others to add details and work in the same direction. We can best honour him by holding strong to the future that he envisioned and continuing the work with which he charged us. Not only do you need to hear that it’s wrong. it often seems like there is no other way. but you need a concrete picture of an alternate reality. much has changed for Manitobans with an intellectual disability. Thanks to the alternate reality that WW introduced to us.  …the key person in providing direction out of an historical mess.

 Attention Deficit Disorder. The Welcome Home Project. these were all common expectations and occurrences for those with disabilities in Manitoba. Tourette Syndrome  and Anxiety Disorder. saw the return of many individuals with intellectual disabilities to their original communities.  Both are now adults and studying at University and College in Winnipeg. work in sheltered workshops.  BY ANNE KRESTA1 Transitioning into Adulthood in Manitoba – A 30 Year Retrospective If we look back 30 years ago…institutions.  She is also the President of Asperger Manitoba Inc.  1   135 . (AMI). which took place in the late 1980s in Manitoba.                                                               Anne Kresta is the Inclusive Education and Community Development Specialist with Community Living  Manitoba. two of whose gifts include Asperger Syndrome. segregated classrooms.  Anne is the mother of three gifted  children. Things began to change in the 1980s with the advent of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – and with the recognition of the disability rights movement.

parent involvement. This was ratified in 2005 with key components that addressed assessment. and without them as key decisionmakers. our Public Schools Act was amended to include appropriate educational programming for all students in Manitoba public schools.  In the 1980s we also had the advent of supported employment with individuals with intellectual disabilities able to find work and be supported in their endeavours in the community. The Bridging to 136   . With all of these changes. there was increasing pressure to make public education inclusive of all children whatever their needs and gifts and finally in the 1990s the original interdepartmental protocol for planning the transition of students from high school to the community took shape. individual education plans. In 1996 the Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act was enacted in exchange for the dropping of a lawsuit against the provincial government regarding the assumption of capacity among adults with intellectual disabilities and this led to changes in how planning for individuals with disabilities was done: No longer was it okay to plan about them without them. In 2004. and transitioning into and out of the school system.

Each meeting brought together parents. The public profile of disability and inclusive communities continues to grow. really extolled principles of personcentred collaborative practice. The rollout of this protocol included visits to 19 communities with both a representative from Manitoba Education and Community Living Manitoba. to growing strength in elementary. along with many nongovernmental organizations. both within Manitoba and across Canada. marketAbilities and Children’s disAbility Services and discussed how to use the protocol to more effectively work together for the transitioning student’s benefit. In 2008 this revised transition protocol became a working document for schools and other involved in services and supports to plan together with the student and their support network. teachers. representatives from Community Living disAbility Services. We are   137 . have been instrumental in raising the bar in postsecondary education and employment settings. from a strong presence within the early child care sector.  Adulthood protocol. a nongovernmental association that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in the community. middle and high school settings. an interdepartmental planning document that guides all those involved in planning for life in the community after high school. service providers. The government.

Students with disabilities. self-advocates and their supporters that going to school will lead to further opportunities. They are free to set goals and change them as they discover that what they thought they wanted to pursue as a career may not be what they really want after all. This is a long way from the days when students with disabilities had a very finite array of options after high school that may or may not have corresponded to where their interests and talents lay. scribing and so many other details that might otherwise overwhelm them. located on campus at Manitoban colleges. tutoring. not only for employment. “Just wait. universities and vocational training centres.” And she was right. alternate testing environments. but also for study at university and colleges with the help of disability support services.  seeing an increasingly diverse labour force in our neighbourhood businesses. like my two sons. When my sons were young and we despaired at their future prospects. Every five years or so we would look back and 138   . pointed out. can explore subject areas. in the next five years things can change so much. knowing that there are people around them who can help them with organizational skills. a very wise woman. There is an expectation among many parents. also the mother of two sons with similar challenges.

  139 . from places where people with disabilities were hidden away from sight and sound. to places that can celebrate the rich diversity that being differently abled can bring. We were also increasingly gratified to see change within government policy when it came to the education of our children in inclusive schools and classrooms and the holistic approach that was being developed and promoted that involved multiple government departments in the preparation of students for transitioning into community life after high school. and our capacity to advocate for the supports and services that our sons needed to succeed in their lives. but within ourselves as a family. we take comfort in seeing the changes in our society.  marvel at the changes not only within our sons. Most of all.

  BY LESLEE GISLASON1 Freedom of Choice Is Important Total independence can never be achieved if you are disabled. dogs and  long walks. I feel Self and Family Managed Care (SFMC) has enabled the disabled community to experience the choice and opportunity available within this program. I retired from my job as an Adult Day Program  Coordinator. music. Constant training of staff and having                                                               In July 2011 after working for almost 25 years. I was always stressed due to the change of workers running in and out of my door. I have lived alone in my own home since 1987. anything from the classics to Lady Gaga. As a client of Home Care. My interests are: internet. cooking. This being said.  1 140   . There will always be a need for the assistance of others.

staff management and bookwork has become easier. and she can come with me to medical appointments or social events. Freedom of choice and compatibility is important. I was overwhelmed finding my way. In the beginning. My attendant and I can go grocery shopping. including the Minister of Health. it has been for the most part a wonderful experience. Not many people are willing to tackle such a personal job unless they are a Health Care Aid. I was able to work. Over the years. The restriction on what they could do was a problem for me. I spent hours on the phone complaining to anyone who would listen.  as many as four people in my home a day was difficult. As one of the first rural clients of SFMC. My attendant can assist me in countless daily tasks most people take for granted. The big plus with SFMC is that people apply for a job because they want to work here and I hire them because I want them. go to the bathroom or   141 . I have had untrained workers and find they are efficient and easy to train as they do not have a preconceived way of dong things. I can get up. I would like this issue addressed. I try to be a good employer by making schedules flexible. I can have a shower even if it isn’t “bath day”. Of course there are occasional problems. Short hours and split shifts can cause workers to leave for more time in another job. It is difficult to hire staff in a small town.

  go to bed at a time of my choosing. 142   . not when someone miles away from me schedules. Because of SFMC I have been able to stay in my home. make choices that improve my lifestyle and make me happy. Hopefully the program will continue and evolve to be even better.

 policy and program development and evaluation. many years after working with Allan Simpson. MSW. Allan. you would only feel the great respect and appreciation I felt and still feel for you. with many years of  experience in service delivery. writing a personal reflection.     143 . the natural flow of your thoughts and the support you gave to any effort                                                              1  Antoinette Zloty is a Consultant with Manitoba Health. Government of Manitoba. BSW. The ease at which you worked. RSW 1 Celebrating Our Accomplishments Here I am.  BY ANTOINETTE ZLOTY. if you were present as I write these words.

  which would strengthen people. in their respective roles. Today. Our future and those who will arrive long after us will be determined by what we do today. Over the past thirty years. program planners and decision makers. Policy analysts. I have seen a lot of improvements in the attitudes of Manitobans. will remain with me always. in the environments in which we live and in the plans being made for our future. Thirty years ago. there are no guarantees of ability or continuing ability. I already had a positive attitude toward people 144   . Is it because the people I now associate with are different or have attitudes changed? I would like to think that it is the latter. need to acknowledge that people are not static. I do not hear these comments. Thirty years ago. I lived in an apartment building where a number of people with disabilities lived. A major change which happened to me early on in my social work career was the realization that our abilities and our focus on what is real and important can change in a heartbeat. and their decisions will affect generations to come. as a still able person I would hear comments about people with disabilities from other still able people. Some of these comments demonstrated negative attitudes towards people with disabilities.

Flexibility. programs and services have made significant improvements for people with disabilities.   145 . My summer work experiences and my upbringing must have contributed to my outlook. and other organizations. and respect for each other. Home Care. 1010 Sinclair Housing. are some of the values we continue to embrace. the Independent Living Resource Centre. People like Allan Simpson had already laid a lot of groundwork for those changes.  with disabilities. Over the years. Was I more positive because of who I was then personally. or were there changes happening back then? Back then I would like to think that attitudes were changing for the better and opportunities for people with disabilities were improving. inclusiveness.

Such creations of opportunities for these marginalized communities were enabled through the funding of projects specifically targeted to persons with disabilities from ethnocultural communities by the Social Development Partnerships Program.  1 146   . the disabled ethnocultural community is one of the most marginalized segments of our population. the empowerment of such communities requires a coordinated national intervention. in 2004 CMDCI had an opportunity to undertake the project: National Policies and                                                               Dr. ZEPHANIA MATANGA1      The Impact of the Social Development Partnerships Program on the Ethnocultural Disability Communities As you are undoubtedly aware. As a consequence. Zephania Matanga is the Executive Director of The Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc. He came from Zimbabwe in 1992 with a wealth of  experience and firsthand knowledge about the debilitating effects of disability on professionals in his  homeland and throughout Africa.  (CMDCI). It was through the Social Development Partnerships Program that opportunities for community participation for persons with disabilities from the ethnocultural disability were being created.  BY DR. Case in point. he teaches at the University of Manitoba as an instructor in the Faculty of Education.  Department of Psychology and administration. Currently.

It is important to note that this number is likely higher because most visible minorities are engaged in employment activities that increase their likelihood of acquiring disabling conditions and that this segment of the Canadian population can only be expected to grow as Canada continues to welcome new immigrants. Through this project.   147 . One of the major outcomes of this project was putting in place initiatives that set out a strong Canadian disability strategy based on a vision of people with disabilities from ethnocultural communities as full citizens. which translates to about 600. CMDCI believes that these initiatives will be further strengthened by allowing the Social Development Partnerships Program to continue.  Legal Rights: From the Disability and Multicultural Perspectives. 2009). This is particularly important considering that Canada is home to some 5 million visible minorities (Statistics Canada.000 of them with disabilities assuming the 12% rate used for the general population by Statistics Canada. experts and persons with disabilities from ethnocultural disability communities were invited from all over Canada to discuss barriers and opportunities which prevented and enabled this marginalized community to participate fully in Canadian life. However.

As it relates to services. formerly known as The African Canadian Disability Community Association (Inc). The Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre (Inc) is a community-based organization whose purpose is: (1) To identify solutions and opportunities that enable persons with disabilities to participate fully in Canadian life. particularly persons with disabilities from ethnoracial backgrounds. computer literacy and job networking. 148   . It was first incorporated in Ontario in 1996 and later incorporated in Manitoba in 2002 where it is headquartered. (2) To provide education on the role of cultural diversity in developing opportunities for persons with disabilities.  I would like to conclude by introducing our organization: The Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre (Inc). is a national community-based organization founded in 1996. and (3) To enhance the skills of persons with disabilities through training programs such as health education.

a lot has changed for Manitobans living with an intellectual disability. Valerie lives with her husband and their two cats in Winnipeg.  BY VALERIE WOLBERT1 Access and Inclusion Are Good Public Policy Since the Manitoba disability rights movement was first established back in 1974.  She also serves on the DisAbled Women’s  Network (Manitoba) Executive Committee. We are finally taking our rightful place in the community! And I’m proud to have played a part in bringing about some of that change. Persons living with intellectual disabilities have a lot more options available today than they did 38                                                               Valerie Wolbert is President of People First (Manitoba).  1   149 .

It was the first documentary in Canada produced by persons with an intellectual disability. We’ve learned that one size does not fit all. I have been a part of Canada’s deinstitutionalization movement. 150   . Its goal: to raise awareness about the continuing institutionalization of individuals who have been labeled with an intellectual disability. and powerful firsthand accounts from survivors and their families. That is no longer the case. regardless of their ability or disability.  years ago. In 2007. video footage. I and four other “self-advocates” helped to co-produce a documentary called The Freedom Tour. And our movement has matured. Since December 2004. Whether I am speaking or writing. The film provides viewers with a glimpse of what life was like in institutions through archival photographs. programs and services are tailored to fit the individual and not the other way around. Today. Up until the mid 1980s group homes and sheltered workshops for persons with intellectual disabilities were still considered to be the norm. my message is that everyone. Consumers are all different. We have gone from the principle of normalization of the early 1970s to the currently held concept of inclusion. has something to contribute to our community.

I was asked by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to serve as an advisor on its Inclusive Design Advisory Council. Four large facilities remain in operation in western Canada.   151 . Advocacy groups like People First (Manitoba) will continue to call for their closure. more than 90% of Canada’s institutions for people labelled with intellectual disabilities have closed. And two of those institutions are located in the province of Manitoba. In 2011. I strongly believe that access and inclusion are good public policy that benefits us all. As an advocate and leader in Manitoba’s disability community I’ve worked tirelessly at creating a more inclusive and accessible Manitoba for all of its citizens.  Since 1986.

I became active in the disability movement when I turned 19 and moved in with my cousin Catherine Schaefer who. so many of the achievements made by the disability community in Manitoba happened while I was growing up. She completed the University of Manitoba’s Interdisciplinary  Master’s Program in Disability Studies in 2009.  152   .  1 * Catherine and Sara at a rally in Winnipeg.                                                               Sara Harms is a member of L’Avenir Cooperative and Prairie Housing Co‐operative and a past board  member of Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy. along with her mother. I’d like to highlight three that have affected me most.  * BY SARA HARMS1 Records of a Living History I was born just over 30 years ago.

at a time when organizations such as People First. Community Living Associations. The Freedom Tour (2008). The fight for deinstitutionalization continues in Manitoba. is a founding member of L’Avenir Cooperative and a pioneer of the community living movement in Manitoba. Does She Know She’s There? documents an invaluable living history of the disability rights and community living movement in Manitoba. The memoir. Does She Know She’s There? (Fitzhenry and Whiteside. documents in part this ongoing struggle. rereleased with an update in 1999. a documentary made by People First members in partnership with the National Film Board. Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy. The Freedom Tour is a second great achievement over the last 30 years and includes footage of   153 .  Nicola Schaefer. Continuity Care. One of the earliest great achievements by the disability community in Manitoba is the publication of Nicola and Catherine’s memoir. chronicles Catherine’s life as a person with complex disabilities who finds creative and innovative ways to live in the community. to name a few. as her doctor originally recommended. in particular the fight to release the residents of the Manitoba Developmental Centre from their institutional setting to a community living setting. and L’Avenir Cooperative. 1979). not in an institution. formed as a result of tireless activism by community members.

The program assumes that people with disabilities. including literature. the University of Manitoba created the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies in 2003. Manitoba is home to one of the first Disability Studies programs in Canada. Thanks to the lobbying by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. from the perspective of people with disabilities. Universities are powerful institutions that influence assumptions and attitudes in society. and history. I enrolled as a student the following year. and students are encouraged to examine all disciplines. which is why I consider this program a third great achievement. rather than medical professionals. It is important to have the perspective of people with disabilities present in academic research settings.  Catherine’s 45th birthday celebration at her home in Winnipeg. 154   . are the experts about disability. medicine. architecture.

etc.  1   155 . He wasn’t thrown by having to use an interpreter to communicate with me and he did not look down on me for my being Deaf. language barriers. but what has remained in my memory was how genuine and humble he was. I remember sharing some of my struggles and concerns with Allan – oppression.  BY RICK ZIMMER1 Allan: A True Model of Humanity I can’t remember exactly where I first met Allan Simpson or why. It was through his work that I became involved in Deaf persons’ rights. it was Allan who took me under his wing and took the time to educate me on the history of the organization and how things operated. When I started on the International Year of Disabled Persons committee. He was truly interested in getting to know me as a person. Allan was a pioneer in advocating for the rights for people with disabilities. he simply accepted me for who I was: a person. – and it was with Allan’s                                                               Rick Zimmer is the Coordinator of the Deaf Studies Program and the ASL‐English Interpretation Program  at Red River College and was a good friend of Allan's. not as someone who is Deaf.

not by complaining and criticizing. and thoughtfully explaining the issues at hand. strategizing. but by planning. part of society. and even influential. It was with Allan’s encouragement and expertise that this change was so successful. Allan empowered us to take a stand. He fought for inclusion. which in turn meant that ASL would be the primary teaching language in Deaf schools across Canada. With Allan’s encouragement. educators.” This was to inform not only the Deaf community but also the general public. The Deaf community has changed immensely over the years – from being a very excluded. and government officials about the validity of American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf culture. He knew how the political system worked and how to make these changes happen. This workshop was the catalyst for many positive changes for the Deaf community. ASL was finally recognized as a language. the general public is much more accepting of people of all abilities. Through Allan’s work.  encouragement and guidance that I started advocating for and with the Deaf community. marginalized group to being a more included. People seem to be less concerned or focused on another’s 156   . we held an Awareness workshop entitled “Deaf Culture and Pride.

I think of a man who had big dreams of change and inclusion and over his lifetime he succeeded in making those changes happen. Barriers for people with disabilities. humble.   157 . such as language barriers – specifically for the Deaf – seem to be diminishing as well. When I think of Allan.  disability and more concerned with the person. He never judged or looked down on another person for being differently abled. He was the most accepting. and supportive person: a true model of humanity.

My involvement in the area of disability and recreation began by pure happenstance. the only recreation/leisure opportunities for children and adults with disabilities were segregated programs run by social agencies or by segregated schools. In the early ‘70s.  158   .  BY LAURIE BEACHELL1 Recreation/Leisure Integration: The First Frontier? Before I began working for CCD and the consumer disability rights movement. my focus had been recreation and leisure of persons with disabilities. While at university a friend told                                                              1  Laurie Beachell is the National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

all community leaders and board   159 . but they were the only system of transportation available to many. my understanding of barriers was broadened and I was taught by the “clients” to understand the inequality and isolation many people with disabilities faced on a daily basis. this was my training ground. Here I met Euclid Herie. My attitude was corrected. So off I went and ended up playing games for an evening with about twenty 12 year olds with a variety of mobility impairments. and Phyllis Hall. Helmut Epp. Truly. It was a lifechanging experience. I was employed by the Manitoba Advisory Council on Recreation for the Handicapped.  me she needed my help with something Tuesday night. The work here in Manitoba to create more integrated recreation opportunities began in the ‘70s and that work was connected to a national network. These blue buses had no lifts. At that time the Society’s blue buses picked up participants and brought them to the programs being offered. This was my introduction to what was then called the Society for Crippled Children and Adults (now the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD)). Following my work at SMD. Liz Semkiw. Allan Simpson. Little did I know that for the next 6 years I would be a volunteer for social/recreational programs at SMD and ultimately hired by them to be the director of their camp at Gimli (Lakeside Camp) and to run a broad range of social/recreational programs at SMD in what was then called the Group Program.

In the mid ‘60s wheelchair sports and other sport associations for other disability groups were being formed and their existence also created the impetus for change. the City created recreation leadership positions in each district. Annitta Stenning (then Arpin) was the first coordinator of the Advisory Council and I followed her capable leadership. at that time the creation of integrated recreational programs was seen as breaking new ground. They were responsible for finding ways of making community recreation programs more inclusive and accessible for persons with disabilities. Truly. Leading this transformation were a number of champions at the City of Winnipeg Parks and Recreation Department. like Sharron Gould. The Province of Manitoba’s Department of Sport. Recreation and Fitness took over the responsibilities of the Advisory Council on Recreation for the Handicapped and I was hired as their Recreation Consultant on Special Populations. as curbs were being cut and Handi-Transit was being created.  members who created the Advisory Council and who were involved in other community organizations that promoted equality. went on to become a pivotal force in the City of Winnipeg. Some. It is interesting to reflect on why some of the first integration initiatives happened in the area of recreation and leisure. making the city and its workforce more inclusive. Was it because integration in this milieu was less threatening? 160   . In fairly short order.

culture and social facilities and programs are much more accessible.  Were recreation leaders more open and knowledgeable about community development? Or was it simply that the timing was right? It was probably all of the above but for me. From rather simple beginnings in the field of recreation. There is an expectation that community programs will be open to all and that all can participate.   161 . Today our recreation. Working in the field of recreation and leisure with a focus on persons with disabilities truly was life-changing for me. the move to create more inclusive and accessible communities took root and spread. The changes in this field set the stage and created the expectation for substantive change in other important areas. Was recreation integration the first frontier? That can be debated but there is no question that it was one of the critical building blocks for creation of a more inclusive and accessible society. recreation leaders have always been open and have had a holistic approach. I like to think that the work of those early leaders in recreation integration set the stage for other substantive changes. In fact. access and inclusion are seen as a right and the obligation of service providers. They have worked with a broad and diverse cross section of the population and they have worked in an environment where community volunteers were the true creators of change.

 She served on the Canadian National Society of the Deaf‐Blind (CNSDB) for ten years (2000‐2010)  and is still involved as the CNSDB Transportation representative. a hereditary condition that leads to deaf-blindness.   1 162   . Everything I                                                               Jane Sayer was a founding member and the first Chairperson of the Manitoba Deaf‐Blind Association  (MDBA). Jane has been employed at the Resource  Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf‐Blind for the last 14 years. Thirty years ago this seemed like a hopeless situation.      BY JANE SAYER1 Jane’s Story It has been close to 30 years since I found out I had Usher’s Syndrome.

With this message in mind I did my best on my own and carried on my life. CNIB had asked us to form a consumer group to advocate for services and I became the first Chairperson of the MDBA. The Human Resources department at my previous employment did not know that I was a Deaf-Blind person. How frightening! Many years ago I attended an information session at CNIB regarding the services they had available. Reality bites when you have a progressive condition. Despite being Chairperson. I had already worked there for 10 years when I found out I had Usher’s   163 . I did not know anyone else with this condition or any other condition that lead to deaf-blindness.  read about it said "Deaf-blindness is the most isolating condition there is". There. There was a purpose behind this omission. I would have learned many skills while young. It does not go away. I was told if I had been born Deaf-Blind I would have been sent to Ontario to go to school. and if public events were held my name was never mentioned. since I was acquired Deaf-Blind there would be nothing available to me. I was never front and centre. Unfortunately. In 1993 I became one of the founding members of the Manitoba Deaf-Blind Association (MDBA).

my manager felt that if they were told. I am proud of the RCMDB and the fact we are known as leaders across Canada. and other technological advancements have enabled me tremendously. Despite me being a department supervisor. I was constantly concerned about how much longer I could hide this progressing condition. Most importantly I utilize intervenors to facilitate communication. After I began my position with RCMDB I was finally given the freedom to be open about my dual disability. computers. cell phones for text messages. I am very proud that the Manitoba government heard us 15 years ago. I have been told many times that we are still 20 years behind other disabled groups. Yet I know we still have a long way to go! In my life and in my job. 164   . it was likely I would be released from my job. I quit my job one month short of being there 25 years to become the RCMDB Coordinator. We are such a small community that getting our needs heard can be difficult. I continue to see a great deal of isolation of persons who are acquired Deaf-Blind.  Syndrome.

  1   165 .  BY JANE BURPEE1 A R T: Art Renovates Thinking (A reflection on how art can be used as a medium for public education on disability issues connected with mental illness.  She came to Canada in 1967 to work at  the new Rehabilitation Hospital in Winnipeg. and has been with the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society for the past 12 years in the position of  Public Education Coordinator.)                                                               Jane Burpee trained as an Occupational Therapist in England.  Jane spent 20 years working at Selkirk Mental Health  Centre.  Jane has a background in the arts and sees the great importance of its use  in healing and helping people strive for the quality of life they choose.

fifty years ago there was more effort to engage people living with mental illness in art – painting.. There was less tolerance and more emphasis on rising costs of mental illness. writing. feel and do has become disorganized. the senses have become “disabled”. Art does not acknowledge stigma or discrimination. but the public never knew . Courage and a deep yearning to be understood. 166   . gardening. One in five Canadians will experience symptoms of mental illness and yet the misunderstandings endure. What is there to help mend this centre? There is Hope.  One cannot see a mental illness. Resiliency. Now the “command centre” for all that we think. Art was seen as trivial by some. music. etc. Art can be a great teacher. but inside the person. In my opinion.it was behind closed doors.

Some examples are as follows: In 2001 the play “Starry Starry Night” was performed in 26 schools and two public performances. many accomplishments have opened people’s eyes and heightened awareness. In 2006. in Manitoba. This story of a young man living with schizophrenia gave young people the honest and true facts. ArtBeat partnered with the Winnipeg Art Gallery presenting the symposium “Out of Mind – Into Creativity” with over 300 in attendance and national/international speakers. during the last decade. and continue performances in 2012.  However. This is a drama troupe that explores all aspects of acting and performance. In 2003. I created this specifically as an educational tool. “The Company” was formed through the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society. It was the dream of Nigel Bart to have a place where people with mental illness could engage in artistic expression that assists recovery. In 2005. I created the one-woman show “1 in 5” exposing the resiliency of three women living with mental illness and stress. ArtBeat Studio was born.   167 . In 2011.

  In 2011. the Manitoba film “Passionflower” was released and is currently on the Film Festival Circuit. I believe these accomplishments have had a positive impact on both the disability community and the community at large. 168   . the story is her story – that of growing up with a mother who lives with a mental illness. As you can see. so they can truly live a quality of life that is respected. Written and directed by Winnipegger Shelagh Carter. Manitoba has stepped forward in the last decade with some remarkable achievements in the use of Art in Public Education. The motivation comes from the people themselves who want to be heard and understood. It is a huge contribution to awareness and understanding for families in similar situations and for the community at large.

Disability rights have had a rich history in our province. It’s an honour and a privilege for me to follow in the footsteps of great leaders like Allan Simpson. He paved the way for the rest of us. considered by many to be the godfather of Manitoba’s disability rights movement.  1   169 . national and international disability organizations. Manitoba has been home to a number of provincial.  BY HARRY WOLBERT1 Taking Our Rightful Place in the Community For 38 years.                                                               Harry Wolbert is Vice Chairperson of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities ‐ MLPD. He’s also  active in Manitoba’s antipoverty movement.

The principle of normalization was all the rage in the 1970s. in 2002.  Many of the supports and services which we rely on. These programs provided persons living with a disability the opportunity to take on greater responsibility over their lives by hiring. were nonexistent when our movement was first established back in 1974. We were the first Canadian province to appoint a Minister Responsible for Persons with Disabilities. And. Our movement has evolved. directing and managing their staff. we created the Manitoba Disabilities Issues Office. Some innovations have even gone on to be transplanted in other Canadian provinces. such as Handi-Transit. The concept of Social Role Valorization eventually superseded it. Manitoba has been the birthplace for many of the “innovations” and ideas of Canada’s disability community. And who can remember 170   . I am proud to say that we have been in the forefront of devising transformational approaches to dealing with some of the barriers faced by persons with disabilities. The Self and Family Managed Care and In the Company of Friends programs were both considered innovative approaches when first introduced.

it’s morally wrong! Incarcerating individuals with a disability is shameful. In the mid-1980s we saw the birth of the Independent Living movement with its emphasis on risk taking. there’s still much work which needs to be done. Personally. responsibility. However. choice. I am proudest of my work in Manitoba’s deinstitutionalization movement. Today.  mainstreaming? Manitoba went on to become a pioneer in what came to be known as inclusive education. Continuing to isolate and congregate persons with disabilities in institutions simply because they were born with a condition is not only inhumane. regardless of type or severity. promotion of integration and consumer control. I believe that all persons with a disability. persons living with disabilities are taking their rightful place in our community. And this has been my message for the last 8 years. can live “in the community” when they receive all of the necessary supports and services.   171 . The poverty and “social exclusion” faced by people with disabilities remains our greatest challenge.

  BY DON FUCHS1 Personal Reflection on Accomplishments of the Disability Movement Over the Past Thirty Years In reflecting on the past thirty years it is important to note that much has been accomplished.   1 172   . Many                                                               Don Fuchs is a full professor at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. The United Nations’ adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with 152 signatories and 110 countries ratifying the Convention has provided an important tool to assist in the development and monitoring of the implementation of policy aimed at fostering the social inclusion of persons with disabilities. He has done  extensive international development work in Russia on disability issues. however there is much left to do and there is still a long way to go.

1990 Amended 2008. nationally and internationally have had their genesis here in Winnipeg because of the leadership of these two men. Some significant policy changes have included: Americans with Disability Act. All of these policy initiatives have been approved by various legislative bodies to address structural inequalities. Many of the organizations that have been trailblazers locally. disability tax exemptions. Ontarians with Disability Act. Organizations such as the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities. However. much of the policy has fallen far short of its initial intent. Children with disabilities are still killed or institutionalized or sold because of superstitions or negative stereotypes. initiatives aimed at fostering the social inclusion of persons with disability in all aspects of their society. Council of Canadians with   173 . 2001. or have developed. In my experience I had the honour and privilege of working with both Allan Simpson and Henry Enns. Many are denied the most basic of human rights. Manitoba has Standards for Educational Inclusion.  countries throughout the world are developing. in many parts of the world persons with disabilities still remain the poorest of the poor and the most marginalized. Unfortunately. for many reasons. Both were visionary and provided leadership for the disability movement.

employment.  Disabilities. However. housing and assisted living. 174   . New technology developments provide unprecedented opportunities for persons with disabilities for education. transportation. then the issues seem to have often disappeared or become dormant for extended periods of time. transportation and housing. There are many accomplishments in the area of employment. education by increased accessibility. inclusion and participation. Many of the gains of the disability movement from the last thirty years are fragile and can be easily retrenched in these conservative times. Still many attitudinal and structural barriers to the social inclusion of persons with disability remain to undermine the progress of the disability movement. The past thirty years have seen several cycles when disability issues brought forward have been prominent in the public discourse. income security. There is a great need for innovative leadership and new forms of advocacy in these times of neoliberalism and conservativism. Disabled Peoples’ International and the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies have contributed to the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities. persons with disabilities are still excluded from many of the opportunities of full citizenship.

As an 11 year old.  She is the proud mom of 25 year old Marc and lives with her partner and two  rather indifferent cats. founding her company Duckwranglers in 2001.  BY ZANNA JOYCE1 Just a Normal Life! In 1973. I loved that year! Planes. I had the fun but questionable experience of being an Easter Tammy. then handsome soldiers at CFB Shilo.  1   175 . which had taken on Easter Seals as their charity. a friendly smiling face encouraging people to send donations to the Easter Seals Campaign. and even sitting in the chair of                                                               Zanna Joyce is an organizational development coach. as they say. trains and automobiles.  She  works with arts and community organizations and small businesses to get new projects off the ground and  to manage transitions.

By 1976. of course. At 14. the biggest thing. I was old enough for my first job (though I think I needed permission). leading people who were all at least double my age. I remember meetings with councillors. Talk about trial by fire. who would change my future! They had come out to Brandon to study. on bringing people together to discuss their concerns. The MLPD had set up an office at Assiniboine Community College and I was hired on a summer grant. So I was ripe to jump in with both feet to try and address accessibility questions in Brandon. and. the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities). and. and a vocal supporter of the International Women’s Year of 1975. founding the Clean Up Committee at 10. fast forward a couple of years. to see if there was interest in developing a branch of the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped. I was already an activist. presentations to Council. along with Laurie Snell and a fellow who was perhaps named Andrew. working on Brandon’s City Council to bring in a Handi-Transit System modelled on what was coming into place in Winnipeg.  Manitoba’s Lieutenant Governor. I met Henry Enns and Jim Derksen. as it was called then (now. by way of recreation. and a lot of 176   . We worked hard on accessibility surveys of the small towns around Brandon. Could it get any better? Well. I ended up as Chair of the local branch.

In high school. I moved in and out of the disability community over the years. I was still trying to be an ordinary kid. We worked hard that summer and the next. that I had to supervise! Luckily they were diligent and did not need too much direction in their job of outreach to people with disabilities throughout the area. my family was a little uncomfortable with disrupting the status quo. Plus. through this entire time. I’ve often wondered at what happened to everyone in Brandon after I left at 17. So I jumped between ordinary teen things and MLPD leadership in those years. I remember the staff that the Winnipeg office helped us to hire in the year I was 17. What a proud time that was! Now. I was just that teen who didn’t talk much about what she did outside of school. and a Program Coordinator at what was then Sturgeon   177 .  community gatherings. and finally we were successful in helping Brandon to obtain and operationalize a small fleet of accessible buses. the desire to help out but not have to be fixated on disability issues being constant for my entire life. being a founding staffer at the Independent Living Resource Centre. though my mom fought very hard for me to be included at our neighbourhood school when I was really young.

if those of us who have been carrying it for all these years are just willing to stop hanging on to it in the misguided belief that we know best what must be done. a feeling that all the problems had been solved. or thwarted dreams. rather than living a life proscribed by a sense of obligation. Maybe for awhile there was complacence. bringing thirty years of organizational development and communication skills to the fore. I was very proud to be able to help in the rebirth of an effective and powerful Manitoba League of Persons With Disabilities in 2008. I have great hopes for what I am hearing from those who are now young.  Creek Enterprises (now SCE Lifeworks). but in the past few years I have met many young people who are ready and willing to pick up the mantle. 178   . Congratulations to all who have devoted so many years to ensuring that people with all sorts of disabilities are able to participate in society as they choose. lack of opportunity.

                                  179 .

                Housing             180   .

                                              181 .

  BY KEN CASSIN1 Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Take One: Reviewing the Experience Thirty years ago. and for the past fifteen years has been involved in community‐ based service planning and delivery. He has worked extensively in  housing policy. there are achievements of value. and delivery.  1 182   . Equally important was having an accessible place to live. The apartment at 1010 Sinclair Street was developing into a focal point for experiential learning for independent living. Ten Ten was a seven year old – bursting with the Independent Living philosophy – beginning to make a difference with and for people with physical disabilities. Evidently those founders had the crazy idea that people with disabilities                                                               Ken Cassin is the Managing Director of Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Inc. Where previously people with physical disabilities had severely limited options for services and housing – mostly institutional and often with the elderly – the founders of Ten Ten recognized that learning the skills to manage activities of daily living was an important step in independence. planning. As we celebrate our 37th year.

  wanted to and could live independently in the community! Since then. The service model – where in effect   183 . Ten Ten – in concert with the creativity and drive of tenants with disabilities – was instrumental in supporting and growing the shared care service models that became Fokus and Cluster housing in Winnipeg. how have those things changed? Well. Living independently in the community was largely a theory rather than a practice for most people with disabilities. The overwhelming majority transitioned to independent living in the community at large. almost one thousand people with disabilities have been through the Learning Through Living transitional program at the 1010 Sinclair Street site. Ten Ten still believes that there are two basic elements that give people with disabilities the opportunity to succeed in community – a welcoming built environment and a service package that meets individual needs. 37 years into it. So. So. on both the services and the housing front there wasn’t much out there thirty years ago when you were ready to leave the transitional housing at 1010 Sinclair Street.

That is not to say that the progress in this area has not been without challenges. However. there have been huge changes in the Home Care service area for activities of daily living. Recently. And. Improvements in the built environment – specifically accessible housing – have been a bit more hit and miss. They include the Brokerage option as well as Self and Family Managed Care. It would be hard to make the case that the same pace of success in community Home Care services has been achieved in the housing area. The private sector seems to have been noticeably absent from innovation in accessibility. there is no question that many of these improvements have been driven by people with disabilities. Arguably. most notably in the public sector. Even simple concepts like visitable housing are a struggle for the market. Home Care services for people with disabilities are a well established insured service in Manitoba today. There have been improvements.  tenants are “pooling” their Home Care service hours to create both flexibility and a 24 hour support service – remains a relevant piece of community living. or where public funding brought with it a condition to have some “mobility” units included in new or renovated developments. Progress may well lie in more inclusive approaches to housing development. 184   .

evidently. both shout inclusion.Ten Ten Sinclair . Maybe it’s just another one of those crazy ideas that people with disabilities value inclusion.  Ten Ten has demonstrated universal design in building twenty attached bungalow units in its Place Bertrand development in Saint Boniface.to a more inclusive approach that designs housing that works for all seems to have eluded much of the industry. So. it is developing an apartment in Saint Norbert that also attempts to demonstrate that accessible design actually works for a lot more people than those with disabilities. The idea of moving from a segregated approach that says something like “let’s make five of these new apartments or houses for those people with disabilities” . somebody has to try it . still crazy after all these years. Currently. Both projects have public sector support. Practically speaking.   185 .

  BY JUDY REDMOND1 Reflections on Universal Design in the City of Winnipeg Thirty years ago. and enjoys the challenges of. In 1982 the Federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms began to change all of that by                                                               Judy Redmond is committed to. as both the  Coordinator of the Access Advisory Committee (AAC) followed by the Universal Design office for the City  of Winnipeg.  1 186   . accessibility and universal design issues. She is responsible for administering the  implementation of the City of Winnipeg’s Universal Design Policy. For the past fifteen years. adopted by city council in December  2001. Judy Redmond has supported community efforts to make the City of Winnipeg more aware  of disability. searching for new and innovative ways to  develop more inclusive facilities and services for everyone. society was not as inclusive or welcoming to diverse populations in Canada as it is today.

Thus. stature or sensory ability level. specialized committee looking at issues only affecting citizens with disability specific limitations. seniors and those interested in accessibility issues to network with the community and provide advice to Winnipeg on accessibility matters. By the mid-1990s the committee changed their focus to creating a city that embraced all citizens. This was about good design for everyone. This progressive policy was the   187 . be they attitudinal. that then Mayor Bill Norrie changed all of that. agility. Those barriers. no matter what their mobility. The 1980s approach was welcomed and embraced by the disability community.  giving people of diverse backgrounds the right to be full partners without barriers in Canadian society. thirty years ago the City of Winnipeg did not have a committee to deliver advice on the removal of civic barriers to participation. age. physical or economic could be found in any community across the country. It was not until the Decade of Disabled Persons. in the 1980s. in 2001 the City of Winnipeg adopted a Universal Design Policy whereby all civic funded or owned facilities. In keeping with that mindset. programs and information would be made as accessible as possible to the widest range of citizens and visitors possible. size. but it soon became evident that inclusion was not about a separate. Winnipeg inducted an active Access Advisory Committee made up of persons with disabilities.

  first of its kind in any municipality across Canada. including persons with disabilities. Having national code experts. 2008) approach such that many human factors are considered and a broad range of endusers consulted on matters that most affect them. without specialized accommodation. assisting administration in implementation matters. So. but still has a long way to go. inclusive design. provincial policy analysts and municipal regulatory bodies working hand in hand means the community. Recent changes to the building code that improve requirements for accessibility to private spaces will encourage further progress in this regard. the Universal Design Coordinator position is mandated to administer the Winnipeg Universal Design Policy. has a reduced probability of enduring lengthy and stressful legal routes of barrier removal through Human 188   . Winnipeg has progressed well. In place since 2003. It is based on the premise that good design accommodates a person with limitations readily and seamlessly. The excitement of having the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in our city has increased the awareness of the necessity of good. Using a Universal Design or Inclusive Design lens means Winnipeg is designing things using a “nothing about me without me” (Papworth Trust UK. here we are over ten years later.

  189 . Winnipeg will continue the task of advancing the requirement for the public service to interweave the philosophy of universal design and inclusion into all its business to the greatest extent possible.  Rights complaints. Moving forward.



  Visitability - Is It Too Much to Ask?
There is growing awareness and interest in visitability in Canada. Visitability lends itself to social interactions among friends, family, and neighbours in the community, but more importantly, in each of our homes. It guarantees that regardless of physical mobility everyone will be included and able to visit a friend’s home, feel
 Olga Krassioukova‐Enns, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, has more than  25 years of international experience in disability policy, programs/project design, implementation and  evaluation, as well as research, curriculum development, teaching and administration.  Educated as a  medical doctor, trained in policy development and participatory research, she has been involved in  numerous national and international projects with the focus on Disability Studies development and  teaching, aging and disability, visitability, livable and inclusive communities, inclusive education, universal  design, poverty reduction, as well as international and social development. 




welcome to share meals and use the washroom. Visitability is a policy and technical strategy to change the way we think about social inclusion, interactions in our own homes, and participation in our communities. It begins to address the evolving needs of seniors, people with limited mobility, children and parents. In order to make visitability the norm we require inclusive and sustainable approaches to community planning and the design and construction of single and multifamily homes.

In order to make all homes more usable and safe for the people who inhabit them and more welcoming for those who visit them, three basic features are essential: a zero-step entrance, wide doorways (at least a 32” clear opening), and an accessible bathroom on the main floor.

In 1976, Sweden started using the term of visitability and practicing the design strategies that subsequently filtered into the rest of Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, the United States, and finally into Canada in the beginning of this century. Eleanor Smith, the founder of “Concrete Change,” pioneered visitability in North America in the 1980s when as a young girl she was excluded from birthday parties and other social gatherings on the basis of “home design (steps, narrow entry, no accessible washrooms).” She began this social movement that is now changing the way we design, build, and live in



our homes. Visitabilty is bridging gaps in the accessibility between public and private spaces, and is becoming known as an affordable and sustainable design strategy for increasing basic access of family homes and neighborhoods.

We have seen significant progress in accessibility of public buildings and spaces, driven by legislation support, but single-family homes have yet to have similar requirements. The United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Denmark are but some of the countries that have incorporated visitability into the codified requirements for housing. In Canada, CSA Standard B651 has recently introduced technical specifications for visitability and the province of Manitoba is taking a lead in both the research and practice of visitability. Furthermore, some municipalities in British Columbia, such as Saanich and North Vancouver have embraced the concept of visitability and have developed bylaws requiring their incorporation into new housing.

Visitability is a movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new homes – not merely those custom-built for occupants who currently have disabilities – are equipped with a few specific features that make them easier to live in and visit for people who develop mobility disabilities.




Visitability is a major element of social inclusion; it is about our friends, family, neighbors, and it is about everybody’s home. The concept of visitability offers a simple and affordable solution to the changing needs and desires of a population that seeks to stay active and connected with other people while remaining in their homes. It is a solution to make our communities more livable and inclusive.





When No Other Approach Will Serve
Issue chronicling is a straightforward matter whenever you can identify a meaningful flash point, narrate its telling features, and go on to draw some sort of lesson from it. While none of disability’s cornerstone issues are particularly amenable to this kind of formulation, housing distinguishes itself by being the completely impossible one of the bunch. The ongoing minicrises that bedevil disability housing - a few of which spend a three-day stint as horror stories in the local news before vanishing - mean advocates worry over one-offs and rarely find time to attend to the big perspective discussion areas the way they’d like to.

And while Manitoba Housing may be a major landlord and influencer on public policy, it’s really only one of a galaxy of players who contribute to the shaping of the scene at any moment and, more importantly, directly affect the lives of Manitobans with disabilities for good or ill. With other issue areas you’re at least confronting a system, complex and poorly
 Mel Graham is a former Chairperson of the Independent Living Resource Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He is also the Chairperson of MLPD’s Housing Committee.   




defined as it may be. With housing, we’re talking hodgepodge, not system.

Transitional integrated housing, aging in place, visitability - all have grabbed a bit of the public’s imagination in their time, settled in to make their positive differences, and served to move the cause of equitable housing a bit further along. The most recent example of this stop-and-go approach is especially dear to our movement because it highlights the autonomy latent in homeless people who have mental health and drug-related issues.

Rehabilitation attempts to make this subpopulation housing ready were achieving almost no success, so social service managers in New York City wondered if supports to help them stay housed, rather than getting housed, might work better from the standpoint of their morale and outlook, and be less costly besides. Dropping cherished preprogram criteria around drug and alcohol use was a hard sell for police and courts, local politicians and public fund administrators. But when the initial results indicated dramatic success, the idea was soon taken up elsewhere in North America, including Winnipeg.

As is only to be expected, there are many bumps in this road and as more jurisdictions have taken


  up the challenge. Yet overall. the results have tended toward evening out somewhat. 196   . reports by those directly involved with delivering these programs are very positive as to how appreciatively the great majority of those selected have reacted to the chance to keep something as significant as an actual home of their own in their lives.

  1   197 . Winnipeg is one of five cities participating in this research and demonstration project of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. I had the opportunity to present at the Day of Persons with Disabilities Forum. Seniors and Consumer Affairs. 2011. That engagement encouraged me to reflect upon my experience with provincial homelessness and mental health housing initiatives in Manitoba. mental health and substance use problems. we often underestimate the proportion of the homeless population who have serious mental health issues. particularly the work of the At Home/Chez Soi project.  BY MARCIA THOMSON1 Mental Health Disability and Homelessness Current Thinking On December 2. Healthy Living. in part because these issues are often masked by alcohol and                                                               Marcia Thomson is Assistant Deputy Minister. One of the most significant advancements is the emerging knowledge and development of promising practices in the way communities think about housing people with mental health issues and complex physical. Province of  Manitoba. As communities.

In fact. and is often intensified. as individuals become 198   .  drug use and other physical health issues. we do not always appreciate the resilience of homeless individuals.a place and community to call “home”. Individuals were often not considered eligible for these benefits until mental health and addictions treatment were undertaken. justice officials. we often accept that people with mental health and substance abuse problems have somehow forgone that right by their own choice. of the 500 participants in the At Home/Chez Soi project. the need for services continues. While we strive to meet the goal of providing adequate and affordable housing for all. post-traumatic stress disorder (41%) and panic disorder (46%). courts and others are awakening to the potential for individuals to make positive choices about their living environments. Does this approach take away the need for mental health and addictions services for the homeless population? The short answer is “No”. For example. who often show dramatic changes when given an opportunity to enjoy the benefits that many of us take for granted . given the opportunity and support. Most importantly. Health and social service agencies. many suffer from depression (67%).

is demonstrating remarkable “game changing” potential. As a community. Implementation of this approach has been a journey of learning for homeless individuals. and the inherent consumer choice and empowerment. we are beginning to realize that leaving individuals in misery on the streets will not provide the tools to seek supportive services. The emergence of this “Housing First” model. as well as service and housing providers. Early indications and stories from participants have seen HOPE reappear for many.   199 .  stabilized in the dignity of home and community and a supportive environment.

I remember it like it was yesterday. She has  worked in the disability community all her life as both an advocate and community‐based service  provider. I will be moving to Ten Ten”.  BY DEBBIE VAN ETTINGER1 Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Take Two: Living the Experience I was sixteen years old when my relationship with Ten Ten Sinclair Housing began. I went home.  1 200   . when I turned eighteen in the spring of 1983.                                                               Debbie Van Ettinger is the Director of Programs & Services for Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Inc. And the rest is history. I told my mom. “Mom when I turn eighteen. I was visiting a friend that had moved into an apartment at 1010 Sinclair Street. I moved into my own apartment. and I knew this was the place for me.

believing in myself and an understanding that some of the things happening to me as an eighteen year old happen to all eighteen year olds.  From the very beginning. and an understanding of why commitment to these concepts and principles are so vital to all persons with disabilities. I was introduced to concepts and principles that have come to be the essence of what I live and believe in today. I moved to a Fokus Housing site when I left the program at Ten Ten. Firstly. finding affordable accessible housing in the early ‘80s would have been much more difficult. peer support.   201 . Move out on my own. Experiential learning. I wasn’t aware of it at the time. consumer control. “Learning through Living”. people with disabilities experience many of the same thoughts. It didn’t take long before my peers introduced me to committees. feelings and confusion that everyone else does. decisionmaking. let’s examine that for a minute. Ten Ten gave me the apartment that I needed to do what all eighteen year old folks do. Secondly. and most importantly. Simply put. boards of directors. What might life have been like if Ten Ten had not existed for me? Well. It was many years before I understood the full impact that these concepts would have on my life. but I needed to be introduced to confidence.

Twelve years ago I took a job as the Director of Fokus Housing. today it is alive and well.  So whatever happened to that relationship with Ten Ten Sinclair Housing? Well. 202   . Recently. Now it is my turn to hopefully have an impact on the individuals that come through the doors of 1010 Sinclair Street. And so the relationship continues. I have become the Director of Programs and Services at Ten Ten – doing the same things with others that I learned many years ago in this very building.

with support from Manitoba's Department of Housing and the                                                               Dave Martin is a former tenant. Often they ended up living their lives in personal care homes with people who were three times their age. In 1975.  BY DAVE MARTIN1 A Dream that Became a Success Story Forty years ago. Advocates in the disability community worked with the Canadian Paraplegic Association and the Luther Home Corporation to change this reality. it was common for younger adults with significant physical disabilities to find themselves living in an institution because there was no accessible housing or supports in the community. with a Board of Directors controlled by people with disabilities. Another important concept was that it would rent suites to both people with and without disabilities. and Managing Director of Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Inc.  1   203 . Board member.   He is currently a Senior Advisor on Disability Issues with the Province of Manitoba. They envisioned an apartment complex. where every suite would be accessible to people who use wheelchairs and where attendant services would be available 24 hours per day.

Starting in 1978. Ten Ten met this need by introducing Fokus Housing to Manitoba. An essential element of Ten Ten is that it is a place where tenants with disabilities can learn Independent Living skills. it received government funding to build Place Bertrand. This 20 unit housing complex features the latest in universal 204   . four such units have been established in different locations throughout Winnipeg. the creation of permanent community housing options quickly became a priority. To ensure this learning environment is available to as many people with disabilities as possible. Again with assistance from government. In 2009. Therefore. This is just one example of the innovative approaches Ten Ten has used to respond to the long-term housing needs of people with disabilities. in Winnipeg’s Saint Boniface neighbourhood. their efforts led to the development of Ten Ten Sinclair Housing. This housing model sees a small group of people with disabilities moving into individual apartments in a building and sharing attendant services. the founders decided Ten Ten would only provide transitional housing. Ten Ten has also emerged as a developer of housing projects. This means that tenants with disabilities are not allowed to live in the building forever.  Department of Health.

Starting from a dream in the early 1970s.  design practices and offers rental accommodations to families with and without members who have disabilities. Following on the successful model of Place Bertrand. a 37 unit apartment block in Winnipeg’s Saint Norbert suburb.   205 . Ten Ten is currently overseeing the construction of Place La Charette. Ten Ten has since played a major role in the development of community housing for people with disabilities.

                  Education And Work             206   .

    207 .

The Manitoba League became a model. Up until this time. he held the Senior Provincial Coordinator position. with their employment preparation program. the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities. was the centre of services for persons with disabilities. providing                                                               Brian Stewart has been associated with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities since its  formation in 1974. Brian joined the management team of Concept  Special Business Advisors with the goal of establishing innovative ways of training and placing persons  with severe and complex physical or emotional disabilities into competitive worksites. volunteering to serve on standing committees and the Provincial Council.  1 208   .  In the late  ‘70s.  BY BRIAN STEWART1 Opportunity Knocks In the 1970s employment issues were a primary concern to the Manitoba League.

it was an opportunity to develop communication skills as the office was turned into a phone centre and a significant number of members went to work promoting the sale of dinner tickets. it was an opportunity to hone public relations and organizational skills. the Manitoba League was able to string together short-term employment grants hiring a number of members whose energy and perspective had longterm benefits to the community. As a result. However great these short-term grants were. several summer student funding grants were accessed.  opportunities to persons with disabilities needing accommodations in the workplace. they offered no long-term financial benefits but were certainly a confidence booster. For fundraising the Manitoba League hosted the Bud Grant dinner. created several levels of experience for many members. The employment grants gave opportunity for members to receive employment. summer activities were very successful in membership development. An unexpected success of the Bud Grant Dinner was the demonstration by members of their desire to be part of a meaningful endeavour. For some. As the Manitoba League began to organize and build an administrative structure to support policy and implementation of action plans. For others. For a number of years.   209 . The planning of the dinner.

it was found that given experience and gaining confidence. the project was able to transfer to provincial funding as an Education and Training Centre. As the project progressed. The Manitoba League was convinced that given the opportunity they could demonstrate a service model that would be an alternative to the traditional employment assessment models that were attached to the social services The timing was right and the Manitoba League was able to acquire federal funds through the Local Employment Assistance Program. work experience and placement with the support of federal funds. Services were provided for another 15 years and community-based training had become the norm. it certainly was not. Writing this now makes it sound so easy. The fact that we were requesting funds for a consumer-led service delivery was a huge obstacle.  Up to this this time services were not connected to private or public employers and the label of “unemployable” would be commonly attached to people. The objective was to assist consumers to create and own business opportunities. but funds were received. participants would choose to seek established employment over the challenge of growing their own business. Having been successful in providing training. Funding systems were always the challenge and gradually the consumer base changed from persons with disabilities to people 210   .

  with mental illness. In order for the province to cost share vocational services with federal funds. Most importantly the province’s risk taking became limited. narrowed. Disability awareness has been a constant priority to the community. Recruitment was led by choosing individuals who were most likely to succeed. Services have been delivered to both the job seeker and the employer. many consumer initiatives have implemented projects. As this service has grown and established itself as an important community resource. The creation of these services was initiated by the consumer. It has lasted more than 30 years. many of the large employers have in-house disability awareness   211 . The connection to the consumer-based organization is not as strong as was initially envisioned. Today. programming had to achieve a high success rate. The Manitoba League was also responsible for creating an outreach employment support program to serve persons with disabilities as an extension to the HRDC. The experience that we had gained was put to the side. The original intent to be a testing ground for alternative service delivery. it has created various partnerships. People entering the training programming were expected to leave with a job.

The campaign was a success. and funders are famous for the question “how many jobs were created.” For those who have been part of the delivery of awareness programs we have no doubt that disability awareness is a primary tool in creating and advancing employment opportunities. the province and the disability community initiated a campaign highlighting the advantage of being an inclusive employer. just as we did when we first established goals and began on the incredible original vision of disability advocacy. The goal was awareness.  programs such as the Province of Manitoba. However did it generate employment? Can its impact be measured? Not likely? Will another campaign occur? Well it hasn’t yet! Have we as a community made inroads to employment? We must keep this as a primary goal. Awareness needs to occur on a constant basis. Funding is a challenge for awareness initiatives. Others contract disability awareness services. 212   . A few years ago. using the print media. as it is difficult to measure the outcomes. expensive but achieved the established goals.

there were pioneers who envisioned lives for people with intellectual disabilities that included paid employment and they connected with others across North America who also shared this vision.  Anne is the mother of three gifted  children.                                                               Anne Kresta is the Inclusive Education and Community Development Specialist with Community Living  Manitoba.   1   213 . Attention Deficit Disorder. Prince Charles School in Winnipeg was one centre for this activity.  She is also the President of Asperger Manitoba Inc.  Both are now adults and studying at University and College in Winnipeg. Tourette Syndrome  and Anxiety Disorder. (AMI). Dating back to the 1980s. Under the leadership of Principal Barbara Sarson. Many of these placements turned into paid jobs.  BY ANNE KRESTA1 Transitioning from School to Work in Manitoba Manitoba has a rich history of supported employment of individuals living with a disability. the school aggressively placed many students in “work experiences” with businesses in the community. two of whose gifts include Asperger Syndrome.

(This program later became Premier Personnel. began funding additional demonstration projects and more supported employment programs emerged in Manitoba within the next few years. was one of the first such programs in Canada. Eventually.  In the late 1970s. it advocated securing jobs for people with intellectual disabilities and helping them learn the job and stabilize their position with support from a one-on-one trainer. the Province of Manitoba began to allocate funds for supported employment – 214   . service providers throughout North America learned that people with intellectual disabilities were capable of learning much more complex skill sets than was previously thought. in Winnipeg. like the Manitoba Marathon. In the early 1980s ARC Industries (now Versatech). the provincial government was not willing to fund the supported employment model but several other granting bodies.) At this time. Dubbed the “Supported Employment” model. This was one of the foundations which led to the development of a new approach to employment services. It helped place clients of ARC Industries and students from Prince Charles School into real jobs. secured federal funding to pilot the supported employment approach in Manitoba. with the emergence of the Task Analysis/“Try another Way” training model. This project. known as Westwin Personnel.

  making it possible for even more organizations to use this model and help more people with intellectual disabilities enter the workforce. Michael Klachefsky. There were no set standards for service delivery and each organization catered to its own clientele. and are able to access. As a result of the timing of their evolution. while others. there were many different funding arrangements made and carried forward. evolved from traditional sheltered workshops. like St.   215 . the marketAbilities program through Family Services and Consumer Affairs. This project continues to provide funding to supported employment agencies in Manitoba dependent upon referrals of graduating students who qualify for. and the individual differences that each supported employment agency presented to the government. like Sturgeon Creek Enterprises (now SCE Lifeworks) and Network South Enterprises (now Connect Employment Services) were new parent-led organizations. Some. James Industries and Work and Social Opportunities Inc. who worked for the provincial government at that time. the Province of Manitoba launched a School to Work Project as another way to fund agencies that were traditionally funded federally. In the late 1980s. mentored many community groups as they considered the supported employment model for service delivery. (WASO).

once again. Another challenge rests in the area of postsecondary education and training and the aspirations of young adults with disabilities to pursue studies and look towards career development. We are also seeing how advanced technology has washed out a level of jobs that people with disabilities have traditionally held.  In 1994. For individuals living with disabilities in Manitoba. as opposed to entry-level jobs. the road to employment is still fraught with potholes and rough patches. here. This conference was a resounding success and resulted in the creation of the Manitoba Supported Employment Network as well as the Canadian Association of Supported Employment. supported employment agencies in Manitoba got together to plan and lead the first national conference on supported employment. in Winnipeg. in Winnipeg. While affirmative action/employment equity initiatives in the late 1980s provided more understanding of the need to diversify our workforce. Annual CASE conferences continue to be held across the country with the 2012 conference taking place. there were also moves to decentralize services that led to the contracting out of services and supports that may have gone to employees with disabilities. that 216   .

we can create truly inclusive communities where we all belong. especially when the support required may be fairly intensive – is the cost worth the investment? On the whole.  continue beyond what their wants and abilities would suggest. It’s the right thing to do and if we all work together. we recognize the many gifts that people with wideranging disabilities bring to the workplace and our workplaces are so much better for it.   217 . Manitobans and others across the country continue to wrestle with the economic benefits of supported employment. A recent celebration of “Champions for Diversity” among Manitoba employers was a huge success and really profiled how Manitoba employers recognize the many gains that they receive from a diverse workforce.

and its initial steps in Manitoba occurred before I was involved. I have heard various stories of how the momentum grew.  218   . What we currently know as “supported employment” has been in existence for approximately thirty years. How a handful of champions in the community either initiated inclusive employment services themselves. I heard about schools that developed more finely honed training strategies that better prepared students for work life in the community. or played an advocacy role in encouraging the development of supported employment services. How a well placed civil servant became an agent of change. where I heard about a group of parents who worked                                                              1 Oly Backstrom is President and CEO of SCE LifeWorks.  BY OLY BACKSTROM1 Reflections on the Supported Employment Movement in Manitoba “Supported Employment” is the endeavour of supporting people to find competitively paid work in typical and inclusive settings in the community. My personal experience has been at SCE LifeWorks. I have been asked to pass on my reflections of how the supported employment movement has made Manitoba more accessible for people with intellectual disabilities.

People with intellectual disabilities usually had a “place” to go where they could be kept “occupied”. There have always been Manitobans with intellectual disabilities who had abilities. I have heard great stories. however. like how an employee transformed a work culture because of that individual’s exceptional work ethic and winning attitude. an organization that would support people with intellectual disabilities to work in the community. skills. engaged businesses and employers in our province. I am sure that there were connections made between such employers and employees before anyone knew of such a thing called “supported employment”. from scratch. I have been witness to people with intellectual disabilities demonstrating not just competence. but excellence. I have listened to employers and business owners who spoke of competencies and skills that employees with intellectual disabilities brought to their place of work. as valued employees in the community. These connections were not common. and potentials who. What has the supported employment movement meant to Manitoba? There have always been open-minded. if given a chance. where people would be respected and rewarded for their work. There   219 .  incredibly hard to develop. could blossom as employees in inclusive business settings.

abilities and potentials of Manitobans with intellectual disabilities. a day will come when that tissue manifests itself in a different way—employers simply seeing talent and potential for what it is. and employees who could provide that help. Perhaps. That connective tissue will always be necessary. families and natural networks developing that connective tissue the same way as any typical Manitoban would. I am grateful for the opportunity to pause and reflect on how the lives of thousands of Manitobans with disabilities have been supported to lead valued lives in inclusive settings through the purposeful building and sustaining work performed in this relatively new movement we call “supported employment”. and the vast skills. The growth of the supported employment movement has never been about building facilities or service empires. It would be arrogance not to acknowledge that it already happens.  were families that also simply chose to keep their grown children at home. It would be folly not to celebrate it. 220   . In the meantime. however. and has always happened to some degree. It has simply been a purposeful movement to build connective tissue between employers who needed capable help. individuals. job seekers being provided the opportunity to shine. We are the connective tissue between opportunities for meaningful community-connectedness through employment.

 community liaison.  1   221 .  BY DANIEL HALECHKO1 30 Years of the Disability Community Communicating with Labour to Increase Hiring During the 1980s. management. He is presently employed on the Thumbs Up  Project at the MLPD. To address this inequality. counselling and research. One major area that disabled people were underrepresented in was the area of employment. client advocacy. they were rarely employed in the better paying unionized workplaces. Skills he acquired include project coordination. the disability community decided to seek a                                                               Daniel Halechko has spent approximately 30 years as an advocate/activist in the disability rights  movement primarily through his volunteer activities and employment with the MLPD and the Manitoba  Federation of Labour. the cross-disability community in Manitoba began focusing its advocacy on several key issues that prevented the disability community from fully participating in all aspects of society.  systems advocacy. Not only were workers with disabilities underemployed.

the Workers with Disabilities Project (WDP) was developed in Manitoba through a partnership of the Manitoba Federation of Labour and the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD). We were under no illusions that partnering with unions would solve many of our day-to-day 222   . The widespread belief in which labour supports workplace equality for all workers and its commitment to eliminate conditions of disadvantage in the workplace made labour an important ally to the disability community. for disabled workers to learn more about labour and its issues. a loose-knit network of activists from the two communities was created. and conversely.  partnership with our unionized brothers and sisters. workshops. educational seminars and conferences in order for labour to learn more about workers with disabilities and their issues. During the ‘90s a great deal of time and effort was put into bringing the broad labour and disability communities together in focus group meetings. Through working together on these types of initiatives. It was felt that the labour and disability communities shared similar views and philosophical convictions that were naturally conducive to working together. In 1992.

such as employment equity or quota hiring to overcome the systematic disadvantage experienced by persons with disabilities in the workforce.  employment problems. After all unions do not do the hiring. union and disability organization working cooperatively is our ultimate goal. What we do gain in solidarity with unions is a stronger voice in the workplace. employers do. There are other mechanisms used in various jurisdictions. unions can be extremely useful in helping to establish work experiences that result in actual. This can result in more supportive language in collective bargaining to hire and retain disabled workers. Also.   223 . measurable skill development and learning. Disability employment agencies in Manitoba know that it is best to approach the union at the same time as the employer to ensure that the union is part of the hiring or placement being considered. The employer. but these methods are not widely supported by workers in general.

  BY ROB MCINNES1  Challenges in the Labour Market I entered the scene almost 40 years ago. In the early 1970s new paradigms. longstanding preconceptions were being challenged and new visions were emerging. across North America. The old programs. Manitoba was not immune – nor was the employment landscape for people with disabilities. human rights and dignity for all. ideologies and belief systems took shape. It was in the aftermath of the 1960s and. and sidelined people with disabilities from the mainstream came under heavy fire. Over the next                                                               Rob McInnes is a human services professional with over 30 years of experience in management and  innovative program design focused on issues of workforce diversity ‐ particularly as they apply to  individuals with disabilities. those that had ostracized. and dominated by sheltered workshops. it was governed by exclusion and discrimination. Expectations for equality. Throughout all social institutions. the winds of change were still blowing strong. inclusion and full participation rose to the fore – expectations rooted in social justice.  1 224   . A landscape sculpted by low expectations. segregated.

  225 . Everywhere. expectations and opportunities for real careers and jobs were further heightened for them. Later. The Employment Preparation Centre moved its assessment services into community settings. Specialized placement services like Reaching Out and E-Quality Employment were established. This change extended beyond the borders of Manitoba. The Canadian Council of Rehabilitation Workshops (CCRW) was headquartered here in Winnipeg. Supported employment programs like Premier Personnel. most of the province’s big sheltered workshops crumbled and fell.  two decades. Transformation took place in the education system as well. Prince Charles School (a large segregated school for students with disabilities) became aggressive in preparing its students to transition into integrated employment. sprouted up for folks with intellectual disabilities. In 1986. “integration” became the touchstone for service delivery. In the 1970s and ‘80s. as kids with disabilities were integrated into regular schools. it changed its name to the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work and purposefully set out to lead its members (former sheltered workshops throughout Canada) in the shift from segregated services to ones with integrated employment outcomes.

Our posture towards people with disabilities. reflected in our government services. but we did a relatively poor job at devising the new models to replace them. Collectively. Manitobans with disabilities are yet a long way from enjoying full participation in our workforce and having equal opportunity to be productive and prosperous in their livelihoods.  In reflection. we have set the stage for that too. to change. Happily. 226   . I believe we did a good job at dismantling the old segregated models. remains rooted in a social welfare model .not in one of economic participation.

 now 35. in the 1980s. was denied access to her  neighbourhood schools because of her physical disability and her diagnosis of developmental delay. advocated and supported the integration of students with  disabilities in their neighbourhood schools. toward the goal of implementing many learning and  teaching environments at inclusive schools in the community.  BY LAURA AND KAREN SCHNELLERT1 Advocacy for Inclusive Education – In the Beginning – One Family’s Story It was 1977 and I was looking forward to the arrival of my baby. along with others.  As Program and Membership Director of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba  Laura continues to advocate.                                                               Laura Schnellert is a parent who.  Laura’s daughter Karen. Karen. When my daughter.  With the support and advocacy from other  parents and organizations. Laura  spent years lobbying government to change attitudes and policy with regard to the inclusion of students  with disabilities.  1   227 . students now have the needed personnel supports and architectural access to  attend school alongside their peers.

228   . I needed to work full-time and that necessitated child care. were continuously eventful with one advocacy session after another. superintendents. However. meetings with teachers. Thus started my “calling” as an advocate. This was largely due to people’s way of thinking at the time. It was an ongoing crusade to keep Karen in her home school and in the established educational curriculum. Karen became a “pioneer” in the child care field.  arrived 2 months early I was relieved to hear from the doctor that all seemed fine. year after year. spastic quadriplegia. government department heads and even the Minister of Education eventually paved the way for Karen and for other children with disabilities to go to their neighbourhood schools and be included in mainstream instruction. Karen was 2 years old when I became a single parent. as time passed it became obvious that she was not reaching the milestones that indicate characteristic child development. age 5 to 21 in Karen’s case. So with determination and assertiveness on my part. Upon her diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. principals. I knew that our lives had changed and a new and significant journey was about to begin. School years. However. At that time integrated daycares did not exist in Manitoba.

There are many others about dedicated families that took the same journey. There are families today that are still on that journey. Children and adults with disabilities have a right to learn. Each generation has triumphs.   229 . to be given a chance to succeed and to become productive participants in society. Karen and I are pleased with the role we have played in altering some of the challenges faced by people with disabilities and we are pleased to share our experience. In Manitoba inclusive education is now legislated. Ours is one family’s story.  Through the years this change in attitude has made a difference. This indicates that the government values children and respects parents. It is about honouring. caring and dignity for all.

Fortunately. This was back in the Fifties and Sixties.    1 230   . there’s got to be demand. Manitoba. So                                                               Mel Graham is a former Chairperson of the Independent Living Resource Centre in Winnipeg. progress had been made by the time my son Neil presented his own school authorities with similar textbook requirements to mine.  BY MEL GRAHAM1  The Door That Opened A Crack When Opportunity Knocked Once I was a Braille and reel-to-reel tape-using student. although I guess I did prove the old economic maxim that before you can establish supply.  He is also the Chairperson of MLPD’s Housing Committee. My parents’ struggle to obtain textbooks was nothing short of a never ending nightmare for them.

That might make a better read. Similar accounts often conclude with a flourish of brilliantly executed. Braille transcription of educational materials. highly publicized social activist tactics. The implications of this news struck me as horrendous.  much so that I was all but asleep at the wheel when I heard that like all vision impaired students in Manitoba. After that. would no longer be forthcoming. Neil was one student who could not be accommodated on a cassette materials only basis. costly as it is. For his true potential to have any chance of being realized .his nature and interests ran to maths and physical sciences before all other subjects . routinely kept an eye out for opportunities whereby it could better serve students with “special needs”. because this is one instance when the entire branch of the public service we were dealing with. It would be quite essential for him to acquire the good listening skills necessitated by an all-cassette diet before he moved on to university. Neil was to be “weaned off” Braille in grades 11 and 12. And so it was that I was quietly advised that a carefully   231 . from the worker bee up. topped off with a final scene of thoroughly chastened bureaucrats making excuses and licking their wounds.only the hands-on interactivity afforded by Braille would do for significant learning to occur. but it definitely wouldn’t be true.

A. would have dealt with a similarly complex set of circumstances? 232   . as I recall . His taxes have probably covered those costs a few times over in the years since. might yield positive results. a few years later. oppressed. perhaps?). expressing concerns from a parent’s viewpoint and addressed to a certain Assistant Deputy Minister.  argued letter. Neil got all the Braille volumes he needed for an initial mathematics B.did exactly what we’d hoped. how do you suppose a perpetually frightened. a master’s degree in computer sciences. But really. and. Such letter .vetted by quite a swatch of diverse parties. paranoid civil service (the current federal one.

 Faculty of Medicine and  the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba. Neither was there acknowledgment of the expertise people with disabilities had about their own lives.  1   233 . She is a  member of the Manitoba Health Appeal Board. Although physicians learn volumes about treating underlying causes. He is a community health researcher and  medical anthropologist who has worked in the Departments of Community Medicine and Psychiatry in the  Universities of London (England).  BY RHONDA WIEBE1 AND JOSEPH KAUFERT2 “Hard” Facts and “Soft” Values: Teaching Medical Students about the Lived Experience of Disability A significant obstacle to accessing healthcare is the lack of knowledge possessed by doctors about living with disability. many receive little training about choices concerning active independence.  2  Joseph Kaufert is a professor in the department of Community Health Sciences. and Co‐chair of the Ending of Life Ethics Committee of the  Council of Canadians with Disabilities. There was a time in Canada when no curriculum formally challenged medical students to think about how they internalized social perceptions of persons with disabilities. Manitoba                                                               Rhonda Wiebe is a Policy Analyst with the Disabilities Issues Office for the Province of Manitoba. Texas and Manitoba. The most significant influence to her work is her lived experience as  a person with a disability.

as well as tensions between faculty “insiders” teaching 234   . The presentations contrasted significantly with what students learned from medical professionals. including barriers to healthcare resources. Lori Ross. Students interpreted disability-related presentations in terms of services and interventions rather than on larger issues such as respect for autonomy. the addition of Independent Living modules did not go uncontested. University of Manitoba. Audrey McIlraith. namely that emphasis for healthcare should be professionally defined rather than through shared decisionmaking. Colleen Watters. There was resistance to using non-physicians as presenters. with medical students. The modules examined policies and ethical issues that influence the relationships between persons with disabilities and health professionals. Rhonda Wiebe. Louella Shannacappo.  can be proud to be the first province that introduced changes to its medical curriculum. Henry Enns. Catherine Medernach. Catherine Pearse. Elizabeth Semkiw and Paula Keirstead. created these presentations. Presenters discussed myths and attitudes about living with disabilities. Additional presenters include Jim Derksen. Independent Living modules were introduced in 1980 at Community Medicine. But. Disability advocates. Valerie Wolbert and John Wyndels. Elizabeth Loban. including Allan Simpson. David Martin.

Many students were already exposed to conventional ideas about the roles of physicians and patients.  medical culture and consumer “outsiders” who stressed the importance of Independent Living. many steeped in able-ist notions of disability. These often unstated factors. and the importance of advocacy. Such preconceived conditioning resulted in students placing disability community presenters in the narrow biomedically defined roles of “clients” or “patients.” Some students acknowledged the influences embedded in the organizational culture of medicine. Some medical students reported they could conceptualize incorporating facets of the Independent Living model. including the concept of working in partnership with persons with disabilities who drew expertise from their own lives. However. affect medical practice. however evaluations revealed many lacked basic knowledge about living with disability.   235 . its wider implications. These difficulties indicated some radical modifications were required in order for the perspectives of persons with disabilities to be meaningful. they did not see this as something many of their colleagues would do. Students responded positively. A 2005 study explored how students perceived these Independent Living sessions.

The opportunity to draw on the lived experience of encountering multiple social barriers by maintaining a sense of autonomy and dignity is unequivocal. this does not lessen our conviction that physicians need to learn from the expertise of persons with disabilities.  Although somewhat discouraging. 236   . This education enriches the capacity of medical practitioners as well as the consumers with whom they co-participate in efforts to ensure appropriate health care.

    237 .

                  Human Rights     238   .






A Missed Wedding, a Landmark Protest and a Legal Victory 
On October 31, 1980, I arrived in Ottawa ready to participate in a weekend meeting of the National Council of the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH) (now known as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities). I attended this meeting under much protest from my family. My sister was getting married, and here I was, choosing to miss her wedding so I could discuss the Constitution and the inclusion of disability rights.

 Yvonne Peters has practiced law as a sole practitioner since 1993, specializing in human rights and  equality rights.  Yvonne's current work includes: legal advisor to the Council of Canadians with Disabilities,  Vice Chair of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, a co‐investigator in a Community‐University  Research Alliance project entitled Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship.  




I was a relatively new member to the Council. But I was outraged by the lack of legal protection for the human rights of persons with disabilities and was therefore eager to work with my colleagues to correct this injustice.

Much of our Council discussion that weekend focused on the federal government and how to shake its refusal to consider the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the proposed Constitutional Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Earlier that fall, Prime Minister Trudeau convened Parliament to consider a resolution asking the British Parliament to patriate the British North American Act. He proposed that part 1 of the Act contain a Charter that would provide Constitutional protection of the Rights and Freedoms of persons living in Canada. Of particular interest to persons with disabilities was the Charter’s “non-discrimination” clause.

This clause guaranteed equality and prohibited discrimination on a number of grounds. However, there was no mention of disability. Our drive to have this clause expanded was supported by a resolution passed at COPOH’s first national conference. The resolution called for Members of Parliament to support the entrenchment of the human rights of persons with physical disabilities in any new constitution. We amended our position to include mental disability when we partnered with the Canadian



Association of the Mentally Retarded, now the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL). We started with physical disability, but we recognized the need to include mental disability.

Prior to the Council meeting, COPOH flooded Members of Parliament with telegrams and letters urging them to include disability in the nondiscrimination clause. Unfortunately, just days before the Council meeting, a special advisor to Jean Chrétien, the then Minister of Justice, advised COPOH, that only grounds “that have been long recognized” and which do not require “substantial qualification” would be included in a nondiscrimination clause. Disability, he said, did not fit this criteria.

Council members were alarmed and dismayed by this response, and thus we spent much of our time discussing and debating how to get our message of inclusion taken much more seriously. We finally settled on the need to publicly demonstrate our concern and frustration at being left out of the Constitution-making process. Consequently, instead of returning home to our families and jobs that Sunday evening, we gathered in an Ottawa hotel room to organize the details of a public demonstration, prepare protest signs, and devise a media strategy.




On Monday, November 3, 1980, 14 members of COPOH demonstrated on Parliament Hill, chanting slogans and waving signs in an effort to get our message across to government. We attracted significant media because the sight of people with a variety of disabilities shouting for their rights was quite a new concept in Canadian society. Allan Simpson, the then Chair of COPOH, told an Ottawa newspaper that “coalition members were prepared to take their case to the United Nations or to ask the British Parliament to delay patriation of the constitution until their demands were met.”

Prior to the protest, I phoned my employer to advise her of my activities. As a strong human rights activist, she supported my participation. She suggested that I not be the “first to throw the blood on the steps” so to speak. However, unknown to me, my protest-loving guide dog pushed her way to the front and the next day our picture was splashed across Canada in a number of newspapers. Fortunately, my employer was very supportive of our cause and I retained my job.

Following the demonstration Ron Kanary (COPOH’s Vice Chair) and I were asked to extend our stay in Ottawa to engage in the direct lobbying of key politicians. Many of the politicians we met with were genuinely interested and receptive to our issue and were obviously



trying to make sense themselves as to how a Charter would function in the Canadian context. At a minimum, our goal was to obtain an invitation to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee, mandated to convene hearings on the proposed Constitution. To this end, our efforts can be deemed a success as shortly after our tour of Parliament, COPOH received the much sought after invitation to appear before the Committee to argue our case.

Our appearance before the Joint Committee marked a turning point for COPOH’s Constitutional lobby. The public protest and the appearance before the Committee gave our issue profile and credibility. While we may never know what prompted the eleventh hour change of mind by the government, it is likely that factors such as supportive government representatives and members of Parliament, the proclamation of the 1981 International Year of Persons with Disabilities and further threats of protests by persons with disabilities on Parliament Hill, all played an influential role in shifting



Thus. 1981.  the ground in favour of persons with disabilities. which marked a new social consciousness of disability rights. the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Constitution unanimously accepted an amendment to the Charter which. I am now truly sorry I missed my sister’s wedding. Clearly. our efforts helped to achieve a significant legal victory. I am deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to play a small role in this important victory. But I still feel I made the right decision to attend that infamous National Council meeting back in 1980. now known as the guarantee of equality in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. at long last.   245 . included the ground of both “physical or mental disability” in Section 15. Looking back over the past 30 years. on January 28.

  1 246   . He was also a  Provincial Coordinator of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities. Canadian and several provincial human rights statutes offered some protection from discrimination on specific                                                               Jim Derksen was the first Executive Director of the Manitoba Disabilities Issues Office. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights provided some general protections for Canadians but this proved quite ineffective in protecting equality rights of Canadians in general and offered no specific equality rights protection to persons with disabilities. Canadians with disabilities were without specific constitutional protection of their rights to equality in the operation of Canadian governments and the laws they enacted.    BY  JIM DERKSEN1      Inclusion of Disability Rights in the Equality Rights Section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) and its allies have achieved constitutional protection of the right of persons with disabilities to equal benefit and protection under and before the law in Canada. Thirty years ago.

more often than not. When the Joint Committee of the House of Commons and the Senate on the Constitution of Canada. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had opened discussion about the possibility of a constitutionally established set of rights in Canada earlier in the 1980s. chaired by the Honourable Jean Chrétien. CCD and its allies presented arguments for the inclusion of physical and mental disabilities in the equality rights section of the Charter. this was limited to the prohibition of such discrimination only in the area of employment and not in the provision of goods and services.  grounds but these did not have the constitutional power to overcome the federal and provincial governments. With the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution from England the door was open to the idea of embedding a charter or a bill of rights in the Constitution. Canadians with disabilities had watched the American Rehabilitation Acts of the early 1970s improve the status of disabled persons in America through being interpreted as having quasiconstitutional power. then Canadian Minister of Justice. itself. met to hear the views of Canadians. Disabled Canadians began to plan strategies to be included in any constitutional rights legislation in Canada. CCD also coordinated a night   247 . As regards protection from discrimination on the basis of disability.

The opposition New Democratic and Progressive Conservative parties were quick to support the recommendation but the governing Liberal party was more difficult to convince. of the importance of disability rights in the Charter. CCD’s National Coordinator had been seconded to the House of Commons Committees Branch as special advisor to the all party Special Committee on the Handicapped and Disabled. your Committee believes that full and equal protection should be provided for persons with physical or mental handicaps.  telegram campaign urging all parties to support the inclusion of disability in the Charter. a federal government constitutional lawyer met with CCD’s 248   . “Should it be the will of Parliament to entrench Human Rights in a patriated Constitution. Fortuitously.” The members of this Special Committee on the Handicapped and Disabled then undertook a consistent and committed lobby in each of their respective party caucuses for party support of this recommendation. Eventually. The deliberations of the Joint House of Commons and Senate Committee on the Constitution were live broadcast by satellite across Canada and CCD representatives (in particular those with visible disabilities) were ever present as audience members behind the elected members of the committee to remind the committee. This committee was persuaded to make a preliminary report to the House of Commons recommending. and indeed all of Canada.

the Honourable Jean Chrétien announced that the governing liberal party would also support the inclusion of disability rights in the Charter. Early in 1981.  National Coordinator to understand how constitutional equality rights for disabled Canadians could be implemented. Chief Commissioner Gordon Fairweather of the Canadian Human Rights Commission also intervened at the eleventh hour by private discussion with government officials to ensure that Canadians with mental disabilities would also be included in the equality rights section of the Charter.   249 .

 and delivers public education programs. In 1982. The  Manitoba Human Rights Commission administers the Manitoba Human Rights Code.   1 250   . The Human Rights Act was replaced in 1987 by The Human Rights Code. and replaced the term “handicap” with “disability”. signs and contracts.  housing. and freedom from discrimination in the areas of employment. public services. the Commission had been in existence for just a decade. The Commission conciliates. which included new opportunities to approach discrimination using a systemic lens.  BY DIANNA SCARTH1 Systemic Settlements of Human Rights Complaints Have Removed Barriers The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has played a significant role in advancing the rights of Manitobans with disabilities over the past 30 years. In addition to thousands of individual complaints which have been settled                                                               Dianna Scarth is the Executive Director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and is responsible for  the day‐to‐day activities of the Commission. promotes human rights. Her educational background is in law and social work. mediates and investigates  complaints of discrimination. which furthers the  principles of equality of opportunity. Some of the Commission’s most significant achievements have occurred within its complaints procedures.

a complaint alleged that the application process used to assess persons with disabilities for driver’s licenses was discriminatory. and in some years. Mediation is now offered at every stage of the complaint process. In   251 . Here are some highlights of systemic resolutions achieved within the past decade which have made Manitoba more accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities:  In 2004. The initial program has been replaced by an improved automated announcement program.  or adjudicated. The removal of this significant barrier for visually impaired riders was achieved within a few weeks. the City of Winnipeg introduced an Announce Next Stop Program on City buses. settlement rates as high as 60% have been achieved. there have been important settlements of systemic complaints which have had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of Manitobans with disabilities. after the Commission approached the City on an informal basis without a formal complaint. The settlement achieved a policy that ensures that decisions are based on individualized functional assessments of one’s ability to drive safely rather than on impressionistic assumptions.  In 2007.

Hundreds of adults received an increase in financial support that will encourage their independence and improve family stability. Within the past year. Another settlement in 2008 will benefit people with disabilities when they are attempting to cross streets at controlled intersections. It also agreed to remove pushbuttons at many locations.  Ontario. and it will test alternative methods of activating signals that are accessible to people with disabilities over the next several years. a complaint regarding the institutionalization of persons with   252   . the Commission and disability groups meets annually to review the progress made towards fulfilling the terms of the settlement.  In 2008. the Province agreed to eliminate the distinction in the amount of financial support that adults with disabilities receive if they reside in the community with their families. it took years to achieve the same results and required expensive and protracted legal proceedings in several levels of courts and tribunals. A committee with representatives from the City. as compared with those who reside with nonfamily members. The City has agreed to install audible signals at all controlled intersections over a period of time.

or a publication on the Rights of Youth with Disabilities.  disabilities and their right to choose to live in the community was settled. Public education programs have been greatly expanded in the past 30 years. There is. much to celebrate in their accomplishments!   253 . The examples above represent a small portion of the work undertaken by the Commission and focus only on activities related to complaints. as Director of the Commission it has been a privilege to meet and work with many disability advocates in our community. Some educational initiatives have been undertaken to address a specific issue. and all of those programs incorporate information about disability rights. such as a seminar to educate employers about their obligations to accommodate employees with mental health issues. Once again the Commission will remain involved in a monitoring role to ensure that the terms of the settlement are complied with. On a personal note. created in partnership with the Children’s Advocate and the Ombudsman. I greatly admire their efforts to create a more inclusive community despite financial cutbacks and personal challenges. indeed.

will largely depend on his or her other intersecting identities such as his or her race. gender. these individuals are even completely denied government health. First Nations Peoples living on reserves and who have disabilities often encounter significant hurdles when trying to access government services that most Canadians take for granted. In addition to experiencing disproportionate levels of poverty. This was the experience of a 5-year-old boy                                                               Anne Levesque is an associate at Champ and Associates where she practices in the areas of human  rights. In some cases. and serves on the board of directors of several not‐for‐profit  organizations aiming to promote the rights of members of disadvantaged communities such as tenants  and people with disabilities.  BY ANNE LEVESQUE1 Jordan’s Principle It is often said that the experience of a person with a disability. sexual orientation or social status. First Nations people with disabilities in Canada living on reserves are perfect examples of this.  1 254   . and disability law. Anne also volunteers with Pro Bono Canada as a supervising lawyer and is a  member of the National Steering Committee of the National Association of Women and the Law. Anne is presently a member of the Human Rights Committee of  the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. and the types of barriers and stereotypes he or she will encounter. employment. special education or home care services because it is unclear whether the provincial or federal government has the responsibility of paying for this.

This resolution. This prevents First Nations children. Jordan’s doctors determined that he was well enough to live in his home.   255 . and particularly those with disabilities.  named Jordan River Anderson. a First Nations child from Norway House First Nation in Manitoba who was born with a muscular disorder. from being denied services available to children living off reserve. Some provinces have also partially implemented Jordan's Principle in the area of children with complex medical needs. called Jordan's Principle. However. After spending the first two years of his life in a hospital. Following Jordan’s death. Jordan died in hospital in 2005. Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution aiming to prevent children from being harmed by jurisdictional disputes between governments. After spending over two more years in hospital while the provincial and the federal government argued over who should pay for his home care. neither the federal or provincial government wanted to pay for the home care Jordan required to return to his family in his home community. directs the government that is first asked to fund a service to do so until the jurisdictional dispute is resolved. The Government of Canada is currently taking steps to implement the resolution.

256   . the resolution will allow some of Canada’s most vulnerable people with disabilities to have equal access to all government services.  The implementation of Jordan’s Principle is an important step towards the equality rights of First Nations people with disabilities living on reserves. If fully implemented.

  BY DEREK LEGGE1 Rights for Persons with Disabilities in Manitoba For something to be considered a ‘right’.  1   257 . it must be enforceable through some legislation or possibly the courts. eventually becoming an Intake Officer  at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission in 1987 until retirement in 2004. After moving back home to Winnipeg in  1977.  where he started the first branch of the MLPD in Brandon. It was in the early 1970s that the Manitoba Human Rights Act established that typically stereotyped groups. He received the CCD Award  in 2003 for initiating a number of access‐promoting projects over the years. services and housing. MB.                                                               Derek Legge originally became involved with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities in 1975. have a right not to be treated differently (without some reasonable cause) in employment. such as persons with disabilities. he began working in the area of employment and disability.


Discrimination typically was based on stereotypes or prejudices.

Over the next decade it became clearer that not treating persons with special circumstances related to a disability differently had the same result. Yes, it may impose a cost to add a ramp, obtain some technical aid or alter duties to enable the person with a disability to participate, but this was no longer considered a reasonable justification to exclude them. The issue was becoming….. how reasonable was it to address these needs arising from disability?

In 1987, the new Manitoba Human Rights Code defined the word discrimination to include refusal to make reasonable accommodation for circumstances related to disability. This meant that where a person with a disability appeared to need, or actually did need, accommodation, the employer, service provider or landlord has a legal responsibility to properly examine that assumption and explore reasonable accommodations before making a decision. Case law has even established that jumping to a (correct) conclusion that it was not possible to reasonably accommodate someone without going through a fair process to identify and evaluate options and costs, was enough to contravene the Code. Over the next years, more and more complaints under the Code were based on issues of accommodation as opposed to straight




prejudices and stereotypes. In the last several years, complaints based on disability have accounted for almost half of registered complaints.

Another piece of legislation, the Manitoba Building Code, also enforces rights dealing with citizens with disabilities. In the upgraded Building Code for 2012, requirements for new construction of public use type buildings include: handrails on both sides of stairways, colour and texture differentiation at the top of stairways and clear contrast on stairs from both looking down or upwards, and fire alarms are to include both audio and visual signals. The ‘right’ to a safe and useable environment is becoming a legal obligation.

Over the past few years, a group of concerned agencies and advocacy organizations have brought about a process whereby the Manitoba government will be establishing standards for access in areas involving buildings, communications, transportation and other areas. Whether these will be guidelines or enforceable is yet to be seen. But even while policies are not enforceable in the same way, policies state an intention and a commitment to some goal, for example full inclusion and participation, and failure to live up to them can result in public pressure to rectify situations where the policy is




not properly followed. We should be proud of what has been accomplished here in Manitoba.














  BY ROSS EADIE1 When Ross Eadie Held Up the Bus: “For bus drivers.  Assisted by many. For what? Some people who feel inconvenienced by our needs!” On February 7.  Ross Eadie has spent countless hours being an advocate and activist for a better life for all in Canada. the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians.rosseadie. It is not the end of the world to be blind.  Since finishing his postsecondary education in 1990.ca.                                                               City councillor Ross Eadie lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two boys.  There are plenty of details on his experiences at www. when given reasonable access to systems. was it merely an inconvenience to call out stops?” “You just feel like giving up being independent and staying in the house. The driver on Ross’s bus was not calling out the stops on the way to Ross’s volunteer AEBC appointment to work an information table. you just feel so down. Manitoba Chapter invited the media to come out during National White Cane Week to hear about people who are blind living independent lives. 2008. but with attitudes such as those from the bus drivers not calling stops.  1 264   . Ross built his  life back together after losing his eyesight in 1984.  Manitoba and Winnipeg.

not even their union.”   265 .” For a moment. He also felt the animosity himself on buses he was riding on. a great idea came to mind to demonstrate inconvenience to the driver. he told the driver to not take it personally. So. passengers and the whole city: stand in front of the bus and don’t let it go anywhere. Ross thought carrying out this protest might cause personal problems in the future. Nobody was in danger at any time. No one from Winnipeg Transit was pushing the noncompliant drivers. “As I came closer to the stop at Donald and Graham. Confirming there was another bus in front. but the roadblock to people wanting to experience an independent life was more important. “I quickly exited and moved in front of the windshield where the driver sits so he could see me there and not move. as Ross stepped off the bus. I became quite upset with the thoughts of the intimidated people who are blind and my own experience.  Ross Eadie heard from women who were intimidated by some drivers who refused to call the stops.

  Once Ross was in place. a Toronto lawyer who is blind. but City Council decided to put off the installation of this system for two years. Lepofsky’s victory convinced Winnipeg Transit to avoid a human rights complaint and put a new automated stop calling system into their capital budget request. many Winnipeg Transit drivers refused to call the stops themselves. Richard Cloutier from CJOB agreed to put Ross live on air if he would let the bus finish its route. David Lepofsky.” In 2007. “Richard. it is time you drivers understood what inconvenience means in your life. The driver stepped out and asked Ross if he was trying to cross Graham Avenue. Ross refused. Try and keep your schedule. I’m not an unreasonable person. and offered to assist him. he called the CJOB radio station who called him back some minutes later. Just let me embarrass these drivers on the air. After about eight minutes. In the face of Winnipeg Transit’s decision.” Ross went on to highlight the role of Winnipeg Transit 266   . had won a human rights complaint against the Toronto Transit Commission to have the bus drivers call the bus stop street locations. “No.

I would be banned from taking regular Winnipeg Transit.  and the meaning of reasonable system access for those with disabilities. Ross spoke to Richard Cloutier for about four minutes on air while two transit security people waited to warn Ross. They told me if I ever did this holding up of the bus again. many of the Transit buses were outfitted with the automation. And hey. The City of Winnipeg started penalizing drivers who were not calling the stops. I am the city councillor for the Mynarski Ward today.” The media stunt worked despite other groups of blind people chastising Ross for his negative advocacy. By the end of 2009 all Winnipeg Transit buses were equipped   267 . and like Ross Eadie had asked the Executive Policy Committee of Winnipeg the year before. “Some drivers still show animosity toward me. but I think everyone is happy with the better system.” By the end of 2008. the City of Winnipeg began to install the automated stop calling system much sooner. I said. “Not likely! I’m a reasonable person.

268   .  with a stop calling system that others who are not blind have come to appreciate.

These are established by regulation under the Taxicab Act and are subject to a specific number of taxicab licenses required to be operated with wheelchair accessible vehicles.    *    BY  JIM DERKSEN1  Accessible Taxicab Services in Winnipeg Wheelchair accessible taxicab services have been achieved in Winnipeg. 11. reproduced with permission. There was an unregulated business sector                                                               Jim Derksen was a Provincial Coordinator of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities.    269 . 38 years ago. 2008.  1 *Photo by Boris Minkevich/Winnipeg Free Press. Jan. there were no specific regulations or licenses requiring the availability of wheelchair accessible taxicabs. He was  also the first Executive Director of the Disabilities Issues Office. In 1974.

the BC chapter of the Canadian Paraplegic Association had lobbied for. It was known that in Vancouver. This was done by increasing the total quota of taxicabs in Winnipeg. including wheelchair users. When I was appointed chairperson of the Taxicab Board in 1982. There was considerable discontent among wheelchair users concerning lack of access to regulated taxicab services in Winnipeg. While these taxicabs serve the whole market. and achieved.  operating wheelchair accessible vans that charged a great deal more than licensed taxicabs were allowed to charge. Regular mainstream wheelchair accessible taxicabs in the City of Winnipeg now number 34 in 8 companies and are currently operated using meters to determine taxicab fares for all passengers equally. I remember the headline in the 270   . licensed and regulated wheelchair accessible taxicabs in Vancouver. I was able to bring the unregulated wheelchair transport companies under the authority of the Board. Eight specialized Handi Van service vehicles are also licensed to provide specialized services at greater cost than allowed for taxicabs. they are required to provide priority service to wheelchair users. These were seldom within the economic reach of most wheelchairusing citizens in the city and primarily served government funded programs.

the Board reversed the deregulation order. acting for the MLPD. JURY AND EXECUTIONER OF WHEELCHAIR TRANSPORT SERVICES. Disability groups opposed the move and. My term as chairperson of the Taxicab Board ended in 1988. the Taxicab Board deregulated wheelchair accessible taxi services. In time. Together with their claim that regulation would destroy their companies and deprive wheelchair users of any transportation services.  Winnipeg Free Press. instead holding hearings with an aim to overhaul the industry. The PILC. "DERKSEN JUDGE. by establishing rates and safety and training standards. In June 1988. At the urging of the MLPD. the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) obtained a restraining order in Queen’s Bench against the Board. they put tremendous pressure on the politicians in the legislature. they might well have been deregulated. using this way of obstructing traffic at the legislature to demonstrate their anger at being regulated.   271 . And if the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) had not let the provincial government know that they would circle the legislative building with wheelchairs if there was a retreat on regulating the wheelchair accessible transport services. again acting for the League. was able to convince the Board to regulate that part of the industry providing services specifically to people with disabilities." The newly regulated accessible wheelchair taxicabs then circled the Legislative Building at about 5 miles an hour.

the mainstream taxi industry is now required to provide service to people with wheelchairs at the same rate it charges the general public. While the specialized industry is still allowed to charge a higher rate (and is required to provide additional services).  the Board also provided a number of new taxi licenses to taxi companies serving the general public on the condition that these licenses be operated with wheelchair accessible vehicles and that wheelchair users have priority access to these vehicles. 272   .

  BY DAVE MARTIN 1 The Development of an Accessible Urban Transportation System I will never forget the day about seven years ago when I rolled up to my father’s house on the west side of Winnipeg for an unexpected visit.  From 1983 to  2000. he was the Provincial Coordinator of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities. He was outside cutting the grass as I came up the driveway in my electric wheelchair.  1   273 .                                                               David Martin is the Senior Advisor on Disability Issues with the Province of Manitoba.

“Hey. many people with mobility disabilities were often stuck in their homes.” I answered with a grin.” He spun around with a puzzled look. Looking around for a van or Handi-Transit vehicle that might have dropped me off. my bus ride that day and surprise visit to my dad's was the perfect tribute to years of work by countless people from Winnipeg’s disability community. because they had no accessible transportation available to them. you missed a spot. people with disabilities started to learn from groups representing the 274   . as if he was seeing a mirage. Other times they had no option but to pay expensive fares to specialized wheelchair transportation companies. “I took the regular bus for the first time. Then. he was confused because there were none to be seen. just so they could get somewhere they wanted to go.  He didn’t notice I was there until I said. In many ways. “How in the world did you get here?” he asked. Just a few short decades ago. in the 1970s.

the Manitoba Taxicab Board required the taxi industry to offer wheelchair accessible service   275 . In the late 1980s.  rights of women and visible minorities. Winnipeg’s transportation system has changed dramatically. Many of their concerns were similar to those of people with disabilities who were just starting to fight for access to a society that had ignored their needs. People with mobility disabilities in particular were tired of not being able to use a transit system they were paying for with their tax dollars. Access to public transportation was one of the first priorities of the new disability rights movement. This advocacy eventually saw the introduction of Handi-Transit as a parallel public transportation service operated by the City with fares equal to those paid by regular transit riders. It was a significant liberator for many people with mobility disabilities as it allowed them to get out and start participating in society to a much greater extent. Since then. Organizations like the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped (now Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities) led the fight at Winnipeg’s City Hall to convince civic leaders that people with disabilities had a right to use public transit.

taxis are an important service for many people who do not have their own car or who cannot drive. For those who could not get to a bus stop. In the 1990s with the emergence of new bus designs. Some. Everywhere though. the City adopted a plan to purchase only accessible buses for use in its regular transit fleet. Although not typically viewed as public transportation. Similar stories were unfolding in other cities across Canada. even today. like Vancouver. I recall glancing around at the other passengers and noticing the diversity of people who were riding with me. policy makers were accepting that people with disabilities have the right to move about their communities using public transportation. this would mean that people using wheelchairs who could get to a bus stop would be able to travel anywhere in Winnipeg served by regular transit. the Handi-Transit service would still be available. other cities are just starting to make their transit system fully accessible. Making taxi service accessible to people who use wheelchairs was a huge improvement for their mobility. Looking back at my first trip on a regular transit bus.  for the same price charged to other customers. Over time. had accessible taxis earlier than Winnipeg while. There was a young 276   .

Of course. Then. to make it easier for her to push the stroller on the bus.   277 . There were also many elderly people who probably all appreciated the bus’s easy access features. there was a young man with a Mohawk haircut and some large earrings hanging from his ears. I remember smiling about that because. she used the same ramp I had used.  woman with a baby in a stroller. they were probably looking at me and thinking I was a little interesting as well. I definitely experienced a sense of equality riding the bus with such an interesting group of characters.

  278   .

                  Disability Studies       279 .

  280   .

which have advocated for civil rights and selfdetermination since the 1970s. trained in policy development and participatory research.  Educated as a  medical doctor. aging and disability. as well as international and social development. livable and inclusive communities. universal  design. inclusive education.  1   281 .  BY OLGA KRASSIOUKOVA-ENNS1      Disability Studies Disability Studies (DS) has emerged as a discipline within the contexts of the disability rights and Independent Living movements. implementation and  evaluation. Executive Director of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. programs/project design. has more than  25 years of international experience in disability policy. poverty reduction. teaching and administration. she has been involved in  numerous national and international projects with the focus on Disability Studies development and  teaching. visitability. By bringing together academics and disability community advocates who shared                                                               Olga Krassioukova‐Enns. These movements have achieved significant policy change on behalf of the persons with disabilities in Canada and the United States. curriculum development. as well as research.

when in the 1990's the late Henry Enns (Co-founder and first Executive Director of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies) and other disability community activists began to lobby the University of Manitoba to develop a Disability Studies program. In May 1998. this perspective stresses the importance of proper interpretation of such differences. Ontario and Chicago addressed the symposium participants who represented disability organizations and universities across Canada. political and economic forces that have marginalized and oppressed persons with disabilities for centuries. DS has moved disability from medical and rehabilitation domains into the political and social realms. In Canada. mental and other differences amongst individuals. Contributors from Manitoba. While DS recognizes physical. 282   . Quebec. CCDS hosted the first Symposium on Disability Studies to continue these discussions. It has resulted in the development of a “disability framework” which examines the social. just as feminist and other frameworks have been developed to address the historic and systemic disadvantages of women. Alberta. part of the DS history began in Winnipeg.  common concerns the movements have also assisted with the continued development of DS. poor and other marginalized (or minority) groups. children. That working meeting enabled CCDS to consult with members of other academic institutions who were in a position to advise on.

program in Critical Disability Studies at York University 2011 – Ten Disability Studies Programs at postsecondary institutions Dream . have high academic standards and integrity. Many consumer organizations have agreed on the need for a Disability Studies program that emphasized cultural and social definitions of disability. Growth of Disability Studies in Canada: 1999 – 1st Undergraduate disability studies program at the Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies 2002 – 1st Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba 2004 – Canadian Disability Studies Association 2007 – 1st Ph. The nature of CCDS’s vision was the development of a Master’s program that would be meaningful to people with disabilities. the implementation of the interdisciplinary Master’s degree program.By 2015. while adopting an interdisciplinary approach. provide disability knowledge and critical thinking to future professionals. and serve to facilitate the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities. every postsecondary institution in Canada will have an interdisciplinary   283 .D.  and assist with.

it can help create a more just and responsive society. It can deepen our understanding of the disability rights movement and generate and/or disseminate knowledge that can enhance the process of social change. Disability Studies also has implications that reach beyond people with disabilities. However. Disability Studies helps to change the way society perceives and responds to disability. By encouraging the value of diversity. Disability Studies helps to shed light on broad societal issues. etc. challenge societal thinking regarding the ways it meets the needs of all its citizens. the processes of adequate resource distribution.  Disability Studies program at the graduate level. 284   .

  1   285 .  BY MICHELLE OWEN1 A Community Effort: Interdisciplinary Disability Studies at the University of Winnipeg For over a decade committed disability scholars and activists worked hard to make an Interdisciplinary Bachelor’s in Disability Studies (DS) program at the University of Winnipeg (UW) a reality. Today this program. Members of disability communities were part of this initiative from the beginning.  Currently she is Acting Coordinator of Disability Studies and Director of the Institute of Health and Human  Potential at the Global College. with Diane Driedger. She co‐edited. one of the first in Western Canada and among the first in the                                                               Michelle Owen is an Associate Professor in the department of sociology at the University of Winnipeg. 2008). impressing upon the university the significance of DS. Dissonant Disabilities: Women with  Chronic Illnesses Explore Their Lives (Toronto: CSPI/Women's Press.

Without these community groups and their activist members. was formally launched by President Lloyd Axworthy. for a number of years.  country. DisAbled Women’s Network Manitoba (DAWN Manitoba). has in turn created and raised community awareness of disability issues. the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies (CCDS). a joint program with Red River College. and now acting program coordinator. as well as many dedicated people at Red River 286   . In the early 2000s a group began to meet to advocate for an academic program focused on the critical analysis of disability in society. in late 2009 the program received formal approval from the Council on Post-Secondary Education (COPSE). In September 2010 the UW accepted the first students into DS and the program is growing rapidly. and then chair. I joined this committee around 2003/4 when I was Research Chair at the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. and on February 10. 2010 DS. The DS Advisory committee predates my arrival at the UW. but I have been actively involved as a member. A turning point was reached in the spring of 2008 when a large and passionate meeting resulted in a letter writing campaign highlighting the need for a DS program at the UW. In 2006 the proposal for a DS program was approved by the UW Senate. The organizations involved included the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD). and the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD).

An undergraduate degree in DS was the missing link in the province. and political construction. An articulation agreement has been signed with Red River College so that students may enter the DS program from either institution. From this perspective the problem becomes a lack of ramps rather than the fact that someone uses a wheelchair. 4 year and Honours). Importantly the program is situated within the social model of disability. The focus of the program is the critical analysis of disability in society which includes the study of disability as a social. and is home to national disability organizations including the CCD. we would not have an undergraduate DS program at the UW today. and B.   287 . The new Interdisciplinary Bachelor’s in DS at the UW comprises six undergraduate degrees: B. scientific. in DS (3 year.A. Winnipeg has long been known as a centre for disability activism.  College (RRC). prior to this initiative there was a twoyear diploma offered at Red River College in Community and Disability Support. and an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in DS at the University of Manitoba. and the UW. cultural. It is not surprising that there would be so much demand for DS in this location given the regional context. historical. with nothing in-between. In terms of the academic landscape. and the CCDS. 4 year.Sc. in DS (3 year. the University of Manitoba. and Honours).

first by the administration and then COPSE. Great efforts have been made to ensure participation and success in the program by underrepresented groups. and DS I and TD. have on-line and web components. A number of factors came together – the ongoing energy and commitment of disability activists and scholars. DS II is taught on-line. All are offered through the Centre for Distributed/Distance Learning. and Theorizing Disability (TD). these factors all came together during a time of financial crisis.  This is an exciting and challenging time for people interested in DS in Winnipeg! For more than ten years the main struggle has been to get approval for an undergraduate program at UW. especially people with disabilities. including Video on Demand (VOD). and while the program received approval it did not receive any funding. DS I and II. And now that dream has been realized. (and the Global College’s 2011 Summer Institute (SI): Reimagining Disability) are amongst the most accessible courses offered by the University of Winnipeg. and a new academic plan for UW that emphasizes the importance of people with disabilities and community connections. However. What this means is that we have had to move slowly. Actual physical presence is not required for these 288   . The decision was made to proceed incrementally rather than wait for funds to become available. as well as the SI. a Dean of Arts and a President who were interested in disability issues.

I should clarify I don’t want disability issues relegated to DS. My wish is that awareness of disability and ableism will spread throughout campus and help shape research questions. happen without community input. exams. and work may be done at any time. environments. and students are able to communicate with both the instructor and one another using this technology. are all available via WebCT. and in fact flourishes.   289 . work fulltime. etc. Having said that. etc. In conclusion.  courses. I should add that when delivery switched from cable television to the web the decision was made to maintain open public access so anyone can watch/listen free of charge. the realization of an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in DS at the UW was a real community effort. I hope that DS continues to grow. to the extent that it becomes its own department. services. at UW. Class materials. course content. Of course none of this can. And members of disability communities continue to be involved as vital guest lecturers in the classroom as well as valuable members of the advisory committee. assignments. or should. This can be a real bonus (and sometimes a challenge) for students with a variety of disabilities as well as students who live in rural areas.

Ph. HANSEN.  BY NANCY E. is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Master's Program in Disability Studies at  the University of Manitoba. I am relatively new to Manitoba having lived here since 2003. the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH) specifically (now Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)). long before I arrived in Manitoba. Hansen Ph.  1 290   .D. played an instrumental role in helping me frame my ideas concerning disability. materials from disability organizations located here. I do have lifelong personal experience with disability and disability issues. social citizenship                                                               Nancy E. However.D.1 A View from the Academy This is indeed a personal reflection.

local.). At that time I never imagined I would be teaching Disability Studies at University. I am living my dream. arriving in Manitoba with a newly minted Ph. history and environment. national and international reputation.  and access in my very early student days at Carleton University in Ottawa. Graduates   291 . is creating a strong. Offering courses in areas such as: policy. in Human Geography (Disability) from the University of Glasgow (There was no Disability Studies Program in Canada at the time.D. media. The Master’s Program’s interdisciplinary approach is unique in North America. Flash forward more than a decade. a number of years in the making. looks at disability from a social model or citizenship perspective rather than a medical one. The diverse research program and variety of partnerships. including the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD). It was developed by university personnel from various subject areas in conjunction with communitybased. An approach such as this is a distinctive partnership. disability led organizations like the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. Disability Studies is helping to build new understandings about disability and disability issues. The program. along with an Assistant Professorship in the new Interdisciplinary Disability Studies program at the University of Manitoba.

teaching. careers in various areas . Pioneers of the disability rights movement have been awarded honourary doctorates. 292   . The academic landscape is slowly changing simply because Disability Studies is here. Disability history events have been arranged with CCD and the Allan Simpson Memorial Fund in support of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.promotions.  have gone on to further studies. and consultancy. In the years since Disability Studies began at the University of Manitoba a great deal has happened. An undergraduate program in Disability Studies has been established at the University of Winnipeg in partnership with the Global and Red River Colleges.

 and                                                               1 Deborah Stienstra teaches Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba and was its founding Director. Rehabilitation. Law. Sciences. Henry leaned over to then University President  Arnold Naimark and said how good it would be when the  University included a program related to the experiences of  people with disabilities.    293 . inclusive  and connected with the disability community.    Ten years later that dream became a reality when the first  students enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Disability  Studies program. the first  graduate program of its kind in Canada. it is interdisciplinary.  While the program remains small and often  off the beaten track. History. Social Work. Religious Studies.  Kinesiology.    Interdisciplinary – For the past ten years the program has  brought together people from across campus – Disability  Studies. English. it is a transforming space. Education.    BY DEBORAH STIENSTRA1     Disability Studies: A Transforming Space   The vision for Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba  came in 1993 when Henry Enns received an honorary  doctorate. Three key features  make it mighty beyond its size.

 or direct  joint research projects. Her work  challenges Social Work education using the tools she  developed through the Disability Studies program. These different viewpoints make the program  rich.D. Other disability organizations.    Including faculty. and illustrates new ways to “do”  education.  Architecture together with the Canadian Centre on Disability  Studies (CCDS). faculty and visitors  with disabilities gives greater visibility to inclusion and access. and  CACL among many others. staff. student in Social Work evaluated how  Social Work education across the country addresses disability  in ways that include people with disabilities. one Ph. When disability  community members contribute to student theses. The presence of students.  For example. administration and student groups to  address disability issues more authentically and actively.  and enables unions. and challenge those in the contributing faculties to assess  how they address disability studies within their own programs. have been involved in student work. DAWN/RAFH.  research and other Disability Studies activities. including CCDS.  including CCD. Independent Living Canada.  294   . the social model  of disability and critical theories of disability studies.    Community connections – From the beginning the Disability  Studies program included strong links to the disability  community. Disability  Studies reminds the University of its obligations to  accommodate diversity. staff and students with disabilities – By  hiring faculty and staff members with disabilities. we break down the university‐ community divide. and value and include the expertise of the  disability community.

 universities.    Disability Studies creates and shares knowledge that puts the  experiences of people with disabilities at the centre. community members and the public. educators. service providers.      295 .  policy makers. In doing  that it transforms students.

  296   .

mlpd.ca   . MB R3C 3X1 Telephone: (204) 943-6099 (Voice/TTY) Fax: (204) 943-6654 Toll Free: 1-888-330-1932 E-Mail: mlpd@shawcable.                                        M ANITOBA L EAGUE OF P ERSONS WITH D ISABILITIES I NC .mb. Winnipeg.com Web Site: www. 105-500 Portage Ave.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful