Melanie Benard, co-founder of Quebec Accessible, was interviewed on CBC radio’s Daybreak show this morning. She explained how banning plastic straws at restaurants and festivals can harm people with disabilities.
Did you know that Quebec was one of the first provinces in Canada to adopt a law promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities? In 1978, Quebec adopted the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights. This law was modified in 2004.
Quebec’s disability law lacks teeth. Unlike laws in other provinces and countries, it only applies to the public sector (ministries, government agencies and municipalities), and it has no clear goals or penalties to ensure compliance. That’s why Quebec Accessible is calling for a stronger provincial law to promote accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities.
We have developed new tools to help you understand the content and gaps in Quebec’s law. Click here to learn more about the law, the limited results achieved so for, and our recommendations for improving the law.
Please share these resources with your networks. Information about accessibility laws in other provinces will soon be available on our website.
Stay tuned for news about our upcoming campaign for the provincial elections this fall.
The first standards under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, the Customer Service Standards, will take effect for the private sector this fall. These standards plan for actions, policies and practices to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility in customer service.
Click here to learn more about the standards.
Click here to read news coverage on this topic.
On June 20, the federal government presented Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act. Canada’s disability community has been waiting for this bill for decades. The bill aims to eliminate and prevent barriers facing people with disabilities in areas within the power of the federal government (ex: employment, the physical environment, information technologies). If passed, the bill would help ensure the full inclusion and social participation of more than 600 000 Quebecers with disabilities.
Although this historic event was covered in the major anglophone media (CBC, The Globe and Mail, CTV, The Star, National Post), it received no coverage in the francophone media. This is unacceptable. Disability issues are social issues that affect us all. They deserve better media coverage.
Quebec Accessible denounces this oversight in the French media. Like all other citizens, the voices and experiences of people with disabilities deserve to be heard. How can we critically examine the issues that affect us and ensure that our rights and freedoms are respected if our issues are ignored by the media?
We urge the French media to give equal attention to disability issues. Let’s unite our voices and take the space we deserve in Quebec society! Please share this message with your networks.
In 2017, the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies published its first volume in French: « Handicap et cultures francophones ».
Read Melanie Benard’s article on the history of Quebec’s disability law: « Promouvoir l’accessibilité à l’aide de la loi : un appel à une réforme législative au Québec ».
Read Laurence Parent’s article on ableism: « Ableism/disablism, on dit ça comment en français ? »