Useful links

Accessible Nation (Canada)

A National campaign on disabilities to promote a national strategy on disabilities in Canada bringing all stakeholders and consumers to the table. One month of runs covering each province across Canada in September, 2016.

Human Rights

In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples… to promote respect for these rights and freedoms, and by progressive measures national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.” The Declaration was accepted by a unanimous vote, with the six members of the Soviet bloc, Saudi Arabia, and the Union of South Africa abstaining.

By 1966, the international scene had evolved in important ways. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights was supplemented by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Canada acceded to both in 1976 with the unanimous consent of the provinces. Both covenants are now binding upon Canada in International Law. Canada also ratified the Optional Protocol to the Civil and Political Rights Covenant: anyone in Canada can now file a complaint (called a “communication”) to the UN Human Rights Committee that oversees the ICCPR if the Canadian government fails to meet its obligations.

Canada has ratified or signed other core human rights treaties and submitted itself to oversight by their respective treaty bodies. The treaties include the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Each has its own oversight committee at the United Nations.

Impact on Canadian Law

The development of international human rights law generated pressure to strengthen our human rights laws in Canada, leading to the enactment of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the entrenchment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Charter is a bill of rights but is also a political compromise. Section 33 of the Charter permits any government to enact laws “notwithstanding the Charter,” and thus a majority government may infringe the Charter through this “notwithstanding” power. Such actions will, in most cases, constitute a clear violation of international law. Public interest groups frequently oppose such actions in democratic societies through the actions of individuals, political parties, the media and members of the legislature.

By the late 1970s, human rights laws had been enacted at the federal level and in every province. All three territories now have their own human rights systems as well. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Québec and Yukon also have special protections in their human rights laws to protect certain civil and political rights. The Québec Charter of human rights and freedoms (1975) goes further and protects economic, social and cultural rights.

UN Enable – Human Rights and Disabled Persons 4/6


Data on employment equity for people with disabilities in the federally regulated sector can be found at the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s web site: http(1985). Canadian Council on Learning. (2007). Canada Slow To Overcome Limits For Disabled Learners.


Canadian Report on Equality Rights of People with Disabilities.pdf

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons

Human Rights Watch

Globally, many of the world’s one billion individuals with disabilities struggle for access to education and employment, for the right to live in the community instead of being locked up in institutions, to express their sexuality and have children, and to participate in political and social life. Individuals with physical and mental disabilities often face increased violence and discrimination, yet they remain invisible in their communities. Download the complete brochure.

Canadian Human Rights Commission.

A United Nations convention is a legally binding set of principles and commitments that members of the UN, such as Canada, agree to adopt. In 2007, Canada was among the first countries to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In signing the Convention, Canada agreed to ensure that the dignity and independence of people with disabilities is respected, and that they are not discriminated against.

Drafting a convention can take the UN decades. But because of support from countries like Canada, the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons was completed in just five years.

Canada’s commitment to the rights of people with disabilities is also enshrined in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A guide to the tribunal process.

Government Proposals to Support People with Disabilities in Canada

The Honorable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today invited not-for-profit organizations to apply for funding for projects that support the Government’s commitments under the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Through the Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D), the Government provides $11 million annually in support of a wide range of community-based projects designed to improve social inclusion and tackle barriers faced by people with disabilities. For more information on the SDPP-D and how to apply for this call for proposals, visit

Four priorities are promoted through this call for proposals and successful projects must address one or more of these priorities:

  • Active living : Projects that promote active living and greater social inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities will be considered for funding. Projects should promote, support and enable Canadians with disabilities to lead active, healthy lives.
  • Accessibility : Technology is changing quickly and this has an impact on the way people with disabilities communicate with one another and the world. Projects that are designed to improve accessibility for people with disabilities through information sharing, communications and service delivery will be considered for funding.
  • Vulnerable populations : Projects that support the greater social and economic inclusion of vulnerable people with disabilities (including, but not limited to, women and children) in Canadian society will be considered for funding.
  • Increasing awareness of disability-related issues : Projects that create partnerships with various sectors to increase awareness of disability-related issues will be considered for funding. Successful projects must also demonstrate a clear strategy to measure results and outcomes as they relate to increasing awareness.

Further Information:

Disability News: Canada & Providences – Disability news from Canada including health articles and helpful information for Canadian Seniors.

Increased Awareness of Technologies Used by Canadians with Disability – Employers across Canada to have greater access to information about disability issues and new adaptive technologies for persons with disabilities.

Removing Barriers for People with Disability – Government of Canada – Funding to improve the accessibility of conferences and key events for people with disabilities.

Enhancements for Canadian Veterans – The New Veterans Charter represents a more modern effective and compassionate way to help Veterans and CF members injured in the line of duty.

Support for People with Disabilities – Minister Finley – Government of Canada initiatives that are helping Canadians with disabilities overcome barriers to income security.

List of Health, Medical & Disability Lists

Disability rights movement

Although the concept of inclusion incorporates many of the fundamentals of the ideas present in disability rights, inclusion is a distinct social movement and should not be conflated with disability rights more generally.

The disability rights movement is the movement to secure equal opportunities and equal rights for people with disabilities. The specific goals and demands of the movement are: accessibility and safety in transportation, architecture, and the physical environment; equal opportunities in independent living, employment, education, and housing; and freedom from abuse, neglect, and violations of patients’ rights.[1] Effective civil rights legislation is sought in order to secure these opportunities and rights.[1][2]

For people with physical disabilities funding, accessibility and safety are primary issues that this movement works to reform. Access to public areas such as city streets and public buildings and restrooms are some of the more visible changes brought about in recent decades. A noticeable change in some parts of the world is the installation of elevators, automatic doors, wide doors and corridors, transit lifts, wheelchair ramps, curb cuts, and the elimination of unnecessary steps where ramps and elevators are not available, allowing people in wheelchairs and with other mobility impairments to use public sidewalks and public transit more easily and more safely.

The Disability Rights Movement, The Canadian Experience

Barriers to Equality Rights in Canada for the Disabled

Disability and Accessibility: Canadians see significant room for improvement in communities where they live

Canadians view accessibility for people with disabilities as a human right; but see big gaps in delivering it

Journal of Disability Policy Studies (DPS) addresses compelling variable issues in ethics, policy and law related to individuals with disabilities. Regular features include “From My Perspective,” which discusses issues confronting a particular disability discipline or area, and “Point/Counterpoint” which addresses timely ethical issues affecting individuals with disabilities.

Disability Rights in Canada

This blog serves Canadians with disabilities.

The desire of Disability Living is to host conversations that benefit the entire disability community of Canada.

By commenting on posts and sharing articles with others, you are encouraging people with disabilities everywhere.

Halifax Area

Office of the Mayor

Halifax Transits twitter.

Halifax Regional Municipality official Twitter feed

Doors open interactive map


Halifax Chamber of Commerce



We push for laws to protect the civil riights of voters with disabilities Canada

ACORN Canada is an independent national organization of low and moderate income families with 59,000+ members in 20+ community chapters.

Nova Scotia

Disability Support Program

Disabled Persons Commission

Wheelchair Recycling Program
Wheelchairs for children and adults with a net family income that falls within program guidelines.

social services

Better Business Bureau


Guide to Disability Rights in Canada

Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Canadian Human Rights Act

Disability Rights | Canadian Human Rights Reporter



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