Currently viewing Vol. 4 • Issue 1 • 2017

SHINING THE SPOTLIGHT ON INVISIBLE DISABILITIES

Youth, Veterans and Seniors Facing Barriers in Times of Change

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Despite the growing number of Canadians challenged with an invisible disability, whether that be hearing loss, mental health challenges, or a learning disability, they have few places or resources to turn to when faced with new life experiences. For many, it is not easy to disclose or communicate their needs because of the nature of their disability.

The question is how do we best accommodate their needs and provide equal access for all?

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is one of 5 organizations selected to conduct national consultations to formulate recommendations through their members and stakeholders on the proposed federal accessibility legislation. CHHA is spearheading the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project, funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program - Disability component, with 20 partners who represent the interests of over 9 million Canadians who are relying on these consultations to change legislation to improve accessibility and inclusion of Canadians with disabilities.

The project gives particular attention to:

  • youth as they transition from high school to university and university to the workplace;
  • veterans as they transition from service to civilian life; and
  • seniors as they transition out of the workforce and into retirement and healthy aging.

As the country turns its attention to accessibility for all Canadians, this project is a reminder that change can only be achieved by placing attention to emerging issues on what those with invisible disabilities need to learn, work and live, especially when navigating through periods of transition.

It is anticipated that over 400000 individuals will have an opportunity to contribute to a report to be submitted to the Government of Canada in March 2017.

A series of discussions, surveys and consultations will be taking place across the country to give those living with an invisible disability a voice and an opportunity to contribute to Canada’s planned accessibility legislation.

Questions and discussions will concentrate on federal government services, including the built environment, service and program delivery, transportation, procurement, employment and communications.

We encourage everyone to take part in the discussion and there are several ways to get involved.

About CHHA

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is Canada's only consumer-based organization formed by and for Canadians living with a hearing loss. A national non-profit organization, CHHA works cooperatively with professionals, service providers, and government bodies to provide information about hearing loss issues and solutions. CHHA’s goal is to increase public awareness of hearing loss and to help Canadians with hearing loss fully integrate into Canadian society. CHHA represents the interests of over 3 million Canadians who are hard of hearing. CHHA has 23 branches, 6 provincial chapters and one national network.

About the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project

CHHA
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is leading a partnership of 20 organizations in conducting consultations with members and the public to determine the issues that federal accessibility legislation must address to ensure equal access for those with an invisible disability. The goal of these consultations is to deeply engage with participants to determine the issues accessibility legislation must address and how it can bring federal institutions in Canada closer to achieving the goal of barrier free access for all. The project has been funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program - Disability component.

Consultation Tactics

Consultation participants are invited to examine the challenges facing Canadians with disabilities in times of transition, particularly:

  1. youth as they transition from high school to university and university to the workplace;
  2. veterans as they transition from service to civilian life; and
  3. seniors as they transition out of the workforce and into retirement and healthy aging.

Lead Spotlight Advisory Partners

Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA)
Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAC);
National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS);
Royal Canadian Legion (RCL);
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW); and
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

Spotlight Project Partners

Canadian National Society of the Deaf-Blind;
Canadian Deaf Blind Association;
Communicaid for Hearing-Impaired Persons;
The Hearing Foundation of Canada;
Canadian Academy of Audiology;
Brain Injury Canada;
Canadian Hard of Hearing Foundation;
ARCH Disability Law Centre;
Media Access Canada;
Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University;
Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion;
Canadian Mental Health Association- Ontario;
Neil Squire Society;
Mental Health Commission of Canada;
Speech-Language & Audiology Canada

Follow the Spotlight Project: Facebook and Twitter #CHHASpotlight

For more information, contact:
Christianne Scholfield
Project Manager, Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities
613-526-1584 1-800-263-8068
cscholfield@chha.ca