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CCD - Council of Canadians with Disabilities Online Consultation

An Invitation from CCD

CCD - Council of Canadians with Disabilities

May 4, 2006



The International Development Committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) invites disability rights advocates and human rights advocates to join us for an on-line discussion about the proposed UN Convention to Protect and Promote the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Last year, Mary Ennis, CCD Vice-Chair, and International Development Committee Member, conducted an on-line consultation for women with disabilities about how the proposed Convention should address gender. During this consultation, participants expressed a preference for the Convention to address the issues of women with disabilities in both a separate article and throughout the various articles of the convention, where appropriate. This approach has been supported by the Canadian delegation at the Ad Hoc Meetings, and at present, all indications are that
it will prevail.

This year, Steven Estey, Chairperson of our International Development Committee will conduct another on-line consultation about the Convention. This year, we will be using Dis-IT’s “ACollab,” an accessible web-based
collaboration tool (see below for more details).

The consultation will provide an opportunity to dialogue more generally with others who are interested in the development of the United Nations’ first international convention specifically addressing human rights and people with disabilities.

During this on-line consultation, participants will be taking a final look at some of the key the Articles which remain on the negotiation agenda for the next meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee.

At the last Ad Hoc Committee meeting, members concluded a full reading of the Chair’s Text, and reached broad agreement on the essential content of many of the articles. At the close of the meeting on February 3rd 2006,
Committee Chair, Ambassador Don MacKay from New Zealand summed up the process saying that the text now falls into three general categories.

Ambassador MacKay stated:

I think we can now conclude that our work on the articles is extremely well advanced, and that we are ready to enter the final stage of our work. Turning to the individual articles, most of them can be placed in a category of “no significant issues remaining”, a few of them in the “some issues remaining” category, and very few in the category of “difficult issues remaining”.

The focus of the on-line consultation will be in two key areas where issues remain, and where CCD hopes that Canadian input can be of assistance to the overall process in the final stages of negotiation.

The on-line consultation will operate in a manner similar to CCD’s face-to-face meetings on the Convention. We will provide documentation in advance, a brief summary of key issues and questions will be used to “kick off” the on-line discussion, which will be set for a fixed period of time (likely 2 or 3 days). Following this, a brief summary of the discussion will be issued, and the group will move on to the next area of deliberation.

In past CCD has conducted face to face consultations and this on-line effort is an attempt to broaden the discussion and allow more people to be involved.

If you would like to participate please reply to this email by Friday May 5, 2006 and we will send you the details of how to be involved. (Send email to Steve Estey sbestey@eastlink.ca)

Finally, we would like to note our appreciation for the support of the Dis-It Research Alliance, which is sharing its web-based discussion technology with us for this forum. The Dis-It Research Alliance will show case its research at a conference in October and participants are encouraged to check out the project’s web site to learn more about the exciting and challenging working being done on information and communication technologies by this group.

We hope you will be on-line with us when the discussion begins.

The CCD International Development Committee



Agenda for the online forum:

May 8: Receive documents on 1st item (definition of disability)
May 9-12: Discussion on definition of disability
May 13: Receive documents on last discussion (monitoring)
May 14-17: Discussion on monitoring
May 18: Close process and provide summaries.

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