Vote for Equality - A Voter Education & Awareness Campaign  for Women's Equality Rights in Canada
Make Votes Vount - Give Yourself a Choice - Register to Vote!
Political Parties Ridings & Candidates Tools & Resources Issues

Election 2004 Vote for Equality - Home > Issues > What Canadians with Disabilities Want!

This is a DRAFT version
What Canadians with Disabilities Need!

CCD - Council of Canadians with Disabilities
Election Challenge 2004
Consumer Handbook

Council of Canadians with Disabilities  - logo

Council of Canadians with Disabilities

CCD challenges candidates to commit to:

  • a labor market strategy for persons with disabilities,
  • a national disability supports fund,
  • poverty reduction measures for persons with disabilities,
  • a barrier removal process,
  • tax reform to benefit persons with disabilities,
  • reform to address the inequalities of Aboriginal persons with disabilities,
  • de-instutionalization,
  • accessible election campaigns.

What is CCD?

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a national cross-disability advocacy organization of people with disabilities. Our motto, A Voice of Our Own, summarizes our mission.

CCD's Members:

  • BC Coalition of Persons with Disabilities
  • Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities
  • Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities
  • Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities
  • Persons United for Self-Help Northwest Ontario
  • Confederation des organisms des personnes handicapees du Quebec
  • PEI Council of the Disabled
  • Coalition of Persons with Disabilities of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities (NS LEO)
  • NWT Council for the Disabled
  • Canadian Association of the Deaf
  • DAWN Canada: DisAbled Women's Network Canada
  • National Educational Association of Disabled Students
  • National Network for Mental Health
  • People First Canada
  • Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada
  • National Federation of Blind Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE)

Why is the participation of people with disabilities in the Federal Election our priority?

A Federal Election is important because:

  • People with disabilities want to exercise their right to vote. CCD works to promote accessible elections campaigns and access to the polls.
  • We want to have our say about how Canada will be governed.
  • We want to educate candidates and political parties about our issues.

What do Canadians with disabilities expect?

The United Nations considers Canada to be one of the best countries in Canada to live. However, Canadians with disabilities continue to have fewer opportunities than nondisabled Canadians. People with disabilities want equal access to the social, economic and cultural life of our communities.

Like other Canadians, we want to:

  • Have jobs,
  • Live in the community,
  • Have the respect of others,
  • Live wherever we choose,
  • Have our citizenship rights.

CCD Election Challenge 2004: What Canadians with Disabilities Need

CCD challenges Canada's political parties and candidates running in the next federal election to support the equality of persons with disabilities. CCD's long-term objective is to ensure that Canadians with disabilities have equal access to community life. CCD is promoting a number of reforms and we are challenging federal political parties and candidates to adopt them.

Labor Market Strategy for Persons with Disabilities

Security is having a job. CCD is seeking commitments from parties and candidates to end the massive unemployment of persons with disabilities.

First Steps:

  • The Federal Government must become a model employer of persons with disabilities. In 2005, the Prime Minister should host a conference of employers to seek their commitment to inclusive labor markets.
  • Rework the Labor Market Agreements to be inclusive of and address the training and employment of persons with disabilities.
  • Expand the Opportunities Fund by $30 million and EAPD funding agreements with the provinces by $200 million.
  • Expand the Special Opportunities Grant Program, which pays for accommodation of students with disabilities and make the Grants nontaxable.
  • Develop expanded tax measures to assist employers to make work places accessible and accommodate persons with disabilities.
  • Develop a comprehensive EI/CPP transition fund and return to work measures.

National Disability Supports Fund

Canadians with disabilities need access to disability related supports if we are to operate on a level playing field. Supports such as accessible transportation, attendant care, interpreter services, technical aids must be in place if we are to have equal access to all aspects of life of our communities.

First Steps:

  • Invest $2.5 billion over five years in a National Disability-Related Supports Fund.
  • This Fund would be a transfer payment to provinces/territories.
  • Priorities for investment would be set by provincial/territorial governments in consultation with persons with disabilities and eligibility for supports would be non-income related.
  • An annual outcomes report on the Fund would be provided to the Government of Canada.

Poverty Reduction

CCD's long-term objective is the elimination of the poverty experienced by Canadians with disabilities.

First Steps:

  • Roll back the regressive changes made in 1998 to the CPP-Disability benefit that made it harder for people with disabilities to qualify for a pension.
  • Expand the Disability Tax Credit to ensure greater tax fairness for persons with disabilities.
  • Expand the Disability Child Benefit to support youth in recognition of the critical transition youth face in moving from home to independent living, from school to work and to post secondary education and training.
  • Support CCD to undertake a broad review of income support programs and present recommendations for future reforms.

Barrier Removal Process

Barriers in federal programs prevent the participation of persons with disabilities. These barriers violate Canada's Charter commitment to persons with disabilities and CCD is seeking the elimination of these barriers.

First Steps:

  • Review federal programs and services to identify and remove barriers encountered by persons with disabilities. Each federal government department would develop, implement and make public their plans for barrier removal. For example, a new policy framework and action plan is critical to address the transportation needs of Canadians with disabilities.

Persons with Disabilities

The incidence of disability among Aboriginal people is significantly higher than among other Canadians. Aboriginal persons with disabilities also face significant jurisdictional barriers when seeking to access services.

First Steps:

  • CCD is seeking a commitment from all parties and candidates that Aboriginal people with disabilities will be recognized as a priority in all disability initiatives.

Persons with Disabilities Living in Institutions

Too many Canadians with disabilities continue to live in institutions instead of their chosen community. Canada must increase efforts to support people with disabilities to live independently in the community.

First Steps:

  • Prioritize people with disabilities living in institutions when developing disability-related supports.


CCD challenges all political parties and candidates to conduct barrier-free campaigns. Components of an accessible campaign include but are not limited to: literature available in alternate media, sign language interpretation at public meetings, public meetings held in accessible meeting rooms.

First Steps:

  • Political parties and candidates adopt the principles of universal design for their campaigns.


For you to raise disability issues in your own words and describe your own experiences and concerns is more powerful than quoting statistics that either indicate the incidence of disability or the incredible disadvantage faced by Canadians with disabilities.

Quick Facts: Adults with Disabilities 25-54
(Source: Disability in Canada A 2001 Profile)





Total Population  25-54

13, 167,700



Population with Disabilities




Percentage with disabilities




Population with severe to very severe disabilities
















Completed post secondary education

46% (versus 57% of those without a disability)



Employment rate

51.2% (versus 82.3% of those without disabilities)



Household income

$52,835 (versus $72,951 for those without disabilities)



Require addional help with everday activities

290,190 (39.9% of those who need help)



For more information, or to support and get involved with the CCD's Election Challenge 2004:

Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)
926-294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0B9
Tel: 204-947-0303
Fax: 204-942-4625
Toll Free: 1-866-947-0303


A Voter Education & Awareness Campaign  for Women's Equality Rights in Canada


  Search DAWN site Search the Web


Website produced by Barbara Anello - Hire Me!

Website content & design created
Barbara Anello unless otherwise noted