FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adrienne Clarke
January 30, 2008 Manager, Public Relations
Tel: (416) 928-2500 Ext. 284
TTY: (416) 964-0023
First-ever Accessible All Candidates Meetings to be Hosted in 3 Ontario Ridings
Toronto, ON - For the first time in a provincial election, All Candidates meetings accessible to people with disabilities are being held in the ridings of Don Valley West (Toronto), Ottawa South, and Niagara Falls Centre.
The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS), in partnership with CNIB, The Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario (CPA Ontario) and the Ontario March of Dimes (OMOD) have invited candidates in each of the three ridings to address their constituents with the provision of sign language interpreting, real-time captioning/computerized notetaking, assistive listening devices, Deafblind intervening services, and attendant services.
Nearly 1.5 million voters in Ontario have a disability. Although there have been many positive changes to the election process, barriers remain that prevent the full and equal political participation of all people before they go to the polls
“People with hearing loss – indeed people with any disability – are often excluded from the democratic process as there are so many barriers in directly accessing their candidates,” said Gary Malkowski, CHS’s Special Advisor to the President, Public Affairs. “Many candidates’ offices don’t have TTYs (text telephones) and interpreters and captioners are rarely, if ever, provided for direct interaction.”
In addition to the All Candidates meetings, the partner organizations of CHS, CNIB, CPA Ontario and OMOD along with the Government of Ontario have created Count Us In: Removing Barriers to Political Participation, a series of three reference guides developed to increase accessibility in the 2007 provincial election campaign.
The guides provide information about how candidates, campaign organizers and those who support them can increase the engagement and participation of Ontarians with disabilities by removing barriers to political participation. The Guides can be accessed at the Ministry of Community and Social Services website at http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/accessibilityOntario/planning/election.html
The details of these groundbreaking All Candidates meetings are as follows:
|Don Valley West
Tel: (416) 486-2500 x.7685
TTY: (416) 928-2545
|Sept. 17|| 7-9 PM
| Christine Elliot
Adrian Walker (Green)
Mike Kenny (NDP)
|Ottawa South||Philippe Ramsay
Tel: (613) 521-0509
TTY: (613) 521-0634
|Sept. 25|| 7-9 PM
2451 Riverside Dr.
John Ford (Green)
|Welland|| Warren Rupnarain
Tel: (416) 425-3463 x.7326
|Oct. 4|| 6-8 PM
Rm. Pond Inlet
Mark Grenier (Green)
Peter Kormos (NDP)
About CNIB – www.cnib.caCNIB is a nationwide, community-based, registered charity committed to public education, research and the vision health of all Canadians. CNIB provides the services and support
necessary to enjoy a good quality of life while living with vision loss.
About the Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario (CPA Ontario) – www.cpaont.orgCPA Ontario is a provincial organization dedicated to assisting people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities to achieve independence, self reliance and full community
About the Ontario March of Dimes (OMOD) – www.marchofdimescanada.caOntario March of Dimes is the largest community-based rehabilitation and advocacy organization for people with physical disabilities in the province. Our goal is to enchance the
independence and community participation of people with physical disabilities every day through a wide range of programs and services across the province.
About The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) – www.chs.caThe Canadian Hearing Society is the leading provider of services, products, and information that remove barriers to communication; advance hearing health; and promote equity for people who
are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing.