Barrier Free Canda Seeking Directors For Its Board

Deadline to Apply: July 17th 2020

Barrier Free Canada/ Sans Barriere Canada logo

If you are interested in helping to ensure that Bill C-81 lives up to its promises and that we are true to our commitment to create an accessible Canada, then please read on! BFC-CSB needs to hear from you! We are seeking board members!

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrieres (BFC/CSB) advocates to the Canadian Parliament to enact a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA) to achieve a Barrier-Free Canada for all persons with disabilities. To this end, BFC/CSB is seeking Directors for its Board who have the skills, knowledge and abilities to work as part of a non-partisan team toward and through the next stage of the ACA’s development into a meaningful and progressive piece of Human Rights legislation.

BFC has proudly achieved its earlier mission to collaborate with others to ensure the safe passage of Bill C-81. On May 1, 2019, Barrier-Free Canada presented on behalf of Canadians with Disabilities to the Senate Standing Committee, and we were part of Minister Qualtrough’s Parliament Hill public celebration on June 20, 2019, as well as being in-person witness to the Royal Assent ceremonies when Bill C-81 was acclaimed on June 21, 2019.

BFC’s ongoing mission is to work with the Canadian Government and other stakeholders to ensure that the ACA Framework legislation continues to develop into the dynamic, inclusive, and fair support system all Canadians need in this “Just Society”.


Director (BFC Board of Directors)


Directors will carry out tasks and assignments which they agree to accept and/or that are delegated by the Board.


Report to the Board of Directors, Directors will assume responsibilities which they agree to accept and/or that are delegated by the Board.

Qualifications and Skills

To be eligible for election to the Board of Directors, an individual must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Not have been declared incapable by a Court in Canada or elsewhere; and
  • Not have the status of a bankrupt.

Members of the Board may, but are not required to be, representatives of member organizations.

Members of the Board may, but are not required to, have a disability.

Board members must:

  • have a demonstrable commitment to the purpose, mission, and values of BFC;
  • be able to dedicate 1-2 hours per week (on average) to board work over the course of your term;
  • have regular access to a computer with an Internet connection and e-mail, and possess basic computer skills to use typical office applications (e-mail, Microsoft Word, etc.) for day-to-day administrative tasks;

Have the ability to:

  • think independently and critically (including using research data, asking questions, challenging unsubstantiated information)
  • use logic and reasoning to identify issues as well as the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems
  • be objective at all times about what is best for the whole of the organization and the community of Canadians with disabilities rather than what is best for a particular constituency
  • understand the need to base decisions on what is good for the organization, and accept accountability for group decisions so that the Board of Directors speaks with one voice;

Nomination, Election, and Term of Service

Prior to each meeting of members, the Board appoints a Nominations Committee (comprised of the President and at least two others) which will prepare a list of candidates for nomination. In assessing a particular nominee for consideration, the Nominations Committee may consider, among other demographic factors, his or her education, experience, and accomplishments; attendance, preparation, and active participation at past board meetings and general membership meetings; availability and commitment for the proposed term of office; and past performance reviews and assessments.

Except where an election is held to fill the unexpired portion of a term, newly elected directors shall be elected for two-year (2) terms.

General Duties

Directors are expected to:

  • Gain a good working knowledge of BFC-CSB’s mandate, mission, bylaws and operating procedures;
  • Hold basic knowledge of standard legislation to support people with disabilities. This includes the Accessible Canada Act (Bill C-81), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), the Canadian Human Rights Act, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and basic Universal Design theory;
  • Prepare for all meetings and conference calls in advance and actively participate in all of them;
  • Attend at least 75% of board meetings, which are typically held on a monthly basis by teleconference;
  • Participate in email discussions which take place between formal meetings;
  • If they are a representative of an organization, keep their organization informed about BFC’s activities and act as an information conduit for the exchange of relevant news and information between the organizations;
  • To the extent that they may be a member of, or otherwise connected to, a particular disability community, they should use their best efforts to facilitate open information-sharing with those communities;
  • Represent positively the interests of Barrier Free Canada in all interactions and communications with third parties. Directors may attend external meetings in a representative capacity, and will in that context be an ambassador for BFC;

Serve as a role model by:

  • assisting People with Disabilities in advocating for their rights, directly or indirectly. We believe that sharing resources and embracing educational opportunities will assist individuals in gaining a stronger sense of empowerment and strength to face barriers;
  • taking all available opportunities to share the vision, mission and values of the organization and promote BFC-CSB’s webpage, Facebook and other social media channels;
  • Maintain confidentiality and respect privacy rights as appropriate.

To contact us:

Please send an email to [email protected].
Put the words “Director Posting” in the subject line.
And please include a description of why you would like to be considered for membership to our board.
Please include a phone number where you can be reached.
All emails will be responded to.

New Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations now in force

Starting today, persons with disabilities have new protections under the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR).

The ATPDR require transportation service providers to:

  • ensure that aircraft, trains, ferries, buses and terminals (such as airports) are accessible by complying with specific technical requirements;
  • meet communication needs of travellers with disabilities;
  • provide accessible services; and
  • make border and security screening more accessible.

People boarding an airplane.

Statistics Canada Survey

(French follows English)

As you may have seen, Statistics Canada has launched a survey on how COVID-19 is impacting Canadians with disabilities and those with long-term health conditions. The survey includes questions about employment, household expenses, support networks and access to services. It will be posted online until July 6th . The more people who answer the survey, the better the information will be. So we are encouraging you to reach out to your staff, volunteers, clients, partners and anyone else in your network to let them know about it.

We have included the link to the survey below. Please fill it out. And spread the word!

Thank you.

Comme vous le savez peut-être, Statistique Canada a lancé un sondage sur l’impact de la COVID-19 sur les Canadiens en situation de handicap et les personnes avec des problèmes de santé à long terme. Le sondage est composé de questions relatives à l’emploi, les dépenses du ménage, les réseaux de soutien et l’accès aux services, entre autres. Il sera disponible en ligne jusqu’au 6 juillet. Plus le nombre de personnes qui répondent à l’enquête est élevé, plus les informations seront bonnes. Nous vous encourageons donc à communiquer avec votre personnel, vos bénévoles, vos clients, vos partenaires et toute autre personne de votre réseau pour leur en faire part.   

Nous avons joint le lien vers le sondage, ci-dessous. Veuillez remplir le sondage et faites passer le mot!


Bill C-17 On Hold. Write your MP.

Bill C-17, which is the bill contains the COVID-19 payment for those with disabilities, has been held up in the House of Commons. Please see the below from Accessible Canada. CCB was part of the original letters and the open letter, now we encourage you to write to your MP too.

Hello All,

Enough is enough.

Sixty-six disability-related organizations wrote an Open Letter asking the federal, provincial and territorial governments to figureout how to get financial aid to the people with disabilities who need it most. That Open Letter was sent to every MP and every senator.

then over 50,000 letters were sent to the Prime Minister, Minister Qualtrough, Minister Morneau, all of the premiers, and other provincial and territorial decision makers.

Finally, when most of the country is switching to recovery mode, the disabilty community gets the news that those with a Disability Tax Credit Certificate will receive a one-time payment up to $600. This isn’t even close to what we have been asking for, but it is a start.

Well now we have another problem – shenanigans in the House of Commons.

Bill C-17 has four parts. One of them is the $600 support for people with disabilities with a Disability Tax Credit Certifcate. The other three parts of the Bill and the fact that the House of Commons isn’t meeting and operating regularly, are the sore points with the Bloc Quebecois, the NDP and the Conservatives. Bloc and the NDP suggested taking the one part about diability support out of Bill C-17. The Liberals made a bid to split the Bill so eppeople with disabiliteis could get their financial aid. The Conservatives refused to agree. The government needs all parties to agree to pass the Bill.

So, once again, we are pawns in the political game. This will definitely delay people receiving their disability benefits.

If this ticks you off as much as it does us, here’s your chance to tell the MPs enough is enough. Write to your MP and tell them to pass legislation so that people with disabilities can get their financial aid now.

Either follow the links to use the website, or you can copy the sample letter below.


Pass Bill C-17 Now

Bill C-17 has four parts. One of them is the $600 support for people with disabilities with a Disability Tax Credit Certificate. The other three parts of the Bill and the fact that the House of Commons isn’t meeting and operating regularly, are the sore points with the Bloc Quebecois, the NDP and the Conservatives. Bloc and the NDP suggested taking the one part about disability support out of Bill C-17. The Liberals made a bid to split the Bill so people with disabilities could get their financial aid. The Conservatives refused to agree. The government needs all parties to agree to pass the Bill.

So, once again, we are pawns in the political game. This will definitely delay people receiving their disability benefits.

If this ticks you off as much as it does us, here’s your chance to tell the MPs enough is enough.

You can use the letter below to tell MPs to pass Bill C-17 or you can remove the text and write your own letter. We urge you to share your own stories of why people with disabilities should receive financial aid from the Government of Canada.


Le projet de loi C-17 comprend quatre parties. L’un d’eux est le soutien de 600 $ pour les personnes handicapées avec un certificat de crédit d’impôt pour personnes handicapées. Les trois autres parties du projet de loi et le fait que la Chambre des communes ne se réunit pas et ne fonctionne pas régulièrement sont les points sensibles avec le Bloc québécois, le NPD et les conservateurs. Le Bloc et le NPD ont suggéré de retirer la seule partie sur le soutien aux personnes handicapées du projet de loi C-17. Les libéraux ont fait une offre pour diviser le projet de loi afin que les personnes handicapées puissent obtenir leur aide financière. Les conservateurs ont refusé de s’entendre. Le gouvernement a besoin que toutes les parties acceptent d’adopter le projet de loi.

Donc, encore une fois, nous sommes des pions dans le jeu politique. 

Vous pouvez utiliser la lettre ci-dessous pour dire aux députés d’adopter le projet de loi C-17 ou vous pouvez supprimer le texte et écrire votre propre lettre. Nous vous invitons à partager vos propres histoires sur les raisons pour lesquelles les personnes handicapées devraient recevoir une aide financière du gouvernement du Canada.

First Name/Prénom *

Last Name/Nom de famille *

Email *

Postal Code/code postal *

Country/Pays *

Federal Riding/Circonscription fédérale *


My MP’s email

Send to/Envoyer à:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Minister Carla Qualtrough

Minister Bill Morneau

Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party

Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois

Subject/Sujet *

Message *

Dear federal politicians, and especially Conservative MPs,

Pass Bill C-17 now so that people with disabilities get the promised $600 in financial aid.

People with disabilities are the last in line to receive any COVID-19 support – and we need it immediately.

Our community members have been paying out of pocket for personal protective equipment because care providers continue to have difficulty accessing their own. They  have also been paying for services such as garbage pick-up, grocery delivery, respite care, accessibility equipment repair, or medical supplies. People with disabilities are making hard choices between keeping safe and paying for food.

How can your petty politicking be ethical in times like this? You have delayed long enough!

In 2019, the average CPP disability payment was $1,001.15 per month, and the maximum CPP disability benefit anyone could get was $1,362.30 per month. But some of the people receiving this low income will not receive the $600. Financial aid only goes to those receiving the Disability Tax Credit.

None of us feel that the amount or the reach of the bill is ideal, but we are in dire need. It would be a start.

Pass the bill.


Chers politiciens fédéraux, et surtout députés conservateurs,

Adoptez maintenant le projet de loi C-17 pour que les personnes handicapées obtiennent l’aide financière promise de 600 $.

Les personnes handicapées sont les dernières à recevoir un soutien COVID-19 – et nous en avons besoin immédiatement.

Les membres de notre communauté ont payé de leur poche pour l’équipement de protection individuelle parce que les fournisseurs de soins ont toujours du mal à accéder au leur. Ils ont également payé des services tels que la collecte des ordures, la livraison d’épicerie, les soins de relève, la réparation de l’équipement d’accessibilité ou les fournitures médicales. Les personnes handicapées font des choix difficiles entre rester en sécurité et payer pour la nourriture.

Comment votre petite politique peut-elle être éthique dans des moments comme celui-ci?

En 2019, le paiement moyen d’invalidité du RPC était de 1001,15 $ par mois, et la prestation d’invalidité maximale du RPC que n’importe qui pouvait recevoir était de 1362,30 $ par mois. Mais certaines des personnes qui reçoivent ce faible revenu ne recevront pas les 600 $. L’aide financière est réservée aux bénéficiaires du crédit d’impôt pour personnes handicapées.

Aucun de nous ne pense que le montant ou la portée du projet de loi est idéal, mais nous en avons grandement besoin. Ce serait un début.

Votez la loi.


Job Posting from the WBU

World Blind Union
Union Mondiale Des Aveugles
Union Mundial de Ciegos
Blue wave used in WBU logo

Dear Members,

The World Blind Union is seeking a Consultant for data analysis and reporting on Covid-19 survey. Deadline for applications is Monday, 15 June 2020.

Please note that the duration of the consultancy is 30 days, beginning 29 June to 29 July 2020.

To apply: Send your CV, Pro Forma Invoice (Quotation) to: [email protected] indicating in the subject line “WBU COVID-19 Survey Consultancy”

Attached is the Detailed Terms of Reference for the consultancy.

Terry Mutuku

Communications and Strategic Development Officer
World Blind Union
1929 Bayview Ave
Toronto Ontario, Canada M4G 3E8
Tel: 1-416-486-9698
Fax: 1-416-486-8107
Email: [email protected]

Website: ,
Facebook: BlindUnion

‘Changing What It Means to be Blind’

BALANCE presents 3 audio plays

Three silouettes against a red stage curtain.

BALANCE is excited to announce that we have created a unique partnership with Toronto-based Common Boots Theatre to be able to bring 3 play readings exclusively to people who are blind and their family members, via Zoom technology. The series will provide performances of 3 plays, exclusively to our community (in the city and beyond) of people who are blind or living with sight loss, and fully accessible through the reading of the stage directions. These are not radio plays, but will be readings of theatre plays that have previously been performed on stage. Note: permission for these special audio performances has been obtained from ACTRA (the union representing actors) and each of the playwrights.

We at BALANCE truly hope that Canadians who are blind will embrace this specially commissioned audio drama series, and register early for each of these performances. (Note, you do not need to be a client of BALANCE to register but this IS a specially accessible opportunity for people who are blind or living with sight loss, and those with whom they may be in quarantine at this time). Tell your friends! There are lots of seats at these virtual performances, and they are exclusively being provided as a recognition of the additional isolation imposed on people who are blind during the pandemic.

Schedule with registration links for each play:

June 16, 5 PM: The Public Servant written by Jennifer Brewin, Haley McGee, Sarah McVie and Amy Rutherford
Register here

About The Public Servant:
Given the current high level of engagement between the public and our elected representatives and government staffers due to COVID-19, it seemed entirely appropriate that BALANCE request this special performance.

About the play:
Step inside the halls of power as Madge, a young, idealistic and enthusiastic civil servant, gets ready to write her first official memo. The only thing standing in her way are endless revisions, an impossible deadline, funding cutbacks and the ever-shifting world of government protocol. This hard-hitting and hilarious play asks: doesn’t a successful society – one that is engaged, working, healthy and educated – require a successful civil service?

June 23, 7 PM: Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
Register here

About the play:
Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. With contemporary characters and ingenious plot twists, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.

July 7, 7 PM: Surprise Night!
Register here for surprise play.

After the presentation of Eurydice on June 23, we will announce the 3rd play (maybe before!) We just need a little more time to find just the right thing for our community on that evening. So stay tuned, and watch this space for more info (or register for the wonderful play Eurydice, and find out on that night what is coming on July 7 at 7!) We hope your curiosity will have you signing up right away!

Note: These performances will be provided via Zoom technology. An email address is required in order to receive the Zoom invite, but if you do not have a computer, you will be able to use a phone to dial in to listen to the performance.

A note from Common Boots Theatre: These readings are being given as a way to support the blind and low vision community, during a difficult time which has had a significant impact on people without sight. Permission to read for the blind and low vision community has been given generously by the playwrights themselves as well as in compliance with ACTRA Covid Response Initiative and the actors are donating their time. Please register if you are a member of the community of persons who are blind or living with sight loss.*

*The community is defined as those who are blind or have low vision, their immediate support network and staff who support them.

Prime Minister Announces Supports for Canadians with Disabilities

The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced support to help Canadians with disabilities deal with extra expenses during the pandemic.

This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certifcateholders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows:
– $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate.
– $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
– $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

There are also supports to do with employment as those with disabilities are also at higher risk of job loss during economic downturns.
– Creation of a National workplace Accessibility Stream through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.
– Invest $1.18 million in five new projects across the country through the Accessible Technology Program.

To read the full statement can be read here :