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Elections Canada Launches Advisory Group for Disability Issues

Ottawa, Thursday, February 27, 2014 – Elections Canada today is holding the first meeting of its new Advisory Group for Disability Issues.

The group will provide the Agency with accessibility advice on initiatives planned for the 2015 federal general election. It will also help identify the best ways to inform people with disabilities on where and when to register and vote during elections.

"Voting is a fundamental right for all Canadians," said Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand. "For over a decade, Elections Canada has been working to make elections more accessible by providing information in multiple formats, choosing accessible polling sites and offering diverse voting methods. We look forward to continuing to work with the disability community to better understand barriers and find solutions."

In response to direction from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, and in recognition of the evolving needs of people with disabilities, Elections Canada is committed to ongoing consultation with groups that represent people with disabilities. The Advisory Group is the result of that commitment.

Advisory Group Members

  • Donna Jodhan, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
  • Frank Folino, Canadian Association of the Deaf
  • Diane Bergeron, CNIB
  • Richard Lavigne, Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec
  • Laurie Beachell, Council of Canadians with Disabilities
  • Dr. Gary Birch, Neil Squire Society
  • Kory Earle, People First of Canada
  • Shelley Fletcher, People First of Canada
  • Laurence Parent, Regroupement des activistes pour l'inclusion au Québec

The Advisory Group's work will build on consultations that took place in 2011–2012 with 19 organizations representing people with disabilities. It also complements Elections Canada's research on voting barriers faced by Canadians with disabilities.

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