Reaching for Rights


There are many barriers that hinder access to justice and legal services for people who have weak literacy skills or disabilities.

Do you think the Canadian justice system discriminates? Do lawyers, judges and the courts really understand issues related to literacy and disability? Who is responsible for any disadvantage in the Canadian justice system?

The interactive forum on the Reach website is spiced with observations and quotations from judges, court workers and lawyers. As a consumer, professional or concerned citizen, your views are important. Read the report, review a synopsis of the questions and comments, and add your own comments.

Contact the Reach website at: (Sponsored by the Office for Disability Issues and the National Literacy Secretariat, Human Resources Development Canada.)

Reach Canada has produced a video that explains mental health legislation using American Sign Language and captioning for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The video was produced in cooperation with the Ottawa Salus Corporation and staff in its deaf program. The scenario depicts an involuntary hospitalization, with breaks during which a narrator explains specific aspects of the legislation. This overview is based on the Ontario Mental Health Act. An accompanying guide explains the act in more detail and includes variations in all Canadian provinces and territories.

Agencies can order Mental Health, the Law and You, the video and the guide, from Reach for $70.00 (includes shipping/handling). Individuals can purchase a copy for $35.

The second largest event of its kind in Ottawa, the Microsoft Run for Reach has something for everyone. Events include: 10 km wheelchair races; 5 km, 10 km, and 1/2 marathon runs; 1/2 marathon in-line skate; and 3 km family walk. From its inception in 1987, Reach is pleased to have seen the growth of the Microsoft Run for Reach, which now hosts over 2,000 participants from as far away as Florida. The success of this event would not be possible without the community volunteers and corporate sponsors such as Microsoft Canada, Minto Developments Inc., the Ottawa Citizen, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Qunara, who continue to support Reach’s programs. The Microsoft Run for Reach will be held on April 18, 2004. Please visit the Reach Canada website for details.


“Working Together for a Shared Future”
For persons who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deaf-blind, their friends, families and service providers.

OTTAWA, SEPTEMBER 9, 10 & 11, 2004

We are pleased to announce that Reach Canada will be hosting the first Canadian conference on mental health and deafness. The primary goal of the conference is to bring together people in the deaf and hard of hearing communities in order to create links and networking that will help in the sharing of resources

We also plan to explore some of the services in other countries. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Alexis Karacostas, President of the European Society on Mental Health and Deafness (ESMHD) and Director of the Groupe d’études spécialisées thérapies et surdité (GESTES) in France.

Who should attend?
Persons who are deaf, deafened, deaf-blind or hard of hearing as well as individuals and agencies interested in ensuring access to quality mental health services in Canada.

Conference topics may include research, programs, treatment models, legal issues, employment, housing, accommodations, etc.

We also encourage presentation related to specific groups, such as children, youth, seniors, First Nations and minority communities.

Call for papers
Abstracts must be submitted no later than December 31, 2003. If the presentations are to be included in the conference proceedings, full text of the presentation must be submitted no later than May 1, 2004.

Language: English or French
Font: Times New Roman, 12 points
Primary Presenter and Affiliation (one only)
Brief biography of the presenter(s)
Title and key words in bold
Subheadings in italics
Maximum of 250 words
Submissions should be sent to:

Reach Canada
400 Coventry Rd.
Ottawa, ON
Tel.: (613) 236-6636
TTY: (613) 236-9478
Toll-free: 1-800-465-8898


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