The Canadian Accessibility Network (CAN), a pan-Canadian initiative, is ready to help drive cultural shifts and system-level change across the country, following the first national meeting of 14 dedicated members of the inaugural Governing Council.
The Governing Council brings together post-secondary leaders, community service providers, government champions and corporate partners who are invested in advancing accessibility for people with disabilities. The network is supported by the CAN National Office located at Carleton University.
To learn more about CAN and members of the Governing Council, please visit https://carleton.ca/read/can/governance/.
“I am excited to support the Governing Council, as we navigate a new path together,” said Suzanne Blanchard, Carleton Vice-President (Students and Enrolment) and inaugural council Chair. “The network has great potential, with many stakeholders who are committed to making a difference.”
“The time is right,” said Tony Labillois, a champion for people with disabilities at Statistics Canada and Chair of the Network’s Advisory Council, which represents 30 partner organizations from across Canada. “My disability has pushed me to keep moving forward. The network will support important conversations across the country and build momentum.”
The concept for a national accessibility network was conceived by a group of colleagues at Carleton. It builds upon Carleton’s culture of accessibility and the desire to bring together various accessibility initiatives, partners and resources as outlined in the university’s recently launched Strategic Integrated Plan.
“The current global situation with COVID-19 makes this national conversation even more important as we all rethink how and where we work,” said Boris Vukovic, Director of Carleton’s READ Initiative. “CAN is in a prime position to be at the forefront of these discussions about creating more inclusive and accessible opportunities for all people.”
The Governing Council will steward the network on behalf of its partner organizations, as well as other stakeholders who will benefit from its activities and impact. It will provide governance and strategic direction and ensure CAN’s development and financial sustainability.
The work of this council will be informed by five action-oriented committees focused on research, design and innovation; education and training; policy; employment; and community engagement.
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