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Author Archive - Christopher Lytle MA CDS

Christopher Lytle MA CDS, is the principle consultant and owner of Christopher Lytle Consulting (CLC). CLC consults on human rights and helps organizations incorporate requirements for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Christopher has been involved with disability and human rights issues for ten years. During this time he has participated in the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and has been involved in its subsequent promotion and implementation in Canada as well as several countries in Africa, Central America, Asia and Europe. He has held a seat on the board of directors for the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) as a representative of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities' (CCD) International Human Rights Committee and he has spearheaded numerous capacity building projects with the purpose of promoting human rights, equality and accessibility. Read more

Disability as a variable – A new optic

Looking at an Ontario Human Rights Commission discussion paper released in 2001, the aspects that make what is called intersectionality so appealing to a modern view of identity is that it does not pigeon hole a person as being represented by a sole code ground, or identity that is legally protected against discrimination.

 

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Intersectionality: Re-think your pre-think

We need to take a step back and reassess our assumptions that preclude those who are marginalized. We need to get a sense of how we can think inclusively while building roads to view human diversity as more than a product of a singular association or identity. The concepts of accommodation, accessibility and inclusion that an organization uses have to be robust enough to pay respect to the fact that people are a system of identities that continuously flow and change.

 

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Definition of disability and the Ontario Human Rights Commission

When creating policies that make statements about accessibility, attempts should be made to view disability as a social system instead of a schedule of impairments in order to align an organization’s forward movement with principles of Human Rights. Also, the time is long past due for an evaluation of how intersecting identities can create unique accessibility and accommodation needs.

 

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Toronto v. Cannabis

Dispensaries are currently undergoing a series of raids as TPF personnel are cracking down on store fronts and businesses that are working outside the law. The surge in organizations selling cannabis and cannabis products might well be egged on by the looming eventuality that cannabis will either become decriminalized or legalized in the near future.

 

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Accessibility is a human rights issue

Accessibility is a human rights issue. When we look at how it is enacted through the Ontario Human Rights Commission, their online trainings, and their policy papers, we can plainly see that this is the case.

 

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Hegemony and disability, a further social critique

Hegemony in the context of disability works on a level where systems are negotiated by society’s institutions. The ability of an institution to accommodate new demands in terms of accessibility is an example of the institution’s flexibility. However, there are institutions that are so ingrained in history and social context that they prove to be almost unmovable (Omi & Winant, 1980). This is how disability and hegemony interact at the simplest level, but on another level there is a grid of interlocking systems that cater to the category of disability, as well as perpetuate discrimination in its current form. These systems of societal input inform and naturalize dialogues of discrimination.

 

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White privilege and disability

Only recently has the subject of white privilege come under scrutiny. White privilege has informed government, policy, relationships, youth, old age, trajectories of state bodies and even points in geo-political history. Like racial narratives, constructs that reproduce normality have allowed the concept of being able bodied to be viewed as positive and disability as negative.

 

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A Canadians with Disabilities Act would be great wouldn’t it?

Even before the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, there was real thought being put into the potential development of a Canadians with Disabilities Act. It began with the structuring of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and has found its permanence with other large scale developments such as the development of UN policy and focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities.

 

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AODA audit blitz for retail organizations

I am guessing that there are a few business owners who are scratching their heads with regards to new information concerning an AODA “Audit Blitz” for retail organizations. In a field pot marked with consulting companies one would figure that the use of terminology that strikes fear into the hearts of businesses is a little unnecessary. Granted, accessibility is a crucial part of the business landscape in Ontario, but scaring the bejesus out of business owners is counterproductive.

 

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Consultation and feedback processes should not be underestimated

Consultation and feedback processes should not be underestimated.  Doing away with the old systems of decision making provides for a more thorough engagement with those groups that would represent gaps in policy and operations.

 

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Accessibility and transitions

There is an accessibility consideration that I have been thinking about for quite some time which isn’t covered under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is the accessibility of transition. It was a thought that started around the same time as when the new subways started to show up in Toronto, and the height and width became a new barrier for some people who rely on transit to get to and from work.

 

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The trajectory of the AODA

It would seem that there is some movement towards a more motivated government with regards to leadership and the AODA… 

 

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Dysfunction of function, accessibility and inclusion.

At this point in time, after having seen the release of the Mayo Moran review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act(AODA),  it is important to center our focus on how accessibility  is created within a market place. From the outset there have been organizations and businesses that had a tepid response to the AODA because it automatically brings to mind the mythical beast that is the concept of undue hardship.

 

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A canadian perspective on veteran status and employment

Looking at American policy for dealing with veterans and employment can raise questions about how we treat Canadian veterans with disabilities in the context of modern policy. There are still large gaps between what the intended goal of the New Veterans Charter is, and what is occurring to young veterans who are given lump sum payouts. Although this dynamic exists, the goal of this article is to take a different approach and, at the very least, start some discussion about the junction of veterans with disabilities.

 

A brief review of the Mayo Moran legislative review of the AODA

The Mayo Moran Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is both a welcome and timely document as it reflects the progressive goal of inclusion within business and social culture.

 

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