Canadian Civil Society Supports Dr. Laverne Jacobs for the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Dear Delegates of the 15th Conference of State Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
On June 14th, you will elect the 2023-2026 Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and set the trajectory of global disability rights for years to come. As representatives of Canada’s Civil Society, we are contacting you today to humbly request that you endorse Dr. Laverne Jacobs’ nomination to the Committee, a consideration she so rightly deserves, but more importantly, that the world’s disability community needs. Dr. Laverne Jacobs is not only a disability law professor, social justice advocate, and human rights lawyer but a dynamic and insightful leader in both domestic and international disability rights movements. Today is a monumental and consequential time – the COVID19 pandemic and its related response have brutally demonstrated that the fight for the full realization of the rights of persons with disabilities is far from over. With her over 20 years of experience, bold visions and lifelong commitment to promoting and expanding disability rights nationally and internationally, we know that a more suitable candidate than Dr. Laverne Jacobs would be difficult to find.
Dr. Laverne Jacobs is Canada’s first-ever nominated candidate to the United Nations (UN) CRPD Committee. This demonstrates unparalleled commitment and confidence in her nomination by the Government of Canada and highlights the recognition of Dr. Jacob’s intersectional approach and life-long vision to the realization and expansion of international disability rights for all. A law professor at the University of Windsor, Dr. Jacobs has and continues to work to see the evolution of law incorporate the full realization of disability rights. Her work as lead author of the first Canadian disability law textbook ushered in a new, vibrant generation of disability rights scholars. Dr. Jacobs' disability and anti-racism advocacy work advances an intersectional approach to legislation and policymaking, and her work directly led to the creation of the Accessible Canada Act - a landmark federal legislation promising barrier-free access by 2040. These are but a few of her accomplishments.
In closing, we would like to thank you for your time and attention to this letter of endorsement of Dr. Laverne Jacobs, and to say that although this letter in no way can truly attest to the benefits that Dr Jacob’s election to the UN CRPD Committee would bring, we hope it will be enough to warrant your support. As members of Canada’s Civil Society, we are confident that Dr. Jacobs’ passion, knowledge and experience be an instrumental addition to the Committee as it charts a progressive and empowering path for all members of the global disability community.
Representatives of Canada’s Civil Society:
Heather Walkus, Chair, Council of Canadians with Disabilities
Maureen Haan, President and CEO, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
Neil Belanger, Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Disability Canada
Krista Carr, Executive Vice-President, Inclusion Canada
Shelley Fletcher, Executive Director, People First of Canada
Frank Smith, National Coordinator, National Educational Association of Disabled Students
Susan Hardie, Executive Director, Eviance
Louise Gillis, Past-President, Canadian Council of the Blind
Wissam Constantin, President, Canadian Association of the Deaf
Tammy C. Yates-Rajaduray, Executive Director, Realize
Bill Adair, Executive Director, Spinal Injury Canada
Catherine Frazee. Professor Emerita, Toronto Metropolitan University School of Disability Studies
Sherry Costa-Lorenz, Provincial Coordinator, Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities
Sarah Jama, Executive Director, Disability Justice Network of Ontario
Nicole Diakite, Executive Director, Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuqatiit Society
Stephen Baranyi, Full Professor, University of Ottawa