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IRIS is pleased to join millions of Canadians, and billions of people around the world, in recognizing International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is a time to celebrate accomplishments, reflect on issues still to be confronted, and chart a path for the year ahead.

At IRIS we are pleased to announce the coming launch of The Accessibility Exchange – an online platform that will connect people with disabilities and Deaf persons to federally regulated entities to work on accessibility plans, and engage in finding solutions to make Canada fully inclusive and accessible. An introduction and testimonials about the Exchange can be found here. Please sign up for up-to-date information about the platform and ways people with disabilities, Deaf persons, and federally regulated organizations can be involved.

To learn more about the information and knowledge resources IRIS has developed over 2021-22 check out our recent information resources list – with links to various reports and videos.

In huge and disproportionate numbers, Canadians with disabilities are still living in poverty, experience violence, are unhoused, and face immense barriers to transportation, employment, and community services. Increasingly, these barriers are leaving people in despair. More and more are requesting medical assistance in dying, which is now available based on having a disability-related condition. Discrimination breeds further discrimination and disadvantage.

IRIS is dedicated to convening the in-person and online spaces where people with disabilities and Deaf persons in all their diversity can collaborate and link with others who are marginalized to foster solidarity and progressive movements for change. Through 2023 we are growing our efforts and supporting the capacity-building of other organizations which share our mission for inclusive and accessible communities for all.