Last week, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough met virtually with Windsor-Essex advocates for people with disabilities, including the Law, Disability and Social Change Project at Windsor Law.
Led by project director Laverne Jacobs, associate dean of Windsor Law for research and graduate studies, the group had seven students in attendance, including third-year JD/MSW major Deborah Willoughby.
“The opportunity to speak with Minister Qualtrough was encouraging as she underscored the importance of the research we are doing for the LDSC project and how it is contributing to real change in the community by providing accessible information,” Willoughby said. “Our discussions highlighted how our legal advocacy for accessibility can extend beyond law school in various exciting contexts as there is continuing work to be done.”
Dr. Jacobs added the meeting represented opportunity for the group: “Minister Qualtrough had numerous, insightful experiences to share as both a lawyer and the minister responsible for improving disability inclusion in Canada.”
The minister was Introduced by Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk, who joined in an informative discussion about a shared vision for potential in the community.
“It has been an absolute honour to serve as Minister Qualtrough’s Parliamentary Secretary, working hard to ensure all Canadians have the support they need to get through this pandemic,” said Kusmierczyk. “It was inspiring to hear Dr. Jacobs and law students reflect on their recently released Annotated Accessible Canada Act directly with the minister responsible for crafting Canada’s first piece of national accessibility legislation.”
The meeting was part of a larger plan to build a strong disability inclusion action plan in Canada.