What Did I Learn for 2023?

Happy new year everyone! I’m Scott Savoy, hoping and wishing that 2024 is a smashing one for all.
Glad to be back with you and we’re starting off the new year with president Donna J. Jodhan sharing her perspective on what she learned for 2023!
Interesting reading and we urge you to give her editorial a read!
Enjoy your weekend!

The year 2023, its numbers made of rainbow colours.What Did I Learn for 2023?
by Donna J. Jodhan

O boy! And I can only say that what I learned for 2023 only continues to trouble me when wearing my advocacy lenses and why?

Because for the most part, nothing has really changed. However I will hasten to add that there have been a few silver linings that will hopefully increase for 2024.
Let’s have a closer look.

When it comes to the Canadian Human Rights Commission; this esteemed agency continues to struggle to show any sort of meaningful leadership when it comes to being able to control how complainants are being treated by respondents.
For this year, I witnessed first hand how certain Federal Government departments treat complainants and their complaints. In short, no respect, no ounce of seriousness, and an unwillingness to be transparent, and a continuing attitude of reckless and willful behaviour. The CHRC appears powerless to manage and control their own complaints system and this unfortunately made for a landscape of horror, frustration, and not much hope for any sort of improvement for 2024.

Some Federal Government Departments did recognize the need to renumerate for services when it came to working with persons from the disabilities community.
Of note: The Canadian Air Transportation Agency (CATSA), Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Elections Canada, and the Leadership Debates Commission. Hats off to these departments.

Nothing new but there were also certain entities; especially universities and other institutes of learning that continued to expect the disability community to provide their knowledge, skills, experiences, and expertise for nothing and even had the boldness to ask for services at a bit of ridiculous deadlines. Universities of Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo, and McGill were just some of the offenders.

One particular incident stood out for me with 1 entity making a request saying that I could either submit my responses in written format or over the phone. Of course they never responded when I gently reminded them via email that like everyone else I too needed to be compensated for my time and expertise.

There were entities who also recognized the need to pay for services requested and these included Cathay Pacific.
There were others of course.

What I also learned is that there is a very rapidly increasing trend; one that is very unhealthy and unfortunate and it is this! Persons either do not read their emails or are not responding to them. Then when you leave a phone message they never respond.
Yes; I know that we are all very busy but we need to find a way to reverse this trend.
It is a bit laughable that when someone requests something they want it right away but when the shoe is on the other foot? It is a totally different matter.

Finally, I learned that there are still those so-called barriers both artificial and real that continued to exist. Some of them were a bit higher but others were a bit lower.
So let’s see what happens for 2024.

Just my two cents for today.

To learn more about me as an award winning sight loss coach and advocate visit www.donnajodhan.com


About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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