Reach Canada is a legal referral organization that helps persons with all disabilities and is dedicated to providing education and information on matters pertaining to disabilities. Issues such as access to justice, disability rights, and accommodations are priority matters for Reach.
From the Reach Canada website:
Reach does the following:
- links persons with disabilities to legal professionals to help resolve legal issues
- connects with lawyers who provide clients up to 3 hours as a free, pro bono consultation
- arranges educational workshops and seminars on disability issues; along with hosting educational conferences
- provides Advanced Seminar Series on various topics to both the public and private sectors
- develops working relationships with other community organizations
- develops partnerships in the public and private sectors
To offer educational programs and independent lawyer referral services that address the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, fostering access to justice in the community.
Reach was conceived in response to the United Nations designation of 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. During our existence, the growth and development of our organization has reflected the progress made in society with respect to both attitudes and the integration and accommodation of persons who have a disability.
Reach was incorporated on February 17th, 1981. Since then, approximately 160 lawyers and 100 plus other volunteers have annually given their time and expertise to the attainment of Reach’s objectives. Reach has matured from a steering committee of volunteers to an organization with a dedicated professional staff of two. A volunteer committee was formed followed by the establishment of a Board of Directors composed of members of the legal and educational communities as well as members of the public sector and corporate/business communities.
Reach began by taking on a case for an individual who became inspirational for the creation of Reach – Rod Carpenter. Through determined effort, a bank account was arranged for Rod, which permitted him to use his thumbprint as a signature. Today persons with all types of disabilities call upon Reach on a regular basis. From the beginning, Reach benefited from the unprecedented commitment and involvement of local lawyers. In addition to regularly assisting clients in legal matters relating to their disability, Reach lawyers also volunteer their services on various committees, education programs, speaking at our Advanced Seminar Series and to other disability related organizations.
2016 marked Reach’s 35th anniversary. In that time, Reach has grown from a small community organization to a regional force providing conferences and seminars pertaining to disability rights.
To learn more about Reach Canada, please click here.