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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
November 27, 2009

Minister Announces Appointments to the Provincial Advisory Council
for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, today announced appointments to the newly established Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.

"As minister responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities, I am excited to lead groundbreaking initiatives like the establishment of a Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities," said Minister Sullivan. "The first council is comprised of 17 members with cross-disability representation from all regions of the province. Members of the council have demonstrated leadership in the advancement of people with disabilities and will be instrumental in achieving inclusion in all aspects of society in the province."

The following individuals have been appointed to the council: Len Baker, Carmel Casey, Elizabeth Chaulk, Delia Connell, Sheryl (Sherry) Gamin-Walsh, Dennis Gill, Lynn Green, Oswald Gould, Joan Karmazyn, Joanne MacDonald, Raymond McIssac, Leon Mills, Ian Murley, Myles Murphy, Karen Ann Parsons, Susan Ralph, and Karen Westcott.

Joanne MacDonald has been named chair of the new Provincial Advisory Council. Ms. MacDonald is a member of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and an officer of the Order of Canada. She has established national and world records in wheelchair sports and has over 25 years experience as a community activist promoting equality for people with disabilities.

"I am delighted to accept the appointment as chair of the Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities,” said Ms. MacDonald. “I look forward to working with council members from across the province, and collectively providing advice on how our province can become truly inclusive. By working together, this council, the minister responsible, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and its public service, has the capacity and opportunity to make a real difference for people who have disabilities and our communities."

The Provincial Advisory Council will advise and inform the minister responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities on important matters relating to persons with disabilities. The council will also advise the Provincial Government as it develops policies, programs, strategies and recommendations to advance the inclusion of persons with disabilities. In addition, the council will work in consultation with persons with disabilities, their advocates, educational institutions, employers and all levels of government. The first meeting of the council will take place early in the new year.

“The community is really pleased to see this initiative move forward,” said Susan Ralph, chair of the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities. “It is a truly important initiative and we look forward to working with the new council.”

“Having access to a variety of perspectives from the community of persons with disabilities is essential as we develop comprehensive strategies to address barriers and achieve inclusion throughout government programs, policies and initiatives," noted Minister Sullivan. "I strongly believe this new Provincial Advisory Council will affect positive change and build a stronger relationship between the Provincial Government and citizens with disabilities."

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Media contacts:

Jennifer Collingwood
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 690-2498
jennifercollingwood@gov.nl.ca 
 
Joanne MacDonald
Chair, Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
709-576-0303
jmacdonald@nl.rogers.com 
 
Susan Ralph
Chair
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities
709-683-0257
 

BACKGROUNDER
Appointments to the Provincial Advisory Council for
the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

The Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is comprised of 17 community leaders from across the province. The council is cross-disability. Appointments include Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have disabilities, including mobility, sensory (vision, hearing), intellectual, mental health and people with multiple disabilities. It also includes family members and others who have expertise in the area of inclusion.

The council's membership reflects a balance of women and men who live in rural and urban locations throughout the province.

Joanne MacDonald, Chair
Joanne MacDonald is a member of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and an officer of the Order of Canada. She has established national and world records in wheelchair sports and has over 25 years experience as a community activist promoting equality for people with disabilities.

Len Baker
Len Baker is the executive director of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with 18 years experience in the vision loss field. He is chair of the Provincial Vision Health and Rehabilitation Committees, current member of the Buildings Accessibility Advisory Board and past member of the College of the North Atlantic Advisory Committee.

Carmel Casey
Carmel Casey is a family doctor and is active with Special Olympics and the Victorian Order of Nurses Broadening Horizons program.

Elizabeth Chaulk
Elizabeth Chaulk is the associate vice-president and responsible for Disability Services of the College of the North Atlantic. She is also past chair and current member of both the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Economic Development Association and Red Ochre Regional Economic Development Board, a well as a member of the provincial Conservation Corps Board.

Delia Connell
Delia Connell is a social worker and is active with the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Community Living. She is vice-president of Children’s and Community Services with Labrador Grenfell Health and has worked with a variety of community groups with close to 30 years experience working with individuals with disabilities.

Sheryl (Sherry) Gamin-Walsh
Sherry Gamin-Walsh is a registered nurse and member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living. She is also a board member of both provincial and national autism societies, and other local community boards.

Dennis Gill
Dennis Gill is a retired high school administrator and is active with numerous community initiatives.

Lynn Green
Lynn Green is chair of the Learning Disabilities Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, national chair of the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, a board member of the Community Services Council, and is on the College of the North Atlantic Advisory Committee.

Oswald Gould
Oswald Gould is a retired special needs teacher and is active with the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Community Living.

Joan Karmazyn
Joan Karmazyn has 35 years experience working in the mental health field and is active with provincial and national organizations for mental health as a consumer advocate.

Raymond McIsaac
Raymond McIsaac is past chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living and is active with numerous local, provincial and national initiatives for inclusion.

Leon Mills
Leon Mills has worked in the hard of hearing sector for 15 years. He is the executive director of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Newfoundland and Labrador, co-chair of Marine Atlantic’s Accessibility Committee, chair of the College of North Atlantic Disability Services Committee and co-chair of the Appeals Board for Accessibility.

Ian Murley
Ian Murley is a recent business graduate and is vice-president internal (Newfoundland and Labrador representative) with the National Educational Associations of Disabled Students.

Myles Murphy
Myles Murphy is active with local provincial and national associations for the deaf as well as the Independent Living Resource Centre, Coalition of Persons with Disabilities-Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Mayor’s Advisory Committee.

Karen Ann Parsons
Karen Ann Parsons is executive director of the Consumers’ Health Awareness Network Newfoundland and Labrador and is active with advisory committees for both Western and Eastern Health Boards, as well as other community boards focusing on mental health.

Susan Ralph
Susan Ralph has 16 years experience in the disability community and is the current chairperson of the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities-Newfoundland and Labrador, a member at large on the executive committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and past chair of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Karen Westcott
Karen Westcott is active with local, provincial and national organizations including the Independent Living Resource Centre, People First, Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living, and Coalition of Persons with Disabilities-Newfoundland and Labrador.

2009 11 27                                                 9:15 a.m.
 


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