NEADS Community Engagement event: National Standards for Guide Dogs and Dog Handlers in Canada

Do we need National Standards for Guide Dogs and Their Handlers in Canada?  Why should everyone in Canada care about standards and the Human Rights impact of people in the cross-disability community and influence the development of discriminatory laws.  

On May 12, 2021 at 4pm EST, Please Join Michelle Woolfrey (law student and guide dog handler) and Yvonne Peters (retired human rights lawyer and guide dog handler) to discuss the potential impact of national standards on the rights of guide dog handlers in Canada and how the Coalition intends to address this issue.

This is a joint event of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), the National Coalition of People who use Guide and Service Dogs (HOOH) and North and South of 60.

Michelle Woolfrey is a first-year law student at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, with a focus on human rights law, disability law and family law. She has over 15 years of work and lived experiences in the areas of disability, advocacy and community-based organizing. Along with being an ambassador for many organizations, sitting on executive boards and working to increase access for folks with disabilities in the arts industry, Michelle co-owns and operates her own disability consulting company called Blind Girl Inc.  Michelle is passionate about disability, accessibility, equity and inclusion and strives to use her lived experience to connect with other groups and create conversations about access and community care.  Upon completion of her law degree, Michelle hopes to work in family law helping families with disabilities navigate social systems like healthcare and/or education.

Yvonne Peters practiced human rights law in Winnipeg for over 30 years. During this time, she served as legal counsel and advisor on a number of equality test cases involving disability rights and women’s rights. Her work also included serving as a legislative consultant on the implementation of regulated midwifery in Manitoba and acting as project manager for the development of a free-standing birth centre in Winnipeg, the first of its kind in western Canada.

Yvonne has served on numerous boards and committees at the local, national and international level. Most notably, she was the Chairperson of the Manitoba Accessibility Advisory Council and the Chairperson of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Yvonne is no longer a practicing lawyer but continues her community work in the area of human rights. She is currently a member of the Court Challenges Program of Canada Expert Panel on Human Rights. She is also a member of the Inclusive Design Advisory Committee with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Yvonne is blind and travels with a guide dog. She knows how it feels to be discriminated against because of her blindness and because she travels with a guide dog. She is therefore a very active member of the National Coalition of Persons Who Use Guide and Service Dogs.

Register online to attend this NEADS Community Engagement event.