Archive for category In the News

HOH individuals being unjustly denied the Disability Tax Credit

Check out CHHA National website for more information (click here) on the facts of Disability Tax Credit and the unfairness it brings to those who are hard of hearing. Also check out MP Peter Julian’s Bill to Canada’s Parliament (http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/Bill_C-577).

See the Press Conference on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/PeterJulianMP?feature=mhum#p/a/u/1/WtIG7O7ys3w -Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/user/PeterJulianMP?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/WbyNIzT6KSA
– Part 2

You can help by voicing your opinions and show support to Bill C 577 by writing to your MP and to the Media!!

 
From the CHHA National website (see the link here), the following was posted as a press release …

Ottawa, October 5, 2010 – The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA), a national organization representing millions of Canadians who live with hearing loss, urges the Government of Canada to amend the words contained in the eligibility criteria under the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) as it applies to individuals who are hard of hearing. The present criteria, particularly the words “quiet setting”, have caused a great deal of uncertainty amongst physicians, audiologists and other qualified authorizers of the Disability Tax Credit Certificate. This uncertainty has led to many hard of hearing individuals being unjustly denied the Disability Tax Credit, and brought to the forefront its discriminatory nature.

The only direction on what a “quiet setting” might mean comes from case law. Barber v. The Queen (2001 CanLii 863), which is the only case where the court sets out the purposes of the Income Tax Act in relation to Disability Tax Credit, acknowledges that the question of the definition of “quiet setting” is squarely before it, and proceeds to give a definition [see paras. 52-55]. It is the law from Barber upon which we have based our recommendations.

In response to complaints about the uncertainty of the present criteria, the CHHA National Working Group on the Disability Tax Credit has developed a proposal to revise the criteria in an effort to give effect to the purpose of the Disability Tax Credit. In developing our position on this issue, we have consulted with our members across the country as well as key organizations such as the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) which represents some 5,500 speech-language, and audiology professionals, the Canadian Academy of Audiology (CAA), and VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children which represents the interests of hearing impaired children in Canada.

CHHA thanks Peter Julian, NDP-Burnaby-West for tabling Bill C-577 (An Act to amend the Income tax Act (hearing impairment)) to correct this discrimination.

Further information is available from our website at www.chha.ca/chha/dtc.php.

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is the voice of hard of hearing Canadians, providing educational programs and advocating self-help. Its aim is full hearing accessibility in Canadian society. It is there to… Help to Hear Those Who Love to Listen.

For more information, contact Michael Currie, Chair, National Working Group on the Disability Tax Credit, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, at currie.ab@gmail.com or 1-604-626-5971.

Anchor Court Reporting Program in Alberta in Limbo

From Summer 2010 Edition of “The Loop” page 7

In the first week of April, the administration of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) proposed suspending 13 programs, which included the court reporting and captioning program (see Edmonton’s Journal article by clicking here). Some members at this meeting felt they did not have enough information to make an informed decision, so the vote on this motion was postponed until Friday, April 16, 2010.

News of the possible closure of the only publicly funded court reporting/captioning school in Canada spread quickly. During the week of April 12-16, 2010, the Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association (ASRA) initiated a letter-writing campaign in support of the court reporting program. More than 400 letters were received in support of the program from lawyers, judges, CART and captioning consumers, members of the hard of hearing and Deaf communities, court reporters, NAIT program alumni, firm owners, staff from disability offices, other provincial professional court reporting associations, and representatives of the National Court Reporters Association, to name a few.

On Friday, April 16, a peaceful support rally was organized by ASRA (Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association) and CHHA (Canadian Hard of Hearing Association) outside the NAIT Governors Boardroom, where the vote at the NAIT Administration Meeting was taking place on whether NAIT would suspend the 13 programs. This vote was turned down at that time, and the group decided to evaluate each program to be cut over the next six months on its own merits.

The court reporting and captioning program will continue in September, and the current first-year students will continue into a second year. Currently, the program has a full quota and a waiting list of prospective students registered to begin their first year in the program starting in September.

As a result of NAIT?s restructuring, the program will have a new chair.

The NAIT Advisory Board Meeting originally scheduled for Friday, May 28, was postponed until the fall. As a result of this, ASRA scheduled a meeting of concerned program stakeholders for Friday, May 28, at an off-NAIT location. Members shared information, made recommendations, and planned further actions. ASRA is awaiting further information before deciding its next course of action. ASRA has offered to assist NAIT in any way to help in the restructuring transition, in program changes, and improvements for future success of the program.

HOW YOU CAN HELP – Write a letter to your local Member of Parliament asking them to keep the CART program of instruction in Canada (NAIT).