Reach - The Canadian Experience
Reach is a lawyer referral organization that helps people with all disabilities including people who are deaf, hard of hearing, people with physical disabilities, mental health issues, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, environmental sensitivities, AIDS and chronic pain. Reach lawyers practice in almost every area of law including, immigration, criminal, family, mental health, personal injury, landlord/tenant and business.
If we are unable to help by providing a lawyer to assist you with your issue, we will try to refer you to the appropriate agency. Reach does not advocate or lobby on behalf of individuals or issues.
Reach was formed in 1981 as a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to educating and informing persons with disabilities, lawyers, care givers and the general public about the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. We are also committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are provided with quality legal and social representation.
Each year, we receive thousands of calls from people with disabilities who contact Reach for help with such varied issues as: housing, employment, immigration, tax matters, abuse, and mental health issues.
What we do:
- Link people with disabilities to lawyers to help resolve legal issues. Our lawyers provide clients up to 3 hours as a free, pro bono initial consultation
- Refer callers to appropriate community resources
- Arrange educational workshops and Seminars on disability issues;host annual conferences (past themes include AIDS, Mental Health Issues of Living with a Disability, Death and the Question of Choice, Abuse, Employment Equity, and Chronic Pain)
- Develop working relationships with other community organizations (including ethno-racial and visible minority groups)
- Develop partnerships in the private, and public sectors
- Assist other communities to replicate the Reach model. For example, Nova Scotia has opened a centre called reachAbility in Halifax.