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.
Click here to watch a short video about how Reach impacts the community
Reach mobilizes a network of more than 160 lawyers, mediators and paralegals in the Ottawa region to assist people with disabilities in dealing with legal issues.
Issues which clients can receive assistance with include wills and power of attorney, insurance and pension claims, labor and employment relations, personal injury, criminal and civil litigation, immigration, human rights, business and family law.
Clients receive up to 3 hours of free, confidential, and personal legal services. Should additional time be required for the case, clients and lawyers will negotiate the terms of representation.
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.
Charitable Number: 10788 9297 RR0001