Readout: Disability Advisory Committee Meeting – June 20, 2023

The Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) co-chair Gillian Pranke began by inviting Elder Barb Brant to open the meeting in honour of the upcoming National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Elder Barb Brant of the Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation from Tyendinaga encouraged members to stay positive in light of stress, and highlighted her support of the committee and the importance of its collaborative spirit.

Ms. Pranke thanked Elder Barb Brant for her presence as it serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and honouring the culture of Indigenous peoples. She then welcomed Jeelan Syed, a Policy Advisor for the Honourable Minister of National Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier. Mr. Syed was in attendance as an observer.

Ms. Pranke took a moment to express her pleasure with the successful launch of the digital Disability Tax Credit (DTC) application on May 15, 2023 and how the new process is expected to significantly improve the service experience of DTC applicants. She also noted that feedback from a number of community organizations that were provided a demonstration of the new digital application had been quite positive. Co-chair Sharon McCarry then extended her heartfelt appreciation for the dedication of the committee members. She extended her sincere thanks to all members for their wisdom, passion and the positive impact that they have all made together.

Ms. Joerges spoke about the new fully digital DTC application process and how it is now faster and easier for applicants and medical practitioners to complete the application form, as it automatically populates information that the CRA has on file. Mr. Taschuk then presented a demo of the new fully digital DTC application process.

Mr. Joy provided a background of the existing DTC navigator role. He also described how the CRA is exploring ways to expand the navigators’ scope of practice, and the manner in which they interact with taxpayers.

Ms. Rodger provided an update on Indigenous Services, including engagement with the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society to understand their recommendations around streamlining the DTC application process. CRA also undertook the development of a data model that is being used to enhance understanding of the needs of Indigenous communities.

The CRA updates were followed by a progress update of the upcoming Fourth Annual DAC report by DAC member Ms. Zwicker. Ms. Zwicker noted that she and her team have consulted with design specialists about accessibility and acknowledged the great collaboration and support that she has received from DAC members. The annual report, which is developed based on analysis of information from previous meetings and reports, will include elements such as:

Ms. Pranke and Ms. McCarry closed the meeting by thanking all members again for taking the time out of their schedules to help improve the lives of so many Canadians. They expressed their pride in the progress and advancements made by the committee. They then asked Elder Barb Brant to close the meeting who did so, reiterating the value of the committee and reminding everyone of the importance of remembering those who came before them.

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