May 28 to June 3, 2018 marked AccessAbility week in British Columbia, celebrating and highlighting the importance of inclusion, acceptance and accessibility for those with disabilities in British Columbia. The week was about raising awareness around accessibility and showcasing the great work that is being done to promote diversity and create accessible communities for all people with varied abilities. “AccessAbility Week is a time to recognize the people, communities and organizations that are actively increasing opportunities and removing barriers, so people of all abilities have a better chance to succeed,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
Some examples of initiatives happening now that promote accessibility in our communities:
- Consultation on Accessibility – the consultation that is happening to help to develop accessibility legislation in Canada
- Social Development Projects for People with Disabilities – funding that supports projects intended to improve the participation and integration of people with disabilities
- Opportunities Fund – funding that supports projects that help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment
- Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit – Taxable benefit Canadians may be eligible to apply for if they are unable to work because of a disability
In doing a bit of research around this initiative, it was incredible to note all of the steps forward we, in British Columbia, have taken to promote accessibility in recent years. It is exciting to see initiatives such as accessible trail systems, accessible tourism, adaptations by employers, accommodations in public areas, etc. It can’t help but make one optimistic for the future for the approximate 15% of Canadians who live with disabilities. For more information around career or work search assistance for those with disabilities, please contact your local Workbc