Vancouver Monday, December 3, 2018 10:45 AM

Sixteen accessibility projects throughout British Columbia are benefiting from $500,000 in provincial funding that focuses on promoting greater accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities.

The funding is being distributed through an accessibility project grant program administered by Disability Alliance BC (DABC). The 16 not-for-profit organizations will receive funding between $10,000 and $40,000, depending on the size and scope of the project.

“People with disabilities can face barriers that prevent them from fully participating in their communities and workplaces,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “What better way to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities than to embrace projects that support people with disabilities to overcome those barriers?”

On Aug. 15, 2018, DABC issued a call for proposals for community-based projects that promote greater accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities in B.C., and which focus on:

  • employment and community connection
  • emergency planning and response
  • arts, culture and tourism
  • sports and recreation
  • education and learning
  • community participation

Successful projects were reviewed and chosen by a committee of representatives from organizations throughout B.C. that work with people with disabilities. All of the 16 projects will be completed by February 2020.

“Our project will support people with disabilities in Prince George and adjacent communities to be better prepared in the event of natural disasters, such as fire or flood,” said Alison Hagreen, executive director for the Prince George Brain Injured Group Society. “Wildfires have hit the North very hard in the last several years and we are thrilled to be able to help promote the well-being and security of some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.”

The grants support government’s commitment to create a more inclusive B.C. and are included in the 2018 Accessibility Progress Update, which was released on Dec. 3, 2018. The update highlights accessibility initiatives and successes from around B.C. that are helping make B.C. a better place for people with disabilities to live, work and play.

“Each project has tangible short- and long-term outcomes, including creating and enhancing opportunities for employment, education, sports and recreation, cultural engagement and community participation,” said Sam Turcott, Disability Alliance BC’s executive director for programs and policy. “Our collective goal is to empower people with disabilities and I look forward to watching these projects unfold throughout the province.”

Since 1977, Disability Alliance BC has been a provincial voice in B.C. for people with disabilities, supporting people of all abilities to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in their community. The alliance champions issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities through direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.

Quick Facts:

  • Dec. 3 is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities and raises awareness.
  • The provincial government provides more than $5 billion annually to fund services and supports that support people with disabilities in B.C.
  • The Province is committed to upholding and safeguarding the principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including full and effective participation and inclusion in society, and equality of opportunity.

Learn More:

To learn more about B.C.’s accessibility efforts, see: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

For more information on Disability Alliance BC, and the work it does to help break down barriers for people with disabilities, visit: www.disabilityalliancebc.org

To read the 2018 Accessibility Progress Update, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/accessibility/report-library

A backgrounder follows

Successful accessibility projects

L’Arche Comox Valley — I Belong Centre Outreach Program

The I Belong Centre promotes arts, wellness and social-recreational activities for people with disabilities in the Comox Valley. This funding will help to continue this work for the people in the Comox Valley.

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion — Making Kudoz Accessible in New Regions

This project will expand Kudoz, a social learning platform for youth and adults with cognitive disabilities, to more communities in B.C.

Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House — MAKE IT

MAKE IT supports youth with addiction and mental-health issues to promote de-stigmatization and recovery.

Prince George Brain Injured Group — People with Brain Injury

The Preparing for Wildfire and Other Emergencies project will help people with brain injuries and other disabilities prepare for emergencies, such as wildfires and other natural disasters.

The Cridge Centre for Family — Food Service Skills Training and Employment

This project will provide employment and training opportunities in food services for people with disabilities, while helping them to contribute to their communities.

Victoria Disability Resource Centre — Disability Awareness Training Project

The Disability Awareness Training Project will create a curriculum and resources for employers to promote better understanding of the disability community and its unique needs in the workplace.

Blind Beginnings Society — Youth Speakers Bureau

The program promotes leadership and empowerment of blind or partially sighted youth by developing their public speaking and presentation skills.

PosAbilities Association of BC — Individualized Sexual Health and Healthy Relationships Training for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities

This project will promote accessible education and awareness training about sexuality and healthy relationships for people with cognitive disabilities and their supporters.

Aquafit for All Association — Aqua BLAST

Aqua BLAST will deliver an adapted aquafit program tailored to the needs of people recovering from a stroke.

PacificSport Vancouver Island — WheelKids

WheelKids supports kids with disabilities aged 5-12 to develop their abilities and confidence in sport.

BC Wheelchair Sports Association – Aboriginal Bridging the Gap Program

This project will help reduce barriers to sport for Indigenous persons with a disability.

viaSport British Columbia — #LevelTheField: Disability Inclusion in Sport & Recreation

This project will advance the development of software that promotes access to sports and recreation for people with disabilities.

Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired — Music Camp 2019

This project will provide music education for blind and deafblind children and youth in a camp setting.

Nanaimo Food Share Society — Everyone At the Table (EAT)

This project will help reduce isolation and increase access to healthy food and cooking skills for people with disabilities and other members of the community.

Richmond Centre for Disability — Accessible Parking in Accessible Communities

This project will use online tools to develop an inventory of accessible parking spaces and track instances of abuse of these spaces.

UVic School of Public Health and Social Policy — James at UVIC

This project will further the development of James, an autonomous mobile robot designed to support students with disabilities at the University of Victoria.

This on BC Govt Website go to Link Here

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