Burnaby Monday, September 16, 2019 11:30 AM
The Government of B.C. is asking British Columbians to help define future legislation that will make B.C. a more accessible and inclusive province.
“Integrating accessibility into every area of life is central to creating livable communities including workplaces, buildings, neighbourhoods and businesses,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “I look forward to this consultation, which will guide our efforts to develop legislation that will make a difference for British Columbians living with a disability.”
British Columbians will have several ways to engage in the consultation process. They are invited to read the Accessibility Framework document, fill out an online questionnaire, file a written submission and attend a meeting.
Community groups, libraries and other organizations can apply for $2,000 to host open discussion sessions in their communities and provide feedback.
The opportunity to provide feedback opened the morning of Monday, Sept. 16, and will remain open until Nov. 29, 2019, at 4 p.m. (Pacific time). Feedback will be used to help develop legislation.
This legislation will help to create a barrier-free B.C. It will promote inclusion and accessibility by addressing barriers (including physical, technological and attitudinal barriers) within areas of provincial jurisdiction that prevent the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in B.C. communities. Areas could include service delivery, employment, buildings and public spaces, information technology and transportation.
The Government of B.C. is committed to accessibility legislation to be developed along the principle of “nothing about us, without us.” It will support the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its option protocol, which calls for greater accessibility and opportunities for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others. This includes the values of inherent dignity, individual autonomy, non-discrimination, respect for difference, gender equality and respect for the rights of children with disabilities.
Val Litwin, president, BC Chamber of Commerce –
“Now is the time for a deeper accessibility conversation in British Columbia. It’s important ‘human homework’ for us as a civil society, but there is a huge economic opportunity here when it comes to workforce inclusion and supercharging economies – and communities – of the future.”
Yat Li, communications and marketing manager, Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility –
“I’m thrilled about this opportunity for B.C. residents with disabilities to play an active role in establishing the accessibility standards of our local communities. Together, we can create diverse opportunities for employment, greater independence, and stronger community engagement for people with disabilities.”
Kya Bezanson, Inclusion BC Board of Directors, self-advocate –
“This change will open the door to many opportunities. And not just for me, for every person living with disability in our province.”
- There are more than 926,000 British Columbians over the age of 15 with some form of disability. This represents almost 25% of the population.
- As the population ages, the number of people with disabilities and the severity of their disabilities are likely to increase.
Read the framework, fill out an online questionnaire or learn about other ways to participate:
For a simplified Chinese translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NR_Accessibility_Legislation_Consultation_Launch_16SEPT19_FINAL_SC.pdf
For a traditional Chinese translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NR_Accessibility_Legislation_Consultation_Launch_16SEPT19_FINAL_TC.pdf
For a Farsi translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NR_Accessibility_Legislation_Consultation_Launch_16SEPT19_FINAL_FA.pdf
For a Punjabi translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NR_Accessibility_Legislation_Consultation_Launch_16SEPT19_FINAL_PUN.pdf
For a Tagalog translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NR_Accessibility_Legislation_Consultation_Launch_16SEPT19_FINAL_TAG.pdf
This on BC Govt Website go to the link here