Be heard in disability consultations

It’s your chance to tell the government what needs to be changed in your community to make life better for disabled people.

It’s your chance to tell the government what needs to be changed in your community to make life better for disabled people.

The provincial government is holding 21 community consultations to gather opinions in person and accepting written submissions online or by mail for its Disability White Paper, a document that will be made up of our opinions that will be the main part of a summit in June about issues facing people with disabilities in the province.

The community consultations began Jan. 20 in Courtenay with minister of social development and social innovation Don McRae posting his comments about it afterward online.

When the consultation comes to Terrace, Feb. 24, it will allow for people to have facilitated table discussions where everyone will have the opportunity to give their opinions in each of six areas and conclude with a full group summary discussion. Presentations by individuals will not take place due to time constraints.

The six different topics focus on specific concerns of people living with disabilities and how accessibility can be increased and barriers reduced.

People can log on to the website, http://engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper/, to give their opinions on one or more of the six topics, which are Innovation in disability services and more accessibility for persons living with disabilities; Personal Supports, aids and devices; Work and Contribution; Housing and Accessibility in the broader built environment; Social Networks to support people in community; and Asset Accumulation through the Registered Disability Savings Plan in particular.

People who want to make a comment online, by mail or by phone have until 4 p.m. March 11. The White Paper is expected to be released publicly in May.

The summit in June brings together leaders in the disabled community, businesses, government and communities to discuss, using the White Paper, actions and strategies to make B.C. a leader in reducing barriers and increasing accessibility for people living with disabilities here. For more, see the website mentioned above.

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