Minister McRae reaching out for feedback about disabled people

Don McRae says he wants to make B.C. the most progressive province for persons with disabilities in Canada.

Don McRae says he wants to make B.C. the most progressive province for persons with disabilities in Canada.

The Social Development and Social Innovation Minister and Comox Valley MLA says his ministry will start working toward that goal by first finding out what issues British Columbians say persons with disabilities face in the province.

“We’re actually going to go out and have consultation with the public — the persons with disabilities community, their families, advocacy organizations, employers, general society — and see what they believe we can do to become the most progressive jurisdiction,” says McRae, adding community input with be used to create a Disability White Paper.

Consultation was launched Dec. 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and there are plenty of ways to provide input until the deadline March 11.

Nineteen in-person community meetings around the province are scheduled in the early New Year, with the first set for Jan. 20 in Courtenay. Details of the place and time will be released closer to the date.

Alternately, comments can be made by mail, (Disability White Paper, PO Box 9936, Stn Prov Gov, Victoria B.C., V8W 9R2), e-mail (disabilitywhitepaper@gov.bc.ca), phone (1-800-661-8773), Twitter (#disabilitybc), online at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper, or by hosting a discussion using a toolkit located on the website.

There are six topic areas listed for the consultation:

• 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;

• Asset accumulation through the Registered Disability Savings Plan in particular.

The Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) serves more than 800 Comox Valley children with disabilities and their families each year. Association executive director Lorraine Aitken says consulting directly with persons with disabilities is “critically important” to improving supports and reducing barriers.

“But the biggest challenge is getting from talk to action,” she continues. “Provincial groups such as the BC Association for Child Development and Intervention (BCACDI) and Inclusion BC keep government well informed about gaps in services and funding, wait list numbers and wait times, and regularly provide concrete suggestions for reducing barriers and improving supports.

“But at the same time, we are all experiencing the ‘do more with less’ reality. Not-for-profit agencies like the Child Development Association are as lean as we can be, while we see first-hand the stress and challenges for families and individuals that are waitlisted for critical supports and services.”

The Disability White Paper will be released in May, and a provincial summit in June will bring disability, business, government and community representatives together to develop strategies and actions.

“We’re trying to make the roadmap or the framework for the action of this ministry and this government for years to come,” adds McRae.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Y2K Spitfire comes home

Stocky Edwards guest of honour at banquet

Crown Isle acquires Longlands Golf Course

The Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community just got a little bit… Continue reading

Heliports certified at Comox Valley, Campbell River hospitals

Both sites should see heliports up and running by late summer

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Three small wildfires burning west of Courtenay

The blazes are the result of a brief thunderstorm last night

VIDEO: Trades jobs the way of the future on Vancouver Island?

Hundreds of people attend Black Press Career Fair in Nanaimo

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

A day to remember: Glacier View Secondary holds 2018 graduation ceremony

Glacier View Secondary School held its 2018 graduation ceremony on Thursday, June… Continue reading

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Most Read