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

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

BREAKING: Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Several homes in Zeballos are under an evacuation order as wildfires continue… Continue reading

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read