B.C. talks about issues facing people with disabilities

Cranbrook residents are being invited to take part in a province-wide consultation on issues facing people with disabilities.

  • Jan. 8, 2014 7:00 a.m.

Townsman Staff

Cranbrook residents are being invited to take part in a province-wide consultation on issues facing people with disabilities.

There is an online discussion going on right now at www.engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper/.

There were also be an in-person consultation session in Cranbrook on Feb. 18. Anyone interested can register on the website.

“It is really important to get the perspective of all people with disabilities, as well as their family, friends and communities,” said Carla Qualtrough, human rights lawyer, two-time Paralympian and chair of the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility. “We want to hear from everyone who has something to contribute to enrich the discussion and enrich the outcome.”

The consultation is led by a leadership team representing the disability and business communities working alongside government. Two advisory groups, the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility, and the Presidents Group, are in place to help drive the conversation.

“We will be working with the business community to dispel some of the myths that may be holding businesses back from hiring people with disabilities,” said Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancity and co-chair of the Presidents Group. “At the same time, we’ll be encouraging workplaces to understand the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.”

Feedback from the consultation will inform the development of a white paper, a document that will reflect public feedback and ideas.

The paper will be shared at a provincial summit in June 2014 that will bring together a diverse group of leaders to develop strategies and actions for addressing the issues facing people with disabilities in British Columbia.