Government is acting on its promise to make Nova Scotia a more accessible and inclusive place to live and work by creating the Minister’s Advisory Panel on Accessibility Legislation.
“Government made a commitment to create new legislation that will make the province more accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard.
“This panel brings together a diverse group with experience and expertise that will make sure our legislation delivers on that commitment and ensures all Nova Scotians have equal opportunity to reach their potential.”
Ms. Bernard today, June 24, announced the advisory panel will be co-chaired by Anne MacRae, executive director of the Disabled Persons Commission, and Joe Rudderham, executive director of Services for Persons with Disabilities, Community Services.
Other community members are: Steven Estey, Charlie MacDonald, Dr. Donald Shiner, Warren (Gus) Reed, Darlene Grant Fiander, Dennis Campbell and Cynthia Carroll.
Mr. MacDonald is an advocate who works to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
“It is my sincere hope that this work will lead to significant improvement in the lives of citizens with disabilities, but also make Nova Scotia a welcoming, inclusive and accessible society for all Nova Scotians and those who visit our beautiful province,” said Mr. MacDonald, who is blind.
“We must recognize that addressing the challenges facing persons with disabilities requires leadership and a commitment to work together across governments, non-profits and diverse business sectors.”
Areas of focus for the panel include access to information, labour market and employment opportunities, removing structural barriers, attitudes and public awareness, transportation, and housing.
A discussion paper will be developed to help public consultations and Ms. Bernard is expected to get a report in February.
The report will help develop accessibility legislation for the spring 2016 session.