Nova Scotians are invited to participate in public consultations beginning Nov. 13 that will help develop the province’s first accessibility legislation.
“Accessibility legislation is an important step toward creating a barrier-free Nova Scotia,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. “I encourage everyone to read the discussion paper and participate in the public consultations.”
A discussion paper is available in several accessible formats, at novascotia.ca/coms/accessibility/ . Braille copies are available by request, and submissions can be made through ASL vlogs, or the Disabled Persons Commission TTY service at 1-902-424-2667.
The Minister’s Advisory Panel on Accessibility Legislation will conduct 11 community consultations in 10 locations around the province from Nov. 13 to Dec. 5. The complete list is available on the website.
CART Service and Sign Language Interpretation will be provided at the sessions.
“One of the reasons these consultations are so exciting is that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities clearly states ‘nothing about us, without us,'” said Anne MacRae, executive director of the Disabled Persons Commission.
Close to one in five Nova Scotians describes themselves as having some sort of limitation.
“In my own experiences as Speaker, changes to accessibility at the Legislature have allowed me to effectively do my job,” said Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kevin Murphy. “Nova Scotians with disabilities deserve no less. They want to participate in work and education, family and community life, and to be a vibrant part of this great province that we all call home.”
Nova Scotians can also provide comments about the accessibility legislation discussion paper through an online survey. For more information, to register to make a presentation at a public session, or submit a presentation before a session, contact Kerry Deagle by phone at 902-424-3827, or e-mail, Kerry.Deagle@novascotia.ca .
The feedback received will be the basis of the panel’s report to the minister.
The accessibility legislation is expected to be introduced in spring 2016.