Provincial funding will improve accessibility

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To mark B.C.’s first AccessAbility Week, the Government of British Columbia is announcing funding to support projects that will improve accessibility throughout the province.

“People with disabilities often face both physical and social barriers in their day-to-day life, and that needs to change,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The $500,000 we are announcing today is one way our government is supporting organizations to advance their work, reduce barriers and increase accessibility throughout the province.”

The funding will be distributed through a series of grants administered by Disability Alliance BC (DABC). A call for proposals will be issued later in the summer 2018, and the grants will be dispersed by the end of the year.

“There is a lot of great work happening throughout B.C. to enhance accessibility and inclusion,” said Sam Turcott, DABC’s advocacy access program director. “This funding recognizes these efforts, and will help organizations to move forward on projects and initiatives that will help people with disabilities participate more fully in their communities.”

The Province proclaimed May 27 to June 2, 2018, as B.C.’s first AccessAbility Week, to promote inclusion and accessibility, and to recognize the people and organizations who are working to make B.C. a more inclusive and welcoming province for people with disabilities.

Quick Facts:

  • More than 500,000 people in B.C. over the age of 15 years identify as having a disability.
  • For organizations interested in applying for funding, details on the call for proposals will be available on the Disability Alliance BC website in the coming weeks.

Learn More:

B.C. government accessibility initiatives: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

Disability Alliance BC: www.disabilityalliancebc.org

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Supporting greater inclusion for people with disabilities

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Two programs that help people with disabilities connect with services and supports in their communities will be expanding through new funding from the Province.

“We know how important it is for people with disabilities to be connected to the services and resources they need,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This funding will help these organizations reach more people, and create positive changes for people living with a disability and their families.”

British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), Canada’s first and only stand-alone organization serving Indigenous peoples with disabilities, is receiving $180,000 to expand its navigation supports for Indigenous peoples with disabilities.

“This new funding will assist the society to expand our urban disability case-management services, enabling us to reach more individuals and families in relation to addressing their disability related needs and priorities,” said Neil Belanger, executive director of BCANDS. “This includes housing, accessing disability and health-related services, employment, disability-related equipment and technology.”

Inclusion BC is receiving $270,000 to hire community inclusion advocates, to advocate for youth with developmental disabilities and their families.

“We all play a vital part in supporting and empowering people to live good lives in their communities,” said Faith Bodnar, executive director of Inclusion BC. “This funding will help us ensure Inclusion BC is working proactively, and that our support systems are empowered to respond to the needs and hopes of those we serve.”

As the first AccessAbility Week in B.C. is being celebrated May 27 through June 2, 2018, the provincial government is recognizing disability organizations, like BCANDS and Inclusion BC, and the individuals with disabilities and their families, who work to reduce barriers to give British Columbians of all abilities a better chance to succeed.

Quick Facts:

  • The provincial government provides more than $5 billion annually to fund services and supports for people with disabilities in B.C.
  • AccessAbility Week is an opportunity to celebrate the work being done to make British Columbia a fully accessible, inclusive province. It is a time to recognize the efforts of people, communities and workplaces that are actively removing barriers so that people of all abilities have a better chance to succeed.

Learn More:

BCANDS’ advocacy work includes a focus on the special cultural and practical considerations important and unique to Indigenous peoples with disabilities. To learn more: www.bcands.bc.ca 

Inclusion BC is a federation of families, individuals and over 70 member agencies. They provide services throughout the province, and the demand for their services continues to grow. To learn more about Inclusion BC: http://inclusionbc.org/

View the AccessAbility Week proclamation: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/AccessAbilityWk2018

See what government is doing to build a better B.C. for people with disabilities: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

For more information on support and services, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services

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Province celebrates Rick Hansen Day by investing in accessibility

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A new grant to the Rick Hansen Foundation will support its work to make communities more accessible and inclusive, announced Premier John Horgan.

“Rick Hansen has been blazing a trail in support of people with disabilities in B.C., across the nation and around the globe, for over 30 years,” said Premier Horgan. “We are recognizing his efforts with a $10-million grant that will help his foundation continue its work to make communities more accessible and inclusive.”

The announcement of the grant for the Rick Hansen Foundation was made together with a proclamation of May 28, 2018, as Rick Hansen Day, in honour and recognition of his contributions to the province and the country. The day also marks the beginning of B.C.’s first AccessAbility Week.

“Our government is committed to making this province better for people living with disabilities,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “That’s why we are kicking off B.C.’s first ever AccessAbility Week by committing to work together with organizations like the Rick Hansen Foundation, to bring down barriers and improve accessibility in every part of the province.”

The $10-million grant will help the Rick Hansen Foundation further its existing programs, and push forward with new innovations. 

“I am grateful to the Province for their continued support and recognition of the foundation, and their commitment to bringing about positive change in the lives of people with disabilities,” said Hansen. “Creating the barrier-free B.C., Canada, and the world that we want — and everyone deserves — is more than possible. Premier Horgan’s leadership is helping pave the path forward.”

Since 1988, the Rick Hansen Foundation has raised awareness, changed attitudes and removed barriers for people with disabilities, as well as funding spinal cord injury research and care.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province has proclaimed May 27 to June 2, 2018, AccessAbility Week in B.C., to promote inclusion and accessibility, and recognize the efforts of individuals and organizations that actively remove barriers for people with disabilities in their communities.
  • More than 500,000 British Columbians ages 15 and older, or 15% of the population, self-identify as having a disability.
  • The population of people with disabilities is growing rapidly. One in seven Canadian adults have a disability, and as the population continues to age, this number is expected to grow to one in five by 2036. 
  • The provincial government provides up to $5 billion annually to fund services and supports that support people with disabilities in B.C.

Learn More:

To learn more about accessibility in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

If you are living with a disability in B.C., there are programs and services available to you: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services

To learn more about the Rick Hansen Foundation, visit: www.rickhansen.com/ 

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Province declares AccessAbility Week in B.C.

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Social Development and Poverty Reduction

British Columbia News

Province declares AccessAbility Week in B.C.


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