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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
June 1, 2009

Provincial Disability Policy Office Officially Opened

The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, officially opened the new Disability Policy Office today as part of the Williams Government�s ongoing commitment to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.

"As Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities, it is a great pleasure to launch this landmark initiative aimed at strengthening the Provincial Government�s relationship with the community of persons with disabilities," said Minister Sullivan. "Establishing this office will help ensure that we promote a fully inclusive society in Newfoundland and Labrador, and I look forward to seeing the positive developments that the Office will initiate in the coming months and years."

The Disability Policy Office was created to serve as the focal point for Provincial Government departments and agencies in developing policies and programs that include people with disabilities and that are barrier-free. It will work across government, strengthening partnerships with community agencies, business and the public sector so that all stakeholders can build a fully inclusive society together.

Leaders within the community of persons with disabilities offered valuable input to the Provincial Government during the process of establishing the office. Many were on hand at today�s event at the Fluvarium in St. John�s, including Susan Ralph, Chairperson of the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities (COD).

"The community of persons with disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador is diverse, and so are the needs of the individuals within the community," said Ms. Ralph. "In order to ensure these individuals� needs are met, it is important for them to have access to key decision makers, and this office will provide that access. I congratulate the Provincial Government for taking this step towards greater inclusion, and look forward to working with the director of the new office, Mary Reid, to improve access to education, employment and social opportunities."

For more information about the Disability Policy Office, visit //  , e-mail or call 709-729-6208.

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Media contacts:

Jennifer Collingwood
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 690-2498
Susan Ralph
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities
TTY: 709-722-7998

2009 06 01                                                   11:20 a.m.

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