Children, Seniors and Social Development
December 4, 2017

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development:

International Day of Persons with Disabilities Envisions Sustainable and Resilient Society for All

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House to recognize yesterday, December 3, as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Twenty-five years have passed since the United Nations proclaimed this observance to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

As a government, we have accomplished much, including new government-wide policies for accessible communications and inclusive engagement practices, recent changes to the Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability, Buildings Accessibility Regulations and Designated Mobility Impaired Parking Regulations. Also, we are working with community and other partners in the design of an Individualized Supports Funding model, a commitment made in The Way Forward.

We are proud to partner with organizations like Empower, the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living to improve employment opportunities and inform and support our work. We are pleased to provide funding to individuals, taxi companies and community organizations to improve accessibility.

Mr. Speaker, we know there is much work to be done. Barriers still exist and discrimination is not a thing of the past. Our government recognizes inclusion is both a process and a goal, as the slogan ‘Nothing about us without us’ articulates well.

We know an inclusive planning and decision-making process is important to ensuring everyone can avail of programs, services and opportunities. Our government is committed to consulting and collaborating with the community of persons with disabilities to achieve, as this year’s theme envisions, a sustainable and resilient society for all.

Thank you.

2017 12 04                              1:55 p.m.