Children, Seniors and Social Development
January 15, 2019

Provincial Government Launches Accessibility Legislation Engagement Process

The Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities, today announced the launch of an engagement process to inform the development of new provincial accessibility legislation. The purpose of this legislation is to prevent and remove barriers faced by persons with disabilities.

In partnership with the Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government will be gathering information on the principles of accessibility, the barriers to accessibility, as well as solutions to these barriers, and how to ensure ongoing feedback regarding the legislation.

The engagement process will provide key stakeholders, such as members of the community of persons with disabilities, as well as any other group or individual interested with the opportunity to share their thoughts and perspectives on accessibility legislation for the province.

To ensure transparency, inclusion and accessibility, the engagement process will consist of a variety of methods so all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have the opportunity to participate. The process includes: engagement sessions being held in Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, St. John’s and Gander; a webinar being provided to the public, particularly targeted to those in rural and remote communities; and a discussion guide being posted on EngageNL.ca with alternate formats available from the Disability Policy Office. Further details regarding the engagement process, taking place until February 28, 2019, are provided in the backgrounder below.

This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Quotes
“Our government is committed to safe and sustainable communities, and a key component is ensuring inclusion and accessibility for all people. We are pleased to partner with the Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador to take the next steps in developing a made-in-Newfoundland and Labrador approach to new accessibility legislation. With the start of our engagement process, we will raise awareness about how inclusion and accessibility benefit everyone. We will also gather valuable input and advice which will inform the development of new accessibility legislation. I encourage all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to contribute and participate in this important process.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities

“The voices of persons with disabilities will be integral to informing this legislation. We have expertise to bring to these discussions. I am hopeful that, with the many platforms available for input, persons with disabilities, as well as their families, supporters and organizations who work with them, will provide their perspectives and opinions. Nothing about us, without us.”
Marie Ryan
Chair, Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

"The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to work directly with the Disability Policy Office and the Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities toward the development of accessibility legislation. The planned public engagement process will remove barriers to participation for individuals throughout the province and make it possible to authentically capture the concerns and ideas of our residents. Through this process people will have opportunity to be included like never before. It is an incredible time to be living in Newfoundland and Labrador."
Nancy Reid
Interim Executive Director, Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador

- 30 -

Media contacts
Gina MacArthur
Children, Seniors and Social Development
709-729-3768, 730-2977
GinaMacArthur@gov.nl.ca 

Marie Ryan
Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
709-725-0701
mryan@ggi.nf.ca 

Nancy Reid
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador
709-722-7011
ed@codnl.ca 

BACKGROUNDER

Engagement Process for Accessibility Legislation

In order to gain insight from stakeholders and the public to inform the development of new accessibility legislation, input will be gathered through the following means:

Engagement Sessions

Thursday, January 24 Civic Centre Corner Brook
Tuesday, January 29 Hotel North 2 Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Tuesday, February 5 Holiday Inn St. John’s
Thursday, February 7 Quality Inn and Suites Gander

Webinar

To ensure all individuals interested in providing input on the accessibility legislation during the engagement process, in particular individuals from rural and remote communities, a webinar will be held on Wednesday, January 30.

Discussion Guide

In addition to the engagement sessions and webinar, input can be provided to the Disability Policy Office of the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development by email, phone, fax, or by written or video submission (video relay calls welcome). Please send your feedback by February 28, 2019.

Contact Information

To register for an engagement session or webinar, and obtain a copy of the discussion guide and/or provide a submission:

Email: disabilitypolicy@gov.nl.ca

Telephone: 1-888-729-6279 (toll-free) / 709-729-6279 (direct)

Text: 709-725-4463

Fax: 709-729-6237

Mail:

Disability Policy Office
Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6

Visit: www.engagenl.ca external link icon

2019 01 15                              10:15 a.m.