Sixteen accessibility projects throughout British Columbia are benefiting from $500,000 in provincial funding that focuses on promoting greater accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities.
The funding is being distributed through an accessibility project grant program administered by Disability Alliance BC (DABC). The 16 not-for-profit organizations will receive funding between $10,000 and $40,000, depending on the size and scope of the project.
“People with disabilities can face barriers that prevent them from fully participating in their communities and workplaces,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “What better way to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities than to embrace projects that support people with disabilities to overcome those barriers?”
On Aug. 15, 2018, DABC issued a call for proposals for community-based projects that promote greater accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities in B.C., and which focus on:
- employment and community connection
- emergency planning and response
- arts, culture and tourism
- sports and recreation
- education and learning
- community participation
Successful projects were reviewed and chosen by a committee of representatives from organizations throughout B.C. that work with people with disabilities. All of the 16 projects will be completed by February 2020.
“Our project will support people with disabilities in Prince George and adjacent communities to be better prepared in the event of natural disasters, such as fire or flood,” said Alison Hagreen, executive director for the Prince George Brain Injured Group Society. “Wildfires have hit the North very hard in the last several years and we are thrilled to be able to help promote the well-being and security of some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.”
The grants support government’s commitment to create a more inclusive B.C. and are included in the 2018 Accessibility Progress Update, which was released on Dec. 3, 2018. The update highlights accessibility initiatives and successes from around B.C. that are helping make B.C. a better place for people with disabilities to live, work and play.
“Each project has tangible short- and long-term outcomes, including creating and enhancing opportunities for employment, education, sports and recreation, cultural engagement and community participation,” said Sam Turcott, Disability Alliance BC’s executive director for programs and policy. “Our collective goal is to empower people with disabilities and I look forward to watching these projects unfold throughout the province.”
Since 1977, Disability Alliance BC has been a provincial voice in B.C. for people with disabilities, supporting people of all abilities to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in their community. The alliance champions issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities through direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.
- Dec. 3 is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities and raises awareness.
- The provincial government provides more than $5 billion annually to fund services and supports that support people with disabilities in B.C.
- The Province is committed to upholding and safeguarding the principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including full and effective participation and inclusion in society, and equality of opportunity.
To learn more about B.C.’s accessibility efforts, see: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility
For more information on Disability Alliance BC, and the work it does to help break down barriers for people with disabilities, visit: www.disabilityalliancebc.org
To read the 2018 Accessibility Progress Update, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/accessibility/report-library
A backgrounder follows.