The government of Saskatchewan has announced it will be launching a comprehensive disability strategy for the province according to Saskatchewan’s Social Services Minister June Draude.
The stated goal for Saskatchewan’s provincial government is “a disability strategy to support our goal of making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for persons with disabilities, by supporting people with disabilities to fully participate in and contribute to the province’s growing economy.”
Saskatchewan now follows Ontario who was first in with the AODA and now Manitoba whose approach appears to be similar to the AODA process for Ontario.
Saskatchewan’s Ministry stated the following are their priority areas; accessibility, affordability and availability of accessible housing; accessible transportation; access to employment; education; enhanced support for community inclusion; and support for the caregivers of people with disabilities.
The approach the Ministry is taking is for Public Consultation to occur from April 2013 with a closing date of June 28th 2013. It is hoped that by engaging the public this will lead to a broader view about these key areas including people with disabilities, the general public, private and public business.
Members of the public, private businesses, associations, communities are invited & encouraged to submit nominations for the citizen consultation team. An application form for this is accessed by downloading the form from the Ministry of Social Services website at www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca.
Once the Nominations are complete the members of the Citizen Consultation Team will be appointed in the Fall of 2013 and include anywhere from 12 to 15 members of the team.
Optimal recommends private business ensure they have a seat at the table as well as people with both visible and invisible disabilities. This will ensure a more balanced approach to the consultation process, priorities and content for the disability strategy.
The current timelines for the release of the Disability Strategy is Fall 2014 which will be followed closely by further public consultation.
The accessibility team at OPC Inc will let the CFIB and BOMA know about this process as it is our opinion they should have a seat at the table to ensure there is a balance between the critical role people with disabilities should play in all aspects of society with the capital costs and other costs which can impact small businesses to the potential detriment of their viability.
To learn more contact us at AODA@OptimalPerformance.ca