New accessibility legislation will set British Columbia on the path to a more accessible and inclusive province for people with disabilities and their support networks.
If passed, the accessible British Columbia act will allow government to establish accessibility standards aimed at identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and inclusion. Standards will be developed in a range of areas such as employment, the delivery of services and the built environment.
“We’re committed to improving the lives of people living with disabilities, and today’s introduction of the accessible British Columbia act marks an important step in building an accessible province that works for all of us,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “To be a truly inclusive province, we must integrate accessibility into all aspects of our lives. This legislation will support the development of new accessibility standards, which will help ensure all British Columbians can participate more fully in their communities.”
To view the News Release made by the BC Government about the proposed accessible British Columbia act, please click on the following link: More Information
In a separate release, the Province announced that it is providing NIDMAR a $6 million one-time grant to administer a RTW and DM education and program support project over the next four years.
The project includes three strategies to support BC employers to accommodate injured workers to return to work as well as increase the number of people with disabilities in the provincial workforce through:
• Disabilty management program assessments and improvements
• Educational development
Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility said, “Every worker has the right to return home safely from work. As someone who has endured a serious workplace injury myself, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to return to the workplace. This funding will help more people successfully transition back into the workforce.”
Wolfgang Zimmermann, Executive Director of NIDMAR said, “We very much appreciate the support of the Province to enable us to provide employers in BC with education, professional certification and implement a Return to Work/Disability Management program so they can assist workers who acquire a mental or physical health impairment to maintain attachment to their workforce. Over 80% of impairments occur during a person’s work life, and spending a year on disability support, less than 1% will work again. Workplace efforts in early intervention and return to work play a key role in successful socio-economic outcomes for the injured/disabled worker.”
Lance Blanco, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Development Hardwoods Distribution Inc. said, “This is a tremendous opportunity. Employers in collaboration with their employees, can effect meaningful change through personal leadership and by introducing organizational policies and practices that focus on retaining valuable workers they might otherwise lose to the onset of a mental or physical health impairment. Everyone benefits when we build a culture of accommodation that recognizes the important contributions we can all make.”
Sussanne Skidmore, Secretary Treasurer, BC Federation of Labour said, “We are encouraged by this practical investment that will help injured workers to return to work. While there is much work to do to improve accessibility and supports for injured workers, employers will now have access to training and skills development to ensure they properly support their workers.”
The Honourable Minister of Labour, Harry Bains said, “Ensuring that workers who become injured or disabled have the supports they need to be able to return to work is vital to a healthy and just workforce. This grant will go a long way to improve and expand BC’s disability management and return-to-work resources and provide workers and employers with more of the supports they need.”
For further details regarding this grant, please contact NIDMAR by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For BC residents interested to be notified of future certification grant opportunities please register at: email@example.com
To view the News Release made by the BC Government Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, please click on the following link: More Information