Skip to main content

Access Awareness Week

 On Monday May 31, I spoke in response to a Ministerial statement on Access Awareness Week. I spoke of a greater need for recognition of mental as well as physical disabilities and the need to assure access and accommodation for those with disabilities.  I also spoke of the need for better progress on the accessibility standards on information and communication, on transportation and on the built environment. 

Manitoba Access Awareness Week

Mr. Gerrard: Accessibility awareness week is an important week. It's a week dedicated to achieving greater understanding and support for children and adults with disabilities–or, as we often say, special abilities.

      We all need to be aware of the physical and men­tal or brain disabilities. Too often the mental or brain disabilities are hidden and not recognized and, as a result, not accommodated for. Such mental and brain disabilities include, as an example, learning dis­abilities.

      Learning disabilities, in part because they're less visible, are often inadequately recognized and in­adequately helped. We need to do much better to accommodate such learning disabilities as well as to recognize and accommodate physical disabilities.

      Under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, there are five accessibility standards. Two of these, the regulations have been passed–customer service and employment standards. But we are still waiting for progress on three of these standards: the infor­mation and communication standards, which address­es barriers to accessing one-way static information, as well as two-way interactive communication; the transportation standard, which applies to barriers for Manitobans that are encountered when getting to work or school, shopping, socializing or other aspects of daily life; and the design of public space standards–the built environment–deals with the accessibility to the design and construction that falls outside the jurisdiction of the Manitoba Building Code.

      We have objected right from the beginning to the  exclusion of addressing issues in the Manitoba Building Code, and this needs to be changed. But there have been major delays in the last three stan­dards, and there needs to be a lot of more progress and a lot more emphasis on achieving these.

      The excuse may be given that the pandemic has been upon us but, in fact, the pandemic has realized, for all of us, the deficiencies that we have in achieving these standards. And the pandemic should have been a time when more, not less, effort was dedicated to achieving these standards for those with disabilities.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

Standing up for Seniors

Yesterday in the Legislature I  asked the Minister of Health questions about the care of seniors in personal care homes in Manitoba.   I specfically called for the Minister to increase the training and staffing requirements for personal care homes in Manitoba to bring them up to date.   My questions, the Minister's comments and the Speaker's interjection are below:  Personal-Care-Home  Improvements - Need for Upgrades to Standards and Training Hon. Jon  Gerrard   (River Heights): Madam Speaker, we're very concerned this government is not adapting to the reality of caring for seniors who are living longer. Seniors living in our personal-care homes today have much more challenging health-care conditions than those who were in similar homes even five years ago, and yet the staffing formula, or minimal personnel requirement, is over 20 years old. Too few care aides and nurses are adequately trained to look after residents with dementia and multiple chronic health conditi

Karen Keppler 1953 - 2020

  Karen was an incredible person who helped so many people. She had a heart of gold. Back in 1994 to 1997 we worked closely together to help communities all over Manitoba get connected to the internet. In the years since she has done amazing things.   She has served as Chair of the Winnipeg Library Foundation and helped with raising money for the expansion of the Millenium Library.    She helped many people to get new opportunities through the Selkirk and District Learning Centre and through her activities at the University of Winnipeg and the Herzing College.   She was an entrepreneur who helped many people move forward and start successful businesses.  Karen was very concerned about her community.  In she was   the Manitoba Liberal Party candidate in Sekirk constituency.   When the COVID pandemic came, Karen was really helpful in an effort to get computers for kids in need so that they could learn at home. Even recently when I was working to understand lead pollution and lead effects