GATINEAUQC , May 29, 2022 /CNW/ – The Minister of Employment, Vocational Training and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtroughtoday released the following statement:

On May 29, Canada will launch our sixth National AccessAbility Week.

One in five Canadians has a disability. National AccessAbility Week is a time to celebrate the rich talent and contributions of people with disabilities in Canada. Now is the time to support the individuals, organizations and communities that are doing the work to break down barriers and make this country more inclusive.

The theme for 2022 is: Inclusive from the start. We want you to imagine a Canada where no one is left behind. Where the diversity of disabilities is sought out and celebrated, and where everyone’s needs are taken into account from the start. A Canada where we include people with disabilities from the start. It’s the Canada we deserve. It’s the Canada we create – for everyone.

And together, we’re getting there. In 2018, our country took a huge leap forward with the Accessible Canada Act. We are ensuring that the measures and rights set out in this act become a lived reality for Canadians. The first set of regulations made under the Act came into effect in 2021. This spring, we named Stephanie Cadieux as the first Director of Accessibility, and Michael Gottheil as the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s first Accessibility Commissioner.

There is so much more to do to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights, opportunities and quality of life as all other Canadians. Soon we will publish from Canada first ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan – a blueprint for change Canada more inclusive of people with disabilities. The action plan is based on four key pillars: financial security, employment, inclusive communities and a better process for assessing the eligibility of Canadians with disabilities for federal programs and benefits. Because when people with disabilities have the same opportunities to contribute to their communities, the same quality of service from their government, and enjoy the same quality of life as everyone else, our economy is stronger and our country is better. It’s the Canada we want.

And we don’t do any of this alone. In the spirit of nothing without us, everything we do is developed and implemented in close collaboration with the disability community. It is the relentless advocacy and grassroots work of this community that has made all this progress possible.

And that’s who this week is really about. Canadians who make this country more inclusive and those who make our country a richer and more vibrant place despite the obstacles they still face.

So this National AccessAbility Week, let’s celebrate our community and keep working to build a country where people with disabilities are not just accommodated, but included. We can do better. We can create a country that includes people with disabilities from the start. This is the Canada I want for all of us.

Happy National AccessAbility Week.

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada


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