Accessibility Legislation

 

Introduction

Strong and effective public policy relies on the perspectives and knowledge of people with lived experience. Engaging persons with disabilities and persons speaking on their behalf in decision-making processes is vital and supports the philosophy of Nothing About Us, Without Us, which is the motto of the international community of persons with disabilities. It is essential for government to involve persons with disabilities in the decisions that affect them.

Purpose

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to working with advocacy groups and community stakeholders to create new accessibility legislation. The purpose of this legislation is to prevent and remove barriers faced by persons with disabilities.

A barrier is anything that gets in the way of people with disabilities participating in day-to-day activities or taking part in opportunities that are available to the public. It is anything that, in interaction with an individual's disability, may hinder an individual participating in society on an equal basis.

Accessibility legislation enables government to work with stakeholders to develop standards that will help prevent and remove barriers faced by persons with disabilities. The development of standards will be achieved through an open and transparent process that involves consultation and collaboration with persons with disabilities, organizations, advocacy groups, the general public and government departments and agencies.

Diversity and inclusion are about recognizing the inherent value and individuality of every human being. The ability of individuals to exercise and claim the full rights and responsibilities in society is key to full inclusion. When true citizenship exists, all individuals can participate fully and effectively in society.

The development of new legislation supports the vision and guiding principles of the province's recently completed Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, both of which can be found at www.cssd.gov.nl.ca or click here to view the Inclusion Strategy and click here to view the Action Plan. Principles of accessibility will provide the foundation to guide and inform the new legislation to prevent and remove barriers.

The Disability Policy Office has partnered with the Public Engagement Division, as well as the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities (the coalition) and the Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (the advisory council) to conduct public engagement process.

The coalition is a key community stakeholder and partner in the advancement of inclusion. The coalition, a charitable, non-profit organization established by persons with disabilities, chairs the Provincial Network of Disability Organizations - a cross-provincial, cross-disability group of 19 organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The advisory council is made up of individuals from various areas of the province who have disability-related experiences and knowledge, and who advises the Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities on disability-related issues.

This engagement process provides an opportunity for individuals, community groups, and businesses to inform the development of accessibility legislation through a series of engagement sessions being held throughout the province.

Four other provinces currently have accessibility legislation:

The Government of Canada is also working on Bill C-81 An Act to Ensure a Barrier - Free Canada (Accessible Canada Act). This Bill is now in the Senate. 

Click here to view the newly proposed federal accessibility legislation The Accessible Canada Act.

Get Involved

In addition to public engagement sessions, input can be provided to the Disability Policy Office of the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development by emailing, calling, faxing, or by written or video submission (video relay calls welcome).  Please send your feedback by February 28, 2019.

Email:             disabilitypolicy@gov.nl.ca

Telephone:     1-888-729-6279 (toll free)
                        709-729-6279 (direct)
                            

Text:                709-725-4463

Fax:                 709-729-6237

Mail:                Disability Policy Office
                        Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development
                        P.O. Box 8700

                        St. John's, NL  A1B 4J6

Thank you in advance for your participation.

In-person Sessions:

Date:                            Location:                               Venue:                             Time:

January 24, 2019         Corner Brook                          Civic Centre                     7:00-9:00 p.m.

January 29, 2019         Happy Valley-Goose Bay       Hotel North 2                    7:00-9:00 p.m.

January 30, 2019         Webinar                                                                           7:00-9:00 p.m.       

February 5, 2019         St. John's                                Holiday Inn                       7:00-9:00 p.m.

February 7, 2019         Gander                                    Quality Inn and Suites     7:00-9:00 p.m.

To reserve a seat at any of the in-person sessions or webinar:

Email:             disabilitypolicy@gov.nl.ca

Telephone:     1-888-729-6279 (toll free)
                        709-729-6279 (direct)
 
Text:                 709-725-4463
 

Disability-related accommodations will be provided to participate at all sessions. All venues are accessible. If you require something outside of ASL interpretation, real-time captioning or assistive audio technology, please contact the Disability Policy Office.

If fewer than five participants are registered for a session or in the event of adverse weather, we may reschedule the session or make alternate arrangements for engagement.

Online Discussion Guide:

This discussion guide will be available until February 28, 2019.

If you have any questions related to this Discussion Guide or require an alternate format, please contact the Disability Policy Office at disabilitypolicy@gov.nl.ca or call (709) 729-6279 or the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities at info@codnl.ca or call (709) 722-7011.

Click the link(s) below to view the discussion guide in word or pdf:

Discussion Guide Word

Discussion Guide PDF

Written Submissions:

If you prefer to participate with a written contribution, you can download or view the discussion guide by clicking here and either fill out a copy of the guide or prepare a letter/submission responding to the questions.

The deadline for written submissions is February 28, 2019.

Written submissions can be sent by:

Email:             disabilitypolicy@gov.nl.ca

Fax:                 709-729-6237
 
Text:                709-725-4463
 
Mail:                Disability Policy Office
                        Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development
                        P.O. Box 8700

                        St. John's, NL  A1B 4J6

How will your input be used?

The information we receive will be reviewed by the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development. All feedback will be considered when drafting the legislation.

Privacy Statement

Please do not include your name or any information that could identify you unless you wish to be identified. The collection of information is done under the authority of section 61(c) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 for the purpose of collecting public feedback on the accessibility legislation engagement process.

Any personal information that may be received will be governed in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 and will only be used for the purpose of informing participants of public engagement results at the end of the process.

If you have any questions about how this information will be collected, used and disclosed, please contact:

Michelle Murray, ATIPP Coordinator
Telephone: (709) 729-6370
 

Contact Us

If you have any questions or additional comments regarding the Accessibility Consultations, please contact:  The Disability Policy Office at disabilitypolicy@gov.nl.ca or by phone at (709) 729-6279 or the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities at info@codnl.ca or by phone at (709) 722-7011.

Thank you for your valuable input.