Residents of Sooke who are living with disabilities are invited to a public forum where they can make their voices heard. (file photo)

Residents of Sooke who are living with disabilities are invited to a public forum where they can make their voices heard. (file photo)

Sooke hosts forum to get input from people with disabilities

The province has multiple avenues for input

The Ministry of Social Development will host a community consultation to get feedback from residents with a disability and those who work with them..

The initiative comes in anticipation of the drafting of new provincial laws and policies that will affect people with disabilities.

The ministry’s consultation takes place in conjunction with the Sooke Region Region Communities Health Network and is on Nov. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m at the Sooke Community Hall.

“We are asking for people who actually live with or work with disabilities to take ownership of their issue and contribute to the laws that will affect them,” SRCHN spokesperson, Christine Bossi said.

“People need to feel that their voices have been heard. Often these people do not have a united voice to speak on their behalf and it’s only fair to give them the opportunity to be heard.”

The goal of the province’s public input process is to support people with disabilities and to identify, remove and prevent barriers that impact those people’s everyday lives.

RELATED: Students excluded due to disabilities

In addition to the community meeting, people with disabilities are invited to visit the province’s website at engage.gov.bc.ca/accessibility to learn how they can participate from their own homes. The government has offered an online questionnaire, a virtual town hall, and has invited direct communication by phone or email.

“I think that it’s only appropriate and respectful to allow the people who are living these issues to have their voices heard,” Bossi said.

Community groups, libraries and other organizations can also apply for resources for independent community meetings. Up to $2,000 is available for those groups to host their own conversations and provide feedback.

Organizations, self-advocates and advocates have also been invited to make formal submissions that will be posted to on the provincial website.

Nearly 25 percent of B.C.’s population over the age of 15 lives with some form of disability. That’s more than 926,000 individuals.

The Province has noted that, as the population ages, that number of people with disabilities and the severity of their disabilities are likely to increase.

After the consultation period ends, the B.C. Government will create a summary of all of the the feedback that they’ve received and that summary will be used to inform the development of accessibility legislation for B.C.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

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