Monday, 19 June 2017

Important message from Barrier Free Manitoba & Education Solutions Manitoba- Encourage you to sign up!!

Barrier Free Manitoba and Education Solutions Manitoba  is lobbying the government to establish an Accessible Education standard  under the new Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
If you believe Manitoba should set up a standard that ensures accessible education for ALL, click on the link below and sign your name. SHARE AWAY! We need as many “signatures” as possible!

The letter to Minister Fielding, along with a quick and easy to use way for individuals and organizations to 'sign on' as an undersigned, has been posted online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lettertominister

This site also provides basic background info on why the letter was developed for visitors who may not have had an extensive involvement in this particular issue. The site also encourages organizations and individuals to ‘sign on’ before June 30th when the letter and the first list of undersigneds will be delivered to the Minister. As some organizations and individuals, who are generally supportive of improving accessibility in our educational systems, will require additional time to make the decision to support the letter and its request, we will continue gathering support over the coming months.

Help lever the power of social media by ‘liking' and ‘sharing' FaceBook posts about the letter on BFM’s FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/barrierfreemb/) and retweeting tweets BFM makes about the letter on our Twitter account (http://twitter.com/barrierfreemb). )Our posts and tweets started last week and will continue through to the end of next week. As David Lepofsky said, social media is an increasingly powerful tool that can support change processes.)

As value added, I also wanted to draw your attention to two additional resources. First, BFM has posted information about the letter and the request for an accessible education standard on our web site at: http://www.barrierfreemb.com/whatsnew/173/380

If you find this information helpful, please feel free to share it with others. At the very least, it may provide some comfort to those who are unfamiliar with BFM’s strong and effective non-partisan work over the last 8+ years in advancing disability and human rights.

Second, I have attached a recent national study conducted by the Canadian Human Rights Commission that was released earlier this year. The study focused only students with disabilities in high schools, colleges and universities. The report, Left Out: Challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Canada’s schools, concludes that:

The results of this study show that significant proportions of Canadians with disabilities are facing systemic social and institutional barriers to a quality education. These barriers are having a negative impact on the educational attainment, training, employment, career path and overall well-being of Canadians with disabilities.

Here’s what Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, had to say in reference to the study's key findings.

“In a knowledge-based economy, where education is paramount, it is shocking that still today so many students with disabilities end their education because of the sheer difficulty they experience in getting an education. How can our society support all students in realizing their full potential when getting an education is a daily battle against social exclusion, avoidance and bullying?” (excerpted from http://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/eng/content/bullying-barriers-exclusion-often-part-curriculum-students-disabilities)

In closing, I know that the end of June is a very busy time for lots of people. But we have a very time limited opportunity before us to promote positive and lasting change.

So PLEASE do all that you can to help move this critically important agenda ahead.

Regards, 

Patrick Falconer

Consultant to the Barrier-Free Manitoba Steering Committee