THE Province announced on Thursday that it has appointed 30 people to help develop British Columbia’s first two standards for accessibility: the employment accessibility standard and the accessible service delivery standard.
These accessibility standards will help remove and prevent barriers that restrict people with disabilities from equally participating in their community.
The two 15-person committees will support the work of the Provincial Accessibility Committee to develop accessibility standards. The committees will study barriers such as non-inclusive policies, restrictive technologies or inaccessible infrastructure to develop more effective regulations and policies.
The technical committees are comprised of people with a wide range of experience. The membership of the committees aims to reflect the diversity of British Columbians and includes people with disabilities and organizations that support people with disabilities.
The Employment Accessibility Standard committee will be chaired by Christine Buchanan, the regional director of employment services and training at Open Door Group.
The Accessible Service Delivery Standard committee will be chaired by Christopher T. Sutton, the chief executive officer at Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility.
Since the Accessible British Columbia Act became law in June 2021, the Province has activated the 11-person Provincial Accessibility Committee, released its three-year plan, AccessibleBC, and launched its accessibility feedback tool. It also passed the Accessible British Columbia Regulation, which requires more than 750 public organizations to have their own committee, plan, and feedback mechanism by Sept. 1, 2023.
The Province has proclaimed Saturday, December 3, 2022, as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This awareness day, which the United Nations first observed in 1992, has the theme of “transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world”.