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December 3rd: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today, the NSGEU joins with thousands of people around the world to observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The goals of this date (December 3rd) is to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, and to help increase awareness of the benefits of fully integrating persons with disabilities into every aspect of our political, social, economic and cultural life.

The theme of this year’s event is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.”

“Throughout human history, technology has always impacted the way people live. The Industrial Revolution ushered in a new age of technology that raised the standards of living of people around the world and their access to goods and services.

Today, technology is built in to every facet of daily living. The emergence of information and communications technologies have dramatically increased connectivity between people and their access to information, and further raised living standards.

ICTs have indeed changed the way people live, work and play. However, not all people benefit from the advances of technology and the higher standards of living. This is mainly because not all people have access to new technologies and not all people can afford them.

Today, there are over 1 billion people living in the world with some form of disability. Around the world, persons with disabilities not only face physical barriers but also social, economic and attitudinal barriers. Furthermore, disability is associated with twenty per cent of global poverty, of which the majority live in developing countries. In spite of being the world’s largest minority group, persons with disabilities and the issue of disability has remained largely invisible in the mainstream development frameworks and its processes.” (read the full text on the United Nations website)

Here in Nova Scotia, the Minister’s Advisory Panel on Accessibility Legislation will report to the Minister of Community Services in February 2015, making recommendations about accessibility legislation for Nova Scotians. The panel will examine issues related to access to information, communications, labour market and employment opportunities, removing structural barriers in the built environment, attitudes and public awareness, transportation, client services, and housing. The province says it will use the report to develop accessibility legislation that will be introduced in Spring 2016.  (For the link to the discussion paper:  http://novascotia.ca/coms/accessibility/how/discussionPaper.asp)

For more information, to register to make a presentation at a public session, or submit your presentation prior to the session, please contact: Ms. Kerry Deagle, 902-424-3827 or Kerry.Deagle@novascotia.ca The public session in Halifax will be on Dec. 3 from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at the World Trade and Convention Centre.  For more details: http://novascotia.ca/coms/accessibility/how/consultationSessions.asp

 

 

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