Letter calls on minister to include education in accessibility legislation
Barrier Free Manitoba wants education standard included in Accessibility for Manitobans Act
A group of Manitobans wants to see schools become more accessible for people with disabilities.
Barrier Free Manitoba delivered a letter to Minister of Families Scott Fielding on Friday calling for an education standard to be included in the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
The letter was signed by 1,100 Manitobans and 59 organizations.
Patrick Faulkner sits on the steering committee of Barrier Free Manitoba. He said although human rights law states that all children have the right to a quality education, in practice, there are many barriers.
"We know that half of parents report that they have real difficulty securing the kinds of supports (that they need)," he said.
In 2013, Manitoba passed the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, which enshrines rights to access to employment, customer services, transportation, the built environment, and information and communications. Barrier Free Manitoba would like to see education added to that list.
Ontario and Nova Scotia currently have similar legislation to Manitoba and both have committed to adding an education standard to their laws, Faulkner said.
"The issue isn't whether there's a right. That's really clear. The issue is what are the barriers that need to be removed, and when and how will that be done?" he said.
Barrier Free Manitoba would like to see a standard that applies to all levels of education beginning with Kindergarten and extending up until post-secondary and adult education.
Anyone who still wants to sign the letter can do so online.