How can P.E.I. be more accessible for people with disabilities?

Islanders will have a chance to weigh in on how to make P.E.I. — including its ferry and other transportation services — more accessible to people with disabilities.

Public consultaion in December to discuss how to make Island better for people with disabilities

The federal government is seeking input on how to make the P.E.I. ferries more accessible to people with disabilities. (Julia Cook/CBC)

Islanders will have a chance to weigh in on how to make P.E.I. — including its ferry and other transportation services — more accessible to people with disabilities.

The federal government will be hosting public consultations around the country, including Dec. 8 in Charlottetown, to seek input on how to make Canada more accessible.

The consultation process will help inform the development of planned accessibility legislation, said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities in a news release.

Speaking at the Canadian Ferry Operators Conference in Ottawa last weekend, Qualtrough specifically stressed the importance of accessibility in the transportation sector.

For Islanders, this would include the ferry service between Wood Islands, P.E.I., and Caribou, N.S.

Support for ferry service

Qualtrough noted in its 2016 budget, the federal government pledged continued support for the ferry service.

Almost $150 million has been budgeted for small craft harbour infrastructure improvements across Canada.

Qualtrough also stressed the benefits that people with disabilities and accessibility measures bring to Canadian businesses, both through employing Canadians with disabilities as well as ensuring that their facilities are accessible for all Canadians.

411,600 potential workers

According to the government, there are approximately 411,600 working-aged Canadians with disabilities who are not working but whose disability does not prevent them from doing so; almost half of these potential workers are post-secondary graduates.