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Government of Manitoba
Disabilities Issues Office

Accessibility Advisory Council

ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, MARCH 12, 12:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.
ROOM 208, 401 YORK AVENUE

Present: Jim Derksen (Chairperson), Yvonne Peters (Vice-Chairperson),  Judy Redmond, Diane Scribe Niiganii, Diane Driedger, Jim Baker, Lanny McInnes, Scott Jocelyn, Eileen Clarke,  Karen Pirnie, Chris Summerville, John Wyndels, Andrew Donachuk

Absent (with regrets): Doug Momotiuk

The Agenda, Summary of Discussions and Minutes of the Meeting on February 13 were approved by all members without changes.

Mariam Omar of the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat gave the Council a power point presentation on the Age-Friendly Initiative. There are more than 80 Age-Friendly communities in Manitoba. Mariam identified the eight central areas of focus within Age-Friendly communities; outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation & respect and social inclusion, respectful and inclusive services, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and community support and health services.  There is a lot of commonality between seniors and persons with disabilities. There are no adhered to standards for projects and communities choose the projects that they want to move forward with. Age-Friendly committees are volunteers and purely advisory, not appointed.   While they are familiar with the issues, they may not have extensive technical knowledge to deal with legislated accessibility standards. 

Mariam’s presentation noted that growing communities are the ones that are aggressively moving forward with accessibility efforts. They have established strategic plans to meet the future needs of people. The issue of requiring municipalities to establish access committees should be reviewed.

The Council continued their discussion on strategies for achieving compliance of established accessibility standards under legislation. The Chairperson noted that voluntary codes have not been effective as some large organizations have refused to meet obligations.  Administrative fees or penalties for non-compliance could be considered - prosecution is seen as a last resort. An extensive education component is crucial in generating a better understanding of the legislation and should accompany whatever compliance regime is developed.

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