FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Premier’s Council on Disabilities has released New Brunswick’s Disability Action Plan for Persons with a Disability: Accountable Path Forward to an Equal Opportunity!

The action plan identifies a number of priority areas of concern for persons with a disability.

It builds on the progress made since the last disability action plan strategy that was released in 2012. The last status update report from this strategy was released in 2017.

“Since the original plan was released, the provincial government has made some positive changes to many programs and services for persons with disabilities,” said council chair Randy Dickinson. “However, we still have a long way to go to achieve full citizenship and equitable access, for all persons with a disability, in a predictable and consistent manner.”

In developing the report, the council undertook an extensive consultation process. In an effort to engage with the community, council members organized a Disability Stakeholders’ Summit for key provincial stakeholders, circulated a provincial survey, held several public meetings throughout the province, and held one-on-one meetings with key disabilities stakeholders.

The council relied on the information gathered during community consultations and the Disability Stakeholders’ Summit to form the foundation of this new action plan on disability issues.

“This plan would not have been possible if not for the input from many New Brunswickers who shared their stories, challenges, experiences and most importantly, their ideas on how to make New Brunswick more accessible, equitable and inclusive,” said Christyne Allain, the council’s executive director. “We thank everyone for their time, passion and contribution.”

The resulting disability action plan is a multi-year strategy that includes recommendations with a focus on employment, education, poverty, housing, disability supports, accessibility, transportation, recreation and wellness.

The action plan demonstrates an effort to provide a pathway forward. It is intended to be flexible, innovative and responsive to the needs of New Brunswickers.

The council will hold the government accountable for the disability action plan by monitoring the progress made in implementing the recommendations through regular public updates.