Affiliations

Committee/Activity Involvement of Abilities Manitoba Members
Members of Abilities Manitoba are active participants on a variety of working groups, committees, and advisory groups focused on key issues in the disability sector.  Current efforts include:

1. Community Inclusion Awareness Working Group

Background:

The incidence of neighborhood opposition to residential programs for persons with intellectual disabilities and youth-in-care has been increasing in Manitoba communities. The Manitoba government is interested in working with community stakeholder organizations to address this problem of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) by raising public awareness in support of community inclusion.  A working group of community and government stakeholders has been established to plan and implement the public awareness initiative.

Membership:

Working group representation will include but not be limited to:

  • Members of Abilities Manitoba
  • Members of Family Services

Current Progress:

The Community Inclusion Awareness Working Group has been meeting since early 2013 with a focus on gathering information related to community inclusion and rights of persons with disabilities and youth-in-care.  The information gathered will form an end product, which is being referred to as the NIMBY toolkit. The Group has all been adding information and suggestions to this toolkit in an attempt to create a toolkit that will provide service providers with knowledge regarding successful transitions to the community for people with intellectual disabilities and youth-in-care.  Specifically the toolkit will provide strategies to reduce neighbour concerns and smooth the process of opening or maintaining a community, shift-staffed, home operated by a local service provider.

Currently, the Group is nearing its final stages.  The information has been gathered for the toolkit and the next step is to determine the best way to communicate its contents.  Each member is providing context into the information/communication they need that is specific to their area of focus. It is hoped that the production and use of this toolkit will improve and promote positive community inclusion in the future for persons living with intellectual disabilities and youth in the care of the province.

In addition to previous updates, the writers and design team worked on the toolkit all summer and recently submitted a draft.  Initial feedback was provided and a full committee meeting will be held to review the latest version.  It is hoped that shortly thereafter the toolkit will be ready for posting on various websites including the Abilities Manitoba and service providers (both adult and children/youth in care) websites.

2.Barrier Free Manitoba
Barrier-Free Manitoba is a non-partisan, non-profit, cross-disability initiative that was formed in 2008 with a goal of getting the Province of Manitoba to enact strong and effective legislation that requires the removal of existing barriers and prevents the creation of new ones.

This legislation was passed and proclaimed on December 5, 2013 in the form of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act. This was accomplished because of the widespread support provided by organizations and individuals from and beyond Manitoba’s disability communities.

The principles governing the drive for legislation are:

  • Cover all disabilities.
  • Reflect a principled approach to equality.
  • Move beyond the complaints-driven system to comprehensively address discrimination and barriers.
  • Establish a definite target date to achieve a barrier-free Manitoba.
  • Require the development of clear, progressive, mandatory and date-specific standards in all major areas related to accessibility that will apply to public and private sectors.
  • Establish a timely and effective process for monitoring and enforcement of the standards.
  • Incorporate ongoing leadership roles for the disability community.
  • Supersede all other provincial legislation, regulations or policies which provide lesser protections.
  • Not diminish other legal and human rights protections.

The Barrier-Free Manitoba Steering Committee is made up of representatives with the following organizational affiliations:

  • Community Living Manitoba
  • Society for Manitobans with Disabilities
  • Abilities Manitoba
  • Children’s Coalition
  • Manitoba Supported Employment Network

Current Progress: 

Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA)

The Province has announced:

“Under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA), beginning in 2016, the provincial government, all larger public-sector organizations and municipalities must develop a multi-year accessibility plan that will identify barriers in their policies, programs and services and propose ways to eliminate them.  Smaller municipalities and public-sector bodies will have until 2017 to complete accessibility plans.”

There is still no commitment to resource the Disabilities Issues Office and the Accessibility Advisory Council adequately to do that work that they are required to do under the Act.

The steering Committee has been working through what the appropriate role for BFM is in the future. The Committee sees that there could be a role for the next three years; at which point standards should have been released for each area identified in legislation. Activities could include monitoring, communication regarding progress of implementation, research, engagement, support and advocacy. One of the challenges faced by BFM is resourcing; both financial and otherwise.

Barrier Free Manitoba is working with Abilities Manitoba on a public awareness strategy to take place during the coming election.

3. Day Services Review Advisory Committee

Background:

The Day Services Review Advisory Committee began meeting in the fall of 2013 and continues to meet on a regular basis. Our purpose is to develop a standardized consistent approach to how agencies are funded and to identify efficiencies in services while promoting greater independence and community participation.

The Day Services Review Advisory Committee’s main purpose is to provide advice, information and input into the implementation of the Day Service review and the development of final recommendations.

Membership:

  • Members of Abilities Manitoba
  • Members of Family Services

Current Progress:

Since the June 2015 Abilities Manitoba meeting, the Advisory Group has met twice: June 26th & July 22nd.  Topics have focused on re-visiting the Advisory Group’s Terms of Reference and drafting both Family and Participant Engagement Surveys. The plan is for 10-12 participants and 10-12 family members to pilot these surveys and to provide feedback in terms of structure, content and clarity of the surveys. Once this feedback is received, both surveys will be revised accordingly and then distributed to all day service end users in the fall.

The Day Service Interim Report is being reviewed by the Minister of Family Services and will be distributed to stakeholders once approval from the Department has been received.

4. Red River College Disability and Community Support  Advisory Committee

 This committee meets twice a year to provide guidance and advice on all matters related to the program, to ensure program relevance to both students and employers.  Membership is broadly based and comes from the following sectors:

  • Current and prospective employers
  • Government agencies
  • Professional associations
  • One student from each current year of the program
  • Program graduates
  • Program partners
  • Other educational institutions

There are ex-officio members from the college including Continuing Education, Regional Campuses, an instructor in the program and the Chair of the Department.

5. Wage Enhancement Fund Committee

Background:

The Wage Enhancement Fund Committee was developed in August 2014 to offer guidance regarding the general development and overall administration of the Wage Enhancement Fund.

Membership:

The Committee is comprised of agency, government and union representatives.