The Government of Saskatchewan recently passed The Accessible Saskatchewan Act, to help make the province more accessible for persons with disabilities. In a press release, the province said that accessibility is about removing barriers so that people can feel included and have independence.
Cassidy Orsted, Program Assistant at the Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop, said that with the new legislation being passed, they are also developing a committee called the "Accessibility Advisory Committee."
The committee members will make recommendations about accessibility standards.
"What I like about this committee is that one half of the members on the committee have to be a person with disabilities. That's so important because nobody can talk for the people who experience disabilities, they need to use their voices and talk for themselves."
Orsted added that having persons on the committee with disabilities is the most person-centered way to go about it, so that they have a voice in what is being done and how it can help them.
Jeff Richards, Executive Director of the Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop, said that he's very happy to see the act passed, so that we can start to have a more robust conversation about what accessibility means.
"Oftentimes we think of accessibility as physically being able to get in and out of a building or in and out of a facility. But accessibility is much more than that, right?"
Richards went on to say that, "It's making sure that everybody in the community has access to all the same things. Sometimes that can be visual, sometimes that can be making sure that if we're putting something on our website, we make an audio recording or a video of it available, because if somebody is unable to read what's on a screen, that can cause them to have a barrier to accessing that service or even to accessing your shop sometimes."
Richards added that they are very pleased that The Accessible Saskatchewan Act passed, and they look forward to seeing what the Ministry does with it going forward.