Issue 14 | August 2020
Manitoba Accessibility Awards - Seeking Nominations
It’s time to celebrate accessibility and we want your help!
Do you know a Manitoba business or organization that has removed barriers for people with disabilities?
Show your appreciation by nominating a deserving business or organization for a Manitoba Accessibility Award (MBAA)!
The Manitoba Accessibility Awards celebrate leadership and innovation in meeting the needs of the one in four Manitobans affected by disability, and create awareness about The Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
Awards are available to:
- businesses, such as shops, restaurants and hotels, and legal, healthcare and other professional services
- non-profit organizations, such as United Way, charities, unions and places of worship
- large and small municipalities
For more information about the awards, including eligibility and nomination requirements, please visit: Manitoba Accessibility Awards, or call the Disabilities Issues Office at 204-945-7613 or 1-800-282-8069 (Ext. 7613).
Nomination deadline is September 30, 2020
Manitoba Accessibility Awards Social Media Toolkit - available now!
To help promote the Manitoba Accessibility Awards (MBAA) and increase your social media engagement, download and share the MBAA social media toolkit. It includes ready-to-use text and images.
Go to AccessibilityMB.ca to download the toolkit.
Share text and image content with others on social media.
Like, share, and retweet information from the Manitoba government on Facebook and Twitter.
Manitoba Advisory Council Updates
We would like to recognize previous council members for their service, dedication, and meaningful contributions during their time on council. Thank you for your commitment to helping make Manitoba accessible for everyone.
Jim Baker (Chairperson)
Jim Derksen (Vice-Chairperson)
New Feature - Manitoba Accessibility Stories
Sharing personal stories of accessibility and barrier removal across Manitoba
We are proud to launch Manitoba Accessibility Stories, a brand-new feature to our newsletter. Manitoba Accessibility Stories are contributed by people across the province who want to share their experiences with accessibility, provide tips and advice, highlight areas for improvement and celebrate accessibility compliance.
The first story is told by returning Disabilities Issues Office STEP Student, Matthew Reimer. Matt has a passion for helping those who may feel overlooked and undervalued by the rest of society. He tentatively plans to pursue a Juris Doctor at Robson Hall Faculty of Law and is currently pursuing a General Bible Certificate at Summit Pacific College in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.
COVID-19 and Disabilities by Matt Reimer
It is safe to say that our daily lives have been affected by COVID-19. As a quadruple amputee, I have experienced mobility and social changes that I never could have anticipated.
For me, mobility has always been a challenge. My shorter limbs have made it more difficult for me to walk long distances. In some ways, COVID-19 has intensified this challenge. For example, I required access to a building and approached the building entrance. On a locked door, a sign read, “please use other door”. The other door was a long walk away. Fortunately, I knew someone in the building, and I was able to use my cellphone to call them for assistance, however, not everyone may have that option.
The locked entryway created a barrier that prevented me, and likely many others from accessing the building. As an alternative, the building owners could have included a phone number on the sign. This way, a person who faces mobility barriers may be able to call someone for assistance. It’s simply good customer service.
At the same time, COVID-19 has indirectly eliminated barriers that I previously faced. Take travelling to events for example. Even in the best-case scenario, when someone gives me a ride, it still takes me more time to prepare to leave. With more events moving online, I no longer need to take transportation into account. This enables me to use my time in better ways.
Another benefit of online meetings is that I am less likely to be overlooked. In a physical gathering of people, my shorter legs make me harder to spot. This is no longer the case in an online setting. On screen, everyone is the same size and people with disabilities like mine can be seen and heard. People can see my personality before they see my physical differences.
With all that said, my hope is that many of the adaptations we have made can extend beyond the pandemic. Online options should continue for gatherings so that more voices are heard. I also hope that these online interactions can forever change people’s notions of persons with disabilities - that the rest of society can see us for who we really are as individuals.
Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) October 2020
Preparations are underway for Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM).
DEAM recognizes the contributions of individuals with disabilities and promotes the employment of individuals with disabilities to create a better, more inclusive Manitoba.
Keep watching for more information about DEAM, including events and resources!
Manitoba Access Awareness Week - Stay Tuned for Resources
Thank-you to everyone who participated in MAAW 2020 this year!
Stay tuned for all MAAW 2020 resources that will be featured in the next issue of Accessibility News, inlcluding the Accessibility in the Workplace During COVID-19 Webinar, Accessibility in the Workplace: Good for Everyone, Law in Manitoba video, webinar transcript, PowerPoint, and Question & Answer document.
This newsletter is available in alternate formats upon request.
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Disabilities Issues Office
630 - 240 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0J7
Toll free: 1-800-282-8069, ext. 7613
Follow and join the #AccessibleMB conversation on social media.