FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons held its annual event today to recognize Dec. 3 as the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The theme for 2015 is Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment of People of All Abilities.

“We want to find ways to help persons with disabilities access the workforce,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “We also want to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families.”

To help mark the day, the council organized a summit between the premier and several provincial disability stakeholders to brainstorm how to increase opportunities for persons with a disability to become employed. In addition, summit participants, including advocates, caregivers, government officials and interested individuals, discussed the next steps they can take to move the province forward on these issues. 

Other highlights from the day included the release of the annual progress report on the Disability Action Plan: The Time for Action is Now and the announcement of Disability Awareness Week 2016.

The Disability Action Plan is a multi-year collaborative effort that includes 41 recommendations to remove barriers to reduce poverty and improve access to full citizenship, disability support, housing, universal design, transportation, recreation, and education.