FREDERICTON (GNB) – Promoting the goal of increasing the number of persons with a disability finding meaningful, long-term employment is the focus of the 29th annual Disability Awareness Week, from May 29 to June 4.

This year’s theme is Employment Enables Inclusion!

“We all gain access to a wealth of talent when society fully includes persons with a disability,” said Christyne Allain, co-chair of the week’s executive committee. “Together we can overcome the barriers to meaningful employment and provide the same options and choices to all New Brunswickers, which will make our communities better for everyone.”

The week is co-ordinated by the Premier’s Council on the Status of Disabled Persons. It represents an opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments achieved over the years to accommodate and include persons with a disability in their communities, and to discuss plans and objectives for further improvement.

To foster discussion and a better understanding of the challenges facing more than 125,000 persons with a disability living in New Brunswick, a number of provincewide contests and awards have been taking place throughout the month of May.

The provincial kick-off event for this year’s campaign will be hosted by Vie Autonome Péninsule acadienne at noon on Saturday, May 28, at the Centre des congrès de la Péninsule acadienne in Shippagan.

The annual legislative breakfast and workshop will take place at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31, at the Delta Fredericton, which will be followed by a panel discussion highlighting successes and barriers in obtaining gainful employment for persons with a disability.

The council is teaming with Para NB for an event on June 2 to showcase recreation opportunities for persons with a disability.

The annual Walk and Roll Challenge will be held at noon on Friday, June 3, at the legislative assembly. This event, which is held across the province, is in partnership with the Neil Squire Society.

“I invite everyone to organize or participate in an activity in their community to celebrate Disability Awareness Week and to promote the theme,” said Allain. “We all have the right to participate fully in our communities, regardless of our abilities.”

More information on events in various communities is available online.