MONCTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released a report on providing support for people with a disability, which stems from the New Brunswick Family Plan’s stakeholder engagement process.

“Persons with disabilities face a number of challenges when it comes to participating in the workforce for a number of complex reasons,” said Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman. “Your government will continue to work together with stakeholders and communities, so that we can provide equal access to training programs and employment opportunities.”

The report is based on stakeholder feedback garnered during the Family Plan summit held in St. Stephen in March. It recognizes that people with a disability experience disadvantages in the areas of education, training and employment.

Haley Flaro, executive director of Ability NB, said New Brunswick has the second highest rate of disability in Canada at 16.4 per cent of its population.

“Many persons with a mobility disability face barriers due to poverty, lack of access to physical activities, poor employment prospects and difficulty accessing post-secondary education,” she said. “Lack of accessible transportation and inaccessible communities compound the problems, adversely impacting health and community participation. This plan is a strong foundation to build more supportive communities for persons with a disability and their families.”

Goals and actions outlined in the report will help remove barriers preventing individuals who have a disability from fully engaging with their communities or participating in employment opportunities.

Efforts will be focused on the following areas:

  • Removing barriers to living a healthy, engaged and well-balanced life.
  • Removing significant barriers to finding and maintaining employment.
  • Preparing for successful transitions and improving access to employment or further education/training.
  • Enhancing public awareness and promoting best practices that can help individuals achieve their goals.
  • Reducing barriers to access.

The report, which is the last of seven to be released, is part of the government’s commitment to improving the lives of New Brunswick families.

The New Brunswick Family Plan framework document focuses government action in seven priority areas: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with addictions and mental health challenges; fostering healthy aging and support for seniors; reducing poverty; supporting persons living with a disability; and advancing women’s equality.