FREDERICTON (GNB) – Sending a message that there is a place for all New Brunswickers to participate in their community, regardless of their abilities, is the focus of the 31st annual Disability Awareness Week, from May 27 to June 2.

This year’s theme is Equal Opportunity For All!

“Ensuring that persons with a disability are integrated into all aspects of society is essential to achieve equal opportunities for all citizens of New Brunswick,” said Christyne Allain, executive director of the Premier’s Council on Disabilities.

The annual campaign is co-ordinated by the council and brings together all levels of government, caregivers, advocates, other interested parties and people with disabilities. It is an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments achieved over the years to accommodate and include people with disabilities in their communities, and to discuss plans and objectives for further improvement.

The provincial kickoff for this year’s campaign will take place in Bathurst on Sunday, May 27, and will be hosted by Bathurst Employment Services and Training Group in collaboration with the council. The event, which begins at 1 p.m., will feature guest speakers and live entertainment.

The annual legislative breakfast will take place at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, at the Delta Fredericton. It will feature contests and the presentation of several awards.

The closing reception for Disability Awareness Week will be held at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 1.

“All New Brunswickers, regardless of age, region or ability, have the right to participate fully in our communities,” said Andrew Daley, chairperson of the Premier’s Council on Disabilities. “I encourage everyone to celebrate Disability Awareness Week by organizing or participating in an event that promotes the theme.”

More information about events around the province is available online.