FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Premier Brian Gallant, who is the minister responsible for the Premier’s Council on Disabilities:

Persons with a disability want to be and deserve to be recognized as valuable, contributing members of society like all New Brunswickers. They want opportunities to participate in the workforce and to be fully engaged in their communities.

The 31st annual Disability Awareness Week will be celebrated from May 27 to June 2. This week provides an important opportunity to raise awareness of existing barriers that prevent citizens with disabilities from full and equal participation in their communities while also focusing on what can be done to correct these challenges.

It is also an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made over the years when it comes to achieving true inclusivity and creating the conditions to allow all New Brunswickers to participate fully in their communities.

Your government understands that providing support for persons living with a disability benefits all New Brunswickers. That is why we have made this a key priority in the New Brunswick Family Plan.

The New Brunswick Family Plan focuses on five areas for persons living with disabilities in our province:

  • Removing barriers to a healthy, active and well-balanced life.
  • Removing significant barriers to obtaining and maintaining a job.
  • Preparing people for a successful transition and improving access to employment or continuing education or training.
  • Raising public awareness and promoting best practices that can help people achieve their goals.
  • Reducing barriers to access.

Although significant progress has been made in addressing the needs of individuals living with disabilities in New Brunswick, there is still much to do. Your government is listening and committed to getting things done by working together with stakeholders to meet these needs and remove barriers to community engagement.

We congratulate the Premier’s Council on Disabilities for organizing this year’s Disability Awareness Week. To all those who advocate so passionately to improve the lives of those living with disabilities, we appreciate you. Your determination and dedication has played an important role in making our communities more inclusive and our province the best place to live, work and raise a family.