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Who We Are

Barrier-Free Manitoba is a non-partisan, non-profit, cross-disability initiative formed in 2008. We believe that the time has come for the Province of Manitoba to enact strong and effective legislation that requires the removal of existing barriers and prevents the creation of new ones.

  • We believe that enacting such legislation is a basic matter of human rights.
  • We believe that the removal of barriers is an entirely realistic and attainable duty.
  • We believe that the removal of barriers is good basic public policy that will benefit everyone.
  • We believe that enacting such legislation is about doing what is right and doing what is reasonable.

Barrier-Free Manitoba is led by a Steering Committee with members spanning Manitoba's disability community. The founding members of the Steering Committee and their organizational affiliations are:

  • Dale Kendel (Community Living Manitoba)
  • David Steen (Society for Manitobans with Disabilities)
  • Jeannette DeLong (Abilities Manitoba)
  • Janet Forbes (Children's Coalition)
  • Oly Backstrom (Manitoba Supported Employment Network)

9 Principles for Legislation 

We are calling for provincial accessibility-rights legislation that will:

  • Cover all disabilities.
  • Reflect a principled approach to equality.
  • Move beyond the complaints-driven system to comprehensively address discrimination and barriers.
  • Establish a definite target date to achieve a barrier-free Manitoba.
  • Require the development of clear, progressive, mandatory and date-specific standards in all major areas related to accessibility that will apply to public and private sectors.
  • Establish a timely and effective process for monitoring and enforcement of the standards.
  • Incorporate ongoing leadership roles for the disability community.
  • Supersede all other provincial legislation, regulations or policies which provide lesser protections.
  • Not diminish other legal and human rights protections.