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Barrier-Free Launches Drive Thru Five

Oct 26, 2015

Barrier-Free Manitoba has launched Drive Thru Five to ensure strong community advocacy throughout the critical first five years of implementation of the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) that was passed in 2013. Two years have already passed and we need to step up our game for the three years that remain before 2018.

This time frame is important because:

  • 2018 represents the half-way point between the date the AMA came into force (December 5, 2013) and the 2023 date set by the act for achieving significant progress towards full accessibility.
  • All five of the first accessibility standards (customer service, employment, information and communication, transportation and the built environment) should have been developed and brought into force by 2018.
  • 2018 extends two years beyond the upcoming Spring 2016 provincial election and the possible change in the political leadership responsible for implementing the AMA.
  • Providing for strong, independent community capacity through to 2018 will ensure meaningful participation in the first comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the Act due to start by December 2017.

As part of Drive Thru Five, Barrier-Free Manitoba is asking all those who worked so hard to secure the legislation to re-commit by endorsing our call for its timely and effective implementation based on nine basic principles. We are also asking all other Manitobans committed to disability and human rights to support our efforts toward making Manitoba a truly inclusive province.

It's easy. Just complete the webform today at:

Without strong and sustained community advocacy, we are very concerned that the passage of the AMA will be but hollow victory won at tremendous cost.

The Customer Service Standard is just the first of five accessibility standards committed to by this government. At the current pace, we will need to wait another eight years before all these standards are in place. This is just way, way too long!

We also have a provincial election looming. We need to ensure that disability rights receive priority attention regardless of the election’s result. Sadly, past experience tells us that when the pressure is off, the attention of government wanders away from disability issues.

In support of Drive Thru Five, Barrier-Free Manitoba has developed a three-year plan to build on the leadership role we were honoured to have played in efforts to secure the accessibility-rights leglsation. We invite you to download and review it (Word / PDF). And please send us your comments.

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