Disability and Accessibility Advocacy

While providing services in the areas of adult occupational therapy, accessible housing and public accessibility services, we aim to make tangible improvements in people's lives, based on our fundamental belief in every person’s right to safely experience their daily activities, homes, workplaces and community to the fullest extent possible.  As such, we are taking action to change policy, legislation and program that improves accessibility, financial support and quality of living for people with disabilities. The following are some of our contributions.

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Bill C-22 Canadian Disability Benefit

On October 19, 2022 we participated in the Rally at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, led by Disability Without Poverty, to support the fast-tracking of Bill C-22 to become law in Canada This was during the same week as the UN Day for the Elimination of Poverty. 

 

Here are the issues DWP has outlined::

 

  1. Ending disability poverty is an act of love and justice. Every Canadian regardless of disability should be able to afford the basic essentials of life and to enthusiastically participate in society without financial, physical or social barriers.

  2. Canada has the resources to end disability poverty, as demonstrated by other targeted benefits for children and seniors.

  3. Breakthroughs happen during periods of societal upheaval. COVID-19 exposed the discrimination and inequities people with disabilities experience, particularly regarding access to financial resources.

  4. 22% of Canadians and 24% of British Columbians are disabled and are disproportionately living in poverty. Nationally, disabled people represent 41% of those living below the poverty line. But that’s a lot of people! We have more power than we think, especially when we team up with our allies, to mobilize and create change.

 

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Aging in Place Home Modification Funding 

On June 28th, 2022, Marnie Courage was invited by Seniors Advisory Committee to the Honourable Scott Johnston (Manitoba Minister of Seniors and Long-term Care) to present on the need for a provincial funding program to support essential home modifications for people with disabilities and Manitoba's seniors.

Marnie provided evidence-based research on the impact of home modifications in the prevention of falls, premature and inappropriate admissions into long-term care facilities and social isolation. She outlined how funding these home adaptations can facilitate the provision of community-based healthcare,, which is essential to supporting aging in place for more than 25% of the Manitoba population predicted to be over 65 years old by the year 2036.

Manitoba is one of only a couple of provinces who offer no funding support for home modification assessment and solutions.

Stay tuned for news on how this government will put their commitment to support aging in place into action. Have your voice heard through Engage Manitoba.

 

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Other Advocacy Efforts

Marnie Courage sits on the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist's Home Modification Task Force working to advance the professional of occupational therapists in this growing practice area.

Marnie is also a volunteer contributor to the Universal Design Network of Canada, providing web content in the area of Accessible Housing and Home Modifications.

We are a supporter of Abilities Manitoba, Barrier-Free Manitoba, Inclusion Winnipeg and other disability advocacy groups in Manitoba.