Oceanside Accessibility Committee chair Susan Jennings records feedback during an accessibility meeting as part of a provincial ‘white paper’ discussion.

Oceanside Accessibility Committee chair Susan Jennings records feedback during an accessibility meeting as part of a provincial ‘white paper’ discussion.

Giving government input on acessibility issues in Parksville Qualicum Beach

The results will be forwarded to the ongoing provincial conversation, which will form the development of a 'white paper'

In response to the provincial government looking at ways to reduce barriers and increase accessibility, the Oceanside Accessibility Committee held a stakeholders meeting to provide local input.

“We were encouraged as a region to provide input so we put together our own project,” said OAC chair Susan Jennings.

To that end, they hired their own facilitator and invited key figures, including representatives of local municipalities and groups representing the chambers, construction, downtown and tourism associations and groups involved in accessibility issues to a meeting last Thursday at the Sunrise Ridge Resort.

The round-table discussions focused on six themed topics (innovation, support, work, housing, social networks and asset accumulation) and broke them down with specific questions about how to get people to welcome contributions from people with disabilities, make it easier for them to work and what B.C. would look like as the most progressive place in Canada.

The results will be forwarded to the ongoing provincial conversation, which will form the development of a ‘white paper’ meant to reflect the voice of British Columbians.

“This is about inclusion for all,” Jennings said, pointing out that as the population ages accessibility is important to everyone.

For more information and to participate in the provincial conversation visit http://engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper/.