Letter to Minister Fielding


Educational stakeholders representing by students, parents, practitioners, administrators and policy makers and spanning pre-kindergarten/early learning, elementary, middle, high school, college and university, came together on June 9, 2017 for a discussion on accessibility in education in Manitoba. Held as part of Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW), the event provided participants with the chance to learn about and discuss recent developments in Ontario and Nova Scotia where these provincial governments have committed to enact accessible education standards under their respective accessibility-rights legislation.
In 2013, Manitoba passed the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) to break down barriers faced by those living with disabilities. The AMA became the law through a unanimous, all-party, all member vote in the Legislative Assembly. While the purpose of the AMA is to ensure that substantial progress toward full accessibility is achieved in all sectors throughout Manitoba by 2023, our government has not yet committed to establish an education-specific accessibility standard.
Quality education is an essential gateway to labour market success, as well as to a lifelong capacity to participate and contribute to one’s family, one’s community and to the social and economic well-being of our province. Manitobans can be proud of progress made over recent decades to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities but these students and their families continue to face a myriad of serious barriers in our educational systems.
Based on discussion, participants at the event recommended that a letter be sent to the Honourable Scott Fielding, the Minister of Families who is also responsible for the AMA, to respectfully request that the government commit to developing an accessible education standard under the Act and that this standard be developed and come into force within its first term in office. Participants further recommended that the letter be distributed widely with an invitation for organizations and concerned citizens to sign the letter to indicate their support for this request.
The Invitation to You
Please review the letter and, if you and/or your organization agree with the request, express your support by becoming one of the undersigned. Your name and/or that of your organization will be added to the letter that will be delivered to the Minister Fielding on June 30th (the last day of school in many school divisions). Copies of the letter will also be sent to The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier, and The Honourable Ian Wishart, Minister of Education and Training. An updated list of supporting individuals and organizations will be provided to the Minister at a later date to include those individuals and organizations requiring more time to formalize their support for this letter.

But please don't wait until later. The more undersigned that are included in the letter delivered to the Minister on June 30th, the more likely it is that the government will provide an early and positive response to the request.

So please make every effort to add your and/or your organization's name in support of the letter by June 29

Please click on "next" to read the letter. You are also invited to download a Word version of the letter for you to review offline or to share with others (Word / PDF).

Finally, please consider sharing this invitation and encouraging others to provide their support to this request for government's commitment to develop an accessible education standard in Manitoba.

Thank you.
Education Solutions Manitoba and Barrier-Free Manitoba were pleased to have taken the lead role in organizing the June 9 accessible education event. Our two organizations are now also pleased to be taking the lead role in acting on the recommendations from the participants by having developed the letter to the Minister, as well as in developing and administering this site to invite stakeholder and citizen support.
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