|We are pleased to share with you
Barrier Free Saskatchewan’s Bi-Annual Newsletter for June 2023.
BFSK would like to engage our community of people with disabilities with this exciting newsletter full of up to date disability related information, resources, events, and community champions. Nothing about us without us!
Barrier Free Saskatchewan (BFSK) acknowledges that its membership live, work and benefit from Treaty 4 and 6 – the traditional territories of the Nehiyawak (Cree), Nahkawininiwak (Anishanaabe, Ojibwe, Saulteaux), Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, Dene, and homelands of the Metis/Mechif Nation.A Message From
The Barrier Free Saskatchewan PresidentBarrier Free Saskatchewan (BFSK) would like to bring to your attention that although the promise of accessibility legislation gave heart to so many disabled people in Saskatchewan, Bill 103 does not live up to our expectations. BFSK create and presented fourteen (14) Principles to the government many years ago to serve as a foundation for the creation of an Accessibility Act in Saskatchewan. Bill 103 received Royal Ascent on May 17, 2023, and does not reflect our fourteen (14) principles in a way that would be truly Nothing About Us Without US.
Accessibility is a basic human right. Disabled people make up between 24-40% of Saskatchewan’s population. Bill 103 does nothing to serve most people with lived experience in this province. It merely presents vague potential for future regulations. Moreover, this bill appears to put more effort into creating new bureaucracy than removing barriers and lacks any mechanism to ensure that people with lived experience are meaningfully consulted on future regulations.
The intent of Bill 103 was to “make our province the very best place in Canada to live for those with disabilities,” however the new legislation falls very short of this goal.
BFSK is also concerned for Indigenous Peoples and especially “Status Indians” who do not often receive the same benefits or accessibility to equipment and other accessibility necessities. This needs to be rectified and addressed. The Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women’s Association of Canada are working diligently on this matter on a national level. We support them. Bill 103 does not address Indigenous Peoples and their benefits to access and equipment and does not ensure that First Nation Peoples are awarded a barrier free existence in Saskatchewan.
BFSK put forward recommendations for change to Bill 103 in time for the Legislative committee hearing and its third reading and Royal Ascent. Persons with Disabilities never had a response as to whether anything was adhered to nor were we notified of third reading of Bill 103 which took place on May 4, 2023. Consequently, Bill 103 has become the Saskatchewan Accessibility Act and we are not aware of what the final content is. Further, the new Accessible Act has no time frame as to when it comes into force.
Not all is lost. There is still time for us to come together as a community and work very hard to ensure the upcoming regulations reflect our real needs.Barrier Free Saskatchewan Activities
Barrier Free Saskatchewan members have started 2023 off with a lot of work and exciting progress.
The proposed Accessible Saskatchewan Act was read and introduced as a bill in the Saskatchewan Legislature on November 15, 2022. On February 27, 2023, Our President and Vice President, Robin East and Brenda Edel, attended the Second Reading of the bill at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina. Third Reading took place on May 4, 2023, and Royal Ascent was received on May 17, 2023. Bill 103 is now an Act. It will not come into force until a later date that is to be determined. This allows for necessary administrative structure to be established. There are more challenges ahead for BFSK as we look to becoming involved in this work.
Barrier Free Saskatchewan met with Kate Chung from the Accessible Housing Network. The Accessible Housing Network is a collaboration of non-profit Canadian organizations, advocating in support of people of all ages to live as they wish, in housing that is fully accessible. Their mission is to ensure that, whatever their age or ability, every person in Canada can live in housing that is fully accessible. To this end, they call on every level of government to make universal design mandatory in every unit in all new multi-unit residential buildings. Barrier Free Saskatchewan will collaborate and support the Accessible Housing Network’s campaign by contacting our elected representatives at all levels — municipal, provincial, and federal and distributing a Saskatchewan version of the petition.
Through the previous research project, BFSK has since partnered with Dr. Amber Fletcher, Department of Sociology at the U of R and her Social Studies 307: Applied Methods: Qualitative Approaches class. This class includes practical exploration of the principles and methods of qualitative research and analysis, including interviews, focus groups, participant observation, content analysis, and discourse analysis. The students designed and conducted a research project for Barrier Free Saskatchewan based on the general topic of “Students’ experiences of accomodation systems in university”. BFSK met with the class a few times to give them information and guidance for project completion. We are excited for the results.
Brenda Edel, Barrier Free Saskatchewan Vice President was selected as and served as one of three Student Awards Selection Committee members to review 262 English applications for the 2022 NEADS (National Educational Association of Disabled Students) Student Awards Program Scholarship.
The NEADS National Student Awards Program is offered to encourage access to
post-secondary education for persons with disabilities. BFSK is pleased that our Vice President was part of removing barriers for selected students with disabilities to overcome barriers and attend pos-secondary education.
Our fearless leader and BFSK President, Robin East, received a Queens Platinum Jubilee Medal for contributions in the field of volunteer service. The medals celebrate the more than 70 years the Queen served as monarch and her service to Canada during her reign. They are presented to citizens who have made major contributions to their respective communities. Those who donate their spare time and energy to helping improve the community that surrounds them are always appreciated, and the Queen made sure they would be appreciated in these ceremonies as well. Congratulations Robin on the much-deserved royal acknowledgment and recognition!Find Out MoreSaskatchewan Events Accessibility Awareness Week
National Access Ability week will take place from May 31 to June 4, 2023.
This is a week to celebrate the contributions and leadership of Canadians with disabilities. Please visit the below link for more information.
Barrier Free Saskatchewan Book ClubBarrier Free Saskatchewan invites you to join our newly founded book club showcasing authors with lived experience. We will read and discuss books in all kinds of genres: fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, short stories, fantasy etc. The Barrier Free Saskatchewan Book Club meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. Here are some of the books that we have read so far:Silent Night by Sue ThomasA Dog Called Hope: A Wounded Warrior and the Service Dog Who Saved Him by Jason Morgan and Damien LewisA world Without Martha: A Memoir of Sisters, Disability, and Difference by Victoria FreemanThe Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah BrownThunder Dog – the true story of a blind man, his guide dog, and the triumph of trust at ground zero by Michael HingsonThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique BaubyLaughing At My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw
The next book chosen for reading and discussion for June is Nothing Without Us by Cait Gordon and Talia C. Johnson
Contact Barrier Free Saskatchewan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to confirm your attendance to the book club!
The Ability Hub’s AGMThe Ability Hub will be holding their annual general meeting virtually on Tuesday, June 2. Register by emailing email@example.com
Barrier Free Saskatchewan AGM
The Barrier Free Saskatchewan AGM will take place virtually on Tuesday, September 5 at 6:00 p.m. If you would like to attend the AGM, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that you will need to be a member of Barrier Free Saskatchewan in order to vote.
Summer Sunshine Day Camp 2023 -Learning Disabilities Association of SaskatchewanSummer Sunshine Day Camp 2023 (ldas.org) CONTEMPORARY ARTICLES AND RESOURCES In each edition of the Barrier Free Saskatchewan Newsletter, we will share articles and resources of interest to us with you.
This month’s articles, and resources are listed below.Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry Files Charter Challenge Against Sask. Government’s Disability Programhttps://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/regina-antipoverty-ministry-files-a-charter-challenge- against-said-1.6789763Accessibility Legislation for SaskatchewanAccessibility Legislation for SaskatchewanUnited Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, 2023International Day of Persons with Disabilities | United NationsLaunch of the WHO Global Report on Health Equity for Persons with DisabilitiesLaunch of the WHO Global Report on Health Equity for Persons with DisabilitiesDoctors Are Failing Patients With DisabilitiesDoctors Are Failing Patients With Disabilities – The AtlanticJob Seekers With Disabilities Need To Know Their Legal Rights From The Get-Gohttps://www.forbes.com/sites/gusalexiou/2022/11/30/job-seekers-with-disabilities-need-to-know-their-legal-rights-from-the-get-go/amp/Petition to the Legislative Assembly Calling for Adequate and Equitable SAID RatesPetition to the Legislative Assembly calling for adequate and equitable SAID rates – Barrier Free Saskatchewan
10 Ways You Can Be a Disability Ally https://www.socialdiversity.org/updates/00n8u4gcgi02vu7x2xgsvsbbvj6y79
Daughter Pushes Back On Trespass Notice At Father’s Ontario Long-Term Care Homehttps://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-long-term-care-home-tresspass-notice-1.6398374
Saskatoon Police PSA Showing Gang Member In Wheelchair Sends Ableist Message, Disability Advocates Sayhttps://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6405978
Voices of Empowerment and Resilience
Barrier Free Saskatchewan is proud to share articles and links to showcase people who are making a difference in the world of disability. In this newsletter we want to share a link showcasing Barrier Free Saskatchewan’s Secretary, Charlene Young, featured on #IGotThis.
Barrier Free Saskatchewan wishes to acknowledge all the people working towards a barrier free Saskatchewan where there is accessibility for all. We hope you have enjoyed the first edition of our newsletter. We look forward to bringing a newsletter to you quarterly.SponsorshipsBarrier Free Saskatchewan is grateful to our sponsors. Each newsletter we will mention our sponsors and display their logo for their sponsorship. In this edition we thank Unifor Prairie Council for their generosity.
NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT USCopyright © *2023* *Barrier Free Saskatchewan*, All rights reserved.
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*237 5th Ave North, Saskatoon, SK. S7K 2P2*
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