On March 26, 2019, our president sent a letter to the Executive Director of SaskAbility. His letter expressed the concern of Barrier Free Saskatchewan with the health and safety risks faced by people when their motorized wheelchairs, motorized beds, home elevators/lifts, and other assistive equipment become inoperable outside regular business hours.

To learn more, read the letter below:

Executive Director

Dear Mr. Wilkinson,

My name is Robin East and I am the President of Barrier Free Saskatchewan. Our mandate, as a registered not for profit organization, is to advocate for a barrier free province.

There is a Health and Safety concern that needs your attention. There is no after hour, weekend, or statutory holiday “Emergency Help Line” for people in our province using motorized chairs, lifts in their vehicles or homes, etcetera.

If these mobility devices stop for some reason, people using them are put into a precarious and dangerous position.

I am now aware of two instances in as many months where individuals motorized chairs stopped working or their motorized beds became inoperable. I will not get into the details but their health and safety were at risk due to the malfunction of these devices.

When there is an issue with one’s devices after business hours – evenings, weekends or statutory holidays people with disabilities cannot get “emergency” assistance.

I am asking Saskatchewan Abilities Council to set up an “emergency Help Line” in Saskatoon and, indeed, our province.

People relying on their mobility devices are at grave risk if they are not able to access emergency assistance to address the mechanical issues of their mobility devices after regular business hours.

I do hope you can assist to rectify this systemic barrier in our province.

Warm regards,

Robin East
Barrier Free Saskatchewan