In June 2021, the Province passed the Accessible British Columbia Act which provided a framework to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to accessibility. This includes priorities in 5 areas:
- Creating a culture of accessibility and inclusion
- Information and communications
- Buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces
- Employment in the BC public service (that includes 750 organizations!)
- Delivery of goods and services, including providing means for overcoming barriers in either training or employment
To make these priorities a reality, the province is developing standards for accessibility and appointing technical committees to inform those standards. On December 1, the province announced 30 representatives across BC to help develop British Columbia’s first two standards for accessibility: the employment accessibility standard and the accessible service delivery standard. These accessibility standards will help remove and prevent barriers that restrict people with disabilities from equally participating in their community.
The two 15-person committees will support the work of the Provincial Accessibility Committee to develop accessibility standards. The committees will study barriers such as non-inclusive policies, restrictive technologies or inaccessible infrastructure to develop more effective regulations and policies.
We are pleased to share that the Employment Accessibility Standard committee will be chaired by Christine Buchanan, the Regional Director of Employment Services and Training at Open Door Group.
“I am thrilled and honoured to be a chair and part of the committees that will help create BC’s first accessibility standards. I look forward to working with the province, the committee members, and employers to develop employment standards that make BC accessible for every person.” Said Christine Buchanan, Regional Director of Employment Services and Training at Open Door Group.
Christine brings a vast depth of experience and genuine passion for supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly in relation to employment. She has over 15 years of experience in employment counselling and vocational rehabilitation. During her time at Open Door Group, she brought over ten years of experience training staff, the public, employers, and social service agencies on serving and employing people with disabilities.
Currently, Christine is an active member of the board of directors for the BC Career Development Association and a member of the provincial-wide low-barriered employment network (Shift), the City of Vancouver’s Community benefit agreement working group, and on the advisory group with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism at the University of British Columbia.
Christine will be starting her role as Chair for the Employment Accessibility Standard committee starting Dec 1, 2022.
Read the announcement from the province: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022SDPR0068-001813
More about the Accessible British Columbia Act and its implementation, including the accessible feedback tool, the Provincial Accessibility Committee and the two newly formed technical committees: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/accessibility
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