Accessible Transportation Main Focus for Yarmouth Man

first_imgDISABLED PERSONS COMMISSION–Accessible Transportation Main Focusfor Yarmouth Man Bill Crawford will be celebrating this International Day ofDisabled Persons, Dec. 3, on the roads of Yarmouth County. “My priority is to champion the cause of inclusive transportationwithin rural parts of Nova Scotia,” says Mr. Crawford, a memberof the Disabled Persons Commission and a long-time advocate ofaccessible transportation. For Mr. Crawford and others,transportation is an essential part of accessibility — toemployment, recreation and other opportunities — for peopleacross the province. Mr. Crawford’s participation on the Disabled Persons Commissionis a real-life example of the theme for the 2004 InternationalDay Of Disabled Persons — Nothing About Us Without Us. The International Day of Disabled Persons is set aside each yearto celebrate and acknowledge the experience and capabilities ofpeople with disabilities. The 2004 theme is a reminder thateffective policies and programs depend upon collaboration amongpeople with disabilities and all levels of government. Mr. Crawford works to secure accessible transportation, adequatelighting, easy-to-understand signs and spacious passages, onlysome of the aspects of daily life that people often take forgranted. His participation on the Disabled Persons Commission isone way he, as a person with a disability, can inform and guidepolicies and programs for persons with disabilities. The ideas and perspectives of community members like Mr. Crawfordenable the Disabled Persons Commission to influence governmentdecisions. Recently, for example, the commission provided inputon the framework for an updated federal-provincial employmentinitiative for people with disabilities. This framework willsupport people with disabilities in becoming employed, succeedingin their jobs and remaining in the workplace. It will also assistemployers as they get ready to hire people with disabilities. The Multi-lateral Framework for Persons with Disabilities wasdeveloped after almost two years of discussions and extensiveconsultations with the disability community, including theDisabled Persons Commission. As a result, it better reflects theviews and needs of persons with disabilities by providing a morecomprehensive, yet flexible, approach to programming. Mr. Crawford has been an advocate for people with disabilitiesfor more than 20 years. He became involved with the commissionthree years ago, and is now in his second term. He says theopportunity to work with government ministers and communityorganizations across North America has been a worthwhileexperience. Mr. Crawford says the commission is a true working partnershipthat has supported initiatives for better transportation andaccessibility, like the Dial-a-Ride service provided byHandicapped Organization Promoting Equality. This service helpspeople with disabilities and seniors in the Yarmouth region getto work, school and recreation. “Better accessibility allows people to be contributors in thecommunity,” he says. “Any community that supports transportationand access is better for doing so.” The Disabled Persons Commission was created in 1990 to advise theprovincial government and educate Nova Scotians on issuesconcerning people with disabilities. According to the Statistics Canada Participation and ActivityLimitation survey, Nova Scotia continues to have the highest rateof disability in Canada, with about one in five Nova Scotiansreporting a disability. -30-last_img read more