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In honour of the United Nations’ 24th International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation issued the following statement:

“Each year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities brings renewed worldwide focus to the contributions and successes of people with disabilities across all borders. This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities theme – Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want – draws from the United Nations’ recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals and the role these goals play in creating a more-sustainable world for people with disabilities.

“Here in British Columbia, we are fortunate to have so many talented and passionate people of all abilities. Whether learning a new job, developing leading-edge technology solutions, participating in international sports events or contributing more fully in their community, people of all abilities continue to strengthen and expand the social fabric of our province every day.

“Accessibility 2024, B.C.’s 10-year action plan to become the most progressive province for people with disabilities in Canada, is a reflection of B.C.’s commitment to continuing the work of providing opportunities and reducing barriers for all people with disabilities. Through ongoing collaboration with the disability community, significant changes are being made that are having a positive impact in the lives of people with disabilities throughout the province.

“Modernization of the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act to make sure handlers have equal access to areas enjoyed by all members of the public, annualized earnings exemptions and increased asset limits for people receiving disability assistance, and the Technology@Work program to support employment opportunities are just a few examples of recent changes.

“As a member of the disability community – and a mother, a politician and an athlete – I can tell you that anything is possible, and here in B.C., it is evident that by working together we will be able to succeed in reaching our accessibility goals for people of all abilities.

“This International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I commend the disability community for its dedication to create a more inclusive and sustainable province for people of all abilities, and I congratulate those around the province for their contributions and achievements that help make British Columbia such a vibrant and welcoming place to call home.”