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BFM Submits Long List of Those Calling for Stronger Standard

Jan 31, 2018

Top of letter to Minister

Earlier this afternoon, Barrier-Free Manitoba sent a letter to Minister Fielding with the list of individuals and organizations that registered their support for our recommendations to strengthen the proposed accessible employment standard. Copies were also sent to Premier Pallister, Jay Rodgers (the Director responsible for the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act) and the Manitoba Accessibility Advisory Council.

We are pleased to post the letter for your review (Word / PDF).

The list includes over 300 concerned citizens and over 40 organizations. As with the list of those who earlier signed on in support of BFM's call for a strong and accessible education standard, those who registered their support of our recommendations to strengthen the proposed employment standard over the last two weeks represent more than one in every ten Manitobans.

We thank all the individuals and organizations who/that took the time to register their support. The vast majority of Manitobans with disabilities both want and are able to work. The fact that so many are prevented from doing so because of the barriers they face, or work in positions that do not make full use of their talents, is a human rights shame and a tremendous waste of resources.

Based on our review, we, and many other Manitobans, think that the accessible employment standard, as proposed by Minister Fielding, is not broad or strong enough to make meaningful strides toward equitable employment opportunities and outcomes for Manitobans with disabilities.

Accordingly, Barrier-Free Manitoba has recommended that the government revise its proposal to ensure that:

  • All employees in the province are covered by return to work policies.
  • All employers are required to develop, implement and maintain explicit policies that clearly state their commitment to the human right to accessible employment.
  • All employers promote workplace cultures that acknowledge and support the human right to accessible employment.
  • The standard addresses the accessibility barriers faced by persons with disabilities related to volunteer, internship and unpaid positions.
  • Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to reach out to agencies that specialize in disability employment services as part of recruitment activities.

Barrier-Free Manitoba has also recommended that the government commit to develop and enforce a strong accessible education standard. This standard is required to address the many barriers still faced by Manitobans with disabilities in our educational systems that contribute to limited labour force opportunities and outcomes.

Finally, Barrier-Free Manitoba has recommended that the government:

  • Commit to developing a robust strategy for the implementation of the accessible employment standard, including identifying and ensuring the availability of the requisite financial and human resources.
  • Require that large employers participate in a measurement system to track the effectiveness of the standard and to support evidence based decision-making.
  • Speed up its efforts to develop and release the details of the regime required to monitor and enforce compliance with the standard.

We are please to post the brief BFM submitted on January 12, 2018 that includes these recommendations.

Links to our previous July 2017 letter to the Minister regarding the accessible employment standard and our extensive February 2017 brief are posted at:



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