This week we are recognizing two very important initiatives: National Accessibility Week and Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) Awareness Week. From May 28 to June 3, we will promote inclusion and accessibility in communities and workplaces across Canada and bring awareness to GBA+, a tool our government is using to ensure inclusive growth and an economy that works for everyone.
National AccessAbility Week, championed by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities, is an annual week that will celebrate, highlight, and promote inclusion and accessibility across Canada. We need to change the way we think, talk, and act about barriers to participation and accessibility. We need to foster inclusion right from the start, not as an afterthought. An inclusive Canada is one where everyone can fully participate in their communities and work places and have an equal opportunity to succeed.
As reported in the last Canadian Survey on Disability in 2012, approximately 14% of Canadians aged 15 years or older reported having a disability that limited them in their daily activities. People with disabilities across Canada are employed at a lower rate than their counterparts without disabilities. In 2012, 47% of people with disabilities were employed, compared with 74% of Canadians without disabilities. The 2012 survey indicates that there are more than 400,000 people with disabilities who have the potential and willingness to work, but are not employed.
GBA+ Awareness Week 2017 is an opportunity to highlight the government’s commitment to gender equality. It reminds us of the importance of strengthening the implementation of GBA+ across federal departments and agencies, including in the House of Commons and the Senate. In addition to gender, GBA+ includes analysis of intersecting factors of identity such as race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental or physical disability. GBA+ is a tool that helps see a fuller picture so we can make good decisions. It helps ensure that government policies, programs, legislation and services reflect the experiences of diverse groups of people.
One of the best ways to learn about GBA+ is to take the Introduction to GBA+ online course at women.gc.ca.
Please join me in the conversation and help spread awareness of these two initiatives.