In June 2021, British Columbia became the fifth province in Canada to introduce comprehensive accessibility legislation with the Accessible British Columbia Act. This legislation provides a framework to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility, allowing British Columbia to continue to work towards becoming a more inclusive province.
Key Themes of the Accessible British Columbia Act:
- Breaking down barriers
- Advancing human rights
- Promoting fairness and equity
Themes Specific to Education:
- Increased visibility of those with disabilities
- Public education campaigns to include those with disabilities in the education system
- Development of targeted education and training programs
- Increased integration in schools
- Focus on accessibility, empathy and sensitivity training
Important Definitions from the Act
Barrier: Essentially, anything that hinders the full and equal participation in society of a person with an impairment.
Impairment: A physical, sensory, mental, intellectual, or cognitive impairment, which is permanent, temporary, or episodic.
What are Examples of Barriers to Accessibility?
- Attitudinal: when people think, and act based upon false assumptions.
- Physical: when obstacles in an environment make access difficult.
- Information or Communication: when people with disabilities are excluded because they use other ways to communicate.
- Systemic: when an organization’s policies, practices and procedures result in exclusion.
- Technology: when technology can’t be accessed by people with disabilities.
- Sensory: when sensory information such as lights, sounds, smells, etc. prevent participation in the environment.
Partnering with Northern School Districts
Operating within the K-12 sector, Coast Mountains School District has partnered with other school districts in Northern British Columbia to work towards meeting legislative requirements by September 2023, namely:
- Establish an Accessibility Committee
- Develop an Accessibility Plan, and
- Establish a process for receiving public feedback
Use the link below to provide your feedback related to accessibility in Coast Mountains School District. The feedback we receive will be shared with both our Accessibility Advisory Committee and our Accessibility Working Group. We will also share feedback with relevant department or school leaders.