December 03, 2018

Saskatchewan Proclaims International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The Government of Saskatchewan has joined the world in recognizing December 3, 2018, as International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was first proclaimed by the United Nations in 1992 to increase awareness and understanding of disability issues and trends, and to mobilize support for practical action by, with and for persons with disabilities.  This year’s theme is “empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

In 2018, the Government of Saskatchewan promoted the inclusion of persons with disabilities with a number of actions:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Individualized Funding was successfully launched in July.
  • So far this year, 34 people have transitioned out of Valley View Centre into communities of their choice and the province has funded 11 group homes that have opened this year.  A total of 114 residents have successfully transitioned into new homes.
  • The Early Learning Deaf and Hard of Hearing “Children Communicating, Connecting and in Community” pilot program was launched in Regina and Saskatoon.
  • Home Care Individualized Funding was increased by $1.2 million annually, so more Saskatchewan residents can access the funding option and have choice over their services.
  • The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program is being set up to provide all babies born in the majority of Saskatchewan hospitals with a screening test to detect hearing loss at an earlier age.
  • Streamlined application process for students with permanent disabilities seeking post-secondary education grants.

“Today we have the opportunity to proclaim our commitment to improving the supports and services for people with disabilities,” Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said.  “We also get a chance to celebrate the accomplishments and work people with disabilities do everyday in our province.”

“Individuals living with a disability contribute to our society’s worth and together with community organizations, government and key influencers, act as agents of change toward sustainable inclusiveness development,” Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan Executive Director Launel J. Scott said.  “We are proud to work with people of all abilities in annual recognition of December 3 and throughout the year.”

Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan, along with the Neil Squire Society, First Steps Wellness Centre, REALM Foundation Inc., the Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association and others, hosted the Adapted Physical Activities Symposium 2018 in Regina from November 29 to December 1 in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.