B.C. government announces funding to bolster inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities


The provincial government marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by announcing $500,000 in funding for projects that support accessibility and inclusivity.

Sixteen non-profit organizations across B.C will receive grants of up to $40,000, Social Development Minister Shane Simpson said Monday.

Money will be distributed through Disability Alliance BC.

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The 16 projects focus on employment, sports, education and community participation.

One of those non-profits is MAKE IT, a program in East Vancouver that supports youths with addiction issues.

“We had identified this need to broaden the scope of the MAKE IT program and move it more into mental health,” Rosie Forth of MAKE IT said. “So we are working with an unseen problem that really impacts people’s ability to connect with the labour market or even with their peers.”

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Another program at the University of Victoria uses an autonomous robot to help students with disabilities.

Social Policy Professor Nigel Livingston said he designed the robot, named James the Butler, to “essentially escort students around campus, escort them to labs, offices, to classrooms and find them empty chairs, push buttons for them if they need to go up and down elevators or push buttons so they can get into rooms or buildings.”


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