29 May 2017 For Immediate Release
About Barrier Free Saskatchewan
Barrier Free Saskatchewan (BFSK) has developed fourteen principles to be the foundation of a Saskatchewan Disability and Inclusion Act.
We want the Province of Saskatchewan to pass an Accessibility Act with these principles intact so we can become a barrier free province.
A Barrier Free Saskatchewan is for everyone. Using these principles, BFSK is building a non-partisan coalition from the provincial community of individuals and organizations of and for persons with disabilities, Saskatchewan citizens, organizations, and companies who will endorse this worthwhile endeavor.
Earlier this month members of Barrier Free Saskatchewan filed 520 complaints with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission against 40 restaurants due to their lack of basic access. Not able to enter through the front door, use the washrooms, or to maneuver through a facility to a table is an access barrier for those persons using a wheelchair. “Such a barrier is a form of discrimination and discrimination against people with disabilities is prohibited by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Act, Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” says Lynnett Boris member of BFSK.
Unfortunately the province of Saskatchewan has done little to address the systemic access issues for persons with disabilities instead of getting down to business and ensuring that services and facilities like restaurants are accessible to everyone. We are disappointed that it has been necessary for a few individuals with disabilities to file 520 human right complaints against 40 restaurants in the Saskatoon area.
“I am still dumbfounded over the number of restaurants that are not accessible to a person in a wheelchair. Imagine trying to find a restaurant where the front door, the washrooms, or the general layout is accessible so one can join friends and colleagues for a social event,” says Robin East Chair and Founder of BFSK. “What a struggle it is to secure access to what is considered a “normal “activity Saskatchewanians take for granted”, stated East. “We expect more from the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission to ensure goods and services are free of barriers and to not avoid their legal and mandated obligations to people with disabilities,” said East.
“We should not have to resort to the filing of human right complaints to ensure the Saskatchewan Government fulfills its obligations to people with disabilities”, stated Len Boser, BFSK member. “This is why we need a province that is “Barrier Free””, says Boser.
For more information contact:
Robin East – Chair and Founder Barrier Free Saskatchewan – 306 241 2623
Lynnett Boris – Member Barrier Free Saskatchewan – 306 655 5508
Len Boser – Member Barrier free Saskatchewan – 306 955 5051
From May 28 to June 3 is the National AccessAbility Week. It is a week for Canadians to promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces, to celebrate our progress and to be inspired to further break down accessibility barriers.