October 2017

Accessibility is the Law / Participation is Your Right

Graphic of VIRN Logo in Black and White version.
Public Information Campaign

VIRN wants to inform you of a very important public information campaign.

Barrier-Free Manitoba and partner groups have launched the "Accessibility is the Law / Participation is Your Right" public information campaign. The campaign’s goal is to promote awareness of new accessibility requirements established under the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) for all public meetings

Background

Under the AMA, provincial government departments have been responsible to ensure the full accessibility of public meetings and events since November 1, 2016. Starting November 2017, most public sector organizations beyond government must do the same.

That means that organizations are required to ensure that:
• notices and promotions of public meetings and events are accessible to Manitobans with disabilities
• public meetings and events are held in spaces that are accessible
• Manitobans with disabilities are invited to request accommodations required for their full participation
• the physical and communication needs of persons disabled by barriers are met on request.

These organizations include:
• All government boards, commissions, associations, agencies, or similar bodies for which all board members are appointed Act of the Legislature or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council
• All colleges and universities
• All regional health authorities
• All school divisions and schools
• The cities of Brandon, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Morden, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Thompson, Winkler and Winnipeg.

In the past, while all Manitobans with disabilities have had the same legal right to participate as everyone else, many thousands of them, in practice, were denied their human rights to full citizenship because of barriers. The requirements established under the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act have now changed this. We think that this is wonderful news.

This campaign is intended to:
• Inform Manitobans with disabilities of the requirements removing barriers to their right to participate.
• Inform organizations what they are required to do to fulfill the requirements.

Celebrate and Exercise Your Rights

Please take every opportunity to celebrate and exercise your rights. Please become and have others you know become accessible public meeting champions who help ensure that organizations are meeting these new requirements.

If you see a notice in newspapers, online or elsewhere of public meetings and events being held by the organizations listed above, and it does not include an open and clear invitation for Manitobans with disabilities to request accommodations, call the group and express your concerns. If you want to attend and need an accommodation, request it in advance. If you see that a public meeting or event is scheduled to be held in space that you know is not fully accessible, call the group and express your concerns.

If you still have concerns after speaking with the group and/or if the group tells you that they won't provide the requested accommodation, we strongly encourage you to work with VIRN and contact the Province's Disability Issues Office:
Phone: 204-945-7613
Toll Free: 1-800-282-8069 (Extension 7613)
email: dio@gov.mb.ca

Change is hard, even a really important change like this. We expect that at least some of the organizations are going to need a little encouragement; together we can provide that encouragement. Please become and have others you know become accessible public meeting champions who help ensure that organizations are meeting these new requirements.

Finally, BFM would like to thank the partner groups that have helped organize this information campaign:
• Deaf Centre Manitoba Inc.
• Manitoba Deaf Association
• St. Amant
• Manitoba Deaf-Blind Association Inc.
• Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities,
• Canadian Hard of Hearing Association - Manitoba Chapter organizations are meeting these new requirements.

Next Tech-Ease Drop-in Monday, November 6th

A photo of the Google Home device that has a black base, grey on the bottom half and white on top.
Everyone Has Something to Share

Next Tech-Ease Drop-In is: Monday, November 6th
Millennium Library
Anhang Room on the 2nd Floor
251 Donald Street, Winnipeg
Southeast Corner of Donald & Graham

Time: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Sharing information and learning from people who use accessible tools and technology day-to-day?

Each month we will have a 20 minute presentation at 5:30 PM.

This month the presentation will be on Google Home.

Note: Please bring your own ear buds to all Tech-Ease drop-in sessions to help us eliminate distractions and interfering with each other.

Although it isn’t necessary, if you happen to have a question that may require some research on our part, let VIRN know a few days in advance. This will help us and make it easier to possibly bring someone in who could answer your question(s) or work with you on the device you have brought along.

Contact us at: 204-975-9341
Email info@virn.ca

Technology helps to keep us connected, informed and is inclusive.

Subscribe to: virn-tech@googlegroups.com
Email: ideviceusers@virn.ca

VIRN has been offering the Tech-Ease program for over ten years. We pride ourselves on sharing information about tools and technology to help the community of people who are vision impaired, their family and friends have equal access to information, download audio books, music and other reading materials through public library services, use GPS for mobility and independent travel and much more.

Contact us at: 204-975-9341
Email info@virn.ca

Technology helps to keep us connected, informed and is inclusive.
Subscribe to: virn-tech@googlegroups.com
Email: ideviceusers@virn.ca

Last Cycling Ride of the Season Wednesday 5:30 PM

Graphic of Olympia Cycle Logo
Sun Sets at 6:59 PM

Dress Warm - Last Ride of the Season

Next ride is a little shorter:
Wednesday, October 4th
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Duck Pond Shelter
Assiniboine Park - Winnipeg

Meeting spot the Duck Pond at Assiniboine Park
Handi-Transit riders get dropped off in front of the Qualico Family Centre. There is a water fountain in the duck pond in front of the Qualico Centre and benches directly across from the fountain where you can wait for us to meet you.

Transit riders use the footbridge off Portage to get to the Duck Pond.

Please confirm if you are coming so we have enough volunteers.
Space is limited, so reserve your spot by Wednesday 12:00 PM.
Call us at: 204-975-9341 or email: info@virn.ca

Special Notes
• Everyone MUST wear a helmet. If you have your own, please bring it with you. We will have some on hand.
• Keep this phone number handy for a contact number: 204-793-0245
• Bring water and/or something to drink
• Bring a snack for yourself (optional)

You are welcome to bring your own bike and join in.
Everyone is welcome!

"A huge thank you to our sponsor Olympia Cycle for your outstanding support."
Visit their website at: https://olympiacycle.com/

"Thank you to our wonderful volunteer pilots! You are so very much appreciated."

"And thank you to everyone who came out and for making VIRN's Cycling Program a huge success."
Wind-up date TBA