Issue 17 | December 2020


Season's greetings from the NEW Manitoba Accessibility Office

On December 3rd, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Honourable Heather Stefanson, Minister of Families and Minister Responsible for Accessibility, announced a name change for the Disabilities Issues Office. To reflect the focus of its work, the office was renamed the “Manitoba Accessibility Office”. The vision and mission statements have also been updated:

Vision:  A fully accessible and inclusive Manitoba where all abilities are valued, diversity and independence are celebrated, barriers are removed, and human rights are protected.

Mission:  To achieve greater access and inclusion in Manitoba by promoting accessibility law and practices through education, awareness and collaboration with communities, organizations and business.

“Accessibility benefits every Manitoban,” said Stefanson. “Together, we are identifying and eliminating barriers that stand in the way of full inclusion and participation in our society for all. The Manitoba Accessibility Office will continue to be a critical resource for all Manitobans on these issues, providing guidance, resources and expertise.”

On behalf of the staff at the Manitoba Accessibility Office, we wish you the very best this holiday season and New Year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                



Celebrating the 2020 Manitoba Accessibility Awards


To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Manitoba government has named the winners of the inaugural Manitoba Accessibility Awards. These awards recognize the recipients’ commitment to improving accessibility for all, Families Minister Heather Stefanson, announced on December 3rd. 

“Manitoba joins people across the world in promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, today and every day,” said Stefanson. “The 2020 Manitoba Accessibility Awards recognize leaders in our communities who have shown their commitment to inclusion and equity for Manitobans with disabilities.” 


Congratulations to the 2020 Manitoba Accessibility Award Winners:

• Large business – Winnipeg Airports Authority

• Small business – Red Apple, Stonewall

• Urban non-profit organization – Gateway Church, Winnipeg

• Rural non-profit – Woodlands Pioneer Museum

• Large municipality – City of Selkirk

• Small municipality – Rural Municipality of Victoria Beach


The six winners of the Manitoba Accessibility Awards were chosen from dozens of submissions from across the province. In their submissions, each organization highlighted the importance of working in collaboration with community partners to overcome barriers, and especially with people who have lived experience with obstacles to accessibility. Stefanson noted that each organization has made accessibility a priority, resulting in progress that has benefited its entire community.

“True community accessibility requires the entirety of the supply chain effectively working together to ensure the services offered at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport reflect the diverse needs of our community,” said Barry Rempel, president and CEO, Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA). “WAA is proud of the leadership role we have been able to play through development of a local accessibility committee to guide informed decisions to offer a more accessible and inclusive airport environment to serve our community.”

“Do not view making your organization accessible as an insurmountable task, but start by candidly identifying barriers,” said Judith Olson, vice-president, Woodlands Pioneer Museum. “You will have taken the most important step. Removing one barrier at a time is absolutely achievable.”

For more information on the Manitoba Accessibility Awards, visit: Stay tuned for the awards presentation video and winner profiles, which will be featured in Accessibility News and posted at this website in the coming weeks. 


FYI: COVID-19 Prevention Orders

Disability-Related Goods & Services Exempt from Code Red Restrictions 

Supplies or services affecting assistive devices, mobility devices or medical devices, and other similar devices or supplies are not affected by current restrictions.  Please note, this includes in-store tailoring services required by people with disabilities.

COVID-19 Prevention Orders, Schedule A, Clause 56. For more information, visit:


New Resources! Accessibility during COVID-19

COVID novel coronavirus.jpg     

The updated "Maintaining accessibility during COVID-19" webpage features content specific to the impact of COVID-19 on Manitobans with Disabilities, COVID-19 resources, as well as a social media toolkit with easy to use text and images to help promote accessibility. We encourage you to download and share on social media.

The page also has specific information relevant to businesses and organizations focusing on offering accessible services during COVID-19 and keeping employees safe.                                                                                                                                                              

December 3rd International Day of Persons with Disabilities 

Thank you to everyone who joined the Manitoba Accessibility Office on December 3rd for our International Day of Persons with Disabilities webinar. The Manitoba Accessibility Office will be uploading all webinar resources in the following weeks, including a transcript and video to                                                                                                

                                International Day of Persons with Disabilities               


Recap of Disability Employment Awareness Month 


Image of text that states "Disability Employment Awareness Month" with a photo of a smiling woman using a phone.


DEAM 2020 was a great success!

Thank you to almost 350 individuals who registered and attended “The Future of Work: Accessible & Inclusive Employment during COVID-19 & Beyond” webinar co-hosted by the Manitoba Employment Equity Practitioners Association (MEEPA), Manitoba Possible, and the Manitoba Accessibility Office. We received great interest in the event and were very pleased to welcome audience members from not only Manitoba, but across Canada and the world.

We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to our keynote speaker, Shane Kanady for his insightful presentation and meaningful contribution to this year’s webinar.



DEAM Resources - Now Available Online!

Couldn’t attend the DEAM webinar? Want access to the webinar video and other materials? All DEAM resources are now available under "Webinar Resources" on

- DEAM 2020 Webinar video

- DEAM 2020 PowerPoint

DEAM 2020 Webinar transcript


Eye on the Community - Accessibility Champions

Award-winning Feast Café & Bistro on Ellice Avenue has been a beacon of hope, unity, and awareness for the Indigenous community in Manitoba since 2015. To learn more, visit the article:

Christa Bruneau-Guenther, owner of Feast Cafe Bistro, spoke to Chrystia Freeland for 30-minutes Wednesday. During the meeting, Bruneau-Guenther said she raised concerns about the need to support Canadians who have disabilities or face barriers to employment, and employers who hire inclusively.

To learn more, visit the article:

The Manitoba Accessibility Office is grateful to the team at Feast Café & Bistro for their work on accessibility and is proud to feature them in our “Accessibility in the Workplace: Good for Everyone, Law in Manitoba” video. 


Community Jobs & Training, Events, Funding, & Resources                           

Jobs & Training

Jobs with potential. Work with purpose. Available right now!


You can start a new, meaningful career path, as a disability support worker supporting Manitoba’s most vulnerable.

The Direct Service Provider “Rapid Recruitment Initiative” is looking to recruit Manitobans for entry-level full-time employment in the disability field. Direct service providers are needed to support adults with intellectual disabilities in their homes, at their workplaces and in other community settings.

Successful candidates also have access to a free accelerated-learning online course on the fundamentals of disability support that has been developed by Red River College.

For more information, please visit:                                                                                                                                                                         



British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) - Indigenous Disability & Wellness Gathering Nov 8-10, 2021


The 2021 Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering will be held in Victoria, BC and on the ancestral lands of the Lekwungen People. This is a celebration of BCANDS' 30th anniversary and the 7th anniversary of Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM).  

The Gathering brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments, leadership, service providers, community members and others to learn, connect, and collaborate in addressing the unique barriers Indigenous peoples with disabilities face.

 For more information & registration, visit:




BCANDS Indigenous Support for Student Learning Program                                                           

BCANDS is an internationally recognized and award-winning not-for-profit Indigenous disability organization. BCANDS is now offering a new program called the Indigenous Support for Student Learning Program (SSLP).

This program is a time-limited project targeting Indigenous students who have limited financial resources, including those students living with disabilities. The SSLP is now accepting applications from eligible students across Canada to be considered to receive a laptop, disability-related software, and accessories. The goal is to assist Indigenous students in their educational success and eventually in their future employment.

For more information, please visit:




We have included a few notable resources below. For a complete listing of Accessibility & COVID-19 Resources, please visit:                                                                                                                                                               

Inclusion Canada - COVID-19 & Disability: Resource for Families

Inclusion Canada has created a page of disability-related resources related to the COVID- 19 pandemic for families:

Manitoba Human Rights Commission Report - A human rights based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has released a report of principles and actions to inform a human rights based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic:                                   

The Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 Resources for Indigenous Communities & Youth 

The Canadian Red Cross, with funding from Indigenous Services Canada / First Nations Inuit Health Branch, has launched a Help Desk resource for Indigenous Community Leadership: Indigenous community leadership. They have also created a resource for Indigenous youth: COVID-19 Resources for Indigenous Youth


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Manitoba Accessibility Office
630 - 240 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0J7 
Phone: 204-945-7613
Toll free: 1-800-282-8069, ext. 7613 

Follow and join the #AccessibleMB conversation on social media.