Issue 23 | February 2022
The Manitoba Accessibility Fund - Opens March 1st
The Manitoba Accessibility Fund (MAF) and its grant program will assist municipalities, non-profit organizations and businesses in Manitoba by providing financial support for projects that remove barriers for people with disabilities, and promote accessibility across the province.
Apply for the 2022/23 MAF Pilot Year beginning March 1 - Grants of up to $50,000
Projects must support Manitoba’s accessibility law by:
• raising awareness about the prevention and removal of barriers,
• developing tools, resources and training to support compliance with the law, or
• removing barriers to information and communications.
MAF applications open March 1, 2022. The deadline to submit applications is April 15, 2022.
For details about the MAF, please visit the Manitoba Accessibility Fund
MAF Learning Opportunity - Webinar
“How to Prepare your MAF Application” via Zoom
The Manitoba Accessibility Office will be hosting a 2-hour webinar to review the MAF Guidelines and Application Form, with time for questions. The webinar will offer captioning and American Sign Language. It will be recorded and added to the supporting resources for MAF.
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Time: 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. CST
Please let us know if your require information in French, or if you require accessibility accommodations in order to submit an application by contacting MAF@gov.mb.ca.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Resources Now Available
IDPD 2021 was a highly-anticipated celebration!
Thank you to the over 300 individuals who registered for the “IDPD 2021: Removing Barriers for People Who Use Service Animals” webinar. We received great interest in the event and were very pleased with the questions we received and conversations held during the webinar.
We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Karen Sharma, Director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission for her presentation, and to our panel of service animal experts: Yvonne Peters (moderator), Bill Tucker, and Vivi Dabee.
Advancing Accessibility through Amendments to the Jury Act
Recent changes to The Jury Act, which expand opportunities for Manitobans with disabilities to serve on juries, came into force in August 2021. The amended legislation redefines barriers arising from disabilities as circumstances that need to be reasonably accommodated rather than as a disqualifying factor to serve as a juror.
Previously, the Notice to Jurors Form offered potential jurors to disqualify themselves because of disability. Now, persons with disabilities may serve on juries provided the disability can be reasonably accommodated to allow for proper discharge of a juror’s duty. If individuals seek an exemption on the basis of a disability when an accommodation is available, they may be required to provide a certificate or letter from their medical practitioner to explain how the disability may impact their ability to serve.
The first principle of a jury trial is that community members make a decision about a member of their community. Therefore, representation is essential when selecting individuals for juries, and full participation of the community must be supported and encouraged.
For more information on the jury system in Manitoba, please visit: https://www.manitobacourts.mb.ca/court-of-queens-bench/serving-as-juror/#selection
2022/23 Year at a Glance
Dates noted and/or celebrated by the Manitoba Accessibility Office are marked with an asterisk *
March 1, 2022 – International Wheelchair Day
March 21, 2022 – World Down Syndrome Day
March 1, 2022 – Manitoba Accessibility Fund (MAF) Applications Open *
April 2, 2022 – World Autism Awareness Day
April 13, 2022 – World Functional Neurological Disorder Awareness Day
April 15, 2022 – Manitoba Accessibility Fund Applications Close *
May 1, 2022 – Compliance Deadline: Accessibility Standard for Employment *
May 1 to 31, 2022 – Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
May 10, 2022 – Bear Witness Day
May 29 to June 4, 2022 – National Access Awareness Week (NAAW) *
May 29 to June 4, 2022 – Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW) *
June 1 – National Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day
June 1 to 30, 2022 – National Indigenous History Month
August 9, 2022 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
September 19 to 26, 2022 – International Week of the Deaf
September 25, 2022 – International Day of Sign Language
September 30, 2022 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation *
October 1 to 31, 2022 – Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) *
October 6, 2022 – World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day
November 1 to 30, 2022 – Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) *
December 3, 2022 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) *
December 3, 2022 – Purple Light Up Day
December 10, 2022 – International Human Rights Day *
Eye on the Community - Accessibility Champions
Manitoba Accessibility Award Winner Profile
City of Selkirk – Small Municipality
The City of Selkirk is committed to undertaking ongoing accessibility improvements to remove barriers for residents with disabilities.
This is largely due to their Strategic Plan, which works as a road map for building a more inclusive community, and their Accessibility Plan, which aims to provide equitable treatment and benefit of city services, programs and facilities in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
In order to enhance the opportunities and quality of life for all citizens, the city designates funding from its annual budget towards improvements to city infrastructure and recreation facilities.
Examples of some of the recent investments at City Hall include automatic doors to the wheelchair accessible washrooms and signage.
Some of the investments in community infrastructure include accessible doors at the recreation complex, accessible gradients in sidewalk construction with tactile curb alerts, and investment in a network of accessible trails. The city’s CitizenSupport program also provides enhanced communication and online services to allow easy access to important information and their website.
The city uses its award winning and innovative asset management program when renewing infrastructure and makes adjustments to ensure that accessibility and equity are top of mind during a build or rebuild.
To ensure accessible civic services, employees receive accessibility training and our CitizenSupport representatives are citizen ambassadors to help solve community concerns. A highlight among its public awareness initiatives is the 2018 service animal campaign, including signage and staff training to ensure service animals are welcome in all public places.
According to Shelly Leonard, Age-Friendly Program Coordinator, “the City of Selkirk demonstrates accessibility leadership through its development of forward-thinking policy and strategies that serve to create a barrier-free environment for residents.” Ms. Leonard explains that the Selkirk Age-Friendly Program participated with University of Manitoba Faculty of City Planning to assist the City of Selkirk in developing a vision for accessible, age-friendly life in the community.