Issue 10 | October 2019

Your Opinion Matters

The Accessibility Advisory Council (Council) is pleased to present its recommendations for an accessibility standard for transportation and invites your feedback on its discussion paper with initial recommendations for this standard (PDF) (Word). 

Please send your comments by November 20, 2019 to

The Council also invites you to attend a public consultation, in person or by webinar, on Thursday, November 7, 2019. Please register by November 4.

For more information, please see our events section, listed below.

Remember: Safety Comes First

Plan to keep employees safe in emergencies

Employers want to ensure employees with disabilities stay safe at work.  To accomplish this goal, all employers must meet the following two requirements by May 1, 2020:

  • Workplace Emergency Response Information

Create emergency response information to help employees with disabilities stay safe during emergencies. 

  • Workplace Emergency Assistance 

Ask employees who require assistance during an emergency for permission to share information with individuals who agree to help.

For more details about how to meet the safety requirements of employees with disabilities please see the Workplace Emergency Response Information Toolkit (PDF) (Word).

Change Makers 

Ensuring accessible and inclusive emergency preparedness

Congratulations to this month’s Change Maker, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) for the accessibility accommodations it has integrated into its emergency planning.  Many thanks to MPI and employees Janet Hunt and Kristy Rydz for sharing excerpts of their interview, which first appeared in MPI’s employee newsletter on June 11, 2019.  

Janet Hunt is a clerk typist 2 at MPI.  She has lived with vision loss for more than 20 years and finds her way with the help of a cane or her guide dog, Topaz.

In her 40 years working for MPI, Janet has experienced important changes that have helped the organization become more inclusive of employees who face barriers in the workplace, including in preparing for the unexpected. 

“Emergency preparedness was very different in 1980. Today, we have a detailed plan that is inclusive of all employees.  I’m proud of MPI’s emergency preparedness plan and how accommodating it is for individual needs.”

For Janet, that has meant a specialized, thought-out plan to ensure she and her service animal Topaz are able to quickly get to safety, no matter what the situation. For example, in the case of a fire alarm, the first thing she does is harness Topaz.

“My disability isn’t physical so with some advance planning I can work my guide dog down the stairs. I arranged with a co-worker to evacuate together. We identified a lesser used back stairway so we don’t slow anyone else down,” she said.

“If for any reason I can’t use the stairs, I have the option of remaining at a staging area to wait for assistance. And if something were to happen to me, I trust my co-worker to get my dog out safely.”

“MPI understands that we’re all different, and anyone wanting to discuss their individual needs is welcome to contact the emergency preparedness coordinator.”

“Accessibility affects everyone whether we realize it or not. Removing barriers and improving access is also the first step to inclusion,” she said.

“Access is being invited to the party; but inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Challenge:  Has your workplace considered accessibility in planning for emergencies or evacuations?

Do you know a Manitoba business or individual that deserves to be recognized as an accessibility change maker? Submit the name of your nominee and a brief description of why they are an accessibility champion to

Accessibility Toolkit is now searchable

Finding the information you need to comply with Manitoba’s accessibility law just got a whole lot easier! 

Located on the top right hand corner of the website, the search engine allows users to find information by typing in words or phrases, for example:

You type: Workplace emergency

Up pops:  Workplace Emergency Response Information Toolkit



Upcoming Events

employABILITY Expo to celebrate Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM)  

October 9, 2019 at the Norwood Hotel, 112 Marion Street

In Manitoba, October is Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM). DEAM is an annual opportunity to increase employment awareness and success for Manitobans with disabilities.

Join us at the 9th Annual employABILITY Expo, with a keynote address from Anthony Taza, Membership, Training and Operations Manager at Costco Wholesale Canada.

For more information, please visit the employABILITY Expo event page.

Accessibility Advisory Council presents a Public Consultation on the Transportation Standard

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019  

Place: Viscount Gort Hotel, Main Floor (Royal ABC), 1670 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg

Time: 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm (Registration begins at 12:30 pm)

View the Discussion Document (PDF) (Word).

Register to attend in person or via webinar.

Free Workshops 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Monday, November 25, 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Disabilities Issues Office holds monthly workshops for employers to learn how to meet the requirements of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act.  All workshops are held from 1 pm to 3 pm at 114 Garry Street in Boardroom 1D in Winnipeg.

Register now to learn how you can develop policies and practices to comply with Manitoba’s accessibility law. For information about workshops held outside Winnipeg, please contact the DIO.

This newsletter is available in alternate formats upon request.

You subscribed to this newsletter on the website.

Disabilities Issues 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.

Manitoba Accessibility Office