Province invests $250,000 into accessible post-secondary education

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B.C. is providing $250,000 in additional funding to help students with disabilities train for in-demand careers.

The funds will support three program within public post-secondary institutions. The Academic Communication Equity (ACE), Centre for Accessible Post-Secondary Education Resources (CAPER) and Program for Institutional Loan of Adaptive Technology (PILAT) help students with accessibility challengess, including in the technology and trades sectors, the province said.

“Every British Columbian deserves the opportunity to achieve their career dreams and goals,” said Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training. “We’re empowering students with accessibility challenges to pursue post-secondary training and education to reach their goals, get good-paying jobs and fully participate in B.C.’s strong, resilient economy.”

The ACE program supports accessible post-secondary education for students who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind and attending, or planning to attend, college or university in B.C.

The CAPER program provides alternative learning format materials, such as digital audio books, large print texts, electronic texts and other suitable formats to students and instructors.

The PILAT program supports post-secondary students who require specialized adaptive technology and/or software, such as TypeWell Transcriber and XamBox computer technology.

“Almost 25 per cent of adults in B.C. identify as living with a disability — that means a potentially large number of people struggle with unnecessary barriers to training and education,” said Dan Coulter, parliamentary secretary for accessibility. “We remain committed to building a more accessible and inclusive B.C. and these three new programs are a great step towards that goal.”

The province said about 3,000 post-secondary students with disabilities will benefit from the additional funding in the programs.

The province has proclaimed May 30–June 5 as B.C.’s fourth AccessAbility Week, to promote inclusion and accessibility, while also celebrating people in the disability community who are working to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. AccessAbility Week is also nationally recognized. 

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