The provincial government has appointed 11 people as the first members of the Provincial Accessibility Committee (PAC), intended to remove barriers for people with disabilities.
The committee’s work will include helping the government prioritize accessibility standards and overseeing the process of developing standards in areas such as employment, education, transportation and customer service. It will be advised by expert technical committees, according to a release from the province.
“I’m thrilled to announce the PAC membership today and highlight the important people who will be advising government on accessibility,” said Nicholas Simons, minister of social development and poverty reduction. “These members are a diverse group with a broad range of skills and experiences. I thank them for their service and look forward to the work ahead.”
Members include people with disabilities, individuals and organizations that support people with disabilities and Indigenous representatives. The committee will meet at least four times a year.
The committee will be jointly chaired by Dan Coulter, parliamentary secretary for accessibility and Spring Hawes, MLA for Kelowna-West. Hawes was selected because of her knowledge and experience, community involvement and her familiarity with local government, according to the release.
In 2017, there were an estimated 926,100 British Columbians over the age of 15 who reported having a disability, according to the province.