News release

Government Committed To Providing More Independence For Persons With Disabilities

Persons with disabilities, their families, and community partners in Nova Scotia, will soon have the opportunity to talk about how government can promote greater independence for people living with disabilities.

Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse announced today, Dec. 3, that the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion in Society (IRIS) has been engaged to help the province with this work.

The institute will help the province consult with persons with disabilities, their families and community partners on how to improve programs and services.

"Every Nova Scotian has the right to make decisions about their own life," said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. "We look forward to working with persons with disabilities, their families, and the community on defining and advancing a new vision, one that promotes inclusion and full participation for persons with disabilities and their families."

This research will allow Nova Scotia to have a stronger system of community-based supports and government programs that will be sustainable and easier to navigate.

"IRIS is extremely encouraged by the leadership demonstrated by the Nova Scotia government in embarking on this transformation," said Michael Bach, managing director of IRIS. "We are looking forward to supporting government and community partners in any way we can as Nova Scotia charts a new path forward."

The province is continuing its work on improving life for persons with disabilities by working towards a more person-centered, home and community based model.

This includes:

  • expanding support programs with great access to employment opportunities, skills training and vocational programs
  • tax reductions for families who have a dependent with a disability
  • more help for respite care, medication and transportation
  • more specialized community supports for social workers, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists

Community Services is also working on a project with the Department of Health and Wellness to improve service delivery. The project will be done in consultation with people with disabilities, their families, community organizations and advocates.

"We are committed to building a sustainable system of services that persons with disabilities and their families can rely on into the future," said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. "We fully acknowledge and respect the role and expertise of our community partners and want to engage and involve them in all aspects of the transformation process."

Dec. 3 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which celebrates accomplishments and promotes greater independence and inclusion in communities.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Persons with disabilities, their families, and community partners in Nova Scotia, will soon have the opportunity to talk about how government can promote greater independence for people living with disabilities.

The Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion in Society will help the province consult with persons with disabilities, their families and community partners to help improve programs and services.

Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse says every Nova Scotian has the right to make decisions about their own life and government programs and services should promote inclusion and independence.

Today (December 3rd) is the recognized as the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

-30-

Media Contact:

Amanda Pelham
Community Services 902-424-4038 Cell: 902-476-7126 E-mail: