WOLFVILLE - A Kings County woman is among the handpicked appointees chosen as the first members of the provincial Accessibility Advisory Board.
"Many Nova Scotians face barriers that prevent them from fully participating in society. The board will be working to address these barriers and to help make the province an accessible place for all to live and work," said Attorney General and Justice Minister Mark Furey in a recent press release.
The advisory board is tasked with developing a plan that outlines how Nova Scotia will achieve accessibility by 2030.
Kings County-based board member Cynthia Bruce is thrilled to be a part of conversations that will lead to important recommendations regarding accessibility standards and legislation.
“It’s really important that this legislation be robust if we want to make real progress around accessibility, so we need a real breadth of expertise that will allow us to think, and move, beyond ramps and elevators,” said Bruce, an educator who identifies as a blind activist.
“We need to think about accessibility in the education context and employment context, and that made me really interested in contributing to the conversation in a formal way moving forward.”
Elaborating, Bruce said it is important to consider that buildings housing public libraries must be accessible to users with mobility challenges, and there should also be reading materials available on site that are accessible for users who are blind or partially sighted.
“We have to think really broadly about what it means for our public institutions to be accessible,” said Bruce, a part-time instructor of disability studies at Acadia University.
Bruce studied inclusive education for her PhD focusing on post-secondary disability access. She’s excited to be counted among the diverse group of individuals selected for the Accessibility Advisory Board.
“Access looks different to all of us and, if those voices aren’t at the table, we won’t get this right,” she said.
For more information about the board members and the group’s mandate, visit https://novascotia.ca/accessibility/.