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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: inclusion for all

On December 3, the world recognizes International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is calling on all levels of government in Canada to make full participation in society for people with disabilities a policy priority.

People with disabilities already make a considerable contribution to our society but they could do so much more if the barriers to their participation are removed.

One component of the solution to removing these barriers is the availability of high quality, community-based public services. These public services must be available to people with disabilities on the basis of need not income, located where they live, and provide the support that people need.

Unfortunately, the current economic climate with its focus on debt and deficit has resulted in funding cuts for necessary public services being made in communities across the country. In some communities people with disabilities are seeing their ability to participate moving backwards instead of forward.

It doesn't have to be this way.

Canada can afford to make our buildings and communities more accessible. We can ensure that people with disabilities are included in all aspects of Canada's social and economic life.

The money is there ... now all we need is the will. For this reason, NUPGE is calling on all levels of government in Canada to make accessibility and full inclusion a public policy priority.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with more than 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. HSA is a component of NUPGE.

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