Film fest views disability

The province has released its third annual accessibility progress report, timed in honour of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Approximately 334,000 British Columbians, from 15 to 64 years of age, self-identifying as having a disability.

Improved bus and transportation services for students with disabilities; an increase in assistance rates and earning exemptions for people on assistance; maximizing the uptake of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) in B.C.; and a website dedicated to helping employers build more inclusive workplaces are covered in this year's report.

"This government is working on behalf of everyone in B.C. to create a society where all people can find opportunity, security and a chance to prosper," said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. "Organizations, community groups, the disability community, businesses and governments all play a vital role in moving us closer to a fully inclusive society that encourages everyone to thrive, no matter their ability."

"By creating goals and marking progress in a report like this, we can support people living a life of dignity, respect and opportunity," said Faith Bodnar, executive director of Inclusion BC.

Meanwhile, Inclusion BC Foundation and BC Self-Advocacy Foundation have partnered with the National Film Board for the third annual UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities Film Festival.

Unique in British Columbia, this event features a series of short films and is produced, programmed and hosted by people with intellectual disabilities.

The two-hour program of Canadian short films and conversation explores representation of disability in film over the years. It also features the world premiere of our own film Disability Pride 2017.

The headline film festival is being held in New Westminster with simultaneous screenings in a number of other communities, including at Kelowna's UBC Okanagan Campus, Room UNC 200, University Centre, 3272 University Way, starting at 1 p.m. today.

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