It has been 8 months since I was elected Director for members with Disabilities and during that time I was able to introduce myself to the membership. I have created a mailing list of members with disabilities that were interested in receiving information on current issues and campaigns.
I believe in being available to the membership, whether it is to answer questions or simply providing support. A few members confided in me some of their stories and as I listened, it was clear that there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the members with disabilities are treated with respect and dignity.
We had our first PSAC Atlantic Council Meeting the first week of November and I felt very welcomed and accepted by the other Directors, which is a very important first step. We have an excellent Council and I believe we will represent our members very well. During this meeting, we were assigned to different committees and I’m happy to say that I was assigned to the Health and Safety Committee as well as the Human Rights Committee. Both committees will enable me to further represent my members as most issues facing members with disabilities fall under both those umbrellas. Our committees will be meeting for the first time this month and I’m looking forward to getting busy.
I do have good news to mention that will help our members tremendously; the Joint Learning Program (JLP) has introduced a new workshop called “Duty to Accommodate: Building an Inclusive Workplace”. I whish I could take the credit but it is something that the JLP has been working on for the last couple years now. However, it is certainly something that will benefit members with disabilities and we now need to bring awareness to this new workshop.
I have written the head office for the JLP with a request to include Bullying and Mental Health/Stress in an already existing workshop or creating a new one. It is certainly not easy to develop a new workshop but it begins with a request. I will keep members informed of any information the JLP may provide.
There are also many different campaigns happening due to decisions made by the Harper Government. I’ve had the pleasure to be selected to be part of the “3rd Choice Campaign” to launch an online campaign to raise awareness amongst Canadians. Having to choose between public services and eliminating the deficit is an absurd choice and Canadians want a 3rd choice. This campaign was lunched on all social Medias and as part of the team, I would ensure that the word got out there by promoting the website and getting as many people to get involved as possible. It was a very challenging and fun assignment and it’s not over yet as there is still more to come with this campaign. As a Director on Council, I will be called upon to do various tasks and this is an excellent way to network; therefore, even though sometimes it may have nothing to do directly with disability issues, it can always be of benefit when you can broaden your knowledge and network. All experience and training is beneficial and I welcome all of it.
I am also President of the Greater Moncton Area Council, we held our Annual General Meeting on January 25th, whereby a sub-committee was created to re-examine our by-laws, discussed Budget Watch 2012 and we will also be partnering with
I welcome members to contact me if there are concerns, questions or comments regarding this report.
Director for members with Disabilities