Albert Ruel of Barrier Free BC speaks at AGM

In the keynote speech at the VDRC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sept 28, Albert Ruel of Barrier Free BC (BFBC) explained why his organization is working with other groups to encourage the BC government to adopt a British Columbians with Disabilities Act.

He said that about 600,000 British Columbians with disabilities face unfair accessibility barriers in areas under Provincial Government control. He spoke of the need to bring barrier-free regulations to public transit, education, public parks and playgrounds, library services, health care, retail outlets, restaurants, recreation facilities, entertainment venues and workplaces.

Albert, a member of the steering committee of BFBC, is a long-time advocate for people with visual impairments and rehabilitation.

He encouraged the audience to take time to review the 13 principles behind the British Columbians with Disabilities Act, and to support their calls to enact the new legislation.

The campaign is driven entirely by volunteer supporters from across British Columbia. They, along with disability organizations, business enterprises and other sectors, are presenting a collective, unified voice in Victoria.

Barrier-Free BC began in November, 2015, when a small group of people with various disabilities ratified 13 principles upon which a British Columbians with Disabilities Act should be based. They developed a “Just Say Yes” Action Kit from which supporters could learn more about how a disability Act would benefit British Columbians with disabilities, why one was needed, and how supporters could assist in various ways to promote the campaign.

Click here for more info and to add your voice to this campaign

The Independent Living Canada’s Annual General Meeting, and 30th Anniversary Celebration, took place in beautiful downtown Ottawa on September 30th and October 1st. This two-day event was jam-packed with information sharing, exciting updates and valuable networking with others from the 25 Independent Living Centres across Canada.

We were fortunate to meet the new National Manager Denis Boileau, listened to a message from Minister Qualtrough, heard a song created specifically for IL Canada and viewed a commercial developed for Empower – The Disability Resource Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Commercial can be viewed on their webpage:
or on YouTube:

Song can be heard here:

IL Canada provided many informative and useful presentations to help IL Centre’s across Canada deliver programs to their community members.

Happy Anniversary IL Canada!


A call for a British Columbians with Disabilities Act

At the VDRC’s annual general meeting, September 28, 2016, Albert Ruel talked about the grassroots organizing to get the provincial government to pass accessibility legislation with teeth. Albert is a member of the steering committee of Barrier Free BC which is leading the campaign. The legislation would be called the British Columbians with Disabilities Act and would be designed to make BC a fully accessible province.

Prime Minister Trudeau is currently following through on his commitment to enact a Canadians with Disabilities Act that will remove and prevent the creation of new barriers in areas under federal jurisdiction. Now would be the time for BC to adopt such legislation regarding areas under provincial jurisdiction.

The purpose of a British Columbians with Disabilities Act should be to:
•    set the goal of making BC a fully accessible and barrier-free province for all people with disabilities by a designated date;
•    require the Government of BC to lead BC to this goal;
•    require the Government of BC to create and enforce accessibility standards that will let organizations know what they must do to remove and prevent barriers against people with disabilities;
•    ensure that the Government of BC and provincially-regulated organizations never use public money to create or perpetuate barriers against people with disabilities;
•    encourage BC companies to develop fully accessible goods and services for sale in domestic and international markets, based on principles of universal design.

The Victoria Disability Resource Centre supports Barrier-Free BC’s call for the enactment of a strong, effective and enforceable British Columbians with Disabilities Act. 

For more information: 

Twitter: @barrierfreebc

In the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau promised to pass a Canadians with Disabilities Act. The Federal Government is consulting Canadians on what to include in this new national disability accessibility law. Some points you might make when giving the Federal Government feedback on its online questionnaire can be found here.

Online questionnaire: Here
or at the Federal Government's public forums: Here
taking place across Canada

PWD application process to be streamlined for some British Columbians with disabilities

The Ministry of Social Development recently introduced legislation that will streamline the Persons with Disabilities Benefit (PWD) application process for people with disabilities in the following programs:

  • Community Living BC

  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program

  • BC PharmaCare Plan P – Palliative Care

  • Canadian Pension Plan – Disability

Although people in those programs will still need to meet eligibility criteria and to make an application, they will no longer have to complete the 28-page PWD application booklet.

Disability advocates say that this change, in addition to the annualized earning exemption and higher asset limits for PWD recipients introduced this past year will all benefit British Columbians with disabilities.

More info here

Life with Les Chan - Shaw TV Victoria

Les Chan from Shaw video
Les Chan from Shaw video

Shaw TV's Dan Kahan meets Les Chan, a motivational speaker who has developed more than a few tricks to overcome the loss of an arm. Les is a volunteer and member of the Board at the VDRC. Click here to watch the 3 min video.

Disability Tax Credit

The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. Being eligible for the DTC can also open the door to other government programs.


Phone: 1-800-959-8281.

Tax Assistance

Haven't filed your taxes for numerous year? Tax Assistance and Information for People with Disabilities DABC (Tax Aid DABC) is a new program offered by Disability Alliance BC. This program can assist people who are receiving the PWD benefit or the PPMB benefit with simple income tax filings and information/referrals. There are a number of financial benefits available to British Columbians who file their taxes. The money received from these benefits will not usually affect PWD or PPMB assistance cheques.

Phone: 604-872-1278

Toll Free: 1-800-663-1278



Working Together with Employers & Enhancing Employability

Helping people with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment

This unique, comprehensive and participant centred program, available through the Neil Squire Society at our offices at 817A Fort Street, is designed to develop the skills required to help individuals achieve their employment goals. Click here for details.

Disability in the News...

Lots Of Good Reasons For Seniors To File Their Taxes

The B.C. Seniors Advocate says there are at least nine good reasons why seniors stand to gain a lot from filing their income taxes. 

Full article here

New Guide to Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

This guide builds on recommendations from Disability Alliance BC on personal emergency planning using the five categories of the functional needs, or C-MIST (Communication, Medical, Independence, Supervision and Transportation).

Download the guide here

Thank you to our membership and contributors

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