bfmBarrier-Free Manitoba is a non-partisan, non-profit, cross-disability initiative that was formed in 2008. We believed that the time had come for the Province of Manitoba to enact strong and effective legislation that requires the removal of existing barriers and prevents the creation of new ones. Barrier-Free Manitoba has been and continues to be led by a Steering Committee with members spanning Manitoba’s disability communities.

Presenters: Anne Kresta, Partner, Education Solutions Manitoba

Anne has worked at local, provincial and national levels to plan and deliver conferences, projects, resources and information sessions related to inclusive education.  Anne has been involved in many initiatives targeted at increasing community involvement of people of all ages living with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, from inclusive child care, through elementary, middle and high school and into post-secondary education and employment.

John VanWalleghem, Partner, Education Solutions Manitoba

Patrick Falconer, Consultant, Barrier-Free Manitoba

Session: Accessibility in Manitoba’s Education System – From Cradle to Career

To better understand the scope of the barriers students with disabilities face, Education Solutions Manitoba and Barrier-Free Manitoba joined forces, with support from Community Living Manitoba, to develop three surveys for staff, parents and students currently working/participating in child care, K to 12 and post-secondary settings. These surveys were designed to collect both quantitative and qualitative data related to seven commonly experienced barriers to accessibility: transportation, physical/structural, policy, programmatic, information/communication, social and attitude. Results of this research will help clarify current challenges within our existing education systems and provide a basis for improving access to education for Manitoba students with disabilities.