The strategy will guide the Provincial Government in its actions to achieve an inclusive province in which Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with disabilities have the same opportunities and benefits as other residents. Implementation of the strategy will be comprehensive and integrated across Provincial Government departments and agencies. The strategy will take a multiyear approach.
Through this strategy, the Provincial Government will lead by example. All Provincial Government departments and agencies will work together and with communities and private businesses to achieve the strategy’s vision.
The strategy provides a framework that will guide policies, programs and initiatives throughout the Provincial Government and actions for all communities.
Action Plans will be developed and implemented. These Action Plans will have specific initiatives for each of the five strategic directions. The initiatives will be designed to remove and prevent barriers; including attitudinal, systemic, physical and technological barriers. Initiatives will apply a variety of approaches, such as using a disability lens to identify barriers within policies and programs, building knowledge of disability-related issues, making structural changes and providing supports that enable inclusion.
Initiatives will be developed within a human rights context as guided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Initiatives will be measurable and practical.
Initiatives will be developed for everyone. Input during the consultation process indicated that Aboriginal people, people from diverse cultures, women and people living in rural communities and Labrador can face additional barriers beyond those related to disability. Care will be taken that initiatives have positive outcomes for people who experience additional barriers. All initiatives will consider these unique perspectives so actions benefit everyone. This involves designing initiatives and monitoring processes with Aboriginal, culturally relevant gender, rural and Labrador perspectives.
The Provincial Government recognizes all levels of government as important partners in the strategy. The Provincial Government would welcome and encourage efforts from municipal, Aboriginal and federal governments in supporting inclusion throughout the province.
Implementation of the strategy will be guided by the Ministers’ Committee in consultation with the Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and the broader community.
The strategy was built upon the ideas and solutions presented during public consultations. The continued engagement of individuals and community agencies is essential as specific initiatives and key indicators are developed. Collaboration with the community is also important to monitoring and tracking progress to ensure the strategy is effective in removing barriers and having a positive impact on people’s lives. The strategy will adhere to the motto “Nothing About Us Without Us” and provide ongoing opportunities for dialogue and collaboration. Through roundtables and focused discussions, the Provincial Government will seek the expertise and experience of people with disabilities to inform specific public policy and initiatives.
The Disability Policy Office will work with all departments and agencies in the development and implementation of actions, as well as with monitoring and reporting on progress within each of the five strategic directions.
It is essential that initiatives implemented through this strategy make a real and positive difference in people’s lives. Monitoring and evaluation plans will be developed to show evidence of the degree of social and economic impact of the strategy. Most importantly, the evaluation plan will seek to determine if people experience fewer barriers to their participation in society.
Community-led research and nationwide census data have provided vital information about the extent and nature of barriers experienced by people with disabilities, as well as general statistics about employment rates, educational levels and income.
Ongoing data gathering and careful analysis will be essential for informing public policy as strategy initiatives are developed and evaluated. A primary source for general statistics has been the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) previously administered by Statistics Canada. This survey has been discontinued. Although PALS is to be replaced by a new Disability Data Strategy, alternative collection approaches and trend tracking processes will be required to produce locally significant data. These will be developed in consultation with the community and departments throughout the Provincial Government. The Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency will play a lead role in developing a plan to identify the data and information that are required to measure and report on impacts from the strategy and progress towards its vision of full inclusion.
The first Action Plan will include the development of key indicators, including baselines to measure progress, performance monitoring and evaluation processes. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be used in the development of the evaluation framework.
Wherever possible, data collection methods and indicators for other strategies from within the Provincial Government will be designed to include specific information relevant to disability.
Regular progress reports will be provided to let people know about actions undertaken through the strategy. In addition, each Action Plan will report on the strategy’s progress towards realizing its goals and ultimately the vision of full inclusion.
Opportunities will be provided for stakeholders to periodically review the vision, strategic directions and goals to ensure ongoing relevance and appropriateness.
Through its monitoring and reporting process, the strategy provides a mechanism to contribute to national reporting as required by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.