June 2, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick schools are becoming more accessible and responsive to students with special needs as a result of record investments by the provincial government in inclusive education, Premier Shawn Graham said today.
He delivered this message while attending an event at Fredericton High School that highlighted Disability Awareness Week, Monday, May 31, to Saturday, June 5. A $100,000 ramp to help persons with disabilities will be constructed there over the summer.
"We are committed to ensuring that all our students receive a quality education," said Graham. "For students with disabilities, it is especially important that they have full access to educational opportunities to offset any barriers that may be created by their disabilities.
"We are investing in training teachers and other support staff so that they are prepared to respond to the support requirements necessary to ensure a quality education for all students with disabilities. We also want to see that facilities and programs are designed and constructed to be barrier-free for students, staff and visitors."
Graham was joined by Christyne Allain, executive director, Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons.
"Access to educational facilities for all persons is very important and we are happy to see that the physical access to the Fredericton High School has been improved for persons with disabilities," she said.
Since October 2006, the provincial government has acted on the McKay Report on inclusive education and invested more than $20 million in several initiatives:
The provincial government has made other investments in accessible infrastructure, including installing elevators; and upgrading ramps, washrooms, school entrances and parking lots to comply with universal accessibility standards.
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Department of Education, 506-444-4919.