Nova Scotia Collaborates on Civic Engagement Webinar for Persons with Disabilities

The province is partnering to deliver a webinar to help make municipal elections more accessible for persons with disabilities and encourage more people to take part in the democratic process.

"The webinar addresses concerns about accessibility, allowing individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, have vision impairments or experience transportation barriers to participate in municipal elections," said John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "Our goal is to encourage more Nova Scotians, and in this case those with disabilities, to run for local office and increase municipal and school board election voter turnout."

The live webcast, which will be close captioned, will be Tuesday, June 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. To register, go to www.ns-municipal-elections.ca/ and follow the Civic Engagement Webinar link up to an hour before the webcast. After entering a name, participants will be logged in. People who have trouble logging in can call 902-494-3456 or 1-800-263-6232.

A recording will be available at the website after the event.

The Nova League for Equal Opportunities, the Disabled Persons Commission and Dalhousie University's College of Continuing Education are partnering with the province to deliver the webinar.

"Getting involved in community and government is the single most important action a disabled person can take to bring about awareness of their issues," said former MLA Jerry Pye. "I look forward to sharing my own experience as an elected official and an individual with a disability."

Gail Bruhm, provincial co-ordinator for the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities, said the goal is to ensure that all who are eligible to vote, have a chance to cast a ballot.

"We are actively working to raise awareness of barriers persons with disabilities face and increase accessibility during the election process in the province," said Ms. Bruhm.

"I have been delivering workshops throughout the province to help increase knowledge of municipal government as well as encourage participation on behalf of Nova Scotians," said Jack Novack, professor, College of Continuing Education, Dalhousie University. "This session differs from our earlier workshops and provides a unique learning experience for the disabled community."

For more information, visit Nova Scotia Municipal Elections 2012.