National Accessibility Week and FASD

It’s National Accessibility Week in Canada!

Held annually during the first week of June, National Accessibility Week is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Canadians with disabilities and to recognize those individuals, communities, and workplaces that are actively working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.

Everyone has the right to be included in society, through education, employment, and community activities. Some people need different resources and supports in order for them to achieve success.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability impacting the brain and body of people exposed to alcohol in the womb. Each person with FASD has both strengths and challenges and will need special supports to help them succeed with many different parts of their daily lives.

Approximately 4% of Canadians, or more than 1.4 million people, have FASD. Each one of these individuals has the right to supports and services that make health care, education, employment, housing, community initiatives, and social connection accessible.

There are a number of people, organizations, and initiatives across Canada that are working to break down barriers to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with FASD. Here are some of the amazing stories that we’ve seen over the past year:

‘I can be myself’: Youth FASD support program expands in Yellowknife
Lois Anderson, a teenager from the Northwest Territories, explains the value of having an FASD specific program that gives her the supports needed to successfully transition into adulthood.

As demand explodes, Manitoba’s new FASD court expands to meet need
Canada’s criminal justice system isn’t set up to effectively support individuals with FASD to achieve success. A specialized court system in Manitoba is specifically designed to help individuals with FASD navigate the criminal justice system and access necessary supports. 

People living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder share their stories
An FASD specific conference held in Sudbury, Ontario, gives individuals with FASD a platform to share their stories. Valencia Poulton and RJ Formanek are among some of the attendees who shared their stories with the wider public to promote inclusion and reduce the stigma surrounding FASD.

Adults in the N.W.T. can soon get diagnosed at a new FASD clinic
An FASD diagnosis is an important step in improving outcomes for individuals with FASD because it helps to identify the supports and services that are needed. The launch of a new diagnostic clinic in the Northwest Territories gives more Canadians access to a diagnosis. 

Advocates seek more support for people struggling with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Advocates from Nova Scotia are raising their voices to improve accessibility and inclusion for individuals with FASD. Vicky Morinville, Francis Perry, and Robert McInerney of Nova Scotia are speaking out about the lack of supports available in the province for individuals with FASD.

Tell us what you’re doing to promote accessibility and inclusion for people with FASD in Canada! Send us an email at connect@canfasd.ca or connect with us on our social media accounts.

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