June 1 to 7 is deafblind awareness week

GOVTThe Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed June 1-7, 2016, as Deafblind Awareness Week to raise the profile of this unique disability in Saskatchewan.

Individuals are considered deafblind if they have a combined loss of both hearing and vision to the point that neither can be used as a primary source of information gathering.  The combination of these sensory losses means that individuals who are deafblind may have difficulties in accessing information, learning, communicating and participating.

“I am pleased to once again proclaim Deafblind Awareness Week in our province,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “By proclaiming this week, we join in efforts to increase our understanding of individuals who are deaflblind and to promote public awareness of the talents and needs of Saskatchewan people who are deafblind.”

The Canadian Deafblind Association (CBDA) is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1975 to promote and enhance the well-being of people who are deafblind through service provision, awareness, public education and research.  There are various CBDA chapters across Canada, including one in Saskatchewan that was established in 1985.

“It is our vision in Saskatchewan to empower people who are deafblind to live a rich and meaningful life,” CBDA Saskatchewan Chapter Executive Director Dana Heinrichs said.  “Receiving this acknowledgement from the Government of Saskatchewan is positive step forward in creating awareness for deafblindness.”

“I thank the Saskatchewan Chapter of the CBDA for the valuable services they provide and the continuous work they do advocating for individuals who are deafblind to ensure they have a good quality of life and are able to live independently,” Harpauer said.

The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people experiencing disabilities.

In June 2015, a comprehensive Disability Strategy was released, and in December, Government announced its first six priority areas: transportation, respite, accessibility legislation, residential services, service co-ordination and navigation, and awareness/understanding of the rights of people experiencing disabilities.

The 2015–16 Budget provided more than $23 million to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in Saskatchewan.

For more information about CDBA, please visit http://www.cdbanational.com

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