GNWT Releases NWT Disability Strategic Framework

YELLOWKNIFE (February 20, 2018) – The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) released today the NWT Disability Strategic Framework: 2017 to 2027. This framework outlines a ten-year shared direction and commitment by the GNWT, its disability partners and stakeholders towards advancing equity, accessibility, inclusion, and participation by persons with disabilities in all aspects of economic and social life in the NWT.

The framework provides a contemporary and comprehensive perspective on disability, and looks to address challenges identified through the NWT Disability Program Review Process.  These included increasing prevalence of disability due in part to aging populations; severity of disability in the NWT; increase in prevalence of complex disabilities such as Autism and FASD; inequity of access to disability programs and supports; and the link between disability and poverty.

The framework is founded on four goals which will shape the work and investments of the GNWT for residents with disabilities: 1) person and family centred; 2) inclusion and accessibility; 3) awareness, education and training; and 4) coordination, evaluation and reporting.

The development of the framework involved partnership with multiple GNWT departments and NGO partners in the disability sector including: NWT Disabilities Council; Yellowknife Association for Community Living; NWT Seniors’ Society; Foster Family Coalition of the NWT; Hay River Committee, Persons with Disabilities; and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Alberta-NWT Office.

Quote:

“The NWT Strategic Framework is based on the fundamental belief that every person with a disability has the right to full citizenship and opportunities. It outlines our vision, values, principles and goals and sets direction for our future actions.”
- Glen Abernethy, Minister Responsible for Persons with Disabilities, GNWT

Through a highly collaborative effort and with the support of the Honourable Minister, Glen Abernethy, the NWT Disabilities Council believes the Strategic Disability Framework is an important first step toward achieving a territory where all people living with a disability are empowered through full citizenship and by self-determination to reach their full potential throughout their lifespan.”
- Ms. Terry Hawkins, Chair of Northwest Territories Disability Council

Quick Facts:

  • More than 3,000 people in the NWT identify as experiencing a disability.
  • It is projected that the prevalence of disability will increase over the next 15 years.
  • In March 2016, the GNWT made a commitment to develop a Strategic Framework and five-year action plan to address the needs of persons with disabilities.
  • The Disability Program Review and Renewal Project was established to help fulfill this commitment.
  • Members of the Disability Sector Reference Panel included the NWT Disabilities Council; Yellowknife Association for Community Living; NWT Seniors’ Society; Foster Family Coalition of the NWT; Hay River Committee, Persons with Disabilities; and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Alberta-NWT Office, and a working group that included  multiple GNWT Departments.
  • The Strategic Framework defines what disability is, and outlines what the GNWT and its partners will be doing to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
  • A five-year action plan will be released in the upcoming months will provide direction on how the goals in the Strategic Framework will be achieved.

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Media Contact:

Damien Healy
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9090 ext. 49034
Damien_Healy@gov.nt.ca