Access Awareness Week Kicks off May 31, 2021!

The Accessibility Directorate, situated within the Department of Justice, is leading the Government of Nova Scotia’s work with people with disabilities, communities, businesses, and organizations to achieve the government’s goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030.To support this goal, we invite you to join us and our partners in celebrating both Canada’s National AccessAbility Week, led by reachAbility and Nova Scotia’s Access Awareness Week hosted by the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities (NSLEO) and the Partnership for Access Awareness Nova Scotia.

Access Awareness Week is an opportunity to celebrate the valuable contributions of Canadians with disabilities and to recognize the efforts of, individuals, communities, and organizations, including prescribed public sector bodies, that are actively working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.

Prescribed public sector bodies include post-secondary institutions, municipalities, villages, Regional Libraries, Regional Centres for Education, the CSAP and some crown corporations. Many prescribed public sector bodies have already shown leadership by adopting accessibility plans, creating accessibility frameworks outlining how they are working together with their partners, and collaborating with community members.

In addition to being involved with Access Awareness Week events held by our partners at reachAbility and the Partnership for Access Awareness Nova Scotia, the Accessibility Directorate is involved in the  Department of Justice inaugural Access Awareness Month from May 10th to June 6th.  This Department of Justice celebration provides staff with opportunities to learn more about the importance of removing barriers, and share accessibility initiatives that have been undertaken by the Department across the Province.

Access Awareness Celebration Events 

National AccessAbility Week: May 31st - June 5th, 2021 

Hosted by reachAbility, National AccessAbility Week celebrates and recognizes the contributions made to our country by people with disabilities and those who are actively removing barriers.

Events and activities include:

  • Speaker Series featuring leaders in inclusion and accessibility from the arts to business, government to non-profit.
  • Presentations and Discussions from experts in the fields of Mental Health, Social Justice and Human Rights, the Accessible Canada Act, Health, Academics, Business and more!
  • Interactive Workshops on resilience, staying curious, removing the stigma, mindfulness and more!
  • Opening Doors for Everyone Workshops providing small to medium business with the tools for navigating the Provincial Accessibility Legislation and financial supports.

For event details and to register please visit their website at NAAW — reachAbility Association

Provincial Access Awareness Week: May 31st - June 5th, 2021 

Partnership for Access Awareness Nova Scotia (PAANS) is a committee of NSLEO that has celebrated the diversity and abilities of people with disabilities for 34 years. Members include NSLEO, Halifax Regional Municipality, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Tetra Society of North America, Canadian Mental Health Association, People First Nova Scotia, Inclusion Nova Scotia, March of Dimes, and the Nova Scotia Accessibility Directorate. 

PAANS is hosting Provincial Access Awareness Week through a series of free, virtual events that are open to registration through the following link: ACCESS AWARENESS WEEK NOVA SCOTIA - May 31, 2021 (pheedloop.com) 

This year’s theme is exploring “Awareness to Action: Where we were; where we are; where we want to be”.

Virtual Events include:

Monday, May 31st 

Proclamation readings led by Halifax Regional Municipality’s Mayor, Mike Savage. 

  • Invitations and Proclamations for this event were previously sent to all Nova Scotia's mayors and wardens by NS LEO. They are thrilled to report 2021 marks the first year that five areas outside of HRM have read Proclamations for their communities. If you are interested, there is still time. A copy of the Proclamation is attached.  

Wednesday, June 2nd 

The Honourable Kevin Murphy, Nova Scotia’s Speaker of the House, will lead a virtual panel discussion featuring first voice sharing their personal experiences of the impact of COVID 19 on persons on persons with disabilities.  

Friday, June 4th 

The Scholarships for Persons with Disabilities and the Mel Hebb Hourglass Action Awards will be presented during a virtual ceremony.  

This year, 13 students from across the province will receive scholarships to begin or complete their post-secondary education or training. The Mel Hebb Hourglass Action Awards recognizes individuals, public servants, and the private sector in their unwavering work on behalf of persons with disabilities.   

We encourage you to get involved in Access Awareness Week 2021!

Join us in celebrating activities and events available through our partner’s websites and event pages, including educational and networking opportunities, as well as keynote speakers and award ceremonies. 

In addition to encouraging you to join us in attending virtual events, we are calling for you to share with the Accessibility Directorate a resolution or commitment that your community or organization has undertaken or is planning to start, that will improve accessibility for Nova Scotians.

We’d love to hear from you about changes you have made to improve accessibility and to share and celebrate these efforts on our website, social media and as community highlights in our upcoming webinars and education resources. Please send any highlights you wish to share with the Accessibility Directorate to 

Some ideas for actions include:

  • Acknowledge Access Awareness Week throughout your community and organization through social media and passing a resolution to celebrate Access Awareness Week and improving accessibility.
  • Commit to better understanding barriers to accessibility by hosting or attending a webinar, speaker series or discussion.
  • Commit to remove barriers to accessible communication, goods and services, education, transportation, and/or employment.
  • Assess an existing policy, service, or program to ensure accessibility and the rights of people with disabilities are central to delivery.  

Let’s get involved and celebrate Access Awareness Week 2021 and continue to commit to making Nova Scotia accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities, in everyday life.

Together, let’s do our part to work towards an accessible province by 2030!