Gerry Post, an advocate for persons with disabilities who worked to improve the province’s Accessibility Act, was named the first executive director of the Accessibility Directorate.
The appointment was announced today, June 16, by Justice Minister Mark Furey.
“Passing the Accessibility Act brought our province a big step forward in achieving our accessibility goals for Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Furey. “Bringing Gerry onto the team is another significant step forward. He will bring a wealth of talent and the drive to accomplish an ambitious agenda.”
The Accessibility Act was passed in April. It sets out goals for making Nova Scotia accessible in six areas, and allows more areas to be added. The goals are to be achieved by 2030.
The Accessibility Directorate will be responsible for supporting accessibility initiatives, like the standards, and for advancing broader disability-related issues.
“I am very pleased to accept this important challenge and work with the many stakeholders to establish Nova Scotia as a leader in accessibility,” said Mr. Post.
Mr. Post was recently awarded the 2017 James McGregor Stewart Award in recognition of his exceptional achievement in spearheading the improvements to the Accessibility Act. The McGregor Stewart Society described Mr. Post as someone who “leads and excels regardless of boundaries” and as “a force of nature.”
Under the Accessibility Act, government will work with persons with disabilities, municipalities, not-for-profits and business to create standards in the areas of goods and services, information and communication, public transportation and transportation infrastructure, employment, education, and the built environment, which includes buildings, rights-of-way and outdoor spaces.
The legislation also puts in place a new Accessibility Advisory Board. More than half the board’s members will be persons with disabilities. In the first year, the Accessibility Advisory Board will review the current situation and begin planning for each standard on a priority basis.