International Day for Persons with Disabilities

Maj Alain Gagnon

December 3 marked the 2018 International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The National Defence theme was “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.

The Defence Advisory Group for Persons with Disabilities (DAGPWD) falls under the Employment Equity (EE) Program. Our local EE Champion, Lt-Col. Brian Zimmerman, 4 Wing Deputy Wing Commander, encourages all Commanding Officers and Officer Commanding “to look at how we can help remove barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in the Wing efforts to achieve defense goals.” He added, “We can all play a part in this, as some barriers can be lifted with minimal changes to the way we operate. Inclusiveness and equity are force multipliers since everybody can play an important role as part of the Defence Team by bringing a unique set of skills and experience to the table. Embracing diversity will strengthen our team.”

At the local level, each DAGPWD across the country addresses the specific issues which affect persons with disabilities within their local area, and in turn present issues that may be of national concern to the national group. DAGPWD membership is open to all military members and civilian employees. For more information on how to participate the local DAGPWD or engage on local issues, do not hesitate to contact either Capt. Valerie MacEachern at Valerie.MacEachern2@forces.gc.ca, or Capt. Lisa Sterby at Lisa.Sterby@forces.gc.ca.