Opportunities to make life better for Nova Scotians with disabilities will be discussed at a symposium Wednesday, Nov. 30, and Thursday, Dec. 1, in Halifax. The 4th Annual Symposium on Inclusive Education and Employment focuses on challenges and opportunities persons with disabilities face in the workplace and with education. The theme this year is Discover the Ability in Disability – Learning and Employing with Confidence. The symposium coincides with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, held annually Dec. 3., and promotes a greater awareness and understanding of disability issues. About 10 per cent of people in the world, or 650 million, live with disabilities. In Nova Scotia, one in every five people live with a disability. “It is important that people with disabilities have the same opportunity to identify by what they do rather than be excluded from the workforce,” said Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act Ross Landry. “Being in the labour force gives everyone a sense of belonging, and the symposium is an excellent opportunity to highlight the obstacles disabled persons face and how they can be overcome.” A new provincial Workforce Strategy, part of the jobsHere, will also help to address the economic challenges faced by disabled persons. The strategy provides access to services and information for persons with disabilities, family members and caregivers, and provides funding and grants for students with disabilities completing post-secondary study. For more details go to, careers.novascotia.ca/disabilities. “The strategy includes services and information for persons with disabilities and provides funding and grants for students with disabilities completing post-secondary study,” said Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons Commission Denise Peterson- Rafuse. “The government has been committed to having more disabled persons join the workforce, and through jobsHere, we have developed programs that help disabled people find employment and make career decisions.” Highlights this year include a keynote address by author and mental health advocate Margaret Trudeau, and a workshop by author and educator Mark Nagler. During the symposium, the Lieutenant Governor’s Employer Partnership Award for Persons with Disabilities will be presented to honour employers and persons with disabilities that have done outstanding work. “We present the award to recognize those people who have made that extra effort to help people with disabilities find work,” said Janice Ainsworth, co-chair of the Collaborative Partnership Network. “These are people who have made a profound difference in the lives of others and are contributing to a change in attitude by society.” The symposium is being held at the Harbourfront Marriott, 1919 Upper Water St. Captioning and sign language interpreters will be available. For details go to www.idpd.ca.