Premier John Horgan greets Rick Hansen at the B.C. legislature, May 28, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Access Awareness Day promotes removing barriers

Accessibility – what does it mean to you?

This is the question I asked a number of people to get some ideas for this article. Here’s what I heard:

“To me, accessibility means there aren’t barriers to things I want to achieve. The barriers could be physical, emotional, social, financial.”

“To me it means anyone in a wheelchair is able to access things.”

“That something is available to me regardless of what it is and in a way that I can access it.”

Everyone receives the same level of service and respect regardless of the colour of their skin, the clothes they wear, their abilities, their disabilities.”

Do these responses surprise you? This is what the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) of the City of Williams Lake wrestles with at its monthly meetings. Here are our strategic goals for the upcoming year – our small contribution to make Williams Lake more inclusive:

1.) Grow the diversity of the committee – Diversity helps us become more inclusive. Contact Cindy Bouchard for more information cbouchard@williamslake.ca

2.) Visitable Housing – Do you have a disabled friend who can’t visit your house because of stairs and can’t use your bathroom because the door is too narrow? The AAC advocates that all new housing should be “visitable” housing.

3.) Access to Business Services – Promotes the advantages to businesses of removing physical and social barriers.

4.) Clear Language and Communication – Everyone deserves to have access to the information they need to live healthy, active lives. This makes our community inclusive to all. Contact Carla Bullinger for more information at carla@caribooliteracy.com.

We all have a role to play. What can you do to make your space more accessible?

Access Awareness Day is June 2.

Carla Bullinger is a member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Literacy Outreach Coordinator for Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy

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