Accessibility and Inclusion Workbook, Tools, and Resources
A message from City of Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan
British Columbia has an under-utilized resource — its citizens with disabilities. Our
communities are enriched by the gifts of all citizens, and removing any obstacles to their contributions should be the responsibility of all elected officials.
In two short years, sparked by a series of dialogues, citizens with disabilities have created a magnificent collaboration with all levels of government, VANOC and the business/corporate world. You too will discover the same energy and enthusiasm.
Measuring Up is not only a guide. It is also a process for engaging citizens with disabilities in a conversation about participation and contribution that strengthens our democracy. I am confident that municipalities adopting Measuring Up will discover
resources that will benefit the whole community.
A message on behalf of the Government of British Columbia from the Honourable Claude Richmond, Minister of Employment and Income Assistance
As British Columbians count down to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games we have the opportunity to show the world that our province is not only the best place to live, work and play, but to also demonstrate our leadership in improving the lives of people with disabilities everywhere.
Thanks to the efforts of leaders like Rick Hansen, who is making an enormous contribution towards removing barriers, and Premier Gordon Campbell, who is fully committed to building the best system of support in Canada for people with disabilities, British Columbia is leading the way.
A key part of our strategy is building greater awareness of the achievements of people with disabilities, and of the obstacles we need to remove to help these individuals achieve full potential. 2010 Legacies Now‘s Measuring Up provides an excellent step-by- step approach to topics ranging from creating fully accessible public spaces to promoting employment and community involvement for people with disabilities. As minister responsible for the government‘s disability strategy, I fully endorse this publication and will use it in our ongoing work with the Vancouver Foundation and our Disability Supports to Employment Fund.
Measuring up complements the work being done through the Minister‘s Council on
Employment for Persons with Disabilities and our WorkAble Solutions program, which encourages employers across the province to tap into this talented and dedicated, but not yet fully utilized, labour market.
We welcome the opportunities the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games present in creating a B.C. that is inclusive for all people with disabilities.
A message on behalf of the Vancouver Agreement from Judy Rogers, Manager, City of Vancouver and Chair, 2010 Legacies Now
The work of the Accessible/Inclusive Cities and Communities Project began two years ago with a simple, but fundamental goal: to foster greater opportunities within all of our communities for people with disabilities. The Vancouver Agreement saw that this vision fit with its goals of sustainability and inclusion, and was pleased to fund Phase One of the Project.
In the months that followed, people from a wide variety of disability organizations, along with many others, came together to reach beyond any issues that could divide us, to create what has become the beginning of an inspirational dialogue: a sharing of our mutual creativity, passion and practical expertise on community inclusiveness and accessibility.
With the creation of Measuring Up, we all now have a flexible, ‗living‘ guide that
captures, expands and carries forward that dialogue into the future. Over time, Measuring Up will change, reflecting the growth of our shared expertise on inclusivity and accessibility, and bringing it to all communities. Just as importantly, it will continue to support the open, collaborative dialogue which has made this project uniquely successful.
In the spirit of that collaboration, the Measuring Up guide is presented to the
communities of BC — and, in time, beyond. We are confident it will bring inspiration to everyone working towards building and sustaining communities that are fully accessible and inclusive — communities that value the participation of all, and
ultimately are places where everyone belongs.
A message from Mike Harcourt
The Accessible/Inclusive Cities and Communities concept, work and guide grew out of a commitment by the Rick Hansen Foundation, the City of Vancouver, and a broad gathering of disability groups, including the City‘s Advisory Committee on
Disability Issues. Councillors Sam Sullivan and Tim Louis helped move the concept through Vancouver City Council, and onto the agenda of British Columbia's Municipalities in 2003/04.
We then started the tough work of turning the concept into a practical motivational guide that communities could use to act on and assess progress towards removing the barriers people with disabilities face — affordable/accessible housing and
transportation, training and employment, and other services and quality of life issues. By spring 2005 the concept
and guide, to everyone‘s relief and delight, had become a reality.
Now the challenge is to see it happen; started in time to be complete for the World Urban Forum in June 2006 in Vancouver, and certainly significantly underway for future world class events that will be hosted here in British Columbia in the coming years. Measuring Up has the potential to make a
lasting impact in all communities across the province.
Glossary 6 6. Emergency Preparedness 19
7. Education 19 Quick Reference Guide 7
Access to Information 20 part 1 Ready 8
Dialogue 21 Introduction 8
Action 21 Envision This 9
1. Universal Signage and Way-finding 21 part 2 Set 11 2. Plain Language 22
3. Multiple Formats 23 A Framework for Dialogue and
4. Accurate Portrayals 23 Action on Accessibility and
Economic Participation 24
The Elements of the Framework 12 Dialogue 25
Support Services 12 Action 25
1. Employment 25 Access to Information 12
2. Skills Development 26 Economic Participation 12
3. Business Development 27 Community Contribution 12 4. Marketing Product Community Achievement Levels 13 and Services 28 Dialogue and Action 13
Community Contribution 28 part 3 Go 14 Dialogue 29
Community Achievement Levels 14 Actions 30
Support Services 14 1. Social Contribution 30
2. Cultural Contribution 30 Dialogue 14
Recreation/Sport Contribution 3. 31 Action 15
4. Environmental Contribution 32
1. Personal Supports 15
2. Fully Accessible and Inclusive
Built Environments 16
3. Transportation 17
4. Housing Choice 17
5. Safety 18
3. Multiple Formats 40 part 4 Resources 33
4. Accurate Portrayals 40 General Resources 33
Resources for Improving Resources for Improving Economic Participation 40 Support Services 35
1. Employment 40 1. Personal Supports 35 2. Skills Development 41
2. Accessible and Inclusive 3. Business Development 42
Built Environments 36 4. Marketing Products and
3. Transportation 37 Services 42
4. Housing Choice 37 5. Safety 38
Resources for Improving 6. Emergency Preparedness 39
Community Contribution 43 7. Education 39
1. Social Contribution 43
2. Cultural Contribution 43 Resources for Improving Access Recreation/Sport Contribution 3. 44 to Information 39
4. Environmental Contribution 45
1. Universal Signage and Acknowledgements 46 Way-finding 39
Contact Reference 48 2. Plain Language 39
The following definitions are given to terms as they are used in this document. These definitions may be different than those applied in legislation or other sources. For more information on some of these terms, please refer to the Resources in Part Four.
Accessible – free of barriers, open to all.
Adaptable housing – homes designed to adapt to the needs of inhabitants through all the stages of life. Such homes can easily be modified to accommodate people with a range of needs.
Built environment – all buildings, roads, walls, plazas and other spaces or structures created by people.
Dialogue – a process of consultation involving people with disabilities. Inclusive – welcoming and enabling participation from everyone.
Inclusive skills training – training that is normally available to all members of the public and teaches a marketable skill.
Personal education plan – a plan based on competent professional evaluation of a student to guide the learning program for that student and identify any supports that are needed.
Individualized funding – funding that is directed by the person who needs it to acquire the products or services that meet their individual needs. Multiple formats – providing information in a variety of communication forms (large print, Braille, American Sign Language) to make it accessible to people with diverse needs.
Personal supports – any supports needed by an individual. Includes the services of attendants or caregivers, equipment such as wheelchairs and assistive devices such as lifts.
Plain language – an approach to designing and creating communications that are understandable by the people who will use them.
Regionally significant languages – languages that are the first language for a large proportion of people living in a particular area.
Universal design – an approach to designing anything (e.g. buildings, products, web sites) that ensures it is useful for anyone.
Quick Reference Guide
Although each community will find its own way to use this guide, we would like to offer the following suggestions to get you started:
• Review the guide with your community‘s Advisory Group on accessibility or disability or, if a group doesn‘t exist, pull together an informal one that includes people with disabilities.
• Provide disability related education to understand why access is an important step to achieving community inclusion. Use the Resources section to enhance your understanding of areas that are less familiar to you.
• Decide on a dialogue process and evaluation methodology to assess your community‘s achievement levels. Include people with disabilities and other community members in the dialogue and evaluation.
• Record your community‘s current achievement levels in each area.
• Encourage your municipal government to pass a resolution supporting a move to provide greater opportunities for inclusion for people with disabilities.
• In consultation with people with disabilities and other community members, set goals for improvement and determine strategies for reaching your goals.
• Access the support from the contact information listed on the inside back cover. Your feedback will provide important information for future versions of Measuring Up.
•Find ways to celebrate access and inclusion accomplishments with your community.
• Share your progress, your goals and your learning with other communities.
Measuring Up has been designed to assist municipalities and communities in British Columbia to assess the degree to which their citizens with disabilities are active participants in community life.
Active participation has two dimensions: accessibility and inclusion. Accessibility means recognizing, reducing and removing any physical or structural barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from actually being present in the community. Inclusion adds another critical dimension — the degree to which the contributions of
all citizens are welcomed and enabled. As Rick Hansen has said, ―It‘s not enough to get in the theatre. You should be able to get on stage.‖
There are three assumptions behind the Measuring Up guide.
1. The health, well being and strength of our society requires the presence and
participation of all citizens.
2. Everyone has an important contribution to make to civic life, and a
responsibility to do so.
3. Welcoming the presence and participation of people with disabilities – as well
as others who have been marginalized or isolated – will revitalize and
strengthen our communities. In other words when everyone participates, we
The purpose of this guide is to encourage communities to evaluate, with participation from community members, how accessible and inclusive their community is now and work together to set goals for improvement. Because this is the pilot version of Measuring Up, your feedback will be very helpful in fine-tuning this guide. To ensure that your experience using Measuring Up can be considered in subsequent versions,
please provide feedback to the AICCP Director (listed on the inside back cover).
Measuring Up has four parts. This introductory section describes the context and vision for the guide. Part two provides the underlying framework and directions for using it. Part three sets out the community achievement levels for each aspect of inclusivity and accessibility, and part four provides examples of the kinds of resources available to communities to help you reach your goals.
It‘s 8:00 a.m. and Ellie has been up for three hours already, getting ready for her big day. Today she will take her place at the council table in this northeastern B.C. community for the first time since the municipal election. It‘s not only excitement and
pride that had Ellie up at dawn. Ellie‘s full time attendant, hired by Ellie to suit her needs and schedule, was also up early to help Ellie get ready for her morning meeting. Now Ellie is rolling to her van and wondering which of her favourite coffee shops she‘ll stop in at on the way. Any one of them could accommodate her wheelchair and they all know how she likes her latté.
A few hundred kilometres southwest, Hantao is also an early riser. His breath forms an icy cloud as he powers up the last hill of the training circuit. Since the Canadian Paralympic ski team blew away the competition last February, Hantao has been more motivated than ever to lock up his place on the national team for 2014. Skiing at his right shoulder is Tim, describing the route ahead in short breaths. Having the funding to train full time with Tim doesn‘t give Hantao an advantage over other Canadian hopefuls. They are all funded too.
It‘s 10:30 and Manjit leaves a Lower Mainland credit union with a smile on her face, having secured an increase in the operating loan for her organic flower business. The credit union was impressed with her business plan and her track record so far. Manjit sends a mental message of thanks to the circle of entrepreneurs from the deaf community who encouraged and mentored her. She is also grateful to the credit union staff who volunteered at the business planning course put on by the community college – the college also provided full translation
services of course. The discounted interest rate offered by the credit union certainly helped her profit forecasts, but any bank or credit union would have matched it to win her business.
The sun is high in the Okanagan sky when Sara bursts out the classroom door with her friends for some lunch time fun in the playground. If the other kids once thought Sara was different, they show no sign of it now. Sara will tell anyone who asks that she is going to be a vet and no one doubts her resolve or ability. Her teacher and learning assistant frequently call on her to share her knowledge of animals with her classmates.