COQUITLAM, B.C., June 1, 2021 – During National AccessAbility Week, Coquitlam is highlighting its efforts to remove barriers for people with disabilities.
Recognized across the country May 30 to June 5, National AccessAbility Week celebrates the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and recognizes individuals, communities and workplaces working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.
The week aligns with Coquitlam’s commitment to building a barrier-free community – supported by its Universal Access-Ability Advisory Committee (UAAC), which is hosting a free online education event June 15 on post-pandemic accessibility.
Panel Discussion to Promote Awareness and Discussion
Public awareness is part of the mandate of the UAAC, which meets bimonthly to provide the City with advice and an accessibility perspective with the aim of reducing all types of barriers – physical, social and attitudinal – to participation and access by those with disabilities.
Set for June 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m., the UAAC-hosted speaker panel Promoting Accessiblity in the Post COVID-19 Era will reflect on how the pandemic has affected accessibility and discuss opportunities to improve accessibility post-COVID.
The panel will feature Lois McNary, Vice President of Sport for Special Olympics BC; Jenna Christianson-Barker, a faculty member for Douglas College’s Disability & Community Studies; and Ana Karanovic, Program Coordinator for the BC Wheelchair Sports Association. Learn more about the UAAC’s work, or register for the free online session at www.coquitlam.ca/uaac.
Planning Accessibility from the Ground Up
Accessibility is considered in all of the City’s services as it delivers facilities, infrastructure, neighbourhood plans and recreation programs for all ages and abilities. Examples include:
- Building road, pedestrian and transit infrastructure with all users in mind, such as sidewalk ramps and the new touchless pedestrian crossing buttons to be installed in high-pedestrian areas throughout the city;
- Welcoming people of all abilities to recreation programs and services, including the new gradually sloped accessibility ramp at Eagle Ridge Pool;
- Ensuring that events and functions are accessible for all members of the community, regardless of ability, through our Event Accessibility Checklist; and
- Ensuring online services meet the needs of all users, such as the new website’s compliance with the globally-recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Visit www.coquitlam.ca/accessibility for more information about City programs, regulations and policies that promote access for people with disabilities.
The City provides a variety of programs and supports to encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate in recreation. Opportunities include:
- Seasonal accessible and inclusive drop-in sports programs;
- Recreation support plans that provide extra assistance to program registrants;
- Downloadable illustrated stories to prepare children on the autism spectrum, or who experience anxiety, for a camp or program;
- Adapted fitness equipment in all City fitness centres;
- A sensory-friendly swim without music or water features; and
- Skating programs offered in partnership with the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) for children and youth with a CAN membership.
Programs are also available to reduce financial barriers, including the City’s Get Connected, Get Active program and affiliation with Canadian Tire Jumpstart and KidSport Tri-Cities.
Visit www.coquitlam.ca/recaccess for information about the various City programs promoting recreational access.
Coquitlam’s Community Support and Recovery Plan also continues to subsidize a temporary reduction in drop-in fees ($1 for child, youth and seniors, $2 for adults and $5 for families up to six). Learn more at www.coquitlam.ca/csrp.
Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Coquitlam