Shoes for the soul: Canadian shoe designer creates perfect pair for Calgary woman
By JILL CROTEAU
Darby Lee Young lives with cerebral palsy. Just like anyone else, she loves a funky pair of shoes to make a statement and show off her personality. But shoes aren’t one size fits all and there are some limits to her choices.“Because of my gait, I drag my toes. For me to wear shoes, they last anywhere between a month to a week to even a day,” Young said.
Her shoes get particularly worn down in one spot. Young took her concerns to her favourite shoe designer, John Fluevog. “Allison Fluevog said: ‘Hey, we love your story. How about we make you a pair instead?’ I said ‘What?’” Young recalled. The company collaborated with her to create a shoe with a sturdy rubber sole. It’s removable and easier to repair. Fluevog’s Calgary community coordinator, Lauren Brown, was delighted to give Young a complimentary pair. “Our design team thought this would fit well and went back and forth with colours and elements to make it more unique.” Fluevog went beyond that and created a line bearing her name, calling it “the Darby.” “It’s unreal. It showed somebody actually listens and understands that people with disabilities have great differences when it comes to shoes,” Young said. The shoe comes in two different styles and was launched in the 2020 spring collection. It is widely available at stores across the country and in Fluevog’s international stores.
When Young slips on her trademark shoe, she admits there is a little extra something in the way she walks.
“My mother always taught me: if people are going to stare, you might as well look good doing it.”
Global Story video HERE
Did you know that #LevelPlayingField is approved to provide your built environment with Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC)?
“Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification is a rating system that uses trained professionals to evaluate the meaningful access of commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential buildings and sites.” This certification is becoming increasingly vital with our aging population, and the fact that “in Canada, almost 50 per cent of adults have or have experienced a permanent or temporary physical disability, or live with someone who has. Accessibility is more important than ever.”
Get in touch with #LPF by emailing email@example.com to learn more about how we can help ensure your built spaces and places meet #RHFAC criteria and are #accessible to and #inclusive for all, regardless of ability or disability. You can also learn more about us at www.levelplayingfield.ca.
And for more information about Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification standards, go to the foundation’s website here: https://www.rickhansen.com/become-acce…/rating-certification
“We thought: why don’t we do the whole deal and make the whole place accessible? We feel like if we can make the whole facility accessible, including the ice, it’s nice for people to be able to get in here and we feel it’s our primary job as the curling facility for the city …
“We’ve got quite a few of our older members who, even now, can’t get upstairs to come watch curling, and it would also help make our [popular] stick curling league even more accessible to people.”
Read more: https://www.wltribune.com/…/curling-club-making-accessibil…/
The Advancing Accessibility Standards Research Program provides funding to support research into the identification and removal of barriers to accessibility.
You could be eligible for a grant or contribution. https://www.canada.ca/en/accessibility-standards-canada/programs/advancing-research.html
Accessible Events. How does your event measure up?
Spring is finally here! Time to change the tires, dust off the BBQ, pull out the patio furniture and enjoy the sun. With festival season right around the corner, accessibility planning should be on every event planners mind.
Calgary has such a fantastic line-up of events, parades, festivals, block parties, patio parties, markets, concerts etc., so as you are planning your special event Level Playing Field would like to offer a few quick tips to help ensure your big day is accessible.
Plan for an accessible washroom/ port-a-potty. Make sure the accessible port-a-potty is anchored to the ground. It is surprisingly easy to move a port-a-potty, especially with a mobility device.
If you have an entry gate, make sure it is usable for someone utilizing a mobility device. We recommend a width of at least 1200 mm. Note: Turn styles are not accessible. If your venue is utilizing turn styles please ensure a proper alternative is available.
Pathways to Accessible Seating
Ensure there is a safe path of travel.
It’s imperative to train your staff. All employees should be familiar with emergency procedures and make sure they know if the procedures are the same for persons with disabilities or not. Training staff on Inclusive Behaviours etiquette also goes a long way.
Consider providing closed captioning or sign language interpretation.
These are just a few examples of planning strategies you can incorporate to make your event more inclusive. If you have any questions or you are looking for a more thorough analysis of your event plan please get in touch! The LPF team would love to work with you to ensure your event is fully accessible and welcoming for everyone. Universal Design and planning benefits everyone including persons with disabilities, seniors, families with strollers etc. It can also help your event reach a greater audience. These are just a few of a variety of minor changes that can make a dramatic difference to your participants.
Have fun and stay safe!
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi today declared Dec. 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities in the City of Calgary. Level Playing Field Principal Accessibility Strategist Darby Young and fellow member of the Alberta Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities Shino Nakane joined the mayor at Calgary City Hall for the official declaration.
See the official proclamation and learn more here: http://www.calgaryidpd.com/idpd-2019.html