LPF has Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC)

LPF has Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC)

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 access@levelplayingfield.ca 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

Curling club making accessibility top priority

Curling club making accessibility top priority

“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…/

Accessible Events. How does your event measure up?

Accessible Events. How does your event measure up?

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.

Washrooms
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.

Entrances
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.

Training
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.

Alternative Communication
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!

International Day of Persons with Disabilities in  Calgary

International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Calgary

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

Canada’s first federal accessibility legislation comes into force

Canada’s first federal accessibility legislation comes into force

July 11, 2019           

Accessibility in Canada is about creating communities, workplaces and services that enable everyone to participate fully in society without barriers. The Government of Canada believes that all Canadians deserve the same opportunities and chances at success and is pleased to announce the coming into force of the Accessible Canada Act. Reaching this milestone demonstrates the Government’s commitment to implement this transformational legislation in a timely manner, creating more opportunities for persons with disabilities and ensuring greater access for all Canadians.

The coming into force of the Accessible Canada Act establishes a framework to create a barrier-free Canada through the proactive identification, removal and prevention of accessibility barriers. It will also ensure that persons with disabilities are no longer required to fight barriers to accessibility on an individual basis. With this legislation in place, millions of Canadians with disabilities can rely on the Government of Canada to remove the barriers that hinder their full participation in society.

The Accessible Canada Act applies to the federally regulated private sector, which includes the banking, transportation and telecommunications sectors, as well as the Government of Canada, Crown corporations and Parliament. Under the Act, these organizations will be required to develop and publish accessibility plans that describe how they will identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. They will also be required to establish a mechanism for receiving and addressing feedback on accessibility from anyone who interacts with their organization. Finally, they will have to develop regular progress reports on the implementation of their plan and addressing any feedback they receive.

The Accessible Canada Act also establishes new structures and positions, including:

  • the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO), led by a board of directors comprised of a majority of persons with disabilities that will develop accessibility standards in collaboration with the disability community and industry;
  • a Chief Accessibility Officer, who will advise the Minister of Accessibility and monitor systemic and emerging accessibility issues; and
  • an Accessibility Commissioner, who will spearhead compliance and enforcement activities under the legislation.

The next phase of implementation will include the development of standards and regulations that will provide clear guidance on accessibility requirements.

The new legislation is built on a whole-of-government approach to accessibility. Existing regulators and complaints bodies—such as the Canadian Transportation Agency, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board—are required to collaborate to put in place a mechanism for the efficient and expeditious referral of accessibility-related complaints and to foster complementary accessibility policies and practices.

The coming into force of the Accessible Canada Act also legislates National AccessAbility Week as beginning each year on the last Sunday in May, with the objective of promoting accessibility and celebrating the contributions of persons with disabilities across the country.

Quotes

“Today marks a major milestone in the history of disability rights. I am so proud that the Accessible Canada Act has now come into force and is a reality. This important achievement would not have been possible without the dedication and engagement of the disability community and I thank them for their hard work. With this legislation now in place, we can begin a journey that will lead us to a society that treats all people with the dignity they deserve. Now more than ever, we can say: Nothing without us!”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

Quick facts

  • Approximately one in five Canadians, or about 6.2 million people aged 15 and over, report having a disability that limits them in their daily activities.

  • The Accessible Canada Act was developed following the most inclusive and accessible consultations with the disability community in our country’s history. More than 6,000 Canadians and 100 accessibility organizations shared their views and ideas about an accessible Canada.

  • Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, was tabled in Parliament on June 20, 2018, and passed by the Senate with amendments on May 13, 2019. The House of Commons concurred with all amendments on May 29, 2019, and the Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.