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Major Canadian Cities Lacking in Accessibility for People With Disabilities: Study

Timm Bruch
CTV News Calgary Video Journalist
Updated Nov. 30, 2023

CALGARY – New research suggests Canadian cities are either inaccessible or partially inaccessible to people with disabilities — and Calgary is leading in the race to the bottom.

The University of Calgary-led “Mapping our Cities for All” project looked at urban and rural public places in its research.

It found nearly 60 per cent of public spaces in Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa are at least partially inaccessible.

And the numbers get worse when zooming in on Calgary alone.

Of the three cities, the research found the Alberta municipality finished last with 35 per cent of the buildings it mapped deemed accessible.

Whitehorse Residents With Disabilities Threaten Class-Action Over City’s Lack of Snow-Clearing

Accessible parking spots blocked by snow and ice, letter claims Caitrin Pilkington, CBC News
Posted: Dec 04, 2023

A lawyer claiming to represent a group of Yukoners with disabilities says his clients are ready to take the City of Whitehorse to court if it doesn’t start clearing sidewalks and accessible parking spaces of snow and ice.

Vincent Larochelle sent an open letter to the city’s mayor and council last Friday, stating that in the weeks since snow and freezing rain covered the city in ice, conditions have prevented many residents with disabilities from accessing vital services, which is “discriminatory and contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Accessibility a Challenge for City Man with Cerebral Palsy

Fri, November 24, 2023
Chris Hibbard
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For the ‘average’ Lethbridge citizen, the city is quite easy to navigate – 20 minutes from one side to the other. For many other residents however, it’s a whole different story.

Tim Hamilton was born with cerebral palsy. He has spent the entirety of his 64 years in a heavy electric wheelchair. He can move his right arm and he can move his head. He can speak, he can eat, he can drink and he can laugh and joke around.

Winter Accessibility in Whitehorse Should Be Higher Priority, Say Advocates

The city’s snow and ice control policy is up for review
George Maratos, CBC News
Posted: Nov 27, 2023

The tires of Finn Beaulieu’s motorized wheelchair spin out.

It’s a common occurrence for the 24-year-old. He has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic condition that breaks down his muscles and gradually weakens his body.

His wheelchair is a means of freedom and independence, but every winter – both of those things are compromised. The chair is heavy, more than 300 pounds, and as he tries to navigate a parking lot deemed accessible by the City of Whitehorse, his tires gunk up with snow and ice.

Chippewa Park Enhances Accessibility in Cabins Ahead of 2024 Season

Visitors with mobility challenges will be better able to enjoy the great outdoors Justin Hardy
November 26, 2023

THUNDER BAY – Chippewa Park Campground has taken an essential step towards improving accessibility for wheelchair users.

Starting from the 2024 camping season, visitors with mobility challenges will be better able to enjoy the great outdoors, with the added convenience and safety of new lift tracks in two of its accessible cabins.

Both cabins have been equipped with a ceiling track system over one of the beds, which ensures that individuals who require a lift to transfer from their wheelchairs to the bed can do so with ease and safety.

Coles Nationwide Expands Quiet Hour for Enhanced Accessibility

Coles has expanded its low-sensory shopping experience – Quiet Hour –
to five days a week, at a time that better suits many customers and working parents. Coles supermarkets nationwide are now offering customers a Quiet Hour experience from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, Monday to Friday ensuring customers who find high sensory environments challenging are offered more convenient and accessible time in the evening to enjoy their grocery shop.

The changes customers will notice during these times include Coles Radio turned down to the lowest volume, reduced register and scanner volume and team members refraining from using the PA system, except for in emergencies.

Less Snowy Sidewalk Enforcement in Edmonton Creates Accessibility Barriers: Advocate

Author of the article:Lauren Boothby
Published Oct 16, 2023

A cutback to policing icy sidewalks and bus stops could make navigating Edmonton more difficult this winter, especially for people with disabilities.

Edmontonians must shovel their own sidewalks after a snowfall or face a $100 fine, plus the cost of removal, if they do not. But less money is set aside for enforcement this winter – $275,000 or about one-quarter of last season’s $1.05 million budget – and 26 per cent fewer officers will enforce snow clearing and parking rules.

A Test Case of Another Kind for the Supreme Court: Who Can Sue Hotels Over Disability Access

By Mark Sherman The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) – A few years back, Joseph Stramondo was a last-minute replacement as a conference speaker in Salt Lake City. He went online and made a reservation for a room accessible for people with disabilities.

“I figured, ‘OK, I should be set,'” Stramondo said.

But when he checked in, the room he was given looked like a standard room, without bars in the bathroom or a door wide enough to accommodate his wheelchair.

Returning to the front desk, Stramondo learned the room was accessible – for people with hearing loss.

Brandon Needs to Improve ‘Awful’ Accessibility, Says Wheelchair User

With election coming, advocacy groups say more needs to be done to implement Manitoba’s Accessibility Act Chelsea Kemp , CBC News
Posted: Sep 17, 2023

When Phillip Emmerson travels on the sidewalks in southwestern Manitoba’s biggest city, it takes constant vigilance to ensure his wheelchair doesn’t catch on any obstacles.

His journeys in Brandon are full of impediments.

At one point he wheels over an uneven railway line before hitting a piece of raised sidewalk. He speeds up before the crossing to ensure he has the momentum to cross it – but he risks crashing if his front tires catch where the street joins the sidewalk.

Popular Montreal BreakDancer With Disability Calls Out Trudeau Airport for Accessibility Fail

Luca ‘Lazylegz’ Patuelli says elevator, escalator were out of order – and no staff knew what to do CBC News
Posted: Aug 29, 2023

Luca Patuelli, a dancer known as Lazylegz, says he’s used to navigating a world that isn’t always designed with accessibility in mind.

Born with arthrogryposis, a muscle disorder that affects his legs and requires him to use crutches and a wheelchair, the world-renowned b-boy and motivational entertainer is known for his perseverance and his philosophy of “No Excuses. No Limits.”

But he says an especially frustrating experience Sunday evening at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport has prompted him to speak out.