Americas May 28, 2012
WHITBY: The Regional Municipality of Durham will be recognizing National Accessibility Awareness Week from May 27 to June 2, with an official proclamation by Regional Chair and Chief Executive Office Roger Anderson on behalf of Regional Council.
“During National Accessibility Awareness Week, the Region of Durham is proud to be a participant in celebrating accessibility and inclusive communities across Canada,” said Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer Roger Anderson. “Accessibility initiatives continue to be a priority for Regional Council as well as staff, and will remain at the forefront of our current and future strategic planning.”
A number of customer service accessibility initiatives, including special training for staff, the purchase of several accessible buses and a redeveloped corporate website have already been implemented by the Region of Durham. The Region also has a newly developed accessibility e-newsletter, which is circulated to members of the Regional Accessibility Advisory Committee (ACC) and the eight area AACs. This publication aims to bring the committees together, and share information and resources related to accessibility in Durham’s communities.
“Taking part in Accessibility Week is an effective way for the Region to continue to raise awareness and engage the community in learning about this important issue,” said Regional Councillor Don Mitchell, Chair of the Finance & Administration Committee. “Creating more accessible and inclusive communities is important for all Durham Region residents, as we, or someone close to us, will experience barriers at some point in our lives.”
Another initiative, the annual Regional Accessibility Awards, was also established. Area municipal AACs nominate local individuals or businesses that have championed accessibility. These awards will be presented at the Durham Region Employment Network (DREN) Gala on Thursday, June 7.
“The Accessibility Advisory Committees aim to ensure Regional programs and services are delivered in a way that preserves the dignity and independence of people with disabilities,” said Regional Councillor Joe Drumm, member of the Regional AAC. “We embrace National Accessibility Week as a means of educating the public on what we do and how we can be of service to the Durham Region community.”
The Regional Municipality of Durham’s Accessibility Report and Plan 2011-2012 outlines additional proposed initiatives to improve accessibility in Durham. This document is based on information contained in the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, both of which aim to remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities through the incorporation of five standards. To view a copy of the plan, and for more information on accessibility in Durham Region, visit www.durham.ca and select the “Accessibility” tab at the top of the page.