Oakville – The Town of Oakville is committed to accessibility and inclusion for residents of all abilities. In celebration of this commitment, Mayor Rob Burton proclaimed May 29 to June 4 National Access Awareness Week in Oakville.
“As a town, it is our job to remove barriers preventing everyone from fully participating in the community,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Offering accessible programs, services and facilities is an essential part of making Oakville the most livable town in Canada.”
National Access Awareness Week is dedicated to encouraging Canadians to think about the barriers people with disabilities face, and to find ways to help remove them. Highlights of the town’s commitment to promoting inclusion and reducing barriers include:
Development of the New Oakville Universal Design Standards for town facilities, mandatory for all construction projects at the town. The standard is recognized by the province as best-practice in barrier-free design and has been adopted by a number of municipalities in Ontario.
Enhancements to town facilities include power door openers, accessible washrooms, accessible parking spots, cane detectable warning surfaces, accessible counters at service desks, accessible front lobby seating, and new directional signage at Town Hall. Town community centres offer accessible showers and change areas and arenas feature accessible viewing areas and barrier-free paths.
All Oakville Transit buses feature low-floors to better support patrons with mobility issues and offer visual and verbal announcements of direction, destination, and next major stop.
Specialized recreation programs for persons with disabilities are offered in various facilities such as yoga “younique”, clay classes and summer camp one-on-one support programs.
New and redeveloped playgrounds include accessible play equipment, accessible washrooms (where available), and clear space to allow children, caregivers and those using mobility devices to play and move freely.
Audit of the town’s existing 255 kilometres of trail facilities will be completed in 2016 to develop a strategy for accessibility improvements.
Online accessibility improvements include website upgrades, development of mobile apps for Oakville and Oakville Transit, and moving all video content to YouTube.
The town’s full-time Accessibility Coordinator promotes accessibility and provides advice to departments on how to remove and prevent barriers.
The town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee is committed to improving and promoting accessibility, and takes part in local events such as the Halton Community Resource Fair, Pan Am torch relay event and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 10th anniversary to support awareness and collaboration.
Visit the accessibility page to learn more about the town’s multi-year accessibility plan and ongoing work to make it easier for people of all abilities to participate in the community.