Niagara aims to make a more accessible community through new event guide

Photo by: Robert Ruggiero

Accessibility committees in Niagara have devised a plan to make events more inclusive for all residents in West Niagara.

In light of Niagara’s goal to make a more accessible community for all of its residents, regardless of disability, age or need, an event guide detailing accessible opportunities for future events in west Niagara is being released. 

The guide is being created by the Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee (JAAC), which has representatives from six Niagara municipalities. The guide will work to make the region more accommodating to both those with disabilities as well as older residents in the region. The resource can be used by any organization that is interested in making events more accessible. 

The event guide is a collaboration project which has been created by individuals with different accessibility needs. In doing so, contributors have created an inclusive document which aims to be helpful for many. 

Lori Laird, recreation and events coordinator for the Town of Lincoln detailed that the guide was developed as a reference tool for event planners, organizations and facilities  to enhance age-friendly features and reduce barriers in community activities.

The guide consists of suggestions for more accessible opportunities in event preparation, budgeting, outdoor events and festivals, virtual events, food and refreshments, marketing, registration, event scheduling, staff and volunteer training, emergency planning and event evaluation.

Alongside the impending event guide, the Niagara Region additionally offers an annual accessibility plan detailing the areas in which the region could approve.

The 2018-2023 accessibility plan consists of implementing features such as audible pedestrian cross signals, more accessible transportation, various emergency preparedness initiatives and many more accessible options.

The updated accessibility plan also consists of features for staff training, such as additional customer service policies organized by accessibility coordinators and the further employment of individuals with disabilities; the improvement of print and web materials, which features regional materials available in different formats and brochures which include accessibility provisions in policies, practices and procedures; as well as facilities improvements, which offers aspects such as visual strobes to audible fire alarms, listening assistive devices in council chambers and more accessible designs for facilities within the region.

As Niagara continues to improve accessibility options within the region, the event guide, which is yet to be released, will act as a substantial addition towards accessibility within the region.

For more information regarding Niagara’s accessibility plan, be sure to visit the region’s accessibility page.

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