The City of Charlottetown’s Civic Board for Persons with Disabilities released a report and recommendations for City Council to consider as it works toward the goal of transforming Charlottetown into a Barrier-Free City.
The report and recommendations are the result of a Barrier-Free City Forum hosted by the City and the Board in October. The full-day event was a visioning session and provided an opportunity to brainstorm ways to make the city more inclusive and accessible.
"We were extremely pleased with the turnout and engagement at the Barrier-Free City Forum. I know I speak for Council when I say that we’re looking forward to reviewing the report from the forum and examining the recommendations from the Civic Board," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "The only way we’re truly going to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities is to talk to those with first-hand experience or knowledge of the barriers and solutions that exist. Creating the Civic Board was our first step, and now we have the feedback from the forum and the recommendations to help us continue to move forward toward that goal."
The report and the recommendations can be found on the City’s website at: www.charlottetown.ca by clicking on the Barrier-Free City button. Some of the general recommendations compiled as a result of a forum include:
• Integrate a "disability lens" into all aspects of City business;
• Create a checklist/guideline document for improving the accessibility of events;
• Share the Barrier-Free City report with stakeholders and other levels of government;
• Develop a strategy for communicating with the private sector about the benefits of improved accessibility;
• Keep accessibility at the forefront of discussions with developers (new infrastructure and renovations);
• Improve signage on City buildings to promote accessibility options;
• Create a database of programs, services, resources and links on the City’s website that captures disability related information, especially as it applies to City services;
• Ask Police Services to consider increasing parking fines for people illegally parking in disabled parking spots;
• Create a map of existing benches and determine where the gaps might be in terms of offering rest areas in the city;
• Research standards for accessibility and cost out upgrades needed to improve accessibility in City buildings. Begin making upgrades as funding allows.
Besides the general recommendations, there are also departmental specific recommendations, including information for Planning and Heritage, Human Resources, Public Works, Transit, Emergency Services, Parks and Recreation, Water and Sewer Utility, and Tourism. Council will officially vote on receiving the report and the recommendations at its next public meeting on Monday, March 14. The Councillors will use the time in between to review what has been presented.
"There’s a lot for Council to consider both in the report and in the recommendations," said Councillor Tweel, Chair of the City’s Civic Board for Persons with Disabilities. "There are both long- and short-term goals and action items of us to review. Obviously, there are budget implications that we will need to consider as we look at the recommendations as well but there are also many projects, initiatives and ideas that we can do with little to no cost. I think we have a responsibility to take this report and the resulting recommendations very seriously and that’s what we plan to do."
For more information, visit: www.charlottetown.ca and click on the Barrier-Free City button. (Direct URL: www.charlottetown.ca/barrier-free-report.php).
Copies of the report and recommendations are also available below. If you would like the files in another format or in larger print, please let us know.
City of Charlottetown