Municipalities asked to promote access, break down barriers

Access Awareness Day supported by Esquimalt

Ensuring people have equal access to the places where they live, work and play is part of the message being promoted for Access Awareness Day tomorrow (June 2).

Esquimalt added its voice at Monday night’s council meeting to the chorus of communities proclaiming the annual event.

“Access Awareness Day is ultimately about more than just one day a year – it is a call to respond creatively and purposefully to build a society where barriers to inclusion are removed, and the independence, self-esteem, dignity and security of all citizens is ensured,” states the Social Planning and Research Council B.C. on its website.

The charitable organization works with communities, spearheads education campaigns and researches social issues.

The provincial body states that people with disabilities will, in the coming years, make up 20 to 25 per cent of recreation, retail, entertainment, workplace and housing markets.

But barriers still exist. The council says people with disabilities still have fewer jobs to choose from.

For details, visit sparc.bc.ca.

emccracken@vicnews.com

By the numbers:

91.5 centimetres: space needed for a wheelchair to navigate pathways and doorways

2.5 cms of rise: needs at least 30.5 cms of ramp length

130 cm: maximum height needed for handles and some fixtures

86 cm: recommended maximum counter height

3.7 metres: width of parking space needed for motorists to transfer from their vehicles to wheelchairs