SPARC BC's Accessibility Tip # 100: Housing that works for everyone

Welcome signWhile great strides have been made in creating accessible public spaces, there is a shortage of even minimally accessible private housing in Canada for people who want to “age in place” or who have reduced mobility. Newly constructed homes often contain the same major barriers as older, existing homes: steps at every entrance, narrow interior doors – with the bathroom door usually the narrowest door in the house!

While The National Building Code of Canada is concerned mainly with commercial properties and multi-family dwellings, many of its requirements are becoming more and more popular for single family residences, especially as the population ages. The words “accessibility” and “visitability” have a lot in common.

The visibility movement offers three key features to ensure that everyone, regardless of mobility, will be able to at least visit, use the washroom and exit the home: a zero step entrance at the front, back or side entrance; wider doorways on all main floors; and a half or full bath on the main floor. Other opportunities exist to enhance the visitability of a new residence. These include locating the bedroom(s) on the main level of a multi-level structure; locating the laundry on the main level; access to and ample space within the kitchen; and customizable designs to allow buyers the flexibility to alter homes for their best use. Visitability can be integrated into the home at the design phase of a new home to increase your options as your family’s needs change over time.

The building of accessible and visitable housing provides the opportunity for seniors and others with disabilities to remain living independently in their own homes and community.

For further information, please read the article retrieved from Accessibility News at http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/?p=1393.

Have a suggestion for an Accessibility 100 tip? Email klai@sparc.bc.ca

Survey - Library Services for People with Print Disabilities

The Services to People with Print Disabilities Working Group (SPPD) of the BC Library Road signs on post - Do not enter and Turn leftAssociation and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) are jointly issuing a survey to people with print disabilities through their networks. The goal is to better understand the needs of people with print disabilities in regard to library services in order to begin building better provincial and federal supports.

The survey will be available until December 19, 2011 Please share this survey link widely.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LibraryServicesForPeopleWithPrintDisabilitySurvey

If you have questions or concerns about the survey, please contact Deb Thomas, Co-chair of SPPD, at 604-436-5432, deb.thomas@bpl.bc.ca or Lori Sutej, consultant with CNIB at Lori.Sutej@cnib.ca

Leave No One Out: Community Training in Emergency Planning

Every organization should be prepared for an emergency but are you? Is your organization prepared to deliver its services to your most vulnerable clients if a disaster hits? How will your organization respond to a large scale emergency? What will your role be in the community?

Volunteer Richmond Information Services and Richmond Centre for Disability team up to deliver a valuable workshop to help your organization plan for an emergency. This workshop will get you talking about Service Continuity and Emergency Preparedness with a focus on ensuring that people with disabilities are not left without support.

Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time: 9:00am Registration, 9:30am – 3:30pm Workshop

Location: Room M2.004, Richmond City Hall (6911 No. 3 Road)

Cost: FREE – Breakfast and Lunch Provided. Please inform us of any dietary or accessibility needs.

Register by April 15: call 604 – 232 – 2404 or email ian@rcdrichmond.org

This training was developed through a joint project of the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities and Volunteer Canada, funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnership Program – Disability Component.

Click here for more information about BCCPD’s Emergency Preparedness Project.