On September 24th City Council passed a new Accessibility for People with Disabilities Policy. Unfortunately there was no media coverage on what is a very significant accomplishment due to the excellent work of the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), a variety of Edmontonians who participated in the consultations, and our City staff who helped to create the policy. I want to thank everyone who helped to create this policy which provides clear direction that accessibility must be built in to everything the City of Edmonton does.
While the policy has now been approved, the next step is ensuring that policy is put into action in each City Department. Each department is required to now come up with action plans that will clearly show how accessibility will be incorporated into everything they do. A key element of the Policy implementation will include evaluation of a three-year Corporate Accessibility Plan. This approach is based on best practice research from other municipalities and orders of government and will help achieve the intent and commitments of the Policy. Each department will create accessibility actions through a three-step process that will become part of the Plan and reviewed by groups like the Accessibility Advisory Committee:
- Step 1: assessing current state of accessibility;
- Step 2: identifying barriers; and
- Step 3: establishing priorities and developing actions.
To learn more about this important work, I urge you to read Jason Pisesk’s (Chair of AAC) thoughts on this critical new policy and how it allows everyone to fully participate in and contribute to their community.