Local residents working to remove barriers to inclusion and accessibility saw their efforts recognized earlier this week, as Brampton acknowledged National AccessAbility Week. The annual initiative, which was celebrated through June 6, saw the city celebrate the valuable contributions of Canadians with disabilities through a series of online recognition activities, including an open certification rating that can be obtained by local non-profits, public and private organizations.
Brampton’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, in collaboration with several of the committees set up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, banded together to provide support to residents and businesses in several ways, including grocery shopping for residents who were unable to leave their houses due to disabilities, access to food and providing alternate information formats.
“I am proud of the work our members are doing to make Brampton accessible and inclusive for people of all abilities. During this National AccessAbility Week, (and) I urge everyone to celebrate our fellow Canadians with disabilities for their valuable contributions, and recognize the people, communities and workplaces in Brampton and across the country,” said regional councillor Pat Fortini, a member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee. The city previously announced that Brampton was one of the ten municipalities in the province to host the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification rating program, which rates the ease of use for accessibility.
Non-profit, public and private organizations in Brampton are encouraged to take advantage of the free RHFAC rating to better understand their building’s level of accessibility and identify ways to make improvements. Buildings that achieve a high enough rating will become Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certified or Accessibility Certified Gold. The new complimentary RHFAC program is funded by the Government of Ontario in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation with the goal of making communities more accessible.
Brampton was selected for its population size and geographic diversity. Around 25 locations across Brampton will be eligible for complimentary RHFAC ratings. Organizations must apply at rickhansen.com/freerating.
Nominations for the 2020 Accessibility Awards, which recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations in the city who demo state a commitment to accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities, will open in September.
Residents are encouraged to check the City’s website in the fall for more information and an online nomination form. The awards will be presented in December at Brampton City Hall.