The purpose of the plan, which is required in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, is to improve opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the life of the city through the identification, removal and prevention of barriers.
“By adopting this plan, the City of Greater Sudbury has taken a significant step forward in making our community open and accessible to people of all ages and abilities,” said Mayor Marianne Matichuk. “On behalf of Council, I thank the Accessibility Advisory Panel for its dedication and years of service.”
Over the last five years, the Accessibility Advisory Panel has hosted several public input sessions from which key themes and opportunities arose. Based on the contributions from the Panel, three priorities have been identified for the next five years: legislative compliance, community mobility and access to recreation.
In addition to ensuring compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its associated regulations, the city will continue to work to ensure compliance with accessibility provisions of other acts and will continue to work on community mobility on two fronts.
The City of Greater Sudbury conventional transit fleet is now fully accessible and as transit vehicles are replaced, they are equipped with the newest and most accessible features available. Work will also continue to ensure sidewalk and pedestrian accessibility in the city.
In the last several years alone, the city has installed four fully accessible play structures. Some opportunities to improve access to recreational facilities include: designing parks to be barrier free, having flat, stable play surfaces for unstructured play, having ramp access to playground equipment, providing pathways between different outdoor elements at sports complexes and easy access to parking and improving waterfront and shoreline access to the community’s lakes.
Greater Sudbury has made a number of significant improvements to the accessibility of municipal facilities over the past five years, including the installation of a second elevator to accommodate larger wheelchairs and scooters at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex and a newly constructed accessible washroom at the Sudbury Community Arena.
The city has also made a number of enhancements to the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre, such as accessible washrooms, a suitable drop-off area for Handi-Transit and adequate accessible parking.
Finally, the City provides employee training, with a specific component on accessible customer services.