Cumberland is celebrating Access Awareness Day on Saturday, June 1. Access Awareness Day is a campaign of the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) to respond creatively and purposefully in building a society where barriers to inclusion are removed, and to ensure the independence, self-esteem, dignity, and security of all citizens.
“The Village recognizes that the onus to make communities more accessible and inclusive lies with all of us, not just with people that have disabilities,” says Mayor Leslie Baird.
In 2018, the Cumberland Accessibility Committee shared a brochure with local businesses that provided tips on how to become more accessible and how taking small steps – or removing steps altogether – can make a big difference in the community. Laurel Rankin, the chair of Cumberland’s Accessibility Committee, says “there are great examples in the community of how businesses, individuals and organizations have made a difference. We encourage everyone to think about what we can do to make spaces, services, employment, recreation and events inclusive to everyone.”
Cumberland Council and the Cumberland Accessibility Committee recognize examples of how local people, businesses, and organizations are taking steps towards creating more inclusive environments, including:
- Alix McCubbin, who provides top notch customer service at West & Co. by providing a welcoming environment for everyone;
- SUP4ALL, a social enterprise created by Bobby Boyd, that offers adaptive paddling adventures for people of all abilities in Cumberland and in the Comox Valley;
- Three Tree Early Learning Centre, a business that is inclusive in its overall approach of providing early learning to preschoolers, creating a universal access environment, and meeting all of children’s needs regardless of their challenges; and
- The Cumberland Brewing Company and BiblioTaco, which both improved the built environment by making their business entryways more accessible.
The Cumberland Accessibility Committee and Council thank everyone who has taken positive steps to make Cumberland a more accessible, welcoming, and inclusive community.
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