It seemed like ‘accessibility’ and ‘inclusive’ were new campaign buzz words, but it was very disappointing to discover that 18 of the 25 candidates may have excluded persons with disabilities. The town was to have provided accessibility information ‘to ensure equal opportunity for all electors to access your candidate information and to interact with you.’
A few ‘A’ words come to mind; acceptable applies to a few but then there’s awareness, attitude, and ableism.
One Guide covered print material, websites, physical spaces, audio/video media, one on one communication, accessible parking, barriers, customer service, budgets, service animals and a resource.
I wonder if the candidates with accessibility barriers read it or read it and ignored it?
JUST THE FACTS
Stats Canada states one in five (22%) of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over had one or more disabilities, or approximately 5000 Amherstburg residents.
The Retail Council of Canada states over half of the Canadian population is affected every day by disabilities, or approximately 11,700 Amherstburg residents.
John Laframboise’s meet and greet at the K of C hall was accessible and I didn’t encounter any issues with Joe Shaw’s website.
Not one candidate made the no e-scooters pledge. I expected a simple yes or no answer to a reader’s question: Will you remove barriers during Open Air weekends that block people with disabilities from driving to the bank, local stores, bars, and generally driving through town?
Some candidates were in favour of removing the barriers, some would modify the time frame, some didn’t answer and some have publicly supported it but didn’t answer. For those who are in favour of the barriers, how will they fulfill their obligation to remove barriers, if elected?
Some print materials were unacceptable and for those who want to continue relying on social media, I would encourage them to learn how to remove barriers.
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