Accessibility Awareness And Candidate Accountability

The Downtown Espresso Cafe is advertising candidate meet and greet sessions. Out of concern that persons with disabilities may be excluded because of the step, I posted to You know you are from Amherstburg when…. a Facebook group “for all who grew up in the great town of Amherstburg, Ontario Canada!!!”

Notification: “Your comment was automatically declined based on certain criteria in this group.”

‘See feedback’ revealed: These rules come from the group admins.

1 No Promotions or Spam
Absolutely no sale posts of any kind unless you have approved it by the admin first. Certain posts will be allowed based on the discretion of the admin.

2 No Hate Speech or Bullying
Make sure everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn’t allowed, and degrading comments about things like race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated.

3 Be Kind and Courteous
We’re all in this together to create a welcoming environment. Let’s treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required.

I then wrote the same comment on the Downtown Espresso Cafe Facebook page and it was deleted.

Other than ‘the candidates should know better,” everything else in the comment was quoted from the town’s information.

The candidates should know better. The step to get in can make this inaccessible. From the town’s 2022 Municipal Election Draft Accessibility Plan: “The Town of Amherstburg will provide Candidates with the Candidates’ Guide to Accessible Elections produced by the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO). The Town will also incorporate accessibility information and messaging into Candidate Information Packages and Candidate Information Sessions.”

Copyright – this information is protected by Canada’s Copyright Act. Request written permission from the burg watch at gmail dot com.

CBC: Municipal election candidates need to make accessibility part of their platforms

In this CBC News Opinion, Kevin McShan writes, The city of Windsor is at an inflection point, and there’s one fundamental question left for the candidates to answer in the upcoming municipal election: who’ll make accessibility a cornerstone of their platform?

The burgwatch’s candidate questionnaire included, what does accessible mean to you?Of the twenty five Amherstburg candidates, two answered.

If ‘those’ campaigning to represent everyone will be responsible for preventing and removing barriers but will not commit to doing so, no votes from me.

Should Minutes Be Consistently Corrected?

Background

During a council meeting earlier this year, Councillor Michael Prue had a question about committee minutes, the presence of his wife, Shirley Curson-Prue, at a committee meeting and the recording of votes.

Mayor DiCarlo said the minutes would be looked into and any corrections required would be made.

Present

On August 4, 2022, I read the August 8 town council meeting agenda and emailed all members of council that the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAAC) meeting minutes June 23, 2022 were incorrect.

“The minutes indicate the motion was ‘that the delegation be received.’ However, following my presentation, Chair Shirley Curson-Prue asked, “May I have a motion to receive this document?” Chris Drew said he’d make the motion which was then seconded by Angela Kelly and carried. The audio is available online.”

I assumed errors were to be corrected.

On Friday, August 5, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo emailed, “Thank you for the clarification.”

On Monday, August 8, council received the AAAC minutes without comment.

Caffeine and Company Stairs A Barrier To Some Persons With Disabilities

I’m continuing my tour of some of the downtown Amherstburg eateries; more photos to follow.

The former Echo building is now a coffee shop.

stairs a barier to Caffeine and Company in Amherstburg, OntarioThis is where Windsor Police held Coffee With A Cop in 2019 and apologized: Coffee With A Cop: Windsor Police Apologize For ‘Misstep.’

stairs a barrier to coffee with a cop in amherstburg, ontario

Pepper Cat Stairs A Barrier To Some Persons With Disabilities

I’m continuing my tour of some of the downtown Amherstburg eateries; more photos to follow.

A reader alerted me to the accessibility issue at the Pepper Cat restaurant so here’s a photo of the stairs. Councillor Candidate Linden Crain tweeted now that’s creative! and added a dog vs. cat emoji.

stairs an accessibility barrier to pepper cat restaurant in Amherstburg, Ontario

close up of stairs to pepper cat restaurant in Amherstburg, Ontario

Park House Museum Accessibility Barriers

Continuing with photos from my downtown tour, the Park House Museum walk and ramp could use an update.

When asked about accessibility, Park House Curator advised they are currently fundraising to replace the current ramps and walkways and to add a push-button door.

As for the website, ‘we have changed the colour from black to white to enhance visibility and recently launched a user survey to see where our visitors would like changes to be made.’ I couldn’t locate an Accessibility Policy on the website, but the Curator provided me with a blanket policy including a link to training that will be provided, as outlined by the documentation at www.mto.gov.on.ca. i’m not sure how useful the Ministry of Transportation site will be.

In March 2022, the town granted the museum’s request for $8500. and provided an additional $6500. for a total of $15,000.

In March 2022, it was also announced that the museum received a $19700. grant from Ontario’s Community Building Fund Operating stream.

The August 8, 2022 town council agenda includes a memo$15,000 for the precommitment of the 2022 Park House Grant

Sooner, rather than later, funding will need to be allocated to imrproving accessibility at the Park House and other buildings in town.

park house museum rotting wooden walk and ramp in amherstburg, ontario