This first-person opinion piece in the Minden Times of Minden, Ontario, calls on communities and leaders to think beyond “basic accessibility.” Sue Tiffin is the mother of a four-year-old girl who uses a wheelchair. In an eloquently written argument for more accessible communities, Ms. Tiffin encourages politicians and leaders to think big.
“All public Ontario playgrounds will be required to meet accessibility standards by 2025, and for many municipalities the change will be costly and viewed as a burden,” she writes. “We don’t want our leaders to struggle with supporting inclusion; we want them to be visionaries who understand that we can do better. Because we want our playgrounds and public spaces to be used by everyone. We want to remind our citizens that everyone has been considered, and everyone matters.”
Ms. Tiffin quotes a representative of the Canadian Playground Advisory Inc., who says he has often heard the question “Why would you build an accessible playground here? There are no kids with disabilities in our neighbourhood.” Then, he says, “they would notice how many would come out once an accessible playground is built.”
“Focus on people, rather than standards,” Ms. Tiffen writes. “Accessibility can’t be about meeting basic standards. It must focus on a world for everyone out of a world that has not been made for everyone.”
“It’s not just kids with disabilities we need to think of, but a full lifespan of people, including parents and grandparents and caregivers.”
Read Ms. Tiffin’s full article here