Is your Barriere business accessible?

Accessibility Tour of community businesses taking place in Barriere June 4

The District of Barriere is joining other communities in B.C. to celebrate The Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) Access Awareness Day BC.

“Access Awareness Day and this Accessibility Tour in the District of Barriere is a campaign to raise awareness about disability, accessibility, and inclusion,” said Mayor Virginia Smith.

In an effort to raise awareness and promote accessibility within Barriere, members of council, district staff and other volunteers will participate in a tour of the community on the morning of Saturday, June 4.

These volunteers will navigate through a number of areas and businesses in town with the restriction of a wheelchair, scooter, walker, crutches and other forms of mobility assistance.

Organizers note the goal of the tour is not to point fingers at businesses, venues and common spaces of where they may be falling short, but to praise those who are showing initiative to provide accessible means of removing barriers to inclusion and who are taking strides to ensure the independence, self-esteem, dignity and security of their patrons and all citizens of the community.

“This tour will also help the municipality identify areas that it can improve in order to set planning goals that will address any problem areas,” said Colleen Hannigan, Chief Administrative Officer for the district.

In order to provide additional incentive for local businesses, organizations and service providers to audit their premises for potential obstacles and areas to improve accessibility, one annual recognition award for “Accessibility Achievement” will be awarded along with notable mention in media coverage post event.

SparcBC has indicated they will provide the district with a one time grant of $500 to cover the cost of the annual award and refreshments. Unused funds will be used for subsequent year’s events.

The Red Cross Loan Cupboard in Barriere has offered to loan the district a variety of mobile assistance methods such as wheelchairs, walkers and canes at no cost for the tour.

If you would like to learn more about the 1st Annual Accessibility Tour, you can contact the District of Barriere at (250) 672-9751, or by email: tbuchanan@barriere.ca.

If your business or organization is not open on Saturday, but you would still like to participate in the 1st Annual Accessibility Tour, please contact Tasha Buchanan at the above contact information.