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News Release

Durham Regional Council passes 2014 accessibility report

WHITBY, ON December 17, 2014

Today, Durham Regional Council passed The Regional Municipality of Durham’s 2014 Accessibility Report, a document that outlines completed initiatives that will help to further eliminate barriers across Regional operations. Durham Region first implemented an Accessibility Plan in 2003, and since that time, employees have been working to identify, remove and prevent barriers in the areas of customer service, information and communication, employment and transportation.

“Durham Region strives to achieve a fully inclusive and accessible environment—one that understands different types of disabilities, and the barriers that prevent full participation,” said Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer Roger Anderson. “We want to ensure that the approximately 70,000 individuals who are living with a disability, in Durham Region, feel comfortable in their own communities.”

To achieve a more accessible environment, recent initiatives have included removing and preventing barriers related to attitudes, technology, policies and procedures, as well as those involving physical accessibility to buildings, services and transportation. Accessible customer service training also continues for all new Regional staff, to help make them aware that disabilities are not always obvious.

Updates include: a Regional child-care centre was moved from an older house to a new, fully accessible location; signage at the Kids Safety Village in Whitby was updated to meet accessible font standards; Accessible Pedestrian Signals were installed at various locations in Oshawa, Pickering, Ajax and Whitby; sidewalk, curb and pavement improvements were completed in four lakeshore municipalities; and the entire Durham Region Transit conventional bus fleet was made 100 per cent accessible to allow passengers using mobility devices the option to travel via a conventional bus on fixed routes (rather than relying solely on Specialized Services).

Under provincial legislation, the Region must prepare an annual status report on the progress of measures taken to implement an accessibility strategy; and establish a multi-year accessibility plan that outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers to people with disabilities. These plans are to be reviewed and updated at least once every five years. This report does not reflect any changes to the current, multi-year plan—a document that will be updated and released for a term of 2016 to 2020.

For more information, or to review the Region’s accessibility plans, visit www.durham.ca, and select the Accessibility Information logo on the left-hand side.

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.