Media Release - Removing Barriers to Create and Inclusive and Accessible Society for All

Dec 2 2012

Monday December 3rd is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme for 2012 is: Removing Barriers to Create and Inclusive and Accessible Society for All.

The reality of day to day life with a disability is not easily understood by those of us who do not experience these challenges. We can all become better informed and play a role in removing barriers to inclusion. This December 3rd, take time to consider barriers in our community and how these limit the full participation of many amongst us.

“I dislike being an exception, always needing to be accommodated. For example to get into a building because there are stairs”, commented Waterloo resident, Brad Ullner. Melannie May Hogg of Kitchener, agrees that “It is important that more people understand what it’s like to get from your home to the places you need to go to in your day and how difficult it can be.”

Ullner and Hogg are Co-Chairs of the Disabilities and Human Rights Group of Kitchener-Waterloo. This group is encouraging everyone to become more aware of how well our community works for those with disabilities by taking a walk in their neighbourhood or other places in the community and to ask these simple questions:

• What helps or hinders those with mobility, sensory or cognitive limitations to take care of their daily needs and to participate fully in the community?

• How successful have we been in planning an inclusive and livable community for everyone?

Observations and comments sent to will be compiled to share more broadly to help raise further awareness of the importance of how we plan our communities. With assistance from the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo, the Disabilities and Human Rights Group has given input in to the Accessibility for All Ontarians draft Built Environment Standard. This submission can be viewed at ""

Let’s work together to remove barriers and ensure we avoid creating any further challenges.
An inclusive and accessible community benefits everyone!

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