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Leaving Home Will Be Easier For Canadians With Disabilities

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00

Able-bodied Canadians often take it for granted that they can leave home on a business or pleasure trip any time they like and go anywhere they want to. However, Canadians with disabilities are challenged by inaccessibility whenever they leave home, even within their own neighbourhood.

It's time to acknowledge that we are all temporarily able. At some point, everyone suffers a temporary or permanent loss, however minor, that makes accessibility an issue at some level. To avoid being trapped in our homes, Canadians must ensure that every aspect of our communities is welcoming to everyone.

In an ambitious first step, the Canadian Abilities Foundation is constructing Access Guide Canada , "the most comprehensive national listing of accessible services, resources and businesses ever compiled in this country." The information currently available through ABILITIES magazine , its EnableLink website, its Directory of Disability Organizations and a variety of other initiatives is being reorganized and augmented to create one comprehensive national online service.

When you want to go on holiday or to travel to evaluate a move to another city or province, you'll be able to log on to Access Guide Canada and locate accessible hotels, restaurants, recreational facilities, transportation services, special events, real estate/housing services and a wealth of other accessible resources. Business trips will become a planning dream instead of a logistical nightmare.

Access Guide Canada will offer free listings to businesses, services and organizations "demonstrating an inclusive philosophy by making everybody welcome."

With thousands of resources already catalogued, this project is off to a great start, but success will depend on help from Canadians who are out there visiting Canada's holiday spots, entertainment venues, business facilities and everything in between.

In the meantime, Enablelink ] carries information on at-home accessibility. Are you about to move into your first home? Do you want to custom-build a home? Are you busy planning renovations? Visit EnableLink's Product and Service Catalogue for equipment suppliers or designers who can help you make your home more comfortable and safe for you, your family and those who visit you.

Access Guide Canada will be formally unveiled later this year. If you'd like to keep abreast of its progress, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and subscribe to the EnableLinker, which will also bring you information on disability from across Canada.

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PJ Wade

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