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June 2, 2013

Constituency Office Survey

Updated and Complete June 11.

Our excellent summer intern, Kelly McKenna, called or emailed all 52 constituency offices and reached 51*.  This is the result. We asked 5 simple questions and scored as follows:

Parking
  • 0 for gravel or none
  • 1 for paved 
  • 2 for paved & designated accessible
Power door Button
  • 0 no 
  • 1 yes
Entrance
  • 0 step or stair
  • .5 for portable or questionable ramp 
  • 1 for level, ramp, elevator
Transportation
  • 0 for not on accessible bus route
  • 1 for on accessible bus route
Washroom
  • 0 for none
  • 1 for big enough for a wheelchair
  • 2 for accessible (grab bars, wheel-under sink)
Added together, the scores give a general measure of accessibility.  Our scoring is generous and reflects what the occupant said.  We double-checked results with a confirmatory email and received 35 responses, all in agreement.

Because access to public transportation is largely beyond the control of the MLA, we have left the transportation score out of the calculation.  Thus  the maximum score is 6 and MLAs in the rural parts of Nova Scotia are not penalized.

The mean score of 51 offices is 3.2.

The mean score of members of the House of Assembly Management Commission, which makes the rules bout MLA expense allowances is 2.7. Two of them scored zero.  They recently punted on a chance to change the rules to mandate accessibility

The distribution of scores is:


The distribution of improvements is:

Many offices have ramps or level entrances, but few have commonly accepted features like accessible washrooms, designated parking or low-power doors.

Here is a map showing results.  Click a balloon for details.  A blue balloon (score -1) represents those who have not responded to an email or who just haven't answered the phone.  As you can see, the rural ridings don't fare so badly....


*Cape Breton South is vacant
Rent:
Our 51 respondents paid an average rent of $936.33 in March.  Here is a chart comparing rental cost with accessibility:


You can argue that, on average, the most accessible offices have the highest rent.  On the other hand, the average difference between offices with the lowest score (0) and the highest (6) is $228 - just $50 more than we guesstimated in a previous post.

Gus Reed

Disclaimer:  Good reader, please forgive any errors or omissions.  I believe the data to be entirely correct, but I am transcribing by hand some information that the province makes hard to gather.  As you might guess, we are trying to do in a few weeks what the Disabled Persons Commission and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission have failed to do in many years....

email me with concerns.

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