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October 15, 2008

Agenda for Access in HRM

It is estimated that 20% of Nova Scotians live with a disability. In order to achieve a fully accessible and barrier free HRM, the James McGregor Stewart Society seeks your support for some important measures. Most of these measures require only common sense and consideration of the needs of disabled Haligonians.

Fair Government
  • All public meetings must be held in accessible locations, with appropriate amenities (signers, accessible washrooms) served by scheduled and accessible public transportation.
  • There will be continuing emphasis on HRM website accessibility
  • There will be an accessibility section in the Annual Report, detailing accomplishments
  • HRM sponsored or funded events will be accessible to everyone
  • A higher profile will be given to the HRM Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities

Barrier Free Infrastructure

  • The HRM Municipal Service System Guidelines (Redbook) will be continually monitored to include modern standards of accessible design for infrastructure
  • Heritage properties which are public accommodations will have a plan for accessibility
  • HRM will develop plans to eliminate barriers in currently Inaccessible public facilities and budget accordingly

Effective Municipal Services

  • A fully accessible public transportation system, including taxis, remains one of HRM's highest priorities
  • Public Safety and services must pay special attention to the needs of people with disabilities – for example:
  • Include disability considerations in snow removal standards (curb cut clearing, bus platforms, tactile clues)
  • zero tolerance for crimes against disabled people
  • Emergency measures should address planning and protection for disabled people.

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