Blyth's Sawchuk to lead provincial accessibility review
The Ontario government continues the ongoing work of identifying, removing and preventing barriers for people with disabilities. The province is launching a review of the Design of Public Spaces accessibility standards. Blyth’s Julie Sawchuk has accepted an invitation to be the chair of the Standards Development Committee that will lead the review.
The committee will include people with disabilities from all across the province, as well as representatives from businesses, municipalities and other impacted stakeholders. It will review existing accessibility standards, and consider whether new standards might be needed.
Sawchuk is a best-selling author, professional speaker and accessibility strategist. She holds Bachelor of Science and Education degrees and is also a designated professional for Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification. Sawchuk’s lived experience as a person who has a spinal cord injury offers an important perspective for the committee’s work.
“I am honoured that Julie Sawchuk has accepted the role of chair of this Standards Development Committee,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Her expertise and insights will be incredibly valuable in guiding the review of standards for accessibility in outdoor and indoor public spaces.”
Part of our government’s commitment to making Ontario more accessible and inclusive is breaking down barriers in the built environment. This is a key area of focus in the cross-government Advancing Accessibility in Ontario framework. The Ontario government says it is continuing to work with all levels of government, community partners, and businesses to identify, prevent and remove barriers for people with disabilities.
“Creating accessible public spaces in Ontario is not the job of one person, it is the responsibility of all,” said Sawchuk. “I’m both grateful and incredibly proud to be asked to lead this discussion and look forward to adding a rural perspective as often as I can. This is an opportunity to bring people together to share what is working and what needs to be done differently in design and construction and to listen to all the voices who are looking for change.”
The Design of Public Spaces Standards Development Committee is expected to begin work in early 2022 and continue into 2023.