Accessibility advocate and entrepreneur Maayan Ziv uses a lift at Toronto’s MaRS building
Ontario’s legacy accessibility investments for the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games will leave lasting benefits for Ontarians, visitors and athletes of all abilities. Investments include:
Together with partners, Ontario is ensuring that all Games venues are accessible and barrier-free.
All 31 competition venues (including Pan Am Games venues) meet or exceed accessibility requirements, ensuring persons with disabilities can fully enjoy these facilities, either as participants or spectators.
To help create barrier-free travel for Ontarians and visitors with disabilities, Ontario is supporting the development of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association’s (ORHMA) online accommodation directory.
The website contains accessibility information designed to help travellers with disabilities choose accommodations that meet their needs. The directory will benefit visitors attending the Games and other travellers for years to come.
Live broadcast of selected events – the most Parapan Am Games coverage ever – will showcase parasport and the abilities of people with disabilities to millions of viewers. This marks the first time that the Parapan Am Games will be televised in English and French in Canada.
Volunteer Training and Supports
TO2015 provided accessibility training for all Games volunteers. Some volunteers received enhanced accessibility training based on their role and the venue they are assigned to.
This results in over 23,000 Ontarians being trained to support athletes, spectators and tourists of all abilities.
After the Games, Ontario will make the accessibility “e-Learning Module” available to organizations, businesses and committees who host events that require volunteers.
Accessible transportation is a top Games priority for Ontario and its transportation partners.
Accessibility experts from partner organizations have reviewed transportation plans for each venue to ensure everyone can enjoy the Games. Accessible travel options include accessible public transit, pre-booked accessible parking, barrier-free routes to venues and a specialized transit booking system called “Call One” that helps coordinate trips to and from events for eligible customers.
Parasport Equipment Funding
Through the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Games legacy program, the province is helping participating organizations and municipalities acquire para equipment that meets the needs of athletes with disabilities, including audible balls, eye shades, wheelchair rugby chairs and ramps.
This investment will support the development and training of para-athletes, increase participation in parasport and build on Ontario’s accessibility plan to leave long-lasting benefits for Ontarians with disabilities and para-athletes after the 2015 Games. Recipients of Ontario’s investment include:
- Abilities Centre
- ParaSport Ontario
- Ontario Blind Sports Association
- Variety Village
- Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association
- Wheelchair Basketball Canada
- City of Mississauga
- Town of Milton
- City of Toronto
Accessibility Innovation Showcase
From August 8-10, this event will profile Ontario innovative accessible technology and assistive device companies. Motivational speakers, artists and athletes will share their experiences and demonstrate how technological advancements can improve the lives of people with disabilities
The showcase is open to the public and admission is free. Opening hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday.
Pan Am/Parapan Am Kids
Pan Am/Parapan Am Kids is designed to get kids of all abilities active. The program supports increased accessibility awareness, instruction and participation in parasports like sitting volleyball, goalball and boccia.
All program resources are inclusive for all students, and include adaptations to meet the needs of youth with disabilities.
The initiative is a legacy of the Games and will continue at schools and after-school programs across the province after the Games have ended.
The Athletes’ Village, a provincially funded project, provides a barrier-free environment for residents and visitors.
During the Games, the Village will have approximately 270 accessible units. Post-Games, a minimum of ten per cent of the affordable rental housing units will be accessible. Some of the accessible public space design features include:
- Tactile strips on all stairs, ramps and grade changes and tonal contrast for doors and frames throughout;
- Oversized corridors with barrier free turn-arounds every 30 metres; and
- Oversized elevator cabs equipped with audible floor level announcement and braille/tactile controls.
The IGNITE Ontario grant program, which is supporting celebrations across the province in advance of the Games, gave funding priority to initiatives that consider accessibility for people with disabilities in their planning.