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Key Achievements in Removing Barriers

Eliminating barriers for persons with disabilities has been part of the City's work practices for many years. Some of the highlights of these practices include: 

  • In 2010, City Archives made significant renovations to enable more people with disabilities to access services including the addition of an accessible parking spot and entry.
  • In 2010, with the closure of Frank Murphy Community Centre, City indoor pool facilities prepared themselves to accommodate people with disabilities moving from the aquatic fitness programs at Frank Murphy to City programs.
  • In 2009, the City took over delivery of Accessibility Awareness Training to all Corporation staff, volunteers, and contractors from the Independent Living Resource Centre, in compliance with the Customers Services Standard (Regulation 429/07) of the AODA, 2005.
  • In 2009, Community Living Thunder Bay, in partnership with the City and the Leisure Resources Thunder Bay Committee, received a $40,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to hold the Recreation-able 'Inclusive Recreation Forum' that attracted recreation providers from Ontario to learn how to make recreation inclusive to those with disabilities.
  • In 2008, the City received a grant from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to begin planning for the 'Recreation-Able Inclusive Recreation Forum' that will attract recreation providers from Ontario to learn how to make recreation inclusive to those with disabilities.
  • In 2008, Junior Inclusion Services expanded their scope from summer child and youth program to include year-round activities. This program ensures that children and youth with disabilities have the opportunity to participate.
  • In 2007, the City received recognition from the Independent Living Resource Centre for outstanding achievement and proactive approach to achieving accessibility and inclusion for each member of their community.
  • In 2007, the City received the Ontario Mainstreet Accessibility Award for outstanding achievement in establishing long-term community partnerships to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility.
  • In 2007, through the acquisition of two new buses, the City fleet is now 100% accessible for all mobility devices.
  • In 2006, two City staff were selected to sit on the Ministry of Community and Social Services - 'Customer Service' and 'Transportation' Accessibility Standards Committees.
  • In 2006, the City worked with the 'Leisure Resource Committee' to implement a Personal Attendant for Leisure (PAL) card that enables a person with a disability to attend a variety of public- and private-sector recreational programs and events with an attendant who is not charged an admission fee.
  • In 2005, the City of Thunder Bay in partnership with Community Living Thunder Bay received a grant for $42,000 from the Ministry of Recreation to develop and implement an 'Inclusion Services' project that provides the necessary supports for persons with disabilities to participate in programs at City recreational facilities.
  • In 2004, the City of Thunder Bay was recognized as `Organization of The Year' by the Independent Living Resource Centre for removing barriers for persons with disabilities.
  • In 2004, the City of Thunder Bay's First Annual Accessibility Plan was recognized on the Ministry of Citizenship's website as a 'best practice'.
  • In 2004, the implementation of a policy allowing attendants of persons with disabilities to ride public City Transit services no cost.
  • With the advice of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the City implemented a program to install Audible Crossing Signals at strategic intersections.
  • The City has an ongoing capital program to upgrade sidewalk ramps at intersections. As well, all rebuilds incorporate new ramp standards.
  • All new buses ordered since 1994 are of the low-floor design and are fully wheelchair accessible.
  • It is standard procedure for all City facility renovations to be carried out with the consultation of the Built Environment subcommittee of the Accessibility Advisory Committee.
  • The City's Integration Services Section of Community Recreation was established in 1986 to ensure that children and adults with disabilities are given the opportunity to participate fully in recreational programs by providing the necessary resources and trained staff to support participants and staff.
  • In 1981, Council enacted a Policy to ensure that all citizens, regardless of physical, mental, developmental or sensory disability, have equal right of access to services of their community.