The Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association would like to see region-wide experiences that everyone can enjoy, no matter their abilities. (Photo contributed)

Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association: Who can’t access your business?

TOTA launches video to encourage proprietors to remove barriers

Many people of all ages experience road blocks to participating in activities, based simply on their varying abilities.

The Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association (TOTA) would like to change that.

TOTA has created a video, Accessibility in a New Light, to emphasize the importance of creating region-wide experiences that everyone can enjoy.

Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA president and CEO, said the tourism industry can help make a difference by thoughtfully working to create accessible experiences. That would include building hotels, restaurants, outdoor adventures, transportation and more designed to make it easy for those who have ability challenges to take part.

“Each of us has varying levels of ability, whether aspiring athletes, small children, aging seniors, or gold-medal contenders. Whether we have a child in a stroller, use a walker, a cane, or a wheelchair, we all have a need that must be met so that we can fully take part in all aspects of life and engage with everyone around us,” he said.

“We need to learn to appreciate that all that we are, and all that we have, is fragile and can quickly, and without notice, be altered. Abilities should not define opportunities, nor should they prevent any one of us from having the chance to participate and enjoy.”

Read more: Floating beach chair opens Shuswap Lake to people with limited mobility

Read more: 2013 – Touring the trails again at last

Read more: Canada home to 6.5 million people with one or more disability

For several years, TOTA has been working with Spinal Cord BC and Access BC to bring information and attention to the importance of access for all.

“We are honoured and proud to have three-time Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet to guide our work as our accessibility specialist. In more recent months, we have signed formal partnerships with CRIS Adaptive, KASA, Access Revolution, and Travel for All with a goal to build inclusive and accessible tourism experiences in the Thompson Okanagan region,” said Mandziuk.

He likes a quote in the video from Shelley Buchanan Gilmore: “We need to stop labelling how we are different and start to create a system where we are all the same.”

Mandziuk urges people to watch the video, share it with others, and to think about how their business might make even small changes to be more welcoming to all people, regardless of ability.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Accessibility

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Boot launches campaign with Facebook Live event

NDP candidate for riding of Penticton joined by John Horgan, Richard Cannings and others

Summerland Senior Men play all net golf event

Summerland Ladies Club On Sept. 22, the Summerland Golf and Country Ladies… Continue reading

Unisus students in Summerland participate in Terry Fox Run

More than 120 students from private school take part in 40th anniversary of run

Column: $200,000 donation to Penticton Regional Hospital more than ‘a little something’

The donation brings us closer to our goal of a second CT scanner at hospital

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen seeks input about proposed composting facility

Organics composting facility proposed for Campbell Mountain Landfill

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Zero new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Five cases remain linked to an outbreak at Calvary Chapel in Kelowna

Most Read