City of Kamloops Continues Commitment to Improve Accessibility

In recognition of the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the City of Kamloops would like to celebrate its commitment to increasing accessibility and decreasing barriers for people living with different abilities in our community. 
 
The City’s Accessibility and Inclusion Plan reflects the voices of hundreds of Kamloops residents and outlines goals and actions to move Kamloops forward as a more accessible and inclusive city. Through various grant programs, over $175,000 has been invested in our community to help meet these goals and improve accessibility for people to get to and use City facilities. 
 
Accessible Built Environment
Goal: Kamloops continues to increase and improve accessibility in our community. 
 
The Rick Hansen Foundation’s BC Accessibility Grant Program provided the City with $24,636 to purchase new portable aquatic lifts for the Canada Games Aquatic Centre and the Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre. These lifts allow for safe transfer in and out of the water, which gives people with physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of therapeutic or leisure swimming.
 
The Canada Games Aquatic Centre and Westsyde Pool are now RHF Accessibility Certified through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC). This certification program is a rating system that uses trained professionals to evaluate the meaningful access of commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential buildings and sites. To become certified, a site must have a public entrance, and all of its key functional spaces and amenities must be physically accessible to everyone. 
 
The City also received $26,650 from the Employment and Social Development Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund to purchase and install handrails in the Pavilion Theatre as well as six automatic door openers in other City-owned facilities. 
 
Accessible Transportation
Goal: Kamloops continues to maintain and improve accessible transportation options. 
 
Twelve transit stops have been upgraded to be wheelchair accessible thanks to funding from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund. The City accessed $124,750 through the Community Accessibility Stream to add accessibility platforms to various bus stops around the city. These platforms allow people with disabilities to safely board and exit BC Transit’s kneeling buses. 
 
“Our vision is to create an inclusive city where people of all abilities are able to enjoy all of the great things Kamloops has to offer,” said Ben Chobater, the City’s Community Development Coordinator. “These improvements reduce barriers to full and effective participation and inclusion in society and make Kamloops a more livable city for everyone.”
 
Accessible Services and Programs
Goal: Provide City of Kamloops services and programs that are accessible for a wide range of abilities.
 
In addition to the physical improvements outlined above, the City continues to develop and deliver integrated and adapted recreation programming for the community that accommodate different abilities. These programs include the following:
 
  • Adapted Hockey for Kids
  • Adapted Hockey for Adults
  • Adapted Floor Hockey
  • Sledge Hockey
  • Adapted Skating for Kids
  • Adapted Yoga
  • Adapted Zumba
  • Wheelchair Sports - Basketball, Rugby, and Badminton
  • Adapted Swimming Lessons
  • Canucks Autism Network - I CAN Play
Details on these programs can be found in the City’s Activity Guide
 
Almost everyone knows someone who is living with a disability—a friend, family member, neighbour, or co-worker. A disability will affect almost everyone at some point in their lives. The City’s goal is to be among the most progressive cities in Canada for people with disabilities, and to be a place where disabilities are not barriers to living full lives and contributing to the community.