‘Needs not being met‘: Rally held in downtown Vancouver for accessibility issues

Click to play video: 'Rally calling for more accessibility for Vancouverites with disabilities'
Rally calling for more accessibility for Vancouverites with disabilities
An event in Downtown Vancouver is drawing attention to the obstacles, both large and small, that some people face in their daily lives. A disability is not always immediately visible, but if a place is not accessible and inclusive, the effects can be profound. Julia Foy reports – Mar 16, 2024

Disability advocates and community supporters gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery for a rally on Saturday.

The rally was held to bring attention to the importance of having an all-inclusive society and to raise awareness about the importance of accessibility for all community members.

For people who live with disabilities, there can be many accessibility barriers within a city, advocates said.

They say the more barriers removed, the more strong a community can be.

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“Oftentimes, when we talk about accessibility, disabled people are really left out of the conversation. And we want to take back that power and showcase to people what we are capable of and what kind of things are missing in the city,“ said Margaux Wosk, a regional director with BC People First.

“A lot of needs are not being met, currently.”

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Dozens attended the rally, which ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vancouver’s iconic protest-and-rally spot outside the art gallery.

“Sometimes the infrastructure is in place (for disabled accessibility), but we do not have the person-power to be fully accessible,” said Amanda Lockitch, a Disability without Poverty BC organizer.

“We are looking at all the ways the city can continue to work towards being more accessible.”

Lockitch said something as simple as an uneven sidewalk could pose significant difficulties for a person living with physical disabilities.

Several speakers were heard throughout the day, including some from the City of Vancouver, Disability Without Poverty, BC Disability, PosAbilities, plus advocates from BC People First, BCEDAccess, Dyslexia BC, Deaf Children’s Society of BC, and the Rick Hansen Foundation, among others.

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