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

Kiera Bourque sentenced to one year in jail for death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Crash closes southbound traffic on Government Street

The collision occurred around 2:40 p.m.

Police watchdog investigating after man injured in Penticton RCMP cells

Man suffers serious injuries after being lodged into cells at the detachment

SD67 teachers stressed about constant changes to health guidelines

Runny nose, sore throat among symptoms chopped from student health checklist

Penticton Vees to play in two-month Okanagan Cup tournament

The action commences Friday at 6 p.m. at the SOEC.

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

EDITORIAL: Clearing the smoke

Wildfires have resulted in heavy smoke and poor air quality

Kelowna man’s child porn collection ‘traversed the spectrum of depravity,’ court hears

Terry Krock was caught in possession of between 7,000 and 12,000 child porn files

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

UPDATE: Person safely pulled from Vernon creek culvert

First responders from multiple agencies assist in getting individual out of the creek

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Most Read