Norfolk County is proud to celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) from May 28 to June 3.
The week celebrates the valuable contributions and leadership of individuals living with disabilities in Norfolk County and beyond – and highlights the work of people and organizations to create a more accessible, inclusive community.
Norfolk County is committed to eliminating barriers and improving accessibility for persons with disabilities in a manner that respects dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity.
“We want everyone in Norfolk to feel welcome and have an equal opportunity to participate,” said Mayor Amy Martin. “This means going the extra mile towards breaking down barriers and creating an inclusive community that gives all citizens the chance to thrive and succeed.”
During 2021 and 2022, the County has demonstrated its commitment to accessibility in many ways. Highlights include:
- Secured funding from the Enabling Accessibility Fund to update second-floor washrooms in the Norfolk County Administration Building to be barrier-free, bringing them in compliance with the Norfolk County Accessibility Design Guidelines
- Implementation of the Accessible Street Signage program that provides heightened awareness and warning to drivers approaching the residence of a person with a disability. Residents can request signage free of charge on the Norfolk County website
- Installation of a barrier-free path of travel from Talbot Street North at Simcoe Kinsmen Park while also significantly improving the overall level of barrier-free access to the park
- Addition of a height-adjustable universal access podium in Council chambers
2023-2027 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
As Norfolk County looks to the years ahead, it is asking residents to provide feedback on how Norfolk County programs, policies, procedures, spaces, and services can be free from barriers and consider the diverse needs of all our residents.
Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Norfolk County must regularly develop and monitor a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. To draft this plan, a wide range of community members and residents—particularly those with lived experience of barriers to access, equity, and inclusion—must be consulted with, and welcomed into, the conversation.
“The Plan will be designed with the inputs of a greater and wider range of Norfolk residents than ever before,” said Sam McFarlane, Norfolk County Manager, Accessibility and Special Projects. “That means collecting feedback from as many residents, workers, and visitors to Norfolk as possible, in particular, those who are living with disabilities, are loved ones of people with disabilities, or who work with people with disabilities.”
From May 28 to June 11, members of the public are invited to participate in a survey at EngageNorfolk.ca, Norfolk’s online engagement platform, to identify how the County can improve its level of barrier-free service delivery.
Residents are also asked to share their accessibility stories and describe what a fully enabling and accessible Norfolk County looks and feels like to them.
For more information on Accessibility in Norfolk County visit norfolkcounty.ca/accessibility.