KENTVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA – The Town of Kentville aims to become a municipal leader in creating a caring, inclusive, accessible community through a process designed to address barriers to access and inclusion via public engagement as led by two award-winning organizations.
The Town of Kentville selected houdinidesign ARCHITECTS, who are Rick Hansen Foundation Certified in Accessible Design and have won multiple awards - most recently for the design of the Kentville Library - to lead the project. The boutique architecture firm from Canning believes that the best design solutions are those that create seamless integrations of accessibility into daily living for everyone.
The firm, led by principal architect Lisa Tondino, has partnered with award-winning accessibility and inclusion experts reachAbility Association, based out of Halifax. reachAbility will assess the town’s assets and citizen experience of living, working, playing, shopping, and accessing services in the Town of Kentville as experienced through an accessibility and inclusion lens.
Rachel Bedingfield, Director of Parks and Recreation, Town of Kentville, says of the initiative: “We’re always striving to be the best version of ourselves by being accountable to the community through meaningful dialogue about important subjects. Accessibility and inclusion are two of the most important subjects when it comes to how welcoming and viable a community is, and viability is key to sustainability. We’re using the Access by Design 2030 provincial framework to springboard us into action in 2020, where the gathering of information from first-person experiences and an architectural accessibility audit will develop the strategy to move our community progressively forward towards full equity in our Town.”
The project, Kentville and You. Moving Accessibility Forward, is reaching out to the community to participate in providing feedback and solutions to accessibility over the next couple of weeks through an online survey, submission of artwork, and public engagement sessions with coordinated COVID-protocols in place.
The survey can be accessed from now until November 6th online via the Town of Kentville’s Facebook page, or by calling Jessica Ward at reachAbility at 902-209-4304 or email via firstname.lastname@example.org to complete the survey with assistance.
On Wednesday, November 4th the team will be on hand at the Kentville Farmers Market to assist people in filling out the survey in person. Art submissions expressing what it’s like to live in Kentville from an accessibility and inclusion perspective can be submitted via social media with #ShowUsYourKentville and tagging Town of Kentville until November 6th or dropped off in person at Webster Street Printers at 59 Webster St. in Kentville.
The in-person consultation activity will take place Wednesday, November 4th with two sessions, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm and 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm under a big tent on the Kentville Little League Ball Field, 10 Veterans Lane. This event is free but limited to 50 people per session and seating must be reserved via Eventbrite ticketing or by contacting email@example.com or the Town of Kentville for assistance.
Director Parks & Recreation
Town of Kentville
Project Manager/National AccessAbility Week NS Coordinator