FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday March 12, 2020
Kentville Launches Pioneering Accessibility Committee
KENTVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA – In January 2020, the Town of Kentville launched their Accessibility Committee which is tasked with creating an accessibility plan for the Town of Kentville, as part of their obligation to move the province towards becoming an accessible province by 2030.
Six Kentville residents bring almost 100 years of combined experience with accessibility issues associated with differences in physical and mental abilities. These members applied and were selected to participate on the committee. Two members of Council – Councillor Lynn Pulsifer and Councillor John Andrew – will act as liaisons between the committee and Town Council.
“This committee brings us so much joy because members are using their lived experiences to improve the lives of Kentville residents by creating a safer and happier environment,” stated Laurel Taylor, Chair of the Committee. “We really enjoy the conversations and tackling some complex issues. We can see the greater good that changes in the town will make for everyone.”
The committee meets every month to discuss accessibility issues in Kentville and follows the Province’s “Accessibility Planning Toolkit for Municipalities” which provides a roadmap for municipal governments to meet the 2030 legislative deadline. The first goal of the committee is to create an Accessibility Plan for the Town which will consider awareness, goods and services, information and communication, transportation, employment and the built environment. Meetings will be followed by a public presentation from a local or regional speaker about accessibility issues or opportunities.
“We are honoured to be sitting at the table with members of this committee and can see that there will be so many benefits to people who live, work and visit Kentville,” stated Councilor john Andrew.
The launch of the committee coincides with the announcement that the Town of Kentville’s Parks and Recreation Department has recently added three sensory kits to the community lending library. “These sensory kits are designed to support anyone with sensory related sensitivities, such as persons on the autism spectrum, to better be able to enjoy our community events, programs and public spaces” said Parks and Recreation Director Rachel Bedingfield, staff lead on the Accessibility Committee. “We are working towards creating environments where all person in our community have the tools needed to participate in the leisure activities of their choice, increasing their quality of life. These kits are another step towards achieving this goal”.
The next meeting of Kentville’s Accessibility Committee is on March 26 at Kings Riverside Court, with a public meeting beginning at 4:30pm. The public is welcome to attend to learn more about this committee and the accessibility plan. The facility is fully accessible, and the presentation will include translation for the hearing impaired and will be recorded. The recording will be uploaded to the Town of Kentville’s YouTube channel with closed captioning.
Photo: Back row: John Andrew, Robert Giles, Laurel Taylor, Susan Harvie, Cheryl Lake and Rachel Bedingfield
Front row: Lynn Pulsifer, Lamont Larkin, Mary Larkin and Jennifer West.