The Town of Amherst’s recently created Accessibility Advisory Committee is seeking your help.
“We are seeking public input into accessibility issues and the barriers experienced by citizens in our community who face some type of impairment – cognitive or physical – that affects their ability to fully participate in municipal programs and/or services,” Dale Fawthrop, committee chairperson, said, on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
“Public input is being sought via a survey, which we are launching today. It is available on the town’s website at https://amherst.ca/accessibility-initiative.html. Paper copies of the survey will also be available at the Amherst town hall.”
The survey is seeking input from people who are experiencing physical, mental, intellectual, learning or sensory impairment, including an episodic disability that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders an individual’s full and effective participation in society. It is also seeking input from organizations and service providers who assist people living with those challenges.
The input will help the committee meet its mandate, which is to assist the Amherst town council fulfill its responsibilities related to identifying, preventing and eliminating barriers to people with impairments who are participating in municipal programs and initiatives or using town services and facilities.
As part of the initiative, Sharon Bristol, the town’s well-being manager, will be available over the coming months to meet with community groups, individuals and service providers who work with those facing challenges in order to get additional input. She will also provide in-person guidance to anyone who feels they need assistance in filling out the survey.
Once the feedback has been gathered, the Accessibility Advisory Committee will develop an accessibility strategy that will the be presented to the Amherst town council. Once approved by council it will help guide the community’s efforts to become a community that is accessible to all of its residents.
“We recognize that much has been done in past years to improve accessibility, but we also recognize that a great deal more has to be accomplished if we are to truly be an accessible community,” Fawthrop said.
“We are excited to be launching this accessibility initiative during Access Awareness Week and we encourage our citizens to fill out the survey or meet with Ms. Bristol for it is your feedback that will help the town meet its goal of being one of the most accessible communities in Nova Scotia.”