If you've visited the Oshawa site of Grandview Children's Centre lately, you may have noticed a small change that has resulted in a significant accessibility improvement at our reception desk. We're excited to share the story of what inspired the change.
It all started with a presentation led by Together We Rock!
Together We Rock! promotes learning and leadership opportunities to inspire people to build communities that are accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities. This mission is accomplished through a series of presentations designed to inspire learning and understanding of diversity, inclusion and accessibility in schools, workplaces, colleges, universities and communities.
The founder of Together We Rock!, John Draper, has lived in Oshawa since he was 2 years old. John brings a personal perspective on accessibility to his presentations as he has cerebral palsy and uses a motorized wheelchair for mobility, and voice output technology to communicate. Click here for one of John's sample presentation clips.
We are especially proud of John's achievements since he is a graduate client of Grandview Children's Centre and a former student of Campbell Children's School, co-located with Grandview at our Oshawa site.
John recently launched a new series of presentations for Together We Rock! called LIVE 30.
The goal of LIVE 30 is to motivate people to make a difference, big or small, in the thirty days following the presentation. Participants learn that by taking small steps they can inspire change to create a more accessible and inclusive community.
Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann, Executive Director of Grandview Children's Centre, was one of 90 community members who participated in the first LIVE 30 event in Oshawa on May 30, 2012.
Lorraine took the challenge to create a more accessible and inclusive community to heart.
When she joined Grandview in July 2011, Lorraine noticed that the height of the reception desk at our main site in Oshawa (107.3cm / 42.25") prevented people in wheelchairs from signing in for their appointments independently. The high desk top also made it challenging for reception volunteers and support staff to greet clients and visitors who use wheelchairs - especially if they use wheelchairs too!
Thanks to inspiration from the LIVE 30 challenge, and the expert carpentry skills of Grandview's Building Superintendent, Paulo Medeiros, the counter height was seamlessly lowered by 16.5cm (6.5") to a more accessible and welcoming height of 90.8cm (35.75").
The renovation is appreciated by clients, staff, volunteers and visitors alike. The lower counter height increases inclusion and independence for people who use wheelchairs, while improving visibility for everyone. It's also an aspect of Grandview's compliance with the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) (AODA).
Click here to see more images of our reception desk in Oshawa "BEFORE" and "AFTER"
What steps - big or small - can you take to make your community more accessible and inclusive? Take the LIVE 30 challenge and make it happen!