National AccessAbility Week

Celebrated annually during the first week of June, National AccessAbility Week is a campaign to raise awareness about disability, accessibility, and inclusion. AccessAbility Week celebrates both the right and the opportunity for every individual to participate in all aspects of human life. National AccessAbility Week is ultimately about more than just one week a year. It is a call to respond purposefully to build a society where barriers to inclusion are removed, and to ensure the independence, self-esteem, dignity, and security of all of our citizens.

Brantford has identified accessibility as one of its core values and strives to create equitable access to its goods, services and facilities in hopes of encouraging full participation from all residents and visitors.

In addition to having specific accessibility policies, standards and guidelines, staff at the City of Brantford make efforts to consider accessibility of all projects in the initial planning phase. Through consultation with the Accessibility Coordinator, members of the public and the Brantford Accessibility Coordinator staff look for ways to better serve everyone in the community, including those with disabilities.

More information on Accessibility in the City of Brantford, including the most recent Accessibility Plan and Status update can be found on the Accessibility landing page of the City’s website.

A brief history

The Brantford Accessibility Advisory Committee (BAAC) has been supporting the City of Brantford in its commitment to accessibility and creating an inclusive community for many years. A significant part of this is bringing awareness to the importance of accessibility of facilities and services and how it can enhance the lives of residents and visitors. As part of this awareness BAAC has been encouraging Brantford’s participation in National AccessAbility Week since 2010.

National AccessAbility Week (NAAW), previously identified as Disability Awareness Week and then as National Access Awareness Week, was established in 1988. In response to Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour, NAAW was created to continue to the promotion of better community access for people with disabilities. NAAW is traditionally celebrated during the week that includes June 1st to mark the anniversary of the conclusion of Rick Hansen's Man in Motion world tour in 1987.

The primary goal of NAAW is to raise public awareness of existing barriers that prevent citizens with disabilities from full and equal participation in all aspects of their community and what may be done to correct these problems. Focus should also be given to examples of best practices and advancements made towards full inclusion for citizens with disabilities.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA)
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is an Ontario law since 2005 mandating that organizations must follow accessibility standards for people with disabilities. This act aims to make the province fully accessible by 2025, including all levels of government, private sectors, and non-profits.
Accessible Parking
Accessible Parking permits are issued to an individual or business, and not a vehicle. When the permit is displayed on the dashboard, that individual or business can access accessible parking spaces. Those with an accessible parking pass receive free parking in municipal parking lots and are exempt from the City’s re-park by-law. It’s important to leave these designated parking spots to those with an accessible parking pass who require them for mobility issues. The hatched lines next to an accessible parking lot serve a purpose of ensuring there is enough space for the person using an assistive device to access their vehicle.
Tactile Warning Surface Indicators
The City is in the process of installing a series of tactile walking surface indicators in high traffic areas to provide important cues for people who are blind or who have low vision. These are intended to help warn people who are blind or visually impaired of the approaching street or other hazards such as stairs. These indicators are included in any new intersection, construction or rebuild/retrofit throughout the City.
Audible Pedestrian Crossing Signals
Crossing Signals that include audio assist those with low or no vision. To activate the system, the tactile button must be held for at least three seconds before the system will chirp for East West or “cookoo” for North South to notify the pedestrian of which way to cross. The locator tone also assists pedestrians in finding the system. The City currently has 40 audible pedestrian crossing signals installed. To report a malfunctioning system, please call the City’s Contact Centre at 519-759-4150.

Blindsquare BeaconThe City, in partnership with the CNIB foundation have installed beacons that work in tandem with BlindSquare, a free smartphone app, that provides navigational information about the layout of a space, such as the washrooms are located at three o'clock, have been installed at numerous City facilities. These include the Brantford Civic Centre, City Hall, Farmers Market, Sanderson Centre, Transit Terminal, and Wayne Gretzky Centre.

If you see one of the Blindsquare beacons at one of our facilities, please do not touch or move.

Transit Service
Brantford Transit and Brantford Lift provide accessible transit in the City. All of the City of Brantford transit services are fully accessible. In addition, Go Transit provides accessible bus service between Brantford and the Aldershot Go Station and Via Rail provides accessible train services to all Via Rail train stations.
City of Brantford Feedback Process
You can request a document in another format by filling out the alternative format request form or by contacting for other accommodations.
How to Assist Someone with a Disability
The best way to assist someone with a disability is to always ask “may I help” or “how can I help”, be respectful of service animals, and provide accommodations if requested. Speak directly to people and be aware of their personal space. Always ask for permission prior to touching, moving, or leaning on mobility aids. 

How you can help

Speak up. If you see something that an individual or organization has done to improve accessibility, mention it or thank them. You don’t have to have a disability to support accessibility. Hearing something has made an impact encourages forward change, and it feels good.

Likewise, if you see something that may be a barrier for you or someone else kindly bring it up. Sometimes barriers can go unnoticed and once brought forward there is a willingness to correct the issue. It is recommend you first speak to someone involved with the project or site. If the concern is with a private facility such as a restaurant or store for example, speak with the manager or owner.

If you are interested in helping make the City of Brantford more accessible, consider joining the Brantford Accessibility Advisory Committee (BAAC). BAAC has the opportunity to provide insight and comment on accessibility in operational and capital aspects of the City of Brantford. If you are interested in joining the team consider applying to the committee.

Inquiries and feedback about accessibility within the City of Brantford can be submitted though the City’s website, by e-mail to the Accessibility Coordinator or by calling 519-759-4150.