Access & Inclusion

Wheelability Assessment Project

In March 2009, the City of New Westminster received a Built Environment and Active Transportation Grant of $25,000 to implement the Wheelability Assessment Project to improve mobility and transportation options for people reliant on mobility aids.

Project Objectives:

  • assessing the wheelability of the Uptown and Downtown neighbourhoods
  • involving mobility aid users, City staff and Councillors to facilitate
  • educational opportunities and knowledge exchange
  • preparing maps, identifying gradients, surface treatments, accessibility
  • infrastructure and pedestrian conveniences
  • sharing assessment day results with relevant City departments.

The project working group was comprised over 30 mobility aid users and their companions, who were involved in a 2-day assessment process. Additionally, 121 mobility aid users completed a survey that included questions about mobility, challenges, and the two neighbourhoods in question.

The project has generated interest in both local and national media. Both the Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University and the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of British Columbia have expressed interest in the project. The latter is now considering New Westminster as a site for conducting research dedicated to the improvement of wheeled mobility for older Canadians.

To view the Wheelability Assessment Project Video, go to: http://www.youtube.com/user/danrevproductions

Everybody Active

The City has received funding from the BC Recreation and Parks Association under the Everybody Active initiative. This involves undertaking a consultation process with low-income adults in order to understand their current levels of participation, the challenges that limit their participation and suggestions they have for improving participation.

Involving 5 Social Service organizations and 74 low-income adults, the consultation confirmed research findings regarding very low-levels of participation in parks and recreation programming and documented multiple-barriers to participation. Multi-faceted strategies will be required to address issues related to cost, as well as variables like child minding, information, scheduling and transportation.

The City successfully applied for Phase Two funding from the BC Recreation and Parks Association. On November 25, 2009, a facilitated session was held with Parks, Culture and Recreation staff, providing an overview of the project, exploring ways to improve access for low-income adults. The emphasis was on new and innovative approaches to service delivery which would not require additional funding or staff resources.

Click here to review the Everybody Active Consultation Findings