Knocking down barriers: accessibility committee begins new era in regional district
A new era of openness has begun in the regional district.
Citing the identification of accessibility and inclusion barriers for Regional District of Central Kootenay staff and community members “in the course of interacting with the municipality,” the RDCK has officially launched an accessibility advisory committee.
Approved by the RDCK board of directors on Sept. 14, the committee will advise the RDCK and support any of the municipalities within the regional district who are unable to form their own accessibility advisory committees “due to the small size of their communities or due to having difficulties finding volunteers” to meet the requirements in accordance to the Accessibility British Columbia Act.
The committee will help the regional district become more accessible and promote public engagement in accordance with the Act.
“The committee shall advise the regional district on identifying, preventing and eliminating barriers related to accessibility to people with disabilities in regional/municipal programs, services, initiatives and facilities,” a report to the board read.
The committee will also work on the development of accessibility plans for the regional district and municipalities for “establishing process for receiving public comments throughout the region based on inclusion and the removal of physical, virtual and attitudinal barriers.”
The committee will be the standing committee for the RDCK and the following municipalities:
- Town of Creston;
- Village of Naksup;
- Village of Salmo; and
- Village of Silverton.
The committee will consist of up to a maximum of 12 members appointed by the board, including one RDCK electoral area director, one RDCK municipal director and a maximum of seven and a minimum of five people with disabilities, or individuals who support or represent organizations that support persons of disabilities. The committee will also include one Indigenous community representative and two community members.
After publicly advertising for board members, all members of the committee will be appointed by resolution of the RDCK board for a term up to two years. Members of the committee will serve without remuneration.
The accessibility committee will identify accessibility and inclusion barriers that regional district and municipality staff and community members experience — or may experience — in the course of interacting with local government in the following areas:
- delivery of programs and services;
- RDCK/municipal facilities;
- transportation; and
- information and communications.
The committee will advise the regional district on the preparation, implementation and effectiveness of its accessibility plans.