A committee focusing on age and access in Lake Country is continuing to explore challenges facing local residents with physical disabilities.
The Access and Age-friendly Committee’s priorities for 2018 will focus on providing commentary on public and private infrastructure, advocating for increased health and diverse services, and active and accessible transportation, according to a report which will be presented during the Tuesday night’s regular district meeting.
Physical accessibility is an ongoing issue within the district, said chair Marie Molloy, of the district advisory committee. The committee is tasked with providing recommendations to the district, focusing on access in the community.
Three years ago, it provided input for the Lake Country Seniors Centre located at Bottom Wood Lake Road in The Nexus community complex and it was recently announced the centre would receive accessibility upgrades.
“We were very excited to hear about the upgrades to the seniors centre,” said Molloy. The centre upgrades will include a new elevator, accessible washrooms and reconfiguration of amenity space, the main entrance and the main activity area.
The district’s demographic is also older, with the average age of the population falling at 42, according to Census data.
“Those over 50 have the money to spend, and if they can’t get into businesses, or parks, communities with barriers that exist, they’ll go elsewhere,” said Molloy.
Housing is also another issue in the district, made tougher for those with disabilities.
To address these needs in the district, Molloy said biases must be overcome and used Stephen Hawking as a recent example of a person who at first glance, would seem incapable of doing anything.
“If we can get people to that place, where we value difference… then all of these other things follow suit.”
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