In 2020, CAN changed our name from Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods to Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods. This decision was made based on three reasons:
• As part of our ongoing education about, and commitment to, decolonizing practices, we recognize that not all who live in Canada’s created borders considers themselves citizens.
• We do not just help citizens, we help visitors, people from other countries, and people who are not citizens.
• We also found that the word was not accessible to everyone (not a regularly used word) and it was hard for some to remember. Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods seemed like a natural fit because our focus is offering communities, government, businesses, organizations, and individuals the tools and information needed to create accessible neighbourhoods.
CAN’s focus in 2020 is educating people living with a disability, the LGBTQ2SIA+ (Queer) community, and people with a variety of intersecting identities. In 2020 we are delivering three workshops: Intro to Disability Justice (link), Queer 101 (link), and Imposter Syndrome (link). CAN’s other current projects include facilitating Chronically Queer in Vancouver and Burnaby, and online, being an organizer of Burnaby Pride events and facilitator of the Burnaby Pride Community Action Network, working with festivals and events to ensure equity, diversity, and accessibility are considered, speaking at conferences and events, and finding paid opportunities for people who live with disabilities and chronic health conditions, such as the recent consultation for BC’s accessibility legislation.
“I am so grateful to have witnessed the work of Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods – it is an incredibly necessary organization that is transforming the way we think about accessibility and disability justice in Vancouver and beyond. Every business, organization and community can benefit from the important work they are doing to change systems, communities and organizational culture. CAN’s work serves to eliminate barriers to access in a way that is approachable, inclusive and sustainable. I have had the pleasure of working directly with Heather to bring some visionary projects to life and am constantly inspired by their patience, wisdom, integrity and passion for this important work.”
Cicely Belle Blain, CEO, Cicely Blain Consulting