What We Do
Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods was established due to our founder’s experiences with inaccessibility, ableism, and gatekeeping (artificial barriers created by people) on the transportation system. Over the years, CAN has grown as an organization. We developed a wider spectrum of members and projects, including consulting, accessibility audits, education, workshops, and presentations). We networked, built community, and collaborated with other organizations. CAN has increased our focus to cover a broader range of projects throughout the province. We have also been committed to working with a social justice lens, a disability justice framework, and centering decolonization.
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Examples of presentations and workshops in 2021:
Adler University – two Disability Awareness session with a focus on academia. Kudoz – two Disability Awareness sesssions, the first was a 101, the second was created based on questions from the 101 session. Cygnus Design Group – we gave a presentation on wayfinding in hospitals. 2021 is the third year that CAN has had a UBC intern, a student who helps with projects. We are always excited to offer this opportunity to students and to learn from the intern. We also participated in the UBC Virtual Volunteer Fair where we had several interested applicants. CAN gave a presentation to youth from North Shore Restorative Justice Society on disability awareness, intersecting identities, and social justice.
New Roles for CAN:
CAN has a new role on the board of Open Access Foundation for Arts & Culture. The purpose of the organization is to set a new cultural standard for accessibility in the arts by supporting creative and justice-oriented approaches to care and participation in a landscape of prescriptive programs and restrictive regimes.
CAN also has two representatives on the newly formed City of Vancouver’s UN Safe City & Safe Public Spaces initiative. This project aims to address sexual violence and sexual harassment against women, girls, trans, Two Spirit, non-binary, and gender diverse people in public spaces. The initiative focuses on the City’s role in sexual violence response and prevention and how the City’s policies, planning, programs, and services can contribute to increasing safety and creating safe public spaces. The City is currently conducting a scoping study to gain a comprehensive understanding of sexual violence in Vancouver’s public spaces, and the UN Safe Cities steering committee will play a critical role in identifying gaps and priorities and in shaping the initiative’s future directions.
Launching 4 Public Workshops:
In 2021, CAN is launching our 4 workshops to the public: Disability Awareness, Disability Justice, Gender & Sexuality, and Imposter Syndrome. We are excited to continue to spread information about life with intersecting identities. We hope to build on our audience in Metro Vancouver by offering our workshops throughout BC.
CAN also continues to advise on disability and accessibility related projects, facilitate sessions, and do community outreach and building.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Heather over the last few years as an active and engaged member of the Coalition and as a central participant of the transit equity campaign, AllOnBoard. I have learned so much from Heather and their disability justice approach – their knowledge, expertise and experience has certainly strengthened the Coalition’s work. I especially appreciate their ability to work in many different contexts, from professional to grassroots. Throughout, they always demonstrate respect and appreciation for others, and make everyone feel included and valued. Heather is generous in spirit and time, and brings their passion to any project they’re involved in.”
Trish Garner, (Previous) Community Organizer of the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition