• Mark Weiler

How Do You Experience National Parks?


An individual using a TrailRider in the outdoors with the rest of his group.
The TrailRider at Capilano Lake, British Columbia.

Across the country, disabilities groups continue to lead Canada to a more inclusive society. To name only a few: the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, AODA Alliance, ARCH Disability Law Centre, Autism Involves Me, Barrier-Free Canada, Barrier-Free Manitoba, British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the National Educational Association of Disabled Students, and the National Network ME/FM Action Network. There are also an enormous number of individuals who work daily to bring us closer to the reality of an inclusive society.

An important accomplishment of the disability rights movement in Canada has been the passage of the federal Accessible Canadas Act, which aims to remove barriers from federally regulated areas by 2040.


As a result, the newly formed Accessibility Standards Canada has funded groups to help study barriers. Our team at AccessibleParksCanada.ca is one of these groups.


We hope this website can be a place for people to find information about park accessibility, testimonies about parks that are leading the movement, and for people to share their own experiences or thoughts about how national parks can improve access for all.


What’s your experience of the great outdoors?


Exhausted

Perhaps health, finances, or one exhausting obstacle after another makes visiting a national, provincial, or territorial park too difficult. Until those obstacles are gone, perhaps, outdoor experiences, the sounds of parks, or tactile models of nature need to be brought to you?


We want to hear from you.


Perhaps you want parks to proactively reach out to you when obstacles are removed or to be given tips for camping with your needs in mind, like the video produced by the University of Michigan Adaptive & Inclusive Sports Experience.


We want to hear from you.


Obstacles Upon Arrival

Perhaps when you find obstacles on arrival, like Brad and Shira Fisher who faced steep beach access routes between parking lots at a local beach.

Or maybe you are like YouTuber, ParaLife TV, finding inaccessible washrooms at Mactaquac Provincial Park in New Brunswick.

And maybe you are like Lucy Diaz, who wants washrooms with lifts and adult-size change tables, like the ones at United Kingdom’s Brecon Beacon National Park and Australia’s Collie River Valley, which would allow her entire family to leave the home.

We want to hear from you.


Making Change

Perhaps you are driving change in an outdoor area, like the late Callum MacQuarrie who made Inverness Beach in Cape Breton the most welcoming beach in Atlantic Canada.

Perhaps you are a group working for change, like the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Autism Involves Me who worked with Gros Morne National Park to create a sensory-friendly cabin.

We want to hear from you.


Outdoor Camps

Perhaps you have experiences of the outdoors through overnight recreation camps, like:


· CNIB’s camp at Lake Joe

· Wilderness Discovery Centre in Thunderbay

· Agur Lake Camp in Summerland

· Ostomy Camp at Easter Seals Camp Horizon

· Deaf-Blind Camp at Camp Manitou

· Williams Watson Lake Lodge in Alberta

We want to hear from you.


Backcountry Experiences

Or perhaps you are like the British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society or Braille Mountain Initiative having adventures in the backcountry.

We want to hear from you.


So, what’s your experience of the great outdoors?


Reach out to our team today. Let's chat.

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