National AccessAbility Week – May 26 to June 1

by Darrell Mercer

“National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) takes place every year starting on the last Sunday in May. It is a time when accessibility and inclusion is promoted across communities and workplaces and a time to celebrate the contributions of Canadians with disabilities. It is also an opportunity to recognize the efforts of Canadians who are actively removing barriers and ensuring persons with disabilities have an equal chance to participate in all aspects of Canadian society.” (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/campaigns/national-accessability-week.html)

At Marine Atlantic, we believe that travel should be accessible to all people. As part of this commitment, we invest significant time and resources related to training and infrastructure to improve the accessibility and inclusion.

We have an Accessibility and Inclusion Committee made up of our employees and external partners representing groups from the community of persons with disabilities. Our goal is to review our accessibility approaches and constantly improve by exploring the potential for additional developments. Through open dialogue with representatives with hearing loss, vision loss, mental health and other barriers, our committee gives us the opportunity to discuss the lack of access that those with disabilities encounter while travelling and get suggestions on possible ways to become even more accessible.

From placing vehicles near elevators to providing advance boarding opportunities, offering spacious cabins with roll-in showers and hospital beds, or ensuring an accessible website, little things can mean a lot for customers requiring additional assistance during the various stages of their journey.

For information on how to promote accessibility and inclusion:

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/campaigns/national-accessability-week.html