FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Built-environment professionals strategize how to make Ontario’s heritage buildings more accessible
Toronto, ON, June 21, 2021 — The Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) has worked with the Government of Ontario to help BIAs and their business members understand and comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). OBIAA is very pleased to announce its newest accessibility initiative – Accessing Our Heritage.
Accessing Our Heritage focuses on increasing the accessibility of Ontario’s heritage buildings, spaces and main streets. A conference for built-environment professionals will be held on October 20, 2021 to discuss how to remove barriers to making heritage buildings and spaces more accessible.
“Accessing Our Heritage is key to moving forward. Our main streets are filled with beautiful old buildings that are still active and occupied with small main street businesses. Keeping them active and vital as we begin our economic recovery needs to have a holistic approach for all of our collective futures,” stated Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Ontario BIA Association.
The Accessing our Heritage Conference aims to inspire action and build awareness among planners, architects, engineers, heritage leaders, media, BIAs, businesses, people with disabilities and more. This will be a gathering of people who care deeply about heritage and accessibility and who, through multi-stakeholder dialogue, can develop a vision that unites their distinct roles and visions in an effort to increase the accessibility of Ontario’s heritage buildings.
“I want to thank OBIAA for their leadership in helping to make the province’s heritage spaces more accessible,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Removing barriers helps ensure that all Ontarians can enjoy the richness of our history by accessing heritage buildings and main streets.”
The conference planning team consists of BIAs, municipal accessibility staff, business owners and individuals with disabilities. Those interested in getting news and updates on the conference can Sign Up here or on the OBIAA website. Please visit https://obiaa.com/projects/accessibility for more information on OBIAA and accessibility.
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The Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), since 2001, acts as an important resource for education, partnership and collaboration to each BIA across the province. OBIAA is the network that represents the more than 300 unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.
For more information, please contact:
Kay Matthews, Executive Director
Ontario BIA Association
Constance Exley, OBIAA Accessibility Project Manager
Accessibility Services Canada