Accessibility News

County of Simcoe - Age-Friendly Community Survey

The County of Simcoe is taking steps towards making our community a better place for older adults by initiating a project called “The Age-Friendly Community Initiative”.  There are surveys and drop boxes located at the Town Hall, as well as at the Library. The surveys are to be completed by March 31st, 2016 and all feedback will remain anonymous and will only be used by Age-Friendly Community Planning. Prizes are also available to be won.  For more information, please visit


International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability on December 3rd is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

Sidewalk Increases Accessibility

Bay Haven Senior Care Community is celebrating after it was announced by Brian MacDonald, Director of Public Works and Engineering, that the Town of Collingwood will connect the new sidewalk being constructed on Hume Street to the Pretty River Parkway as part of the Hume Street Project, in advance of the Hwy 26 East project. The sidewalk will increase mobility and safety for Seniors by ensuring they will no longer have to walk along the shoulder of the road. Read more at the Enterprise Bulletin.

2014 Public Library Service Awards Winners

The Simcoe County Libraries for Accessibility project is a successful, innovative, cutting-edge solution to meeting the AODA Standards and fulfilling the partner libraries’ goal of providing “one place to look”. It is a fiscally responsible answer to the provision of equitable access, enhanced online services and excellent customer service through the utilization of a user-friendly platform. The project offers a positive, enriched library user experience for the residents of the small, rural communities involved in the partnership. It will continue to provide value-added library service and evolve with future changes in technology! The library partners included in the project were: Clearview, Collingwood, Essa, New Tecumseth, Penetanguishene, Ramara, Severn (Coldwater), Simcoe County Library Cooperative, Springwater, Tay, and Wasaga Beach. Call for 2015 submissions are currently underway. Read more at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Barrie Firefighters help to make inclusive playground possible

A new fire-themed accessible playground was unveiled in Sunnidale Park in 2014. The playground was made possible in part by a $100,000 donation from the Barrie Professional Firefighters Association. The playground includes several features such as ramped access to elevated play areas, wheelchair transfer stations and inclusive play equipment that address the needs of a broad spectrum of special needs, including a cozy cocoon for children with autism and a metal slide for children with cochlear implants.

Children’s Sledge Hockey in Simcoe County

The Simcoe County Sliders are starting a new season with their first practice at the Stayner Memorial Arena on Saturday October 3rd. The recreation Sledge Hockey team was established by the Simcoe County Parents Council after the Children’s Treatment Network organized skill building sessions for youth in our area March 2013. These sessions exposed children to the sport and as a result the Simcoe County Sliders team was born! Check out their website for more information and game schedule:

First Accessibility Innovation Showcase in Toronto August 7, 2015

Hosted by the Ontario government, this five day event will showcase the latest advances in accessibility technologies and assistive devices.  The public will be able to experience and learn about accessibility technologies first hand. To learn more , click here

2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

Ontario is committed to hosting games that are inclusive.  All 31 competition venues will meet accessibility requirements; ensuring that people with all abilities can access and enjoy these facilities, either as participants or spectators. All medals, for the first time, will be embossed with Braille. The more than 23,000 volunteers will be accessibility trained. The live broadcasts will provide the largest Parapan Am Games’ coverage ever – exposing millions of viewers to parasport and the abilities of people with disabilities.

Ontario is highlighting business accessibility

Starting in 2016, Ontario’s economic development ministry will move to double compliance audits to 4,000 or 1% of Ontario’s 400,000 businesses.  To encourage businesses to become more accessible, the Ontario Community Loans Program will give small and medium sized business owners discounted rates on financial products such as loans when they commit to hiring people facing barriers to employment – including people with disabilities. For more information go to