April 9, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOCAL FIRM PRESENTING AT THE INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON ACCESSIBILITY IN OTTAWA THIS SUMMER
Guelph, Ontario, Monday April 9, 2014 – Local accessibility firm Roll a Mile will be presenting two sessions at the International Summit on Accessibility 2014 by Carleton University with support from the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa that will promote access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. Leaders from around the globe will showcase innovation, celebrate best practices and enable collaborative dialog and action toward accessible and inclusive communities. With a major theme of ‘Making it Happen – Intention to Action’ and three primary streams; Innovation, Technology and Accessible Communities. Each stream will address issues of accessibility in education, communication, employment, recreation, mobility health and the physical environment with a special emphasis on employment.
Roll a Mile’s first session, “Accessibility into Perspective” approaches accessibility as a movement of social change, comparing it to historical examples of accommodation and puts accessibility into perspective by analyzing return on investment and evaluating items such as: the societal and economic benefits and opportunities of accessibility and inclusion including the positive impact on education, employment, marketplace and community; the curb-cut effect; implementation costs; cost of non-compliance; and the value of preserving dignity and independence.
The second session, “The Importance of Accessibility Educational Curricula” will be presented as part of the panel discussion “Accessibility in Higher Education” and address how making teaching accessible is as important as teaching accessibility and how strategic implementation of accessibility into curricula across all disciplines can create a future generation of accessibility minded individuals creating accessible products, services and spaces. The session will explore the importance of including accessibility in the curriculum, looking at examples of global accessibility education models and the opportunities and experiences of accessibility curriculum models that have strategically implemented accessibility in a broad range of curricula.
Session speaker and Roll a Mile President, Donna Jack, says major obstacles to accessibility implementation include lack of awareness and misperception about the costs involved in complying with regulations. “There is a huge misperception about the true cost” she says, “current regulations under the A.O.D.A. simply require most businesses to implement accessible customer service policies and procedures, and train staff. It’s really not just about having a ramp, though having a ramp is helpful.”
“As well,” she continues, “the benefits and opportunities presented by accessibility and inclusion for businesses, institutions and society far outweigh the costs. One recent study estimates that the implementation of the AODA could generate retail sales increases ranging from $3.8-$9.6 billion in 5 years. A chance at that piece of the pie is a pretty good return on the cost of becoming accessible”.
For information on the International Summit on Accessibility 2014 visit www.accessibilitysummit.ca or #ISAccessibility @ISAccessibility on Twitter
Roll a Mile will also be presenting for the third consecutive year at the University of Guelph’s 6th Annual The Accessibility Conference with this year’s topic “Strength In Numbers: Collaborative Accessibility Advocacy”. More information at www.accessconf.ca
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