Focus on Accessibility
In 2021, the Province of British Columbia passed the Accessible BC Act requiring municipalities to develop a plan that addresses accessibility to municipal services, programs, and infrastructure. Everyone will experience permanent, temporary, or episodic impairments over their lifetime either personally, or through caring for someone else. By focusing on accessibility, we can work towards becoming a municipality where every person is able to participate fully and equally and is empowered to pursue the life they wish to live.
To improve accessibility to our municipal services, facilities, and natural and built environments, the District of Highlands is developing an Accessibility Plan to identify and reduce challenges people experience with our:
• Practices; and
Once developed, it will also help to inform the planning of future activities with a long-term goal of becoming a barrier-free community.
The Accessible BC Act identifies eight standards for inclusion in a long-term Plan. The first iteration of our Plan will focus on the first two of those standards: Employment and Service Delivery. It will take time to eliminate barriers, however the Plan is the first step in identifying how we can improve accessibility going forward.
The Plan must be reviewed and updated every three years and will incorporate information gathered through multiple public engagement opportunities. Opportunities will be advertised on this page as they are scheduled.
An initial Accessibility Committee comprised of staff from partner municipalities, including the District of Highlands, will review the District’s internal practices for making information, activities, and environments sensible, meaningful, and usable for as many people as possible. Once a robust staff foundation is built, the committee composition can be expanded to reflect the Plan’s revised areas of focus to further enhance access and inclusion in Highlands.
Meetings will be open to the public and written feedback may be provided as outlined below.
Public Participation and Feedback
A critical part of developing, monitoring, and updating the Accessibility Plan is receiving valuable feedback from people experiencing barriers. While the first term of the Plan is internally focused, public input is always welcomed and appreciated. Sharing your experiences in or interacting with the municipality will help us to identify barriers and improve accessibility for all people.
We invite your feedback in the following ways:
• Phone: 250-474-1773
• Deliver Comments: 1980 Millstream Road, Victoria BC, V9B 6H1
Formal engagement opportunities will be advertised on this page once scheduled.
Accessibility Plan and Next Steps
Once the draft Plan has been developed, it will be presented to Council for consideration and approval.
Opportunities for review and comment on the draft Plan will be posted to this page.