Universal Accessibility and Vancouver Beaches

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There was a recent twitter flurry about able-bodied planners and engineers  using wheelchairs for a few hours on their city streets to comprehend what it is like to use  a wheelchair daily. Some disability advocates balked at this, pointing out that being able bodied in a wheelchair for a few hours on a well-lit and intersectioned street does not replicate the actual experience of those who are truly disabled, and should not be used as a substitute to involving, talking with, and understanding the issues of disabled users themselves. The disability advocates’ point is very valid-in order for universally accessible environments, we need to actively involve and listen to all users, no matter their ability. It just makes sense, and people in wheelchairs should also have the same access to public spaces and a range of housing types.

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) estimates that 70 per cent of Americans…

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