The City of Mississauga is pleased to announce that its Staff Accessibility Resource Team (StART) has won the Municipal Accessibility Award for 2016 from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA). The award recognizes either individuals or groups for demonstrating progress and leadership in helping to improve accessibility in their city.
StART was formed in 2003 and includes members of City staff from various departments where accessibility plays a substantial role in their work, such as Facilities and Park Management. The group operates on the accessibility principles of respect, inclusion, equal opportunity, dignity, and independence. Receiving the Municipal Accessibility Award “validates their ongoing work and support in enabling accessible and inclusive communities in Mississauga” cites Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
Last year, StART implemented numerous objectives outlined in Mississauga’s Accessibility Plan to meet the City’s accessibility commitments. Some of these initiatives included: training of over 500 City staff on providing effective accessible customer service, constructing three new accessible trails and repaving nine existing trails for improved accessibility, installing 365 new MiWay bus pads for greater convenience and accessibility, and hosting a high school ParaSport Try It Event which allows students to experience wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey and sitting volleyball.
As well, StART provided support to 157 families that have a member with a disability through the Summer Recreation Inclusion Support Program and also celebrated receipt of the March of Dimes Award of Merit for Barrier-Free Design for Meadowvale Community Centre and Library.
“This is another great achievement in our work to remove barriers for all in the City,” said Pat Saito, Ward 9 Councillor and Accessibility Advisory Committee member. “I applaud StART members for being accessibility champions and working with the Accessibility Advisory Committee to identify the City’s goals and plan of action with an Accessibility Plan.”
To learn more about the Accessibility Plan and how the City is improving accessibility in Mississauga, visit mississauga.ca/accessibility.
Photo: Members of Council and StART with the Municipal Accessibility Award at Council (courtesy of City of Mississauga)