Thank you for taking the time to compile the information that I have requested last month.
I have lived in this neighbourhood for 4 years and have constantly shared my opinion about the renovations to the park. I have also done my own research, and have spoken with community residents regarding the accessibility and additions. I am learning that the final decisions did not go through a comprehensive consultation with all community members. In the November 2015 meeting, the plans for this park were not transparent to the community and a vote was never given out to ensure that all residents had an opportunity to share how the funding would be dispersed for the additions/renovations to the park.
I am saddened to find out that an accessible seat is the only outcome for my inquiry about the playground's accessibility. It seems like the City of Markham and the Park Improvement Committee have chosen which public space will and will not be accessible for people with disabilities. You mentioned that the AODA standard doesn't require the city to change the playground to add accessible features. You also mentioned that this park renovation did not go to the city of Markham's Accessibility Advisory Committee. So who was ensuring that the residents in this community have full and equal access to all of the facilities, specifically to the playground? The AODA is the minimum standards, and if the City of Markham cannot even meet these standards for the playground, please tell me what am I left with?
As a mother, I am constantly fighting for the appropriate accommodations to ensure that my daughter and our family can meaningfully contribute and participate in the community. Inclusion is more than your tolerance. Inclusion is more than just a choice. Inclusion should have been the first thought, rather than an afterthought.