British Columbia has all the ingredients to become the most accessible and inclusive place to live, work and visit in the world. Growing awareness on disabilities, an increasingly diverse and aging population, a booming economy, labour shortages, the coming 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games, the election of a Mayor with a disability and the Province of British Columbia’s commitment "To build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, special needs, children at risk and seniors." These combine to make this the most opportune time for communities to advance and become leaders of accessibility and inclusion.
For municipalities, businesses, and others, becoming involved with Measuring Up The North is a way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the social and economic prosperity of your community. This is especially true for over 13% of BC’s population that has a disability as well as our rapidly growing senior population in BC and around the world.
The reality is that everyone benefits when communities become accessible and inclusive – parents pushing baby carriages, anyone trying to manage a heavy load, a small child that has difficulty reaching things high up, people using other languages, experiencing depression, a bad back or broken limb, etc.
Also keep in mind that when communities are accessible and inclusive to residents, this attracts visitors who spend their money in local shops, hotels, restaurants, recreation facilities, museums, and many other businesses, adding to the local economy. And when the economy is good, jobs are plentiful. People with disabilities are eager to become employed and bring significant value to any company. Measuring Up The North can help you achieve these goals.
- 3.6 million Canadians have disabilities, which is 12% of the population
- 15% of British Columbians have a disability
- 1 in 7 British Columbians is over the age of 65; expected to double by 2031
- People with disabilities in Canada represent $25 billion in spending power
- Of the approximately 4.2 million seniors in Canada, 40% of people 65 and over identify themselves as having a disability; and more than 53% of people 75 and over identify themselves as having a disability