SLPC wins accessible tourism awardOctober 25, 2018
From multi-sensory tours to wheelchair-accessible horse-drawn wagon rides, Upper Canada Village strives to provide an inclusive experience to all of its visitors.
It’s just one example of how the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) strives to be a leader in accessibility with its wide portfolio of tourism amenities across eastern Ontario.
These efforts were recognized this week as the SLPC was presented the Accessible Tourism Award at the 2018 Tourism Industry Association of Ontario Summit in Windsor.
The award acknowledges an organization that operates an outstanding accessible hospitality and tourism business that complies with Ontario Accessibility standards and is recognized by employees and customers as a leader in providing an inclusive experience for all visitors. Areas of consideration include the provision of accessible service, employment, built environment and accessible information and communications.
“This award means so much to our team. It recognizes SLPC’s ongoing commitment to be a better organization, focused on all of our customer’s needs in providing recreational, tourism, cultural and educational opportunities for people of all abilities,” said Geoff Waycik, Director, Historic Sites. “From ensuring we have all-terrain wheelchairs to loan to navigate our outdoor terrain, to programming which caters to those on the autism spectrum, to working with organizations like the CNIB, Canadian Hearing Society and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario to educate our employees and create specialized tours, this was a team effort by people who care.”
The Ontario Tourism Summit is an event where the tourism industry gathers to network, gain new insights, explore trending topics and celebrate excellence.
Some other examples of the SLPC’s efforts in the area of accessibility include:
– Offering multi-sensory tours and American Sign Language tours during select special events at Upper Canada Village.
– Offering iPads to provide Upper Canada Village guests with a visual tour complemented by dialogue with a costumed interpreter of the upstairs area in historic buildings with second floors that are not accessible
– Offering horse-drawn carry-all rides that are wheelchair accessible
– Offering sitemaps of Upper Canada Village with detailed building descriptions in several languages including Braille
– Being recognized as a Dementia Friendly Community at Upper Canada Village by the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario.
– Offering ASD Sensory Sunday mornings at Upper Canada Village and Fort Henry throughout July and August for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.
– Providing wheelchairs designed for outdoor terrain on loan at all historic sites.
– Offering accessibility nights at Upper Canada Village during Pumpkinferno and Alight at Night on designated evenings so that individuals who cannot walk the site can participate in a driving tour.
About the St. Lawrence Parks Commission
The St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an agency of the Government of Ontario, operates facilities in 16 municipalities stretching from Kingston to the Quebec border, including Upper Canada Village, Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Kingston Penitentiary Tours, Skywood Eco Adventure, Crysler Park Marina, Upper Canada Golf Course, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and 13 campgrounds and beach day-use picnic areas including the Long Sault and 1000 Islands Parkway.
Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in the area!
Planning a visit to Cornwall? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 936-0842. You can also stop by the Cornwall Tourism office inside the Cornwall Civic Complex at 100 Water Street East. The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Article by Kevin Lajoie