City of Port Coquitlam Achieves Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Gold Certification for Community Centre
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – Oct. 25, 2022… The City of Port Coquitlam is pleased to announce that the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) has achieved the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certified Gold rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program.
A first in the Tri-Cities and the third City in Metro Vancouver to receive the gold certification for a community centre. The RHFAC helps improve accessibility in the places people live, work, learn, and play. The rating and Gold certification acknowledges the universal and accessible options throughout the entire 205,000 square-foot building, including the gymnasium, leisure pool, fitness centre and studios, City Preschool and childminding, Terry Fox Library, concession, spectator arena, Mabbett Hall, other arenas, washrooms, changerooms and underground parking. The outside area, including the plaza, entrances, parking lots, pathways, transit stops, Terry Fox Hometown Square, sports courts, playgrounds and outdoor play area are also covered.
“This is very exciting news for the City of Port Coquitlam. We are committed to removing barriers for all people so that everyone in our diverse community can participate fully at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre.” Mayor Brad West said. “I am extremely proud to have achieved a gold rating from the RHFAC for this City facility. We will continue to work towards making the City a more inclusive and accessible community for all.”
The City joins the ranks of more than 1,300 sites across Canada that have been rated through the program. Organizations that are rated through the RHFAC program get a confidential scorecard rating and report of key areas of success and improvement for their location.
The City engaged the RHFAC program in 2021 to assess the newly completed community centre and learned that only a few updates were needed to achieve gold standard, such as the addition of braille on room signage. An accessibility consultant was engaged by the City through the design and construction of PCCC to ensure it was built with accessibility top of mind. A number of key successes were noted throughout the assessment, including: plenty of designated parking stalls, accessible entrances with sensor-controlled power doors, power operated doors throughout the facility, accessible pathways for travel throughout, an adult change table in the aquatics area, universal design washrooms, and the variety of activities provided.
“By prioritizing accessibility, the City will improve the user experience of everyone, people with and without disabilities.” said Mayor Brad West.
Achieving a gold level rating score shows that the City is committed to removing barriers and improving accessibility for visitors and staff of all abilities. The City is proud to play a part in this movement, and in building spaces for everyone, everywhere.
As part of ongoing efforts to ensure Port Coquitlam welcomes all people, the City launched an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable (EDI) in 2020 to help enhance accessibility and inclusion. One of the top priorities identified by the roundtable members is to identify, remove and prevent barriers for individuals who could benefit from improved accessibility, such as persons with disabilities or neurodiversity.
In addition to addressing access to spaces, the City also focuses on inclusive services and programs, including American Sign Language at City events and recreation supports that empower all residents to have the opportunity to get involved in leisure activities.
The City continues to identify accessibility improvements for existing and future facilities.
About the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ program
The RHFAC program provides organizations with an understanding of their overall level of meaningful access in the built environment, based on the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing.
To learn more about RHFAC, visit RickHansen.com/RHFAC.
About the Rick Hansen Foundation
The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour. For nearly 30 years, RHF has worked to raise awareness, change attitudes, and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Visit rickhansen.com to learn more.
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Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam