St. Lawrence Parks Commission wins Accessible Tourism Award

Seen in image above: The St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) recognized for its efforts in accessible tourism at the 2018 Tourism Industry Association of Ontario Summit in Windsor. Courtesy photo

MORRISBURG — The St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) has been recognized for its efforts in accessible tourism 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. 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.” – Geoff Waycik, Director, Historic Sites.

The Ontario Tourism Summit is an event where the tourism industry gathers to network, gain new insights, explore trending topics and celebrate excellence.

BACKGROUND:

The SLPC offers tours featuring multi-sensory tours and American Sign Language tours during select special events at Upper Canada Village Upper Canada Village offers iPads to provide 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 as well as offers horse drawn carry-all rides that are wheelchair accessible.

The Village also offers site maps with detailed building descriptions in several languages including Braille. Upper Canada Village is recognized as a Dementia Friendly Community by the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario.

Fort Henry and Upper Canada Village offer ASD Sensory Sunday mornings throughout July and August for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

Wheelchairs designed for outdoor terrain are available for loan at all historic sites.

Upper Canada Village offers Accessibility nights during fall event Pumpkinferno and winter event Alight at Night on designated evenings so that individuals who cannot walk the site can participate in a driving tour.

Kingston Penitentiary conducts tours for people with vision loss, hearing loss and for those with mobility issues and Upper Canada Village has similar offerings as requested.

The SLPC has invested and continues to invest in specific accessibility improvement initiatives.

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