Why are you excited to join the #Access4All campaign?
I’ve long admired Rick Hansen’s accomplishments on the Man in Motion World Tour and his ongoing work with people with disabilities. He’s an inspiration to so many people throughout the world. As a person with a disability, I’m thrilled to be involved. Filming the ad has been the best experience of my life so far. The role was right up my alley - I was born to shop, I use a walker for mobility, and let’s face it, like Jack Benny, I’m firmly staying put at age 39.
How has your life been affected by barriers due to your disability?
I’ve been challenged trying to find meaningful, fulfilling employment. I think it’s important that people with disabilities be viewed as individuals and have our needs addressed accordingly. Workplaces can increase staff diversity by hiring more people with disabilities. An employee’s environment can be modified easily with assistive devices like adaptive computer software, telecommunications devices for the Deaf, or lifts for those using mobility devices.
What can Canadians do today to help improve accessibility for people with disabilities?
It starts with changing attitudes. We can rally our family, friends, and neighbours and speak to business owners, building managers, and transit authorities on the benefits of creating barrier-free environments that benefit everyone. We can also lobby politicians to change legislation throughout each province and territory. The need for greater accessibility will continue to soar as the population ages.
What do you imagine Canada would look like if everyone had equal access to our public spaces?
Whether it’s a parent with a young child in a stroller, a senior using a cane, or any individual in a wheelchair, I imagine all Canadians effortlessly accessing thoughtful, well-designed spaces so that everyone is allowed to fully participate in life’s activities. This may seem like it’s a big undertaking, but like Rick Hansen, all that’s required is inspiration, motivation, determination, and the opportunity to meet any goals we set for ourselves.
to see Judy in RHF's #Access4All video!