NOVEMBER 2015 - Halifax is working to make our community more accessible by helping businesses obtain custom wheelchair ramps by working with StopGap. The StopGap community ramp project began in Toronto in an effort to make businesses and public spaces more accessible. Since launching in 2011, StopGap has partnered with local groups to bring their concept to over 100 communities across the country. Through community organizations, material donations and volunteer support, the StopGap project invites businesses with single stepped storefronts to have a custom-built ramp made for them at little to no cost. The brightly colored ramps are portable and designed to be brought in and out of businesses for customers use. While the ramps are not intended to be a permanent solution to accessibility design concerns, they open the door for important discussions on accessibility and help get more people in the doors of local businesses. For more information on the StopGap project, visit http://stopgapblog.blogspot.ca/.
The Mayor’s office has partnered with Parker Street and StopGap to offer custom-built ramps to local businesses free of charge. The ramps are bright and colourful, and are designed to catch the eye and get people talking about accessibility in our municipality. Because every storefront is unique, each ramp is custom built. The ramps are not designed to be permanent structures; they are light enough to be easily moved in and out as they are needed. Businesses with ramps are encouraged to display a sign in their storefront indicating a ramp is available for those who might need it.
Any business within Halifax is eligible to receive a ramp, provided they meet certain criteria:
· The building entrance must be single step only
· The step must be between 3 and 9 inches in height.
· Depending on the height of the step, sidewalks must meet minimum width standards in order to accommodate a ramp. A ramp spec sheet with exact measurements is available on request.
If you would like to receive a ramp or have any questions about the ramp project, please contact Jessica Bradley in the Mayor’s Office at 902-490-2625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.