Measuring Up Strategy
By definition, a community cannot be sustainable if it is not inclusive and does not meet the needs of those who live there. The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is committed to making Whistler an accessible and inclusive community for everyone: its residents and its visitors.
The RMOW has taken a leadership role in the community’s move toward being more inclusive and accessible. Whistler has signed on to Measuring Up, a program designed to assist municipalities and communities in British Columbia assess the degree to which their citizens with disabilities are active participants in community life. Measuring Up is about creating an accessibility strategy that encompasses much more than a focus on just physical change to the environment.
As a key dimension of social inclusion, this project will not only allow but also invite all community members to become more meaningfully engaged in civic decision-making.
The Measuring Up Timeline
In 2003, an accessibility audit of Whistler Village was prepared as part of the bid for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As a result, the RMOW launched an effort to address the barriers identified by the access audit and began the process of developing an accessibility strategy. Community members were invited to form an advisory group to assist staff in identifying priorities and appropriate remedies.
Simultaneously, 2010 Legacies Now developed a framework referred to as Measuring Up for communities throughout the province to achieve accessibility and inclusivity.
In 2006, Whistler was approached by Legacies Now to become a pilot community in the application of the Measuring Up framework.
Shortly thereafter, the Whistler 2020 process, which responds to community needs and proposals, recommended developing an Accessibility Strategy to address the deficiencies revealed by the 2003 audit.
In late 2009, RMOW Council created the Measuring Up Select Committee of Council, a permanent advisory body that works to address accessibility issues and find corresponding solutions.
The RMOW signed on to BC’s 10 by 10 Challenge to increase employment for persons with disabilities in British Columbia by 10 percent by 2010.
Following the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler’s newest neighbourhood, the Athlete Village was developed and includes 116 accessible beds. It is also now the permanent home of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program.
For more on the Measuring Up Select Committee of Council, membership and meeting minutes, click here.