The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) seeks to incorporate the needs of all of residents and visitors, now and into the future.
The RMOW has incorporated accessibility and inclusion into the municipality's guiding policy documents and strives to continue to exceed the minimal requirements, or the status quo, of the B.C. building code.
The policies and plans directly incorporating accessibility and inclusion can be viewed below.
The RMOW, Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), Mature Action Committee (MAC), and the Youth Advisory Group (YAG) worked in collaboration to develop an Aging in Place Strategy in 2010. The Aging in Place Strategy will work towards creating a fully age-friendly community where Whistler residents have the ability to remain in their home community as they age.
Aging in Place is defined as: The ability to remain in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability throughout life's stages. Governments and communities have a role in creating and implementing policies that are supportive of community interaction and programming which promotes healthy lifestyles and safe movement.
Review the report: Whistler Through the Ages.
The goals, objectives, and policies contained within the Official Community Plan (OCP) are a reflection of the extensive input received from Whistler's citizens and resort community stakeholders over a 20-month period that began in the spring of 2010.
The OCP is about regulating and implementing shared community directions. These directions will guide Whistler's development and meet its anticipated needs over the next five years and beyond in support of our Whistler2020 vision to be the premier mountain resort community – as we move toward sustainability.
The OCP provides policy direction for increasing accessibility and inclusion, protecting community health and safety, enhancing Whistler's park and trail system and further developing a resort community that is well-designed for aging in place. Children and youth services are interconnected with facilities to meet Whistler’s needs. Arts, culture and heritage policies will allow Whistler to diversify our economy and resort offerings.
For more information, visit the OCP page.
Whistler2020 is our community's shared vision and plan for continued success to the year 2020 - and an ambitious step on a longer journey to a sustainable future. Rooted in our values and a science-based approach to sustainability, Whistler2020 is long-term, comprehensive, community-developed, community-implemented, and action-focused.
One of Whistler2020's visions of success (for the built environment) is to ensure that the built environment is safe and accessible for people of all abilities, anticipating and accommodating well-being, needs and satisfying visitor expectations.
Wildfires, flooding, earthquakes, hazardous materials spills and other hazards could threaten Whistler. Residents and businesses must be prepared to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours following a major emergency. During an emergency, you and your family could be on your own for an extended period of time. Emergency services may not be readily available, as increasing demands are placed on responders. It may take emergency workers some time to get to you as they help those in most critical need.
Planning for emergencies as a person with a disability requires a bit more diligence than for those people without disabilities. Disability Alliance has created a Personal Preparedness Checklist to assist with this process. Please take the time to look through the entire Prepare to Survive - Prepare to Help planning document, which can be found in the Disability Alliance section below.
Volunteers are a crucial part of the Whistler Emergency Program:
- The Whistler Search and Rescue team search for, and provide aid, to people who are in distress or imminent danger.
- The Whistler Emergency Social Services team provides short-term (generally for 72 hours) shelter, food, clothing and emotional support to evacuees.
- The Emergency Communications team provides a means for emergency communications when phone lines, cell phones and other conventional means of communications fail.
For more information on Emergency Preparedness, visit the Whistler Emergency Program page.
Disability Alliance BC: Emergency Preparedness
Since 2006, Disability Alliance BC (DABC), formerly known as the B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities, has been running the Emergency Preparedness Project and has been a leader in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in emergency preparedness in British Columbia and Canada.
DABC and Volunteer Canada, have trained 20 trainers from disability organizations and volunteer centres from BC, Yukon, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick to deliver community training in emergency planning for people with disabilities.
DABC has collaborated with a number of agencies to create a number of training manuals, and resources for community groups and individuals who want to prepare themselves and/or play a role in emergency planning and response in their communities. The best example of this compiled knowledge is found within Prepare to Survive - Prepare to Help document. Further information can be found within the library of the DABC which has gathered these resources to most easily search for any resources may be needed for emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
The Seniors Needs Action Planner from Whistler Community Services Society works in conjunction with the Whistler Question to annually produce an up-to-date inclusive resource guide for Whistler’s seniors.
While the majority of Whistler seniors can be found leading active, healthy lives, many also need a little bit of assistance to enable them to continue enjoying the Whistler lifestyle.