Contact Access West Shore Society 

Email accesswestshore@gmail.com

Access West Shore Society (formerly Intermunicipal Advisory Committee on Disability Issues) believes in the value of partnerships so that we can continue to make accessibility improvements. Together, we can create more inclusive communities to live, work and play!

Vision

Our vision is that the West Shore, CRD and beyond will become a safe, tolerant, and inclusive place for people of all ages and abilities to live, work, and play.

Mission Statement

To advocate for people with disabilities and advise the municipal Councils of the West Shore, CRD and beyond on topics that affect the quality of life of citizens with disabilities.

Advisory Committees

Did you know that Access West Shore Society has a representative on the BC Accessible Transit Advisory Committee and the BC Ferries Accessibility Advisory Committee? We welcome your feedback on BC Transit/ BC Ferries. Email us at accesswestshore@gmail.com.

Access West Shore Monthly Meetings

2024 Meeting and Event Schedule 

  • No meetings in March
  • Meeting Thursday, April 18 due to April 12-14- Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities Conference
  • Meeting Thursday, May 16
  • Event Thursday June 20 - TBA
  • No meetings in July and August
  • Meeting Thursday September 26 due to September 16 – 20-Union of BC Municipalities Conference
  • Meeting Thursday, October 17
  • Meeting Thursday November 21
  • No meetings in December

Upcoming Events

Coldest Night of the Year – Westshore
Location: 1089 Langford Pkwy, Langford, BC
Starlight Stadium – Main Stadium Parking Lot (#2 in the map)

Sat, Feb. 24   4:00 - 7:00pm (walk at 5pm)

Join our caring community for a 2km or 5km walk through the Westshore, raising funds and support for those in need. Step outside the comfort of your home and walk towards warmth, nourishment, and care, for our neighbours struggling in the cold.
Invite your friends, family, business, school, church or community group to join us! This uplifting evening will be filled with community spirit, music, food, and fun!

If you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us! West shore: Kara Ross, Executive Coordinator, at kross@pcfsa.org or 250-818-9369

On Saturday, February 24 the Barrier Busters team will be participating in the 2024 Coldest Night of the Year Walk. It is free to register. Join us. Westshore walk registration: https://cnoy.org/victoriawestshore

News

Every year, starting on the last Sunday in May, Canadians celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW). Founded as ‘National Access Awareness Week’ in 1988 and inspired by Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, this week is an opportunity to celebrate Canadians with disabilities and raise awareness of the critical need for accessibility and inclusion for all in our communities and workplaces. 

From the Rick Hansen Foundation website 'By 2036, 1 in 5 Canadian adults will have a disability - that could mean almost 9 million people. Canadians struggle every day to access buildings like shops, community centres, and offices because of physical barriers to accessibility. You can break down these physical barriers in the places we work, live, learn and play so that all of us can participate and live life to our full potential.'

According to Statistics Canada, over 6 million Canadians have a disability of some form.

Do you know a ‘difference maker’ in your community? Is there someone who promotes access and inclusion? If so, Access West Shore Society encourages you to nominate them by emailing us at: accesswestshore@gmail.com

The Difference Makers Recognition Initiative has been generously supported by the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. and Access West Shore Society is grateful for this partnership.

Did you know that on the City of Victoria’s website it states that drivers with accessible parking permits can park for up to four hours for free on Sundays at regular metered (90-minute zone or more) on-street parking spaces?

There are Accessibility Improvements coming for BC’s Provincial Parks. More information can be found at this link: Accessibility improvements coming for BC’s provincial parks | West Coast Traveller

Community Update: BC government announces temporary additional supports for income assistance and Persons with Disabilities benefit recipients

Community Update: Update on the BC Recovery Benefit and people receiving Ministry assistance | DABC (disabilityalliancebc.org)

Access West Shore Society is currently advocating for a wheelchair accessible swing to be installed in at least one West Shore Park. More details to be announced in the future.

Access West Shore Society supports Mary Lake becoming a municipal park in the Highlands. It is a stunning location with a user friendly trail already in existence with a paved pathway to the house. Access improvements such as disabled parking and 2 possible locations for accessible picnic tables would enhance this park. To learn more about Mary Lake or support the efforts to secure Mary Lake as a municipal park click here www.marylakeconnections.ca

In partnership with The Social Planning and Research Council of B.C., Access West Shore Society continues  to build increased awareness around existing and emerging needs for accessible parking, as well as strengthen efforts to better meet the needs of people with disabilities. We want to draw attention to the need for designated accessible parking and put measures in place to ensure these spaces are respected and protected.

Establish accessibility as a priority in your community by:

  • Creating accessible spaces or places in your community 
  • Making design changes or physical improvements that contribute to greater accessibility. This could include but are not limited to- 
  • Designated accessible Parking spaces 
  • Curb ramps and Safe path of travel 
  • Pathways and other walking spaces etc. 

Create a more informed, aware, and inclusive environment by: 

  • Educating communities on invisible or hidden disabilities    
  • Spreading awareness about the role of accessible parking spaces in providing independence for people with disabilities    
  • Advocating for accessibility to local businesses who will also benefit from an expanded customer base

User-Friendly Trails

Please find a Guide to User-friendly Trails here.

Resources

Alcohol & Drug Information & Referral Service 
1 800 663-1441  Lower Mainland: 604 660-9382
This service is available to people across B.C. needing help with any kind of substance abuse issues 24 hours a day. It provides information and referral to education, prevention and treatment services and regulatory agencies.

Crisis Line Association of BC
In Crisis? Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) to speak with crisis line workers anytime of the day or night. Looking for information and support? Call 310-6789 to reach the Mental Health and Information and Support Line, from anywhere in the province. You will receive emotional support, and information on appropriate referral options and a wide range of support relating to mental health concerns.

HealthLinkBC
Anywhere in BC: 8-1-1
TTY (Deaf and hearing-impaired): 7-1-1

Leisure Assistance Pass
The LA pass was designed for people with disabilities who require assistance to pursue leisure and recreation acclivities to not have to pay double.  The LA pass is accepted at all recreation facilities in Greater Victoria as well as many other places, such as the Royal BC Museum, Flying Squirrel, Craigdarroch Castle, and many more locations. This pass is still available through all recreation centres in Greater Victoria.  Call your local recreation centre to apply for or renew your pass.

Yellow Booklet 
The Yellow Booklet has been a great resource for Families in planning summer activities for their children and youth. RIV started this booklet in 1996 when a gap was noticed between the number of weeks of service a child or youth received and the parents' knowledge of what camps were offered.  Since then 24 edition has been published by RIV in order to close the gap and provide knowledge to all parents and caregivers. RIV is thrilled that this important service will be continued through Community Living Victoria (CLV) and this year's edition of the booklet can now be viewed through their website.

LAVA - Leisure Access Victoria App
The LAVA website contains information of 34 local recreation and community centres in Victoria.  The site will remain live for another year, and then keep an eye out for this information on your local recreation centre sites. 

Wescom Medi-Lend Society - Medical equipment loaned to residents of the Western Communities. Operates Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. / 567 Goldstream Avenue Victoria, BC V9B 2W7 / Phone: (250) 478-5373

COVID-19 Supports and Programs

Action Committee for People with Disabilities (ACPD) Phone 250-383-4105

Changing Places Washrooms changingplacesbc@gmail.com

Disability Alliance BC - Phone 604-872-1278; Toll Free 1-800-663-1278
Province Announces Policy Changes Aimed at Reducing Poverty

Disabled Parking Permit Information

Family Caregivers BC Support Line 1 (877) 520-3267
Greater Victoria Caregiver Support Groups, and Caregiver Connection Newsletter and E-news 

Leisure Involvement is For Everyone Program

Seniors Services Directory 

Stroke Recovery Association - Young Stroke Survivors Group Phone 250-686-8653

Victoria Disability Resource Centre Phone 250-595-0044
Community Resource Page

BC Ferries
Travel Planning and Safety
Download our Accessibility, Evacuation & Safety Brochures for:
Coastal Renaissance, Coastal Inspiration , Coastal Celebration

Accessible Parking Presentation 

HandyDart Information and Registration Form

Red Cross Medical Equipment Loan Cupboard

211 British Columbia

Networking Groups