Access Awareness Week
Halifax Regional Municipality is a proud supporter this year’s Access Awareness Week taking place from May 28 to June 3, 2023.
Read our recently approved Accessibility Strategy (link opens a PDF, the Strategy begins on page 5).
What is Access Awareness Week (AAW)?
AAW provides an opportunity to raise awareness and engage Nova Scotians on issues around access and inclusion.
Inclusivity isn’t just about eliminating physical barriers; it’s also about challenging societal attitudes. While changing a municipal by-law or enforcing the UN Convention may remove physical barriers, it is by fostering attitudes of acceptance and responsibility that we can create a truly inclusive environment.
The AAW Committee is committed to achieving two distinct goals during the Week:
- The first is to bring issues of access to the attention of the public and the policymakers. Change can grow from the bottom up or it can be implemented from the top down. PAANS wants both to happen - with the movements meeting somewhere in between.
- The second is to celebrate what has happened to increase accessibility and the potential of things to come. Formally, we achieve this with the presentation of the Mel Hebb Hourglass Action Awards and the PAANS scholarships. Informally, we attempt to integrate this attitude into our approach to all things.
History of Access Awareness Week
Since 1987, following Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour, the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities (the League), through the Partnership for Access Awareness Nova Scotia (PAANS), has been leading Access Awareness Week (AAW) in the province. AAW originated as an extension of a national campaign known as National AccessAbility Week. It began and remains a grassroots community initiative that has grown and evolved through the dedication and commitment of organizations such as the League, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Easter Seals, ReachAbility, Canadian Paraplegic Association and the Halifax Regional Municipality.