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Christchurch Mayor Launches Accessibility Map

  • Published: 2009-07-05 (Revised/Updated 2010-01-16) : Author: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: An editorial about the City of Christchurch and their creation of an Accessibility Map of the city.

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The Mayor of the city of Christchurch has come up with one dilly of an idea; one that every single city in the world should think about doing. Mayor Bob Parker has launched an easy-to-use, comprehensive accessibility map of the city for people with disabilities. Quite the community-minded guy, Mr. Parker.

The Mayor of the city of Christchurch has come up with one dilly of an idea; one that every single city in the world should think about doing. Mayor Bob Parker has launched an easy-to-use, comprehensive accessibility map of the city for people with disabilities. Quite the community-minded guy, Mr. Parker.

Mayor Parker was not alone in the creation of the city's accessibility map, it was put together by the City Council's Disability Advisory Group. The map itself is an A2 fold-up map, and it marks services in the central city that provide access to persons with disabilities. The map also presents a method of grading each service's level of accessibility. Nearly twenty-percent of the population of Christchurch has some form of disability and Major Parker is aware of this fact.

When presenting the map Mayor Parker stated:

"As we rebuild the central city we have a unique opportunity to be proactive in putting in place an urban lifestyle with a friendly and supportive environment. Let's build a city that opens its arms more to opportunities for greater engagement for all its residents; that allows us to unlock the potential that is inherent in you."

Maps of this type not only benefit the persons with disabilities they are designed for. A map of this kind can help seniors, family members, and friends of persons with disabilities and seniors to plan vacations and trips in cities that have these maps available. The example that the city of Christchurch, the Council's Disability Advisory Group, and Mayor Parker have set through the creation of this Disability Accessibility Map of their city is one that every city should pay close attention to.

Making such a map available to people who live in the city, as well as people who want to visit, would increase the likelihood that these visitors would go to shops and other sites of interests they feel comfortable going to knowing they would have access to them. Store owners would be more likely to make their shops accessible in order to have a place on such a map, increasing the overall accessibility of shops to people with disabilities, seniors and others in society at large.

The presence of an accessibility map in both the A2 fold-up format that Christchurch has available, as well as through a city's Internet website, would increase the promotion of shops and other sites of interest in the city. From a city's marketing perspective alone, a Disability Accessibility Map makes very good sense. Appealing to the many people with disabilities and seniors in the city makes incredibly good financial sense; it is also a presentation of the city's values.

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