Recommendations approved by Park Board will help make Vancouver the most inclusive city in the world
April 29 2014
“The recommendations as presented will greatly improve the quality of access to recreation and active health in Vancouver and help make Vancouver the most inclusive city in the world,” said Commissioner Trevor Loke.
The Vancouver Park Board, at its meeting last night, unanimously approved a list of recommendations that, when implemented, will help make trans and gender-variant people feel more comfortable in the City’s parks and recreation facilities.
The report, called Building a Path to Parks & Recreation for All: Reducing Barriers for Trans* & Gender Variant Community Members, was produced by the Trans* and Gender-Variant Inclusion Working Group1. It contains 77 recommendations from quick starts to long-term priorities that will reduce barriers to access and improve service quality for all patrons. The following were among the report’s suggested actions:
- installation of new, universal signage for all single stall washrooms and change rooms to make clear that trans and gender-variant people are welcome
- trans-inclusivity training for all staff, contractors and volunteers that interact with the public in Park Board facilities
- increased rental subsidies to partners who offer trans-specific programming, such as the All Bodies Swim, in Park Board facilities
- expansion of universal changing rooms and the addition of more private changing stalls in all changing spaces.
The recommendations come after a draft report went through an intensive community review process that included town hall meetings, in-person and online surveys, and many emails and phone calls from the public. More than 1,300 responses guided the work leading to the final report.
“The recommendations as presented will greatly improve the quality of access to recreation and active health in Vancouver and help make Vancouver the most inclusive city in the world,” said Commissioner Trevor Loke, the Park Board liaison to the working group.
The group received praise from various organizations across the city, including the Women’s Advisory Committee, Vancouver Planning Commission, and the Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Committee.
The working group, created a year ago and chaired by Metha Brown and Drew Dennis, will remain in place until December 1, 2014, to assist with the implementation of quick start recommendations, some of which have already started. More than 700 Park Board aquatic services staff have received LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) awareness training.
1 Trans* (with an asterisk) is an inclusive umbrella term used to refer to communities and individuals with nonconforming gender identities and expressions.