Accessible City

Accessible beaches

The Accessible City Award recognizes outstanding leadership to enhance accessibility, inclusion, and elimination of barriers to full participation for persons with disabilities.

2018 recipients

Michael Blondé

Individual category

For over ten years, Michael Blondé has been creating opportunities for Special Olympians to feel like the sports stars they are through his involvement with motionball’s Marathon of Sport.

As a volunteer leader with the not-for-profit that introduces the next generation of donors, volunteers, and sponsors to the Special Olympics movement through integrated sporting and social events, Michael has dedicated countless hours as a volunteer leader to growing awareness, participation, and donations for Marathon of Sport Vancouver. He is personally responsible for increasing involvement in the volunteer committee and was key to achieving a milestone $126,000 raised in a single year through motionball Vancouver to directly support the Special Olympics Foundation. 

The 2017 motionball Vancouver Marathon of Sport event saw 24 teams of young professionals joined by 33 local Special Olympics athletes in high energy days of exciting sports, and Michael went to great lengths to ensure the athletes’ experience was as positive as possible.

One way he and the volunteer committee made it more meaningful was with an autograph signing brochure which made the athletes feel like celebrities; it underscores how Michael always keeps top of mind who motionball is ultimately working for. When he isn’t volunteering with motionball, Michael serves as the Global Director, Strategic Customer Program with Hootsuite.

Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Organization category

With roots stretching back sixty years, the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH) is dedicated to creating a society in which people who are deaf, deafened, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing are able to participate fully.

Each year, over 12,000 British Columbians are provided with the support they need through the services at WIDHH. By focusing on the strengths and talents of people who are deaf and hard of hearing, WIDHH assists these individuals as they continue to face the daily challenges in all aspects of their lives including issues of exclusion in the workforce, education, and public life due to communication barriers.

WIDHH provides tens of thousands of hours of client services to the people of BC through an Employment Counselling Program, Seniors Outreach Program, Sign Language Interpreting Services, and a Communication Device Showroom.

Thanks to the efforts of the professional staff, volunteer Board of Directors and ongoing support from donors, WIDHH continues to strive to achieve an inclusive province where all citizens can communicate fully and freely with each other and enjoy equal access to their communities.

How Vancouver is improving accessiblilty in the city

Accessible city

We are committed to removing barriers and creating equal opportunities for all residents.