In cooperation with its partners in developing the action plan, Gatineau has identified several steps that have to be taken over the next few years as it moves towards universal access. In order to target and focus these steps, eight intervention axes have been defined, each with specific objectives.
Gatineau is opening its doors to people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility in the municipal administration. It wants every individual within the municipal administration to be able to fulfil themselves through work, the symbol of autonomy and validation.
Gatineau is committed to using different means of communication to ensure that all residents can have access to municipal information. Gatineau also aims to continually improve accessibility to its Web site for people with disabilities, and intends to carry out these improvements gradually. To this end, several Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints recommended by the Web Accessibility Initiative have already been implemented:
Most of the content of the Web site, therefore, is accessible to users who navigate with Lynx and JAWS, browsers commonly used by people with visual disabilities.
Recognizing the scope of the work that lies ahead in terms of refitting all buildings to ensure access to people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility so that they can move around in them and take advantage of all of the services offered, Gatineau is committed to start by reducing the obstacles to access in municipal, public and commercial buildings.
To meet the housing needs of people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility, Gatineau is promoting access to housing while ensuring that every one of them will get adapted housing or housing that will be able to meet their needs.
Development measures and strategies will be introduced to encourage participation and facilitate integration by people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility into recreational activities and cultural, festive and tourism events. In addition, Gatineau will adapt its offer of municipal services to promote their integration.
In order to increase the sense of safety of people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility, Gatineau is continuing its efforts to ensure their safety in emergency situations, as well as in the urban environment.
After taking into consideration the special needs of people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility, a number of parking measures and signs have been introduced to increase their safety. Among the measures taken to reduce obstacles, Gatineau is improving access to reserved parking, the use of sidewalks and street furniture, and signage in different places around the city.
Given the ageing population, Gatineau, in collaboration with the Société de transport de l'Outaouais, is taking the necessary steps to facilitate and encourage the use of public transit for people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility.
Gatineau is the fourth largest city in the province of Quebec with close to 285,000 inhabitants.