Accessibility means to easily approach, easy to reached, easily entered, and easy to speak with.
Today there are many people who can’t get into buildings, but can speak with new communicative devices and many staff in the places I go to have approachable staff. However, we as society still have a long way to go. I educate people on this topic consistently. Here are some of the sample talks that I use to educate people on accessibility.
Marshall realized very early in his young life that he had something to say. Being locked in a body that would not do what he wanted, as well as being non-speaking, he had cause to get out there and change a few attitudes. This became a reality when he was prescribed a VOCA or voice output system which he is able to access with a switching system on his head array mounted on the power wheelchair.
Marshall began mentoring children who also had a voice output system, and soon realized that the only way to make a change was to educate and began to put together presentations. All of these presentations he made to share across the region and into the greater Toronto Area for educational facilities, various levels of government about the importance of awareness, accessibility, advocacy and inclusiveness.
Marshall has worked in the research department at Bloorview for the Canadian Institute for Health Research team working on optimal environments for severely disabled youth. He also worked at the Ontario College of Art and Design, as part of the team who developed cell phones for switch users during a coop in grade 12.
He recently participated in the Scotia Bank Harbourfront marathon and is a member of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Marshall now works at Grandview Children’s Center as their Disability Awareness Presenter. He has recently received the award for the Region of Durham Accessibility Award and also nominated for the David C. Onley the award for Leadership in Accessibility!