For individuals driving by the Parkdale Group Affiliation, the out of doors rink might not look totally different than others across the metropolis.
Take a better look and you may see that it was designed with accessibility and inclusiveness in thoughts.
There are wider bench doorways in order that individuals utilizing mobility units can simply get out and in. It additionally has absolutely accessible washrooms and areas the place gamers can change from their wheelchair to their sleds.
“The message we’re attempting to get out is, ‘It is truly not that totally different,'” mentioned rink director John Butterwick. “You simply have to be deliberate about your design forward of time.”
It will be important that these locations are welcoming, inclusive and resilient for a few years to come back.– Amanda Affonso, Parkdale Group Affiliation president
The rink is the primary accessible out of doors neighborhood rink in Alberta and meets accessibility requirements for sledge hockey —one thing that helped the power obtain an Accessibility Licensed Gold ranking below the Rick Hansen Basis Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program with a rating of 88 out of 100 factors.
The Rick Hansen Basis was established in 1988 and for over three a long time, the group has raised consciousness and funded spinal cord injury analysis and care.
The RHFAC is the inspiration’s nationwide ranking system that measures and certifies the extent of significant entry of buildings and websites.
“We’re delighted to see that Parkdale Group Affiliation Ice Rink has secured an RHFAC Gold ranking,” mentioned Brad McCannell of the Rick Hansen Basis.
“By prioritizing accessibility, Parkdale will enhance the person expertise of individuals of all ages and talents – an necessary step in Canada’s journey in direction of a extra inclusive future.”
A gathering place
The northwest neighborhood rink changed the affiliation’s previous rink that reached the tip of its 30-year lifespan just a few years in the past. Designing a brand new facility that will be inclusive was prime of thoughts for the neighborhood affiliation.
“Group infrastructure like rinks convey individuals collectively by creating gathering locations,” mentioned Amanda Affonso, president at Parkdale Group Affiliation.
“It will be important that these locations are welcoming, inclusive and resilient for a few years to come back.”
The not too long ago rebuilt rink consists of accessible washrooms, warming benches to switch to sleds, ramps to the rink, clear rink boards, and wider rink entry that’s barrier free — not solely making it accessible for gamers, however for followers and spectators as effectively.
“I’m actually enthusiastic about what this facility means for the game of sledge hockey, each at a aggressive and grassroots stage,” mentioned Alan Halbert with the Calgary Sledge Hockey Affiliation.
“I hope this deal with accessibility turns into the norm and customary for all ice rinks throughout Canada.”
The Parkdale’s rink opens for the winter season on Dec. 1 and shall be open to the neighborhood and native organizations for sledge hockey, public skating, grassroots hockey, tournaments, leases and occasions.