I have served on several committees here and have been a resource to the teams at the ROM, in terms of promoting access throughout the building, throughout the programs throughout all aspects of the visitors experience here.

We started looking at programs, we looked at security, we looked at the restaurant we looked at the gift shop and all aspects of the ROM.

Interestingly enough, 70 percent of disabilities are hidden and so we wanted to be careful that we included all people with disabilities.

So we focused on, of course, the physical challenges but we have also looked at people who have vision loss or who are blind and people who have hearing loss or who are deaf so we have captioning on all of our screens that give information about the artifacts, our way finding, has got signage that includes Braille and raised lettering so people can use whichever means they want to access their routes to the ROM.

Our website is totally accessible. One of the things we are doing is a tactile map which will be available so that people who have vision loss or blind can feel the layout of the ROM.

Most exciting thing, to me is that it's integrated into the operations of the ROM and so, every part of the organization thinks about disability and we always take note of improvements that we can do and so we are continuously looking at how do we learn more and how do we improve the visitor experience.

Attention has to be paid to detail and it's very important to listen to your stakeholders and your visitors or your customers because they are the ones who are going to help you create the experience that's going to bring them back.

It's important to have the resources its important also to recognize this is not just a social issue and it's an economic issue and a tourism issue. We have the aging population, we have medical advances that indicate people who are living longer with different conditions and so it is a right for people to enjoy their lives fully and it's an economic advantage to any organization that does it.

I truly believe that each individual has a right to live their lives the way they choose and to be able to remove barriers so that they can move through their choices without barriers, without struggle is just such wonderful wonderful thing to experience.

Learn more

There are many simple things you can do to start making your business or organization more accessible.

Visit www.AccessON.ca where you'll find many videos on how you can welcome people with disabilities.