Town of Orangeville

In the year 2000, Municipal Councillor Gail Campbell became the Town of Orangeville's champion and voice for the disabled. The Town's number one priority in its "Vision and Values Statement" is to create a "barrier-free community." To that end Gail has displayed extraordinary leadership, and has made an exceptional contribution in creating accessibility awareness. She has been a pioneer of advocacy and a champion of human rights and inclusion. She challenges others to follow suit.

Councillor Campbell inspires others, both locally and Provincially, by her example of personal commitment, vision, and hard work. Long before Provincial legislation on accessibility, Gail pioneered, voiced and launched creative and innovative programs in the Town. The list of accomplishments is all encompassing and range from power assist doors in public buildings, to waterproof wheel chairs in municipal swimming pools, from inclusive playground equipment to a portable wheelchair lift to access the stage in the Opera House. The Town has been advised on enlarged street signage, accessible benches in parks, curb cuts and trail design modifications.

Gail has successfully encouraged others to follow her lead. Amaranth Lions Club helped to provide audible signals at intersections. Theatre Orangeville redesigned its interior to accommodate ramped aisles, hearing equipment and space for 16 wheelchairs. Historic downtown businesses are encouraged to provide, with a municipal grant, portable ramps for accessibility. First Student Bus Lines provides accessible transportation to out of town events. Gail's Access Orangeville Committee has partnered with the Town's Age-Friendly Committee to research and submit an application to the World Health Organization for recognition as an "Age-Friendly Community".

With regard to external government agencies, Dufferin County was provided with advice to help shape their accessibility documents. By dint of sheer determination, Gail's committee confronted Canada Post regarding automatic door openers at their facilities and succeeded. They are now looking to the Province of Ontario to provide legislation on the need for universal tie-downs for wheelchairs in vehicles.