The Inclusive City: Awareness and co-creation to remove barriers in city design

June 1, 2023

1:00-2:00p.m. EST

Free virtual event -ASL interpreters available

Meet Luke Anderson, co-founder of the StopGap Foundation an organization whose mission is to help communities discover the benefit of barrier free spaces and provide support to create them.

A city free of barriers would help give everyone the opportunity to live a life full of independence, spontaneity, and ultimate fulfillment. This 1-hour discussion includes a talk by Luke followed by a panel discussion where Luke will be joined by Paula Saunders, chair of the Built Environment subcommittee of the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee. Hosted by the City of Kitchener, we will explore city design through an accessibility lens to build awareness of barriers to navigating everyday life from the routine of going to work to a spontaneous coffee with a friend.

This session is also part of National AccessAbility Week. Check out Life Made Accessible for more webinars during the week starting May 29.

This session will be recorded.

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About the Speakers

After sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2002, Luke Anderson was suddenly introduced to a world that's not well suited for a wheelchair user. His frustration encountering access barriers led him to co-found the StopGap Foundation, which raises awareness about the importance of a barrier free and inclusive society. StopGap works with different community leaders across Canada delivering education and resources that inspire societal perspective shifts, the removal of barriers in the built environment, and policy change. Their iconic brightly painted ramps can be found in communities all over Canada, helping ensure our society's collective understanding about the importance of accessibility and inclusion continues to advance and grow.

Luke is a licensed professional engineer, a nature lover, an avid meditator, an aspiring harmonica virtuoso, and is the recipient of a Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal.

To learn more, StopGap Foundation – Helping communities discover the benefit of barrier free spaces and providing support to create them.

Paula Saunders is chair of the Built Environment subcommittee of the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee. Working with the Region of Waterloo, the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo as well as the Townships, the committee strives to make communities accessible for everyone. As a person with a disability, Paula shares her lived experience to educate those involved with designing, building, retrofitting and maintaining public spaces such as buildings, parks and streets.

To learn more, Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee - City of Kitchener

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Thank you to everyone who joined us for this five-part speaker series in 2022/2023. Together, we explored topics related to how we can make city infrastructure and services more equitable and accessible for all residents. The speaker series has now concluded. If you have any questions, please contact the Planning division at

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