Tuesday, June 19, 2012

People In Motion 2012 review

Several people have asked me if I went to this year's People In Motion show because it was raining on June 1. The weather doesn't concern me. That's why I have a rain suit. I took the subway to Bathurst Station and the TTC was running shuttle buses to the Queen Elizabeth Centre at the CNE. I took some pictures and live Tweeted from the show. And as always I am looking for new products and services. Remember a couple of months ago there was a Starbucks on Roncesvalles Ave. in Toronto that installed a ramp to make the store accessible but then had to take it out because it blocked the sidewalk. Now I'm not a big fan of the AODA because I think the law is toothless. And I don't know how old storefronts can be made accessible. And I also think the municipal and provincial governments should offer financial incentives to encourage businesses to be accessible. But accessibility is good business. And any inaccessible business is missing out on a significant market. People in powerchairs spend money too. So to avoid the problem that occurred at the Starbucks, People Access has a solution. People Access is a non profit organization will not only sell ramps and other accessibility products. But they also manage the project to make sure it's legal and that you get the right product. People Access VP of Operations Russ Gahan says they can do an assessment of any building. They make recommendations and then they manage the project to completion. Most business owners don't have the time or expertise to go through the red tape to meet the AODA regulations. People Access is a one stop solution for business accessibility. They can be contacted at 416-251-7600 or 1-800-263-9648. Their website is peopleaccess.ca.

So lets say that you were in an accident, you had spinal cord surgery and now you're a paraplegic. One of the first things you have to do is adapt your home to your new condition. This might include a ramp outside your home. But it probably also includes cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. You get the idea. So you have to hire a contractor to rip your house apart to make it accessible. And these cabinets are manually operated using casters. Not a great solution. Aiutante is offering a new solution for accessible cabinets. Though the company is new, Aiutante co-owner Jerry Sorbara has 25 years of automation experience. He owns the Hamilton based company Activated Decor. They manufacture automated big screen TV mounts. Aiutante calls their product line Easy Reach and it includes cabinets, sinks, work stations and closets. These products are automated. Push a button and it moves. And they can also retrofit their products to your current decor. There are no huge bulkheads in your ceiling. This means Aiutante's products are more economical. Aiutante do sell to the end user. But they don't install the products so you'll need a contractor anyway. So if this is a project you are planning, you can contact Aiutante at 905-388-2066 or 1-888-866-2888. Their website is aiutanteinc.com.

Some of you may already be familiar with the Abilities Centre in Whitby. But what you may not know is they are now open. The facility has everything you could possibly want like basketball courts, a running track, a rock climbing wall, theatre and music rooms, and indoor playground and even a lounge, a cafe and banquet facilities. But the big thing is they have a completely accessible fitness facility. There are so few places where a disabled person can get a decent workout in the greater Toronto area. They do sell memberships and have fee based programs. But sponsorships are available for those on a low or fixed income. If you live in the area, you need to contact Abilities Centre at 905-665-8500. their website is abilitiescentre.org. I want one of these in south Etobicoke. So that's it from the 2012 People In Motion show. I'll see you there next year.

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