Giving Back

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CMHC National Focus Group Consultations on Barrier-Free and Adaptable Housing, Canada Wide Focus Group Consultation 

  • Our Designs Inc. acted as the local coordinator to conduct two focus group sessions in Vancouver.  We solicited ideas and feedback on barrier-free and adaptable housing for seniors and older adults, and various people with disabilities.  The results were published to be given to the design and building industry to suggest consumer priorities for barrier-free and adaptable housing features and equipment.
North Shore Disability Resource Centre, North Vancouver, Canada 
  • Our Designs Inc. acted as a consultant in accessible building design to assist the Resource Centre in developing accessibility specifications and followed up to insure that the specficiations were incorporated appropriately into the final plans.  Subsequently, the principal of Our Designs Inc. was asked to become a two year member of the Centre’s Board of Directors.
The University of British Columbia, Campus Planning & Development, Readily Achievable Building Access Project, Vancouver, Canada 
  • Our Designs Inc. prepared a building checklist and reviewed 50 existing buildings on Campus to upgrade them for accessibility following the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines in combination with the British Columbia Building Code.
North Shore Readily Achievable Plan for Accessibility, West Vancouver School District, West Vancouver, Canada 
  • Our Designs Inc. reviewed 3 elementary school sites and their playgrounds for accessibility.  Accessibility reports were prepared to ask for capital funding for Irwin Park Elementary, Caulfield Elementary and Gleneagles Elementary. 
City of Vancouver Planning:  The Accessible and Usable Dwellings Project, Vancouver, Canada 
  • After a year and a half of participation with other experienced accessibility consultants, a working policy draft report was approved by the Vancouver City Council.  The policy report reflected the Council policy that residential buildings (generally under larger multiple town home and condo dwellings) provide access for people with disabilities from the street through a building entrance to the entry door of each dwelling unit.  The policy report went further to make recommendations for designing in adaptability and ease of renovation to the interior of the dwelling living spaces.  The process of implementing and the results of this work are in progress.

Corporation of the District of Maple Ridge and The City of Pitt Meadows Municipal Advisory Committee:  Universal Design Guidelines for Outdoor Spaces:  Planning and Designing for Choice, January, 2009. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, B.C.

  • Working in collaboration with an editing designer, publishing editor and publisher, Our Designs prepared an illustrated document with prescriptive and performance guidelines and checklists.  The publication is to be used as a reference guide by builders, developers, contractors and city personnel to develop new and existing open spaces.  The project was funded by Measuring Up Legacies 2010 and the Province of British Columbia.


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