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Street signs should be large enough for people to read






In response to “Town council unanimously supports street sign poppy plan.”


How appropriate is it to honour veterans but not ensure signs are large enough for them or other people with vision disabilities to read? 


I e-mailed members of council in advance of the February 12 meeting and stated there is no mention in the report of accessible sign design or design standards. I urged members to consider the fact that Highway Gothic typeface is mainly used throughout Canada and Ontario, including on provincial highways and in cities including Windsor; it makes reading signs easier.


Mayor Prue did ask council to consider making the signs larger and mentioned that it didn’t cost any more money, but he could have made the motion himself especially since he passed the gavel.


Amid the claims that we are an inclusive community, possibly striving to become a designated “age friendly” community, it was deplorable to hear a question about the cost of bigger signs and an answer that there is an assumption there will be some additional costs.


Given the budget approval, how does anyone justify limiting funds for this expenditure? Besides, if the signs will slowly be replaced council could have directed administration to bring back a report on the cost with actual figures for larger and more readable signs. 


When the town applied for a $100,000 grant for wayfinding signs, one of the project priorities it listed was “accessible, diverse, equitable and inclusive: The sign design will take into consideration AODA requirements, MTO roadway recommendations and eligibility standards.” 


Why were those priorities not incorporated for the poppy street sign designs? I have asked that the town’s procurement policy be updated to include more than the consideration of AODA training. The AODA Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation states designated public sector organizations shall incorporate accessibility design, criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities. 


Council needs to make a stronger and more consistent commitment to removing barriers in our community. Still, council’s motion will result in a celebration that will be a great photo op and a reminder to pay tribute to veterans even if the signs are too small for some to read. 

 

—Linda Saxon

Amherstburg

 

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