Accessibility & Inclusivity
Southside Shuffle is an organization that is committed to bringing music to people. We want everyone to be able to have access to the Festival’s music and are committed to ensuring that we do everything possible to achieve that aim.
The Festival Board of Directors is committed to creating a welcoming, safe & fun festival and maintaining an accessible, inclusive space (open to LGBTQ and the Transgender community) where all employees, volunteers, vendors and patrons are treated with dignity, respect and equality.
As of 2006 approximately 1 in 7 Ontarians had a disability, according to Statistics Canada. This number is set to rise. By 2036, as the population ages, 1 in 5 Ontarians will have a disability and people with disabilities will represent 40% of the total income in Ontario.
By 2017, for the first time, seniors will account for a larger share of the Ontario population than children aged 14 and under.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (the Act) is a provincial law with the goal to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025, by developing and enforcing accessibility standards. The Act has been put in place to prevent, identify and remove barriers for persons with disabilities.
As an organization with one or more employees the Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz Festival (the Festival) is legally required to comply with the Act.
The purpose of this document is to communicate our commitment to making our festival accessible, and to set out the standards by which we will meet our commitment.
The Festival’s Board of Directors is committed to creating and maintaining an accessible, inclusive festival where all employees, volunteers, vendors and patrons are treated with dignity, respect and equality.
Accessible Parking Spaces
The Festival is situated in Port Credit Memorial Park. During the Festival the grounds are accessed through one of three entrances:
1. Lakeshore Rd. E entrance
2. Port Credit Library parking lot entrance
3. Port Credit Memorial Arena parking lot entrance.
Both the Library parking lot and the Arena parking lot have parking spaces designated for people with disabilities. Street parking is available on Stavebank Road, which also has designated spaces for people with disabilities. All designated spaces are clearly marked.
The Library parking lot, in the section reserved for musician parking, is designated as the passenger drop-off area for persons with disabilities. This location has been chosen because:
it is close to the Festival entrance
is monitored by security and volunteers
is paved from the parking lot to the Festival entrance
has a wide concrete path leading to the vendor areas, the eating areas and the stages.
The passenger drop-off area will be clearly marked with a sign located on Stavebank Road at the Library parking lot entrance and a sign at the drop-off location in the parking lot.
Public Transportation to the Festival includes:
the Go Train
Mississauga Public Transport MiWay buses
special needs vehicles
The Port Credit GO Station is located approximately 500 metres from the Arena entrance. The Festival will provide a shuttle service to and from the Library entrance to the GO Station upon request.
All MiWay buses are accessible. The nearest bus stop for the westbound service is on Lakeshore Rd. E. at Stavebank Road, approximately 130 metres from the Festival’s Lakeshore Rd. E entrance. The nearest bus stop for the eastbound service is on Lakeshore Rd. E at Front St. S., approximately 210 metres from the Festival’s Lakeshore Rd. E entrance.
Special needs vehicles and taxis can use the designated passenger drop-off are in the Library parking lot.
Information on the Go Train and MiWay accessibility, routes and schedules will be posted in the Festival’s website.
Paths of Travel
Memorial Park is on flat terrain and is equipped with concrete and paved paths throughout, providing access to washrooms, the Festival’s customer service office, vendors, eating areas and stage venues. The paths range in width from 3.5 metres to 4.4 metres and are of barrier-free design allow easy access for those using crutches, canes or wheeled forms of mobility.
The Arena and Library entrances are both on flat terrain while the Lakeshore Road entrance requires descending four steps or using the concrete ramp to reach the park level. In the event of muddy conditions outside of the permanent paths temporary outdoor flooring will be placed to accommodate easier travel.
Cable protectors, which are wheelchair accessible, will be used to cover electrical wires that run across paths. These will have bright, contrasting colours to alert people with low vision.
Stages and Seating
All stages are accessible by ramp for people who use mobility devices.
Seating will be designated for each stage for people using mobility devices and their friends, family, support persons and service animals. The designated seating areas will provide an unobstructed view of the stage.
Food Services and Public Eating Areas
Most food vendors and the eating areas are located on the grassy sections of the park. The terrain is level and the grass and grounds are well maintained. In the event of muddy conditions temporary outdoor flooring will be placed to accommodate easier travel.
Food vendors will be required to post their menu items in large print for people with lower visual acuity.
Memorial Park is equipped with wooden picnic tables, all of which are open ended and are accessible for persons with mobility devices. The tables are located on flat, firm and stable ground. Ample space is allocated around the tables to ensure easy access.
Washrooms and Temporary Toilets
Accessible, temporary toilets are situated throughout the Festival grounds. All are located near the concrete or paved paths but away from the crowded stage areas.
Hand washing facilities are located in each temporary toilet area.
Rest Areas, Quiet Areas and Rain/Wind/Sun Shelters
The flat grassy area to the southeast of the Arena entrance is designated as the rest/quiet area. It has tables, provides shade and distance from the stages.
Temporary relief from exposure to heat, cold, rain or wind can be found in the Library or the Arena, both of which are located next to the Festival grounds and are accessible by ramp.
Signs and maps located throughout the Festival grounds will be in large, easy-to-read font with good colour contrast. They will provide information on accessibility features, will be situated in both high and low positions, and will be readable in all light conditions.
Support persons provide assistance with mobility, personal care, medical needs and other necessary services. A support person will be permitted to go wherever their charge is permitted to go.
The Festival will waive the general admission entry fee for a support person accompanying a person with a disability. The waiving of the entry fee will not include entry to the VIP tents.
This information will be posted on the Festival’s website.
Service animals will be allowed to accompany a person with a disability to all areas available to the public. The rest/quiet area is designated as a relief area for service animals.
Training Staff and Volunteers
Accessibility for all our volunteers and patrons is important to our event. The Festival will train all staff and volunteers on how to welcome people with disabilities and on the requirements of the Act. This training will include:
how to communicate with people with different types of disabilities
the accessibility features on the Festival grounds
the evacuation procedures for people with disabilities and,
how to give feedback about the Festival’s accessibility.
The Southside Shuffle Blues and Rib Festival is primarily a music event rendering the use of captioneers and sign language interpreters ineffective. All signs on the Festival grounds will be in large print and will use plain language.
Maps and Information
To help people make an informed decision the Festival will provide information on our website about our accessibility features and our emergency plans for people with disabilities. This will include maps with the information indicated in the paragraph below and a description of how an emergency evacuation will be initiated.
Maps of the Festival grounds will be placed in conspicuous locations. The maps will identify the locations of the rest/quiet area, the service animal relief area, accessible washrooms, accessibility seating areas, emergency evacuation routes and emergency medical facilities.
Other Accessibility Considerations
The Volunteer Welcome Sign-In Tent will be designated as the place where persons with a disability can get information about the Festival’s accessibility features. The Welcome Tent is located near the Arena entrance. Volunteers in the Welcome Tent will be trained on accessibility features as part of the training requirements outlined in section 11. Training Staff and Volunteers of this document.
One volunteer per shift will be dedicated to ensuring that the Festival’s accessibility features are being maintained.
Promoting the Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz Festival
We will promote our accessibility features in the same places where we promote our Festival in general. This will let potential festival goers know their accessibility needs are being seriously considered.
A section of the Festival’s website will be dedicated to providing information for persons with disabilities. This will include the standards defined in this document related to:
paths of travel
accessible venue seating
food services and eating areas
soliciting feedback from persons with disabilities to determine if their accessibility needs had been met.
Obtaining Feedback on The Festival’s Accessibility Features
The Festival will collect feedback on accessibility before, during, and after the festival.
A part of the annual Volunteer Orientation Meeting will be dedicated to identifying accessibility needs. Two surveys will be conducted annually following the Festival: one focused on feedback from all volunteers, and the other focused on feedback from the Festival’s team leaders and Festival management.
During the Festival the volunteer dedicated to Festival’s accessibility features will interview patrons with disabilities to learn if their accessibility needs are being met. Responses will be documented and submitted to the Volunteer Coordinator. If their needs are not being met then the volunteer will ask how they could be met.
During the Festival the volunteers at the Volunteer Welcome Sign-in Tent will document information from patrons with disabilities who provided feedback and will submit this information to the Volunteer Coordinator.
The Volunteer Coordinator will assemble all feedback from meetings, surveys, interviews, the website and unsolicited feedback and provide this information to the Board of Directors. The Board will review and action all feedback annually.
Notice of Temporary Disruption
In the event that circumstances or conditions arise the temporarily disrupt services or facilities essential to persons with disabilities notice will be given by posting the information at the entrances to the Festival Grounds.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05a11
Guide to Accessible Festivals & Outdoor Events http://www.festivalsandeventsontario.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Festivals-and-Events-Guide-EN.pdf