PEI Housing Support

This department provides Islanders with the support and services needed to become more independent. Partnered with the Community Housing Fund which was given nine million dollars to support islanders. They have put together many useful tools and programs to help islanders become comfortable in their homes.

The 2-1-1 service line is available 24/7 and can be reached by calling 211 on your phone, by emailing help@pe.211.ca or by searching pe.211.ca in your browser. It is a navigation service to direct you to the right department, whether you are the one with questions or are providing support to another individual.

There are many other services that have been set up to provide assistance based on several factors factors. For instance:

  • Seniors housing program: for those 60 years and older, or 55 years and older with a disability.
  • Family housing: for those under 60 for individuals, couples or families with dependents.

Structural improvements through PEI home renovation programs. All applicants must either own, have life interest or be living with family in the given home. Below are three grant supports that were put in place to assist individuals:

  • Disability grant: for those with a permanent disability who need renovations to accommodate their disability (medical verification may be needed).
  • Seniors home repair: essential renovations for seniors (heat, electric, plumbing or safety reasons).
  • Seniors safe at home: for seniors with physical disabilities and given if required to improve physical safety and access.

If you are in need of urgent or temporary housing support you can call The emergency housing line: at 1(833)-220-4722

Or visit https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/housing-0 for more information.

Accessing Our Downtown’s Accessibility

Good afternoon!

We spent the early afternoon touring our downtown streets to assess the accessibility of our local shops and restaurants. We noticed some excellent accommodations but also found barriers that could easily be fixed with a little thought.

We’ve listed some very accessible locations as well as a few of the more challenging ones. We did this to inform our clients by providing some examples of what shops and restaurants can do to make access easier for anyone with limited mobility.

We will first give credit where it is deserving, as there has been great work done to

The amazing addition added this year to Peakes Quay restaurant allows all individuals to enjoy the great food and the great views!
The new Peakes Quay gathering space came with the addition of a handful of accessible tables that allow individuals in wheelchairs to sit comfortably.
This is a perfect example of how an entrance can be made accessible to ensure all are welcomed.

There was definitely room for improvement in a few of the other establishments. We’ll show a few instances where accessibility was not considered. In many cases a few small adjustments could make the environments more inclusive.

This ramp was added to one of the shops of Peakes Quay. It’s well constructed with an appropriate slope, but not flush with the building itself making access difficult or impossible for wheelchair users.
An inexpensive ramp would make this entrance wheelchair accessible
This step is difficult or impossible for any person with mobility challenges.
The floating wharf is a location many enjoy in the summer, but the primary ramp is not accessible thanks to our tides. This secondary exit ramp could be made usable with mitigations to both of the ramp’s ends.

We’re happy to see the many improvements and accommodations that have been made so far. Business owners are taking the concerns of a varied population seriously and are working towards inclusion.

All individuals should be able to enjoy their time freely and comfortably.

Grant Support for Home and Car Accessibility Modifications

All Terrain Conversions - Wolfe Mobility | Accessible vehicles, Wheelchair  accessible vehicle, Wheelchair

Good afternoon everyone!

We thought we’d let you know that the Provincial Government has financial support available for you if you need modifications to your home or car to accommodate a physical disabilty.

Briefly – you may be eligible for up to ten thousand dollars every ten years to be put towards your home, and up to six thousand dollars every eight years.

If you are interested in more information you can click the accessibility supports link below.

Accessibility Support

Exploring the Ontree Accessible Zipline Course

Nova Scotia zipline course now available for wheelchair users | CBC News

Good Afternoon everyone! Today we will be discussing the very exciting opening of the Ontree accessible ziplining course!

Its owner, Juergen Weigelts, wished that he would eventually be able to open a zipline park that would be accessible for those in a wheelchair. Ten years after opening his park he has successfully achieved this goal. This thrilling park is located just outside of Windsor, Nova Scotia. With some adjustments to ensure the safety of all individuals this course is seen to have given the feeling of ‘flying through the trees’. It takes the obstacles that are faced in daily life and makes them fun!

If you are interested in more information or to book your reservation below I have attached their website link! If anyone has any questions or would be interested in attending a field trip later on in the summer please contact us at 902-393-0017.

https://www.ontreepark.com/

Exploring Our Island

A person in a beach wheelchair crosses the sand while silhouetted by the brillant sunset.

Good afternoon everyone! We decided it was the perfect time given the lift in restrictions to create a travel guide for Prince Edward Island. Whether you are coming from afar or are interested in getting out and experiencing our beautiful island. We have created a list of places to stay and things to do which are accessible, that we hope you will find useful!

Hotels

All have wheelchair accessible rooms with lowered beds and roll-in showers.

Things to Do

Our Explore PEI page rates restaurants and other amenities for accessibility.

“If Things Go Wrong”

It is important to prepare for anything when travelling, that is why we felt it would be very beneficial to put together a list of locations that you can go when in need of help. Whether that be with your wheelchair or if you are in need of emergency supplies. Below we have attached a list that can assist you with locations spread throughout the island!

Where to Get Your Wheelchair Fixed

Where to Buy Emergency Supplies

Check out this gorgeous accessible home by Brehaut Architecture in Murray Harbour, PEI

This Murray Harbour home was designed to be fully wheelchair accessible from the entrances, to the kitchen, the bathrooms, and even storage space. It is located on a private lot overlooking Murray Islands and was designed by Brehaut Architecture. From the outset, you can see the entrance is accessible with wide, ground-level doors, and the large windows were installed relatively low in height so that wheelchair users can enjoy the spectacular view.
Brehaut was able to use universal design principles to create a fully functional space without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
This dining table is the perfect height for a wheelchair user to be able to fit under comfortably.
The countertops in this very accessible kitchen were designed to be low enough for a wheelchair user to easily access so that prepping and cooking is not a problem, while still being a comfortable height for an able-bodied person to use while standing.
The oven and kitchen sink have a gap where a wheelchair user can slide under to use appliances.
There is slide-out shelving inside cupboards throughout the home to make it easier to access the items inside.
As well as being very spacious to allow for lots of maneuvering room, the bathroom has a mounted sink that allows a wheelchair user to sit under, and handlebars by the toilet for bathroom transfers.
When you walk into this home, you don’t think, “It’s obvious a person with a disability lives here,” you think, “Wow, what a beautiful and spacious home.” It’s a great example of how using universal design to create an accessible and inclusive space for everyone can be done in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and welcoming. Read more about universal design here.

Unable to return to work after spinal cord injury? A career counsellor can help explore your options

Alan Stanley considers himself lucky.

After he was paralyzed in a bicycle accident in 2015, he was able to start back to work as an IT professional while he was still in rehabilitation at QEH. 

There were mixed feelings involved, Stanley said.

“You just want something, anything, to feel normal again. So because I was able to continue with the job that I had, it did bring a sense of normalcy. At the same time, there was also the feeling that things aren’t quite the same,” he said. 

“It’s like that with most things once you get back to it – that’s work, that’s cooking, that’s recreation, that’s being with friends. There’s this feeling of relief that you’re still able to do it, but also realizing it’s not going to be exactly the same as it was.”

Stanley had worked as a blacksmith for many years, but made the switch to IT early enough that he already had an established career by the time he was injured, he said.

“I was lucky in a lot of respects, in that I had a job that did not require much modification. I could use the same desk, I could use the same equipment. I didn’t have to work anywhere, where accessibility was an issue.”

For many people with spinal cord injuries, that just isn’t the case.

That’s where employment counsellors like Mark Cameron come in.

Cameron provides no-cost career counselling services through the PEI Council for Persons with Disabilities. The process involves meeting with the individual to get a sense of their interests and passions, and having them fill out online assessments to determine what their transferrable skills and work values are.

Once that’s done, Cameron provides them with an idea of what industries they can set out to explore, he said.

“For some people that might mean returning to school. Other people, that might mean volunteering in the field. But it depends, for some people that might just mean working on their resume and developing their job search skills. It depends on the individual.”

Whatever they decide, Cameron encourages his clients to do their homework before jumping in, he said.

“I often see people going into a post-secondary program, because they think ‘oh, that looks great, that sounds good,’ and then they get into it and it’s not what they thought it would be. After X amount of weeks, they lose interest or it’s overwhelming and then they drop out. And that hurts their self esteem.”

Plenty of research can help clients avoid that, he said.

“That might involve going to speak to an instructor at Holland College or UPEI, talking to someone who works in that industry, possibly doing some job shadowing on-site if that’s a possibility.”

Although it might take longer for some people to accept that they can’t go back to work in their field, Cameron wants them to know there is hope, he said.

“The end goal is that they come to the realization that ‘you know what, maybe I can’t do that type of work anymore, but I also have some transferrable skills that I can take from those jobs into a new field.” 

You can contact an employment counsellor with the PEICOD Employment Services program in Charlottetown (902-892-9149 ext. 226/227); you can also contact an Employment Specialist in Summerside (902-436-9259) or Montague (902-838-5878) or at workcoord@peicod.pe.ca

The PEICOD Charlottetown office is open Mon-Thursday, 8:00-5:30; Montague office is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30 pm, and Summerside office is open from Monday-Thursday, 8:00-5:30.

Stepping up to the pump: New app helps mobility-challenged drivers refuel

Shell gas station employees are stepping up to the pump to help mobility-challenged patrons refuel after the company released their new fuelService app.

The app allows patrons to search for a location nearby and find a station that is available to help them refuel. The app then lets the station know when the patron has arrived, and provides the patron with an estimated wait time, after which the designated employee will exit the store to assist them.

Shell has locations across P.E.I. including Charlottetown, Belfast, Summerside, Borden and Cornwall. However, some locations may not show up under the “available now” tab in the app.

At the Capital Drive station in Cornwall, they’re still foggy on the details, said manager Cathy MacLeod.

“There’s usually just one person here,” she said.

“I don’t know how it’s going to work, but they’ll just have to call in and it gives us time to know that the person’s coming. Then we can try to get someone from the coffee shop to come over to the gas side, and then we run outside.”

You can download the fuelService app for Apple, Android or Windows here. Comment below to let us know what you think!

Is your business or venue accessible? This free accessibility audit can help you find out

Going out to eat at a restaurant or participate in an event can get a little more complicated for an individual whose mobility is impaired.

If there is a ramp, is it safe? Or is it too steep? Are the doors wide enough for a person in a wheelchair to enter? Is the terrain smooth? Is there an accessible washroom?

While people with disabilities have to ask themselves these questions regularly, able-bodied individuals may struggle to envision each step a business must take to make their space accessible.

That’s why Spinal Cord Injury PEI is now offering an Accessibility Audit service, free of charge. Contact us today and we will travel to your business or event site to help you develop your accessibility plan and apply for government funding.

Thank you for helping us create a more inclusive and accessible province.

City Cinema reopens, accessible seating available

City Cinema reopened on a limited basis on July 17, 2020, after shutting its doors due to COVID-19. The non-profit cultural hub is now playing Bohemian Rhapsody July 17-19 & July 23, and a special 15th anniversary showing of the Ballad of Jack and Rose from July 24-26, which was filmed in eastern P.E.I. Submitted photo by City Cinema.

City Cinema is open for business once again, and with fully accessible amenities, it may prove to be an excellent source of entertainment for the mobility impaired.

The non-profit cinema, now run by the Charlottetown Film Society, is equipped with two accessible building entrances and two reserved seats for patrons with mobility devices, which includes paired seating for a partner.

City Cinema is committed to providing an arts and culture hub that is inclusive to everyone in the community, said CFS president Carol Horne.

“We want to make sure everyone is able to come and see the excellent films we present at the cinema,” she said.

City Cinema reopened July 17th after shutting its doors due to COVID-19. The cinema is now playing Bohemian Rhapsody July 17-19 and July 23, and a special 15th anniversary showing of the Ballad of Jack and Rose from July 24-26, which was filmed in eastern P.E.I.

The business is open on a limited basis only, with reserved seating to allow for proper physical distancing in the theatre. They are also recommending the use of non-medical fabric masks for patrons visiting the facility, as well as contact-free payment methods.

Although there are financial concerns, City Cinema and the CFS are excited to be open again, even on a limited basis, said Horne.

“Since purchasing the cinema in March 2019 and operating it as a non-profit, we had been enjoying a very good year. Now with fewer weekly showings and many fewer seats we will have to be innovative on how to recover lost revenue,” she said.

Support local this weekend by purchasing your tickets here, then grab a bite to eat at Piatto Pizzeria, an accessible and delicious place to dine conveniently located around the corner from City Cinema.