Hello Pamela and the entire Hard Knox Team!

A group of friends and I had the pleasure of visiting your establishment this past Friday.  We had a great time and made some lasting memories.

The reason for this email is to commend you on creating an easily accessible space for your guests.  I have supported adults with developmental disabilities for almost five years.  Many of the individuals I have supported require the use of a wheelchair for mobility.  While legislation requires public business to be wheelchair accessible, the truth is, they do not take into account the size of a person’s chair or necessary level of support. Places like Tim Hortons set tables close to one another to maximize the level of guests that can sit down and have a coffee.  It’s a tight squeeze when you’re supporting someone in a wheelchair.  Also, when tables are set this close to one another, other guests continuously bump into the person’s wheelchair.  And you’d be surprised at the amount of people that do not apologize for bumping into that person’s wheelchair.

I was very impressed at how Hard Knox was designed to be.  Both the interior and exterior are completely level.  The sidewalk is wide enough that it could be shared by a person in a large wheelchair and another person walking by.  The same is true about the pathway inside the establishment.  There is plenty of room between the tables, making them truly accessible.  And don’t get me started on the wheelchair accessible bathroom.  Very rarely do I come across an accessible washroom that provides the amount of space I need when supporting clients to use the washroom.  Wheelchairs come in different sizes, and most washrooms are not designed for larger chairs, nor do they take into consideration that there may be a second person in the washroom to assist someone.  I have struggled numerous times trying to find a place to lock a wheelchair, help a person stand up and walk backwards towards the toilet.  There was one time I was at a Walmart where the door to the accessible stall would not close because the wheelchair was too big for the stall.  In that case, I had to stand outside of the men’s room and stop anyone from going in in order to provide the person I was supporting with some privacy.  The accessible washroom at Hard Knox is huge compared to some of the washrooms I’ve come across.

I am so happy to support a business that is truly inclusive.  I know I will make the trip from Calgary a few more times this summer.  Thank you for the work you put into creating an accessible space.

I wish you the best of luck in your first year!

Renee Sak, DSW

Living Supports Services – Team Leader