GUELPH POLITICAST #342 – A Conversation About Systemic Ableism

There was a Guelph man named Matthew Wozenilek who passed away in 2016. He was well-known for his “Stop Ableism” campaign, a one-man effort to make Guelph more accessible one fight at a time, including a case against Elections Canada at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The awareness raised did make people more mindful of barriers to physical accessibility. So we all lived happily ever after, right?

This week we’re joined by Lorelei Root and Mike Greer, who are the chair and vice-chair of the City of Guelph’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. It’s election time here in Guelph, and while accessibility probably doesn’t make the Top 5 election issues that are concerning to the general public, it probably should be, and this is the podcast that’s going to explain to you why.

Leading up to this election, we’ve seen the limits of accessibility at city council. Consider the lobbying done by the AAC to allow Guelph’s disabled community to be able to vote on their terms in this municipal election, or the recent debate about excluding straws from the single-use plastic ban. Those are two obvious recent examples of issues that matter to people with disabilities, but there’s so much more to consider, and it all still stems from a lack of awareness. Can we do better?

Greer and Root will talk all about that on this week’s podcast. They will also discuss the complex series of barriers that need to be broken down, and why the path to accessibility needs to mean more than ticking off boxes on a checklist. They will also talk about the effectiveness of the AAC when it comes to changing minds at city hall, and whether or not that might be changing. They will also talk about making accessibility the minimum standard, and the one thing they wish everyone knew about accessibility issues here in Guelph.

Let’s talk about rethinking accessibility in this episode of the Guelph Politicast!

You can follow  Lorelei Root and Mike Greer on Twitter at @Squarest_Root and @Ol_Mike13, and you can learn more about the Accessibility Advisory Committee at the City’s website. Reminder, early voting starts this weekend, and you can find all the information on how and when at

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple, StitcherGoogle, TuneIn and Spotify .

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

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