To implement recommendations by the Board of Directors of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), the annual summer attraction will now be charging persons with disabilities.
According to the CNE, the exhibition is working to improve accessibility at the massive fair, and by implementing the recommendations, it will work torwards ensuring that guests and members are treated “fairly and equitably.”
“The CNE is announcing a range of new accessibility and inclusivity initiatives that reflect best practices across our city and province,” said Virginia Ludy, CNE CEO in a press release. “We thank the Advisory Council for their recommendations. With their support we will position the CNE as a leader in accessibility and inclusivity.”
Starting in 2018, under the new admissions policy, those with disabilities with an Access 2 Card or equivalent will receive a 50% discount on their admission and Access 2 members will receive free admission for their support person. Additionally, the CNE said it will distribute 20,000 free admissions through partner organizations next year “to better address affordability issues across all communities.”
“This process has been about improving the overall culture of the CNE as it relates to accessibility and inclusion,” said Bob Stark, Chair of the Advisory Council on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. “The intent of our recommendations is a more inclusive CNE for all and we believe the CNE is well on its way to achieving that objective.”
Last year, the CNE convened an independent Advisory Council made up of representatives of the disability community to review practices related to accessibility and inclusivity, both at the fair and more widely at an organizational level, according to the press release. After consultations, the Council submitted its recommendations to the CNE with unanimous support.
In 2016, the CNE introduced gender-neutral washrooms for the first time, a move welcomed by many Torontonians last summer.