What We Do
Meaningful Access Consulting is a universal design and accessibility consulting firm working with developers, designers and city planners to create spaces that include all members of the community.
Design & Development
We work with your design and development team to bring a universal design lens to projects large and small.
We review your space and provide a simple report with recommendations and universal design insights.
We support community engagement and activation initiatives ensuring that all community members' insights can be part of the conversation.
Meet the Team
Universal Design and Accessibility Consultant
Karin is an RHFAC Professional and Accessibility & Universal Design Consultant with a passion for beautiful, functional design. She has a deep understanding that spaces and events in our communities should be enjoyed by everyone, of all abilities. She has an expertise in working with municipalities and community spaces.
Karin likes to say that she is part engineer and part occupational therapist. She has a natural affinity for adapting an environment and turning what some see as complex access problems, into thoughtful barrier-free solutions.
Accessibility Consultant and Facilitator
Marco Pasqua is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Accessibility Consultant and Inspirational Speaker. He brings a wealth of knowledge in the area of diversity and inclusion and a lifetime of lived experience as a person with a disability and wheelchair-user. He is a designated Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Professional and has worked alongside some of the greatest change-makers in the areas of Accessibility and Inclusion, including the Rick Hansen Foundation, the CSA Group and AccessibleEmployers.ca consulting with municipalities & business leaders on inclusive employment strategies.
Marco has also been involved with a number of organizations as a board member & spokesperson, helping to spread advocacy for persons with disabilities across Canada.
As the youngest member of our team, Stella brings a unique perspective, proving that you are never too young to start on your journey of educating others on making our communities accessible for everyone. Stella can often be seen in her stroller taking notes or running over to be the first person to press the automatic door button, highlighting the importance of getting inside the places we live, work, play or learn at any age or ability.
Why Meaningful Access?
Meaningful Access is more than accessibility, it’s thoughtful universal design to include everyone in the spaces where we live, work, play and learn.
Our work follows the best practices of the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Program, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their ability or disability can participate meaningfully in community life, in every role, be it visitor, staff, participant, coach or business leader.
Several years ago, my husband, who uses a wheelchair, and I were headed to a work party in downtown Vancouver. We were assured the venue was accessible so we got dressed in our holiday best and joined our friends for an evening on the town. We arrived at the venue and we were told the ramp was around the back, in the alley, next to the dumpster, where we would have to wait (in the rain) for someone to let us in, effectively ruining the cutest shoes I owned. We waited for ten minutes to be finally let in, followed the server down a dodgy hallway, down a freight elevator, through another venue, finally into our destination. Our friends wondered what had taken us so long. And, once we got there, my husband couldn’t access the washroom, which was upstairs or navigate in the tightly packed restaurant, so he was basically stuck at the table we chose to sit for the evening.
Universal Design is more than getting in the building, it's about creating an equitable experience for everyone. That's Meaningful Access.
Past Project Highlights
Clayton Community Centre, North Surrey Sports and Ice Complex (NSSIC)
Our team consulted with the City of Surrey, earning both facilities to earn a RHFAC Gold designation (pending for Clayton Community Centre). NSSIC is the first arena in North America to earn this designation and one of the only facilities to be para-ice hockey tournament ready. We supported with NSSIC’s opening ceremonies event, Celebrity Para-Ice Hockey Game and All-Abilities Skate, as well as provided consultation on the activation of a sensory friendly space.
Wesgroup Brewery District Transit Plaza
We are supporting the design of the Wesgroup Brewery District Transit Plaza to create a universally accessible transit plaza. The project involves providing accessibility best practices for the transit plaza design as well as access to Royal Columbia Hospital via the SRW along Keary Street. The transit plaza will create a unique place for the public to gather with strong historical connections that welcomes all.
Easter Seals House & Camp Shawnigan
We provided an accessibility assessment and support with grant-writing to finance the proposed upgrades. The assessment supported the organization in receiving over $81,000 from the Enabling Accessibility Grant to improve their accessibility and support the creation of their universally designed outdoor garden project. Ongoing support is provided to the organization on the renewal and redevelopment of Camp Shawnigan.
Heritage Gateway Project and Art Walk
We reviewed the Fleetwood Heritage Gateway Project Proposal and the Heritage Art Walk & Road Markets Historic Walking Tour for All Ages as prepared by the Fleetwood Community Associations and Fleetwood Business Improvement Association. In addition to built environment recommendations, we incorporated accessibility into the storytelling of the site’s history and the creation of the walking tour.
Happy Cities & The City of New West: Agnes Greenway, Uptown & Streets for People
We assessed the walking tour routes and created a visual story and public accessibility overview documents. The visual story support individuals with autism, or who have other sensory or learning disabilities. Accessibility recommendations were provided for activations and public engagement activities as well as an accessibility and disability awareness training workshop.