Though accessibility guidelines exist in Alberta with the intention of ensuring that individuals experiencing vision, hearing, communication, mobility, or cognition impairments can make their way through the public sphere with total independence and dignity, glitches in the system still exist — loopholes that allow problematic infrastructure to be designed and executed, causing mobility issues of a different sort for those who depend on accessible design to make their lives easier. The Calgary Journal caught up with a few of these individuals to gain an insider perspective on just how accessible our city really is.

In a new series on barrier-free design, Access Denied, Journal reporter Michaela Ritchie spoke with Glen Scott, Carla Shibley, and Sarah Harrower, three Calgarians who each live with a different mobility issue. In their day-to-day routines, all three say that they encounter flawed infrastructure or management of public spaces that makes their travel from place to place more difficult than it should be, and certainly more difficult than their impairments already make it. What accessibility concerns do they share, and perhaps more importantly, do potential solutions exist to one day eliminate these troubles? Click below to find out.

Mobility-graphic FINAL1Click here for an in-depth look at the day-to-day tasks that become problematic for individuals like Carla, Glen, and Sarah. Graphic by Hannah Willinger.

Reporter’s Note: In the interest of transparency, it should be noted that Sarah Harrower, who has been interviewed for this project, is a student of the Mount Royal University Journalism program. At the time of publishing, she is a reporter and editor for the Calgary Journal, and a colleague of reporter Michaela Ritchie.

Editor: Hannah Willinger |

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