CALGARY – The City of Calgary has officially opened a designated service animal relief area outside the west entry doors of The Municipal Complex. This site is a comfort area for service animals who support people with physical, vision or other mobility challenges.
“Access to facilities such as the designated service dog relief area helps ensure Calgarians with disabilities have inclusive access to City services, programs and facilities,” said City Safety Codes Officier Patrick Sweet. “This initiative is important to our ongoing commitment to meet the diverse needs of our citizens.”
This designated area supports The City’s ongoing commitment to making the Municipal Complex accessible to all Calgarians.
“For Calgarians who are blind or partially sighted and use a guide dog, having a safe and accessible area to relieve their dogs is essential,” said Victoria Nolan, head of stakeholder relations and community engagement for CNIB Guide Dogs. “This allows guide dog handlers to fully participate in their community. We want to thank The City of Calgary for being a leader in accessibility through this initiative.”
Cal Schuler, a Diversity and Accessibility Consultant with Calgary Alternative Employment Services has had a service dog for 20 years.
“For those of us with service and guide dogs, a reduction in greenspace has added to the increased planning for relief area opportunities for our animals,” said Schuler.
The service dog relief area will be maintained on an on-going basis in accordance with facility maintenance for all civic buildings and properties owned and operated by The City of Calgary. A water source is located nearby to facilitate the cleaning of the area by building staff. Waste receptacles have been adjacent to the designated area for the hygienic disposal of waste and waste disposal bags are the responsibility of the individual dog handler.
The designated area is 13.4 sq. m and provides a hard surface area with a turning radius of 1500 mm and 2 smaller areas comprised of bark mulch. This ensure users can turn in a wheelchair or allow a service dog to encircle its handler as per The City’s Access Design Standards. Tactile signage is provided to identify the designated service animal relief area. Signage includes braille which complies with Access Design Standards.
For more information about The City’s Access Design Standards, please visit calgary.ca.