Access Awareness

Poster style image with text: Access Awareness Week (AAW) May 28 - June 3 Reflection and Renewal - 35 Years of Access Awareness: The Promise of Progress. Supporting organization logos along the bottom.

Access Awareness Week

Halifax Regional Municipality is a proud supporter this year’s Access Awareness Week taking place from May 28 to June 3, 2023.

Read our recently approved Accessibility Strategy (link opens a PDF, the Strategy begins on page 5).

The Access Awareness Week logo contains a black circle that is joined together by the words "Nova Scotia." Inside the circle, there are two human-like figures that are holding a torch above together above their heads. One of the figures is seated in a wheelchair.

What is Access Awareness Week (AAW)?

AAW provides an opportunity to raise awareness and engage Nova Scotians on issues around access and inclusion.

Inclusivity isn’t just about eliminating physical barriers; it’s also about challenging societal attitudes. While changing a municipal by-law or enforcing the UN Convention may remove physical barriers, it is by fostering attitudes of acceptance and responsibility that we can create a truly inclusive environment.

The AAW Committee is committed to achieving two distinct goals during the Week:

  • The first is to bring issues of access to the attention of the public and the policymakers. Change can grow from the bottom up or it can be implemented from the top down. PAANS wants both to happen - with the movements meeting somewhere in between.
  • The second is to celebrate what has happened to increase accessibility and the potential of things to come. Formally, we achieve this with the presentation of the Mel Hebb Hourglass Action Awards and the PAANS scholarships. Informally, we attempt to integrate this attitude into our approach to all things. 

In partnership with our community partners and Halifax Public Libraries, we are pleased to present content in recognition and celebration of Access Awareness Week 2022. Learn more

Mayor Mike Savage Reads the Access Awareness Week Proclamation
A newspaper clipping of Rick Hansen, wheeling towards the camera. Caption reads: Nova Scotia organizers are preparing for the Sept. 10 arrival of globe-touring athlete Rick Hansen. Hansen will travel an estimated 24,900 miles through 33 countries on his Man in Motion World Tour.

Rick Hansen planned to travel an est. 24,900 mi through 33 countries on his Man in Motion World Tour


History of Access Awareness Week 

Since 1987, following Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour, the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities (the League), through the Partnership for Access Awareness Nova Scotia (PAANS), has been leading Access Awareness Week (AAW) in the province. AAW originated as an extension of a national campaign known as National AccessAbility Week. It began and remains a grassroots community initiative that has grown and evolved through the dedication and commitment of organizations such as the League, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Easter Seals, ReachAbility, Canadian Paraplegic Association and the Halifax Regional Municipality.


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