About BC Ferries

Accessibility Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details
Committee: Accessibility Advisory Committee
Date: April 17, 2007
Location: Chateau Victoria Hotel, 642 Burdett St., Victoria, BC
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Attendees, Public Interest Representatives:
Pat Danforth, Employment Coordinator
Disability Resource Centre, Victoria, Co Chair

Linda Bartram, Past President, Victoria Chapter
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
Ernie Stigant, MS Society
Hugh Mitchell, Hard of Hearing Association
Jane Sheaff, Seniors Helping Seniors
Vivian Garcia, BC Paraplegic Association

Attendees, BC Ferries:
Pat Morris, Manager, Operational Planning, Co Chair

Bruce Paterson, Fleet Technical Director
Gregg Clackson, Terminal Director, Swartz Bay
Roberta Chartier, Manager Customer Care
Barbara Britton-Wilson, Director, Catering Services
Jeff Davidson, Director, Retail Services
Bill McCormick, Customer Relations Officer
Gary Leitch, Manager, Stakeholder Relations and Consultation

Dawn Day, CNIB
Mary Kay Kennedy, CNIB
Valerie Thoem, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities

1. Introductions: New members of the committee, Vivian Garcia of the BC Paraplegic Association, and Bill McCormick, BC Ferries, were welcomed.

2. Public co-chair: Pat Danforth was confirmed at Co-Chair of the committee with Patrick Morris of BC Ferries.

3. Universally acceptable ID card to replace BCF card: Roberta Chartier explained the BCF card which is currently in place, and the abuse of this card which is widespread. There is both a financial issue here in that some people are traveling at half fare who should not be, and a service issue in that people without disabilities are claiming services (e.g. special parking on the car deck) which are then not available to those with a legitimate need.

BC Ferries would like to replace its card with cards issued by others with greater rigor. A number of ideas were discussed including the creation of a “Handi Pass” which would be acceptable to a variety of agencies, especially transportation companies such as BC Ferries and BC Transit.

Action: Roberta Chartier will work with BC Transit (Mike Davis) to create a Handi Pass proposal for consideration of the committee.

4. BC Ferries’ Policies & Procedures Revision – Transporting Disabled Persons
Pat Morris explained the Human Rights complaint which led to the negotiated revision of the policy. The revised temporary policy was reviewed and discussed. As a general observation, it was suggested by several members that BC Ferries seek to emulate airline policy and procedures for accommodating disabled passengers. Several suggestions were made for improvements to the draft:

  • Change wording to indicate that walk on passengers who have not given 48 hours notice will still be given every consideration by BC Ferries; add information regarding safety; confirm there is a feed back loop to customers who have identified some accommodation needs so the customer knows their needs are being taken care of.

Action: BC Ferries to prepare a draft article for inclusion in various stakeholder newsletters explaining the policy and procedures.
Action: BC Ferries to look at complaint process to determine if the process can be adapted to identify accessibility issues.

5. Investment policy for BC Ferries
Gary Leitch and Bruce Paterson presented a draft paper outlining proposed investment criteria for BC Ferries. The paper deals with criteria for ships more completely than it does for terminals. Bruce noted that the standard economic or business criteria were not necessarily appropriate to investment decisions involving service to disabled customers. These investment decisions are driven by customer relations and satisfaction requirements and policy. The draft paper is attached to these minutes.
It was noted that more work needs to be done to inventory the services and facilities available at the various BC Ferries’ terminals before a more comprehensive policy on investments at terminals could be recommended.

Action: Committee members are to forward their comments to BC Ferries before the end of June.
The paper will then be revised and presented to BC Ferries’ management for approval.

6. Video-Tel Project
The training film developed by Video Tel was viewed by the committee. It was assessed as being a useful addition to the stock of training materials available. BC Ferries will determine if it wishes to purchase the product to use in its own training. Vivian Garcia recommended that BC Ferries contact Translink (Jim Dawe, Accessible Transportation Committee Chairperson) to get a copy of their HandiDART Driver Training video.

7. Courtesy Signage of Accessible Facilities
BC Ferries asked committee members to recommend appropriate language to use to advise the public that certain facilities are intended for the exclusive use of passengers who actually need them.

Action: Committee members to send appropriate wording to BC Ferries before the end of June.

8. Next meeting: TBD

9. Meeting adjourned:
12:05 p.m.