Exploring an Inclusive Toronto!
Exploring the community is one of the best parts about living in Toronto! For many people, going to a movie, show, or museum is a luxury that is often undervalued. For families with children with special needs, outings like this can appear impossible. From the added financial strain of ensuring their child is adequately supported, to managing the sensory and physical demands of an environment, families can struggle finding the best community options.
BUT, with more and more organizations and agencies offering inclusive services and events, it is making it easier for families to enjoy what their community has to offer. From discounted tickets to added supports, communities across the GTA have opened their doors to help provide accessible options for families.
As an OT, I strive to ensure that my clients have an equal opportunity to participate in the things they value most in their communities.
Here are a few of my favourite organizations in Toronto that have worked to make their services inclusive!
Cineplex (Odeon, Galaxy, Famous Players, SilverCity, Colossus, Coliseum): At select theatres, you can find “Sensory Friendly” screenings of the latest releases. These screenings provided an opportunity to watch in a more easy-going environment that is well lit and quieter than a typical performance.
Rainbow Cinemas: From personal experience, Rainbow Cinema is a wonderful place to go to watch a movie! They provide private screenings for birthday parties and events that help make the movie watching experience a little less intimidating. Their staff is extremely accommodating and they go out of their way to make things as comfortable for their viewers as possible.
Art Gallery of Ontario The AGO welcomes visitors of all abilities to experience their collections in an inclusive environment. The AGO offers Family Sundays where families can engage in interactive and innovative activities that are inspired by current exhibitions and collections.
Casa Loma: Discover the historic side of Toronto! Guests can wander the castle and grounds on their own accord, making it an easy “go with the flow” destination. Casa Loma allows support personnel to be admitted free of charge with the purchase of one regular admission ticket.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada: The Aquarium allows for guests to set their own pace, making it easier to explore the areas that interest them the most. With lots of interactive stations throughout the museum, it is great for children who are “hands-on”! Admission is free for support personnel accompanying an individual with special needs.
Toronto Zoo: Explore one of the largest zoos in the world! Whether it is strolling from exhibit to exhibit or catching an interactive wildlife show, there are a wide range of options to meet everyone’s needs. The Toronto Zoo offers 50% off admission for people with disabilities and one complimentary admission for support personnel.
Want to find out more about inclusive community outings in the GTA?
Check out the The Access 2 Entertainment Card!
Since 2004, the Easter Seals initiative have partnered with hundreds of venues and attractions. The goal of the card is to offering more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in community activities. The card allows individuals with a disabilities to receive either free admission or significant discounts for their support person at various theatres and attractions across Canada. For more information visit: http://www.access2card.ca.