The Access10 program sees that 10% of every IZ purchase goes to StopGap, an organization with a mission the same as ours - to make the world a more accessible place and to create conversations around accessibility. We all know what a difference having proper access to these spaces can make, but to understand the benefits of the ramps from the other side of things, we had a chat with Jordan Paul, the owner of Opticianado, a business that's been part of the Stop Gap community for as long as it's been around.
Opticianado, a super cool space in The Junction, Toronto, looks almost more like a coffee shop or a bar than it does an optometrists. It opened four and a half years ago, around the same time that Luke Anderson was bringing his Stop Gap project to the area. He says that by the time he met Luke, the entire community was already buzzing about the Colored Ramp project.
"We've had our ramp almost as long as we've been a store and it's part of our daily routine. Rain, hail, snow or shine, we put it out when we open the shop and we bring it in at the end of the day. It's stood up to time even better than a sandwich board would"
While the step into Opticianado from the street is not a large one, at just two and a half inches, it is still enough to be a needless barrier between Jordan and potential customers. "As soon as I heard about Stop Gap, I thought it was a great idea. The process of getting a Ramp was super easy, they came and measured, and then it was done. It's such a simple solution, not just for wheelchair users, but for strollers, deliveries on dollys. It's a safe, quick accessibility option for everyone. Even the bright color makes it a talking point and attracts attention."
"The impact has been very positive. I can't think of a reason not to have it" Jordan concludes.
Opticianado are one of 800+ businesses in North America that have already taken the opportunity to become part of the inclusive movement and make their space and services an option for everyone in their community.
You can find them at @Opticianado or opticianado.com
For more information on Access10, see: izcollection.com/pages/access10
To find out more about StopGap, visit: stopgap.ca/