Influencing the Shift 2.0 Virtual Conference

The Northern Inclusion and Access Committee is hosting a virtual conference called Influencing the Shift 2.0 throughout the month of October 2020. The Northern Inclusion Access Committee was developed by partners within the Northern Region of Nova Scotia who identified a gap in service delivery within the sport and recreation sector when providing opportunities for persons living with a disability. Influencing the Shift: Inclusive Sport & Recreation Summit occurred in 2019 and was delivered to a sport and recreation audience (municipality, non-profit, and/or for profit). Influencing the Shift 2.0 has been developed to continue the conversation of inclusion in the sport and recreation sector, with this year’s webinar series addressing the topic of inclusion and access within built environments.

The Importance of Accessibility in the Built Environment
October 1st, 2020
To open our conference we invite you to join us for a conversation about why accessibility and the built environment is important to consider in Nova Scotia within the Sport and Recreation Sector. Highlighting the Accessibility Act of Nova Scotia, along with some key considerations when making change within the built environment of your organization.

Hannah Wood, Fulcrum Accessibility Consulting

Gerry Post, Inaugural Executive Director of the NS Accessibility Directorate, now retired
Caroline Read Kendall, Senior Policy Analyst, Accessibility Directorate, Department of Justice – ‎Government of Nova Scotia
Dawn Stegan, ‎Interim Executive Director, Accessibility Directorate, Department of Justice – ‎Government of Nova Scotia
NS Accessibility Directorate Contact:

Speakers Bios here


Trails, Beaches and Parks
October 6th, 2020
Getting outside & being active is more important than ever. Listen to our panelists share their experiences about making Sport Fields, Parks, Trails and Beaches accessible. 

You’ll hear how a small NS town made their field of dreams a reality; how an inter-abled couple are inspiring us all to explore this beautiful (and increasingly more accessible) province.

Kevin Penny, Accessibleadventurers
YouTube Videos:

Mark Evans & David Blair, Lands and Forestry
Email address:
Facebook: ‘Nova Scotia Provincial Parks’
Instagram: ‘ns_parks’

Randy Crouse, Challenger Baseball Canada National Coordinator, Nova Scotia Challenger Baseball Coordinator, Antigonish Challenger Baseball Coordinator
Speakers Bios here


Arenas, Community Halls and Pools
October 8th, 2020
Understanding that access can be a barrier to recreation facilities we will hear from our panelists on what they did to make their environment as accessible as possible for persons of all abilities, and some learning moments from their experiences.

Honourable Kevin Murphy, MLA for Eastern Shore & Speaker of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly
Michelle Young, Recreation Coordinator Town of Pictou
Bill Cruickshank, General Manager, RBC/BMO Centres
Speaker Bios here


Arts and Cultural Built Environment
October 13th, 2020
Having the opportunity to engage within the arts and cultural experience is something that everybody should have access to. Our panelists will talk about the social and physical environments of theatres, museums, sport, and virtual art platforms to promote accessible shared spaces.

Troy Greencorn, Creative Director of the deCoste Performing Arts Centre, Artistic Director of the Stan Rogers Folk Festival
Mike Hirschbach, Halifax Circus School, Outreach Programs of Circus Circle
Brendon Smithson, Executive Director, Games Delivery, 2020 North American Indigenous Games
Serene Porter, 2020 North American Indigenous Games
Speakers Bios here


Courts, Playgrounds and Sport Fields
October 15th, 2020
Sport brings people together, and no one should feel like the environment is a barrier to their participation. Our panelists will focus on the physical environments of courts, playgrounds and sport fields to promote accessibility for persons of all abilities.

Julie Martin, Chair of Let Abilities Work Partnership Society
Kelly Arbour, Associate Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto and with the Active Living Alliance


Meaningful accessibility (going above and beyond what is “required”)
October 20th, 2020
What’s meaningful accessibility? It’s when someone goes the extra mile to ensure that their space is more than just the basics of accessibility, it’s when creativity and collaboration are used to create a meaningful experience. Our panelists will showcase how they went above-and-beyond the basics to making a space accessible for everybody.

David Legg, Professor, Department of Physical and Health, Mount Royal University
Mathieu Stever, Manager/Gérant Para NB – Sport & Recreation/Para NB – Sport et loisirs c/o
Hilary Gibson, Manager of Accessibility Services, NSCC
Speaker Bios here


Welcoming Environments and Experiences
October 22nd, 2020
This panel discussion will focus on the aspects of creating welcoming environments to promote inclusive and accessible recreation and sport spaces and the impact this has on the participants experience.

Stuart McReynolds, President & CEO of Abilities Centre
Ryan Shay, Advocate and Public Speaker, trained by the Rick Hansen Accessibility Certification
Sarah Moore, Researcher, Scholar, Professor at Dalhousie University
Speaker Bios here


Closing Keynote
October 27th, 2020
After learning about all the different ways to address the built environment within different sport or recreation contexts it’s time to get some tools in your toolkit to tackle your own accessibility project ideas!  

Wayne Matheson, ACCESS-Ability, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage
Wayne’s PowerPoint Presentation 
Kathy Siddall, Glooscap Curling