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CAN Services

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Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods welcomes all persons wishing to help out with our worthy cause.

Contact Information:
Heather McCain

Click for a printable CAN membership form.

Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods Services

CAN presentationsCAN is funded through membership dues and our three core services:

CAN's Executive Director, Heather McCain, leads a team of consultants that perform our three services. For more information please contact us at

The following organizations and businesses are examples of those that have used the services of Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods:

TransLink, The Rick Hansen Foundation, Canadian Centre of Disability Studies, YVR, Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), Legacies 2010, BC Games, BC Disability Games, City of Burnaby, City of Vancouver, CitizenU, SPARC, TAO (Tetra Ability Opportunities), Picture This Film Festival.

The following are examples of conferences at which Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods has created and delivered Presentations:

Walk21, Canadian Urban Transit Association Connecting Communities Youth Summit, ProMOTION Plus Women in Sport Leadership, SPARC Access Awareness Day, UN World Urban Forum.


Heather McCain is a leading expert in the area of accessibility and inclusion. Having worked with her on a number of projects, Heather has shown practical insights that all organizations should be made aware. People with disabilities and seniors are the most significant demographic today and are only on the rise. If you are providing products or services to this population, you better know your stuff. Heather is the one to guide you along the way. She presents it a way that makes it easy for anyone to understand. I can't recommend Heather highly enough. 

Mike Prescott,
CEO, everyoneincluded (former Manager, Accessible Tourism at 2010 Legacies Now, Project Manager Let's Play Inclusive Physical Activity for Kids with Disabilities)


Heather has considerable knowledge of accessibility issues, particularly as they relate to public transit, and is able to communicate about these to audiences of various levels of expertise. Her understanding of these issues at every phase of a project from design to implementation and maintenance allow her to create presentations that are relevant to a wide range of planning, design and engineering work.

In addition to having a strong knowledge base, Heather is able to adapt this knowledge to a clients' needs. In developing a presentation for the 2011 CUTA Youth Summit on Sustainable Transportation, Heather worked thoughtfully with us to understand the conference's audience and themes. This resulted in a presentation that offered many concrete examples that were relevant to the conference delegates' interests. Many delegates reported Heather's presentation to be a highlight of the conference for them and we received compliments on her presentation from several other speakers.

Michelle Babiuk
Planner, TransLink

Heather incorporated many interactive activities and kept her presentation flowing. In a unique way the activities enabled audience members to physically understand what someone with a disability may experience in various situations. Heather is a very enthusiastic presenter and her presentation was informative and easy for audience members to understand.

As a woman with cerebral palsy, I appreciate that Heather has both personal and professional experience in this field. Heather’s focus on the use of language to discuss the person before the disability was empowering. When I attended Heather’s presentation I felt a sense of like-mindedness. She said a lot of things that I’ve wanted to say but did it in a way that reached a broader audience effectively.

When Heather began talking about adaptive equipment I became excited as I was not aware of most of the equipment currently out there.

As a person with a social work degree this presentation will assist me in sharing what I learned with others in my community.

Lisa Coriale BSW
Member of Kamloops Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities

Heather McCain's 'Disability Awareness' seminar has been featured in our yearly training calendar for the past two years with great success. Staff have commented that through this workshop they gained a "better understanding of acceptable language" surrounding disabilities and were grateful for the "comfortable atmosphere" that Heather's facilitation style creates.  The interactive activities that Heather has designed have helped to expand awareness and widen perspectives for many staff. I highly recommend Heather's 'Disability Awareness' seminar for your organization.  

Jordan Brewer
HR Advisor, Learning & Organizational Development
City of Burnaby

Heather has worked with TransLink over the past five years as a community advocate for accessibility throughout the Metro Vancouver transportation system. She is knowledgeable of disability issues and potential solutions; she is an effective speaker who is able to communicate well with her audience. Heather is not only thorough and well prepared, but also easy to work with and always willing to take the time to discuss any concerns and responds to any audience questions. I feel confident in recommending Heather as a speaker and presenter.

Peter Hill
Manager, Access Transit

Heather has an incredible ability to help those of us who live without a disability to understand what life is like when you do. As Chair of Athletes with Disabilities at the 2010 Disability Games held in Maple Ridge, Heather's roles were to ensure that all venues were accessible, that all volunteers were comfortable in their respective roles, and that the volunteers in communications were using respectful language. Her knowledge and training ability were invaluable.

Heather's expertise was counted on by all volunteers as well as the athletes. She created a list of terms containing appropriate, respectful language for use in conversations with and about people living with a disability. The most important lesson learned was to always see the person before any disability and accept everyone for the abilities they have. Her sense of humour put everyone at ease instantly. Heather left a lasting impression on all of us. I still hear today from people that they'll never forget the protocols that they learned from Heather.

Heather was a wonderful Chair who was always available to answer questions, assess a particular place or situation and provide assistance to us all – always with the view that it was "all about the athletes"

Kathy Marshall
Board of Education School Trustee (School District No. 42)


We were looking for an affordable medium to promote awareness and education to a large group of volunteers about athletes with a disability that come to the Games. We approached Heather McCain with Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods to see if she could help us. Heather came on board with great ideas and we set up to film two informational videos.
Working with Heather was great; she is a professional and very well prepared. The popularity and wide spread use of the videos speak to her ease of getting the point across in a timely manner.

Jane Samletzki
Former Executive Director of BC Disability Games Society

Tetra volunteers make assistive devices for people with disabilities.  This involves close personal contact at times and extensive dialogue.  Most people, like myself, feel very uncomfortable in this situation. I found Heather's Disability Awareness Training Videos a great help in this regard.  Her straightforward instructions and suggestions greatly increased the ease with which I meet new clients and, I'm sure, helps the clients feel at ease also.  I recommend Heather's videos to all new Tetra volunteers with whom I work and have had positive feedback from all of them.

Brian Johnson
Tetra Volunteer

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