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Check out some of the important work we've been doing.

Architectural or structural barriers can make it difficult or even impossible for people with disabilities to function.      

A person with mobility limitations faces  many  challenges. According to Statistics Canada the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability Reports Accessibility Findings  there are 6.2 million Canadians aged 15 and older who have a disability.

Sad girl sitting in a window sil thinking about the beach.

Did You


Parliament adopted the Accessible Canada Act in 2019 to remove and prevent barriers by 2040. The Act applies to the federal government and organizations regulated by the federal government.


  • Steps and curbs that block a person from entering a building or using a sidewalk.

  • Shopping aisles and parking spaces that are too narrow to accommodate people who use wheelchairs.

  • Lack of push buttons to allow automatic entry and exit.

  • Lack of  convenient public transportation.

  • Buildings without elevators or wheelchair ramps.

  • Inaccessible washrooms.

  • Fixed tables and seats in eating areas that are too narrow  to accommodate a person using a wheelchair or that prevent a person using a wheelchair from pulling under the table.

The purpose of Access Oceanside Association (AOA) is to bring awareness, inform and educate the community, including service agencies, businesses, organizations and the public at large about barriers faced by those with disabilities. These disabilities could be physical, visual, auditory or related to aging.


You can help make Oceanside as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Check out some of our past successes and on going efforts.

A bridge crossing at the lighthouse trill

Parks and Trails

Guided Hike

AOA has consulted with RDN on accessibility of the Lighthouse trail and the  Parksville to Coombs Rail Trail

Enjoying the Woods

AOA members try to visit and review a number of local trails each year, sending information on upgrades/repairs to relevant authorities.

Specialized gym equipment

Gym Equipment

Specialized gym equipment

AOA, in collaboration with Universal Access Qualicum Beach, raised funds to purchase a Bungee Mobility Trainer and other specialized exercise equipment for the Oceanside area.


Qualicum Beach has just completed a pilot program and is seeking grants to support on-going operation for an exercise program for individuals with disabilities called  BodyBrainFitness. AOA is involved in liaison with and letters of support for accessible/inclusive exercise opportunities for those with disabilities in the Oceanside area.

Bus ramp


Image by Brad Killen

Many parts of Oceanside are not served by transit, and currently HandiDart service is only available where regular transit goes.

Waiting at Bus Stop

AOA has been lobbying for Handi-Dart services, if not full transit, across the region, particularly in areas where housing costs are lower, and thus those with disabilities choose to live in (e.g., Errington, Coombs).

Couple Crossing the Street

Pedestrian Signals

Man in wheelchair

AOA convinced the City to lengthen crossing signals along Island Highway in the Parksville downtown core.

cross walk

AOA routinely sends reports regarding crossings in need of re-design, curb cuts, repair, traffic calming, etc.

Wheelchair Icon


Accessible door

AOA persuaded the City to install Braille signage on the public washrooms in Parksville City Hall.  AOA consulted with the Project lead regarding accessibility for Community Park re-design, including accessible washrooms.


AOA lobbies to have door operators installed both inside and outside washroom, so people with disabilities are not stranded inside.

Accessible Bathroom

Hotel  Equipment

Man on Walker

Life Support, a local durable medical equipment vendor, lends equipment to local hotels, when asked, to accommodate greater accessibility.

Physically challenged Driver

Assessment of hotel rooms and adaptive equipment is currently on-going across the area. Reports are provided to each participating hotel/motel.

mobi mat

Beach  Access

Woman in Wheelchair at Beach

Parksville is famed for, and prides itself on, its beach, but many people cannot access it.

Parksville Beach

Accessible beaches are those that have amenities such as ramps, specialized wheelchairs and mats  that make it possible for  disabled people and those who have limited mobility   enjoy the sun, and the sea.  We are working toward making beach access better. AOA is meeting with community partners to lobby for full beach and water access at Parksville Community Beach.

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