PRESS ROOMLevel Playing Field in the News
Level Playing Field Founder Darby Lee Young appointed to Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities
July 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CALGARY, Alta. – Level Playing Field is thrilled to announce that our owner, founder and principal accessibility strategist Darby Lee Young has been named to the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, which serves as an advisory board for the Government of Alberta.
The new Premier’s Council was approved by the provincial government June 28, with Young named alongside 13 other members, including chair Sheila Serup. Each member is set to serve a three-year term on council, through to June 30, 2020.
“I’m absolutely honoured to join such an important, inspirational and influential team,” Young said.
“The Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities makes recommendations to the provincial government on how Alberta can offer full opportunity and equal participation for people of all abilities and disabilities, which aligns perfectly with Level Playing Field’s own goals of creating accessible places and spaces for all,” she said. “I can’t wait for work on this advisory council to get started.”
For more information on Level Playing Field, please visit levelplayingfield.ca. Follow Level Playing Field on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our latest projects and accessibility initiatives.-30-
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Darby Lee Young
Owner, Founder & Principal Accessibility Strategist
Level Playing Field
Level Playing Field
Darby Young joins Global Calgary to discuss the importance of National AccessAbility Week.
Level Playing Field thrilled to welcome visitors of any and all abilities to our accessible office space in celebration of the first-ever National AccessAbility Week
May 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CALGARY, Alta. – When it comes to designing accessible spaces and places, Level Playing Field “walks the walk” (or rolls and scoots it) and doesn’t just “talk the talk.”
That’s why Level Playing Field, an accessibility agency now in its second year of business, is already growing its clientele base and generating interest on both sides of the border, is welcoming visitors of any and all abilities into the Calgary-based accessibility agency’s fully accessible office space at the Kahanoff Centre for an open house set for next, Tuesday, May 30.
The celebration coincides with the first-ever National AccessAbility Week, which runs May 28 through June 3 across the country. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced the newly named national week “devoted to inclusion and accessibility.”
“As Canada’s first Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities, I believe that our country’s diversity is our strength — and when we include people with disabilities, we create a stronger Canada for everyone,” the minister said May 3.
“It is my pleasure to announce an annual national week devoted to inclusion and accessibility,” she said.
“From May 28 to June 3 2017, National AccessAbility Week will celebrate, highlight and promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces across the country,” Minister Carla Qualtrough said on the event website.
“We’ve made great strides in promoting inclusion for Canadians with disabilities, but there is still much work to do. We need to change the way we think, talk and act about barriers to participation and accessibility, and we need to do it right from the start, not as an afterthought. An inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed,” she added.
Staff members, supporters, and friends of Level Playing Field agree with these sentiments exactly.
“Accessibility isn’t just for people who use wheelchairs; it’s for anyone who faces obstacles in their daily lives, whether it’s someone with hearing or vision loss, or even parents with strollers,” Level Playing Field owner, founder and principal accessibility strategist Darby Young said.
“Disabilities are diverse and impact different people in different ways,” Darby said. “Our goal is literally to ‘level the playing field’ so that all spaces and places are accessible every day and everywhere to every single person, regardless of ability or disability. We all need to work together to make this happen.”
With that in mind, Level Playing Field wants you to stop by our National AccessAbility Week open house, which starts at 4 p.m. and runs through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. Please visit the link provided above to RSVP your attendance. Level Playing Field’s fully accessible office is in Suite 810 of the Kahanoff Centre, located at 12 Avenue Southeast in Calgary.
There will be wine and cheese, if that gives you the push you need to join us for a celebration of the progress we’ve made in making the world more accessible, as well as a discussion of the obstacles we still come across on the road to making all of the places we work, play and stay across this great country are accessible and safe to everyone, every day, everywhere in Canada.
For more information on founder/owner Young, who is based in Calgary with Level Playing Field, please visit levelplayingfield.ca. Follow Level Playing Field on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our latest projects and accessibility initiatives.
Darby Young recognized as one of Top 20 To Watch in 2017 by Calgary Herald for trying to create a Level Playing Field when it comes to accessible cities
Jan. 11, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CALGARY, Alta. – When Darby Lee Young describes how cities can become more accessible – and ultimately more successful –she answers in simple yet poignant terms. “As soon as there’s a barrier, my independence is gone,” Young, who was born with mild cerebral palsy and has overcome obstacles her entire life, recently told The Calgary Herald.
“We should be removing those barriers so everyone can get in and feel (included). And not only people with disabilities; we’re talking seniors, families with strollers – we’re talking everybody.”
It’s that forward-thinking mindset that has resulted in The Calgary Herald naming Young to the popular newspaper’s list of Compelling Calgarians: 20 People to Watch in 2017.
As the owner, founder and principle accessibility strategist, Young has taken her company, Level Playing Field, from passion-fuelled grassroots initiative to impressive blossoming business in just under a year.
“In order for accessibility to work – period – everyone needs to be on the same (plane),” Young told The Herald, explaining the thinking that helped get Level Playing Field off the ground.
One “hope and dream” of Young’s is to make her hometown, the City of Calgary, one of the most accessible cities in the country. But her vision expands much further, with longterm plans to take universal design solutions to cities, towns, places and spaces across the country, south of the border and maybe even around the world.
“We’ve definitely got a lot of different projects,” Young told The Herald. “We’re consultants to East Village and making sure a lot of their projects will incorporate accessibility to the extent where it’s actually usable.”
Level Playing Field has already provided accessibility consultation for concerts such as the Calgary Folk Music Festival and Stagecoach Music Festival, presented by Goldenvoice, in California.
The company is now working on universal design contracts with major Alberta development companies such as Calgary Municipal Land Corporation; West Campus Development Trust; Jayman Built, ATCO, Ltd.; and MasterBUILT Hotels.
Young’s own quickly growing business is also forming partnerships with local architectural firms such as NORR and Stantec Architects, as well as alliances with contracting companies such as Ryan Murphy Construction.
It makes sense that an ambitious young woman with plenty of lived experience facing accessibility challenges is now helping some of the City of Calgary’s top development minds figure out how to make their buildings and other developments as inclusive and accessible as possible.
Young also has years of additional advocacy work under her belt, including with the City of Calgary’s advisory committee on accessibility, which helped earn her an actual belt buckle this past fall.
Young said she’s truly honoured, thankful and proud to receive these recent recognitions – both the Compelling Calgarian nod and Western Legacy Award – but she’s mostly focused on making the world accessible – one day, one project at a time.
“We work with architects, designers, property managers – anyone who owns a space – to make sure it’s accessible,” Young explained in her nomination video for this year’s Western Legacy Awards.
“The biggest thing is breaking down barriers; making sure that everybody feels included,” she said. “We want to have equal opportunity to get everyone through the main doors, and treated fairly.”
For more information on Young and Level Playing Field, please visit levelplayingfield.ca. Follow Level Playing Field on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our latest projects and accessibility initiatives.
Official Shaw TV Clip of Darby Young winning Western Legacy Award – Innovation Category
We have a Winner!!
Letter of congratulations from The Honourable Kent Hehr, P.C., MP for Calgary Centre.
Calgary Herald Article – February 12, 2016