PRESS ROOM

Level Playing Field in the News

News Release

Level Playing Field Founder Darby Lee Young Young named one of 150 influential women for YWCA Calgary’s sesquicentennial art installation

October 24, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CALGARY, Alta. – Level Playing Field owner and founder Darby Lee Young is being honoured this week by YWCA Calgary as one of 150 women “who have had a significant impact on Calgary” as part of the local organization’s sesquicentennial project.

Young’s name and impact will be featured, alongside 149 other influential women, in an art installation that will be revealed during a special event called She Who Dares this Thursday, Oct. 26 inside the atrium of the Calgary Municipal Building, which is located at 800 Macleod Trail Southeast, right next door to Calgary City Hall.

The She Who Dares festivities kick off at 11:30 a.m. and run through 12:30 p.m.

“Being recognized by YWCA Calgary in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday is an unexpected and pleasant surprise,” Young said. “YWCA Calgary offers such wonderful services for girls and women in our city, and Level Playing Field is also trying to help our community by making it a more accessible and inclusive place to live, so this honour holds a very special place in my heart. Thank you so much, YWCA Calgary.”

Young’s name was “thoughtfully chosen from a significant number of women nominated by a team of volunteers, our team, and the public,” in recognition of her positive impact on the community, according to YWCA Calgary. “YW knows women have had extensive impacts on their communities during the 150 years since Confederation, and for centuries prior.”

The Government of Canada issued a grant to YWCA Calgary to mark Canada’s 150th birthday, which is what has funded this unique art project.

“As Calgary’s largest and longest serving women’s organization, we are committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of women in our community,” YWCA Calgary said. “As a 106-year-old organization, we also felt it important to celebrate some of the many women who have helped shape our city.”

The Canada 150 art project is described by YWCA Calgary as “a creative, interactive and engaging journey through the empowering, tenacious and ground-breaking work of women in Calgary and surrounding areas.”

For more information on YWCA Calgary, please visit https://www.ywcalgary.ca.

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.

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For media requests, please contact:

Darby Lee Young
Owner, Founder & Principal Accessibility Strategist
Level Playing Field
(403) 612-7970
darby@levelplayingfield.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Communications Director
Level Playing Field
(902) 579-5747
media@levelplayingfield.ca

 

News Release

Level Playing Field Founder Darby Lee Young honored, humbled to receive the Kent Hehr Leadership Award for Passion, perseverance in creating accessible world 

October 10, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CALGARY, Alta – When it comes to making the world more accessible, Darby Lee Young and her consulting company are breaking down barriers and – quite literally – opening more doors each and every day.

Perhaps that’s why Young, founder, and owner of Level Playing Field, is being honoured by Calgary-based non-profit Accessible Housing at the organization’s upcoming Dinner for Doors fundraiser.

Young, also principal accessibility strategist for Level Playing Field, is one of two special award winners to be honoured this Thursday, Oct. 12 for making the City of Calgary “a more inclusive community for everyone.”

Allan James (Jim) Monk will receive The Heart of Community Award for his energetic and inspiring volunteer work with the Tetra Society of Calgary, while Level Playing Field’s very own Young will be the recipient of The Kent Hehr Leadership Award for her “passion, perseverance and energy for accessibility.”

That passion and perseverance helped Young create growing Calgary business Level Playing Field, which as described by Accessible Housing, “focuses on providing universal design solutions.”

“With Darby at the helm, her dream of a barrier-free society could just become a reality,” Accessible Housing said of her groundbreaking work, which is making a difference not just in Calgary, but across the province and country, as well as even south of the border.

“I’m truly honoured to receive the Kent Hehr Leadership Award and also wish sincere congratulations to Mr. Monk for his well-deserved Heart of Community Award,” Young said.

“It is humbling to be recognized by Accessible Housing for an award named after not only Canada’s Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, but also the country’s Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre,” she said, “as well as to be among such an amazing group of accessibility-minded, forward-thinking change makers based right here in our great Stampede City.”

The Kent Hehr Leadership Award Committee, comprised of volunteers from Dinner for Doors Presenting Sponsor First Calgary, met in early September to review the nominations and choose a recipient.

“Thank you to the committee for offering your time and talent,” Accessible Housing said. “Calgary is well on our way to becoming inclusive and accessible with all the leaders, conveners and inspiring people in our midst.”

For more information on this year’s Accessible Housing Dinner for Doors award winners, please visit http://accessiblehousing.ca/2017-awards.

To purchase tickets to Dinner for Doors, described as “an experiential evening that strives to elevate levels of awareness of accessibility challenges and inspire compassion for people in need of adequate housing,” while giving guests the chance to experience part of the evening using a wheelchair, walker, vision-limiting glasses or other aides, please visit http://accessiblehousing.ca/dfd-2017.

For more information on Accessible Housing, please visit http://accessiblehousing.ca

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.

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For media requests, please contact:

Darby Lee Young
Owner, Founder & Principal Accessibility Strategist
Level Playing Field
(403) 612-7970
darby@levelplayingfield.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Communications Director
Level Playing Field
(902) 579-5747
media@levelplayingfield.ca

 

News Release

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 the Premier’s Council on Status of Persons with Disabilities, please visit www.alberta.ca or click here.

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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For media requests, please contact:
Darby Lee Young
Owner, Founder & Principal Accessibility Strategist
Level Playing Field
403-612-7970
darby@levelplayingfield.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Communications Director
Level Playing Field
(902) 579-5747
Media@levelplayingfield.ca 

Darby Young joins Global Calgary to discuss the importance of National AccessAbility Week.

News Release

You’re invited!

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 on the first-annual National AccessAbility Week, please visit the Government of Canada website by clicking here. You can also follow the movement on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

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For media requests, please contact:
Darby Lee Young
Owner, Founder & Principal Accessibility Strategist
Level Playing Field
403-612-7970
darby@levelplayingfield.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Communications Director
Level Playing Field
902-579-5747
Media@levelplayingfield.ca

 

News Release

‘Removing barriers’
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 received a 2016 Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Award, in the innovation category, at a celebratory gala that recognized her for turning “accessibility into advocacy.”

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.

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For media requests, please contact:
Darby Lee Young
Owner, Founder & Principal Accessibility Strategist
Level Playing Field
403-612-7970
darby@levelplayingfield.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Communications Director
Level Playing Field
902-579-5747
krislipscombe@hotmail.com

Official Shaw TV Clip of Darby Young winning Western Legacy Award – Innovation Category

We have a Winner!!

news-release-level-playing-field-nov-21_page_1 news-release-level-playing-field-nov-21_page_2

 

Letter of congratulations from The Honourable Kent Hehr, P.C., MP for Calgary Centre.

letter_darby_lee_young

Calgary Herald Article – February 12, 2016

LPF_herald_article

Level Playing Field

Level Playing Field is a new consulting company that provides Universal Design solutions. We evaluate, develop and promote accessible and Universal Design for housing, buildings, outdoor and urban environments and related services.

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