Find out about Surrey's focus on accessibility, from adapted programs to building access.
The City of Surrey is committed to providing accessible and inclusive services, programs and opportunities for all members of our community.
Individuals with disabilities can participate in a variety of programs and sports throughout the city. The City of Surrey offers a variety of support including:
- One-to-one staff support in spring break and summer day camps for children,
- One-to-one skating and swimming lessons,
- Adapted and inclusive programs for children, youth and adults, and
- SPIRIT volunteer support.
Learn more about adapted programs and sports in Surrey.
Our facilities have accessible showers, changing rooms, washrooms and some facilities have adult-sized change tables. Learn more about a facility's specific accessibility features on our recreation centres, arenas and indoor pools webpages.
Our fitness centres feature adaptive fitness equipment including:
- Inclusive fitness kits (active hands, weightlifting hooks, loop resistance bands, ankle/wrist weights)
- Arm bikes
- Rowing machines with an adapted seat attachment
- Dual Cable Cross machines
- Medicine balls with straps
- Raised stretching mats
- Treadmills with elongated arm rests
- Recumbent elliptical machines
- Universally designed strength training equipment where the seat can be removed to accommodate a wheelchair user
The North Surrey Sports & Ice Complex is designed with universal access in mind. The three sheets of ice are para-ice hockey ready, equipped with Plexi puck boards at the player’s benches and penalty boxes, removable player’s benches, level ice access and extra wide benches in the change rooms.
Para-ice hockey (sledge hockey) sleds are available for loan during public skates. (Currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
At Surrey's indoor pools, you'll find:
- Aquatic wheelchairs
- Pool lifts
- Removable stairs
- Graduated entry
- Therapeutic temperature leisure pools
Grandview Heights Aquatics Centre, Guildford Recreation Centre, and Surrey Sports & Leisure Complex have adult-sized change tables.
Grandview Heights Aquatics Centre also has a lift for the adult-sized change table.
Our outdoor pools have limited accessibility features. Hjorth Road Pool features an aquatic lift and Unwin Pool features change benches.
Crescent Beach received a beach wheelchair thanks to a donation from the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo. The wheelchair is available free for loan from the lifeguard station in Sullivan Point Park. The wheelchair is available during the summer between the hours of 11:00am and 7:00pm.
All Surrey Libraries locations are wheelchair accessible, except the Port Kells Library. Assistive technology stations are available at Guildford Library and Surrey City Central Library.
Surrey Libraries offer a number of events and programs including Stories for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, Audio Book Clubs and more!
Surrey City Centre Library also offers READ-Ability Services, which includes:
- home delivery service for library books,
- audiobooks, and
- assistive technology workstations.
Learn more about the READ-Ability Services at Surrey Libraries.
Arts, Culture & History
Surrey Civic Theatres and the Surrey Arts Centre
The Surrey Arts Centre received a Gold Certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program and is proud to feature VocalEye performances, relaxed performances, wireless listening devices, and more!
Surrey Civic Theatres have accessible seating with companion seating, ample accessible parking, washrooms, elevators and ramps.
The Surrey Arts Centre features a number of accessible features for patrons to fully enjoy programming including a wheelchair-accessible pottery wheel and sensory-friendly kits for loan.
Museum of Surrey
The Museum of Surrey is a free venue featuring interactive and ever-changing exhibits for the whole family. The TD Explore Zone was created with universal design in mind, making sure that exhibits can be accessed by children of all ages and abilities.
Additional features include a telecoil loop, wheelchair for loan, seating throughout the space, braille and tactile signage, accessible parking and more.
Sensory friendly times and a dedicated space are available at the Museum of Surrey on the first Sunday of each month (except January) from 10:00am - 12:00pm.
Historic Stewart Farm
Surrey's Historic Stewart Farm has recently undergone renovations that have updated the washrooms, pathways and buildings to improve access for all. Washrooms have automatic access, with accessible stalls including handrails.
The trails around Historic Stewart Farms are packed gravel and the buildings are all accessible on the first floor. A ramp to access the main house can be found on the right-hand side of the building.
Special events are an important part of the Surrey community and we strive to make them inclusive for all. Our opening ceremonies are translated into American Sign Language, with priority, accessible seating. Many events also have an accessible viewing deck, including Canada Day and Surrey's Fusion Festival.
Accessible washrooms are available on-site.
A sensory friendly space is available at each of our special events, including Surrey's Tree Lighting Festival, Party for the Planet, Surrey International Children's Festival, Surrey's Canada Day and Surrey's Fusion Festival.
Measuring Up Working Group
Measuring Up is a network of community leaders that have a commitment to increasing universal access through physical accessibility, employment/volunteerism, recreation, literacy, strategic and planning for people who have a disability in Surrey.
This group acts as a resource and liaison to community, research and business groups as well as provides engagement and insight to City strategic plans and projects.
Sensory Friendly Spaces
City of Surrey special events now feature sensory friendly spaces in partnership with the Canucks Autism Network. Sensory friendly spaces are calm and quiet areas with activities and seating designed to be supportive for those with sensory sensitivities to recharge.
A permanent sensory friendly space is available at the Grandview Heights Aquatics Centre (second floor) and sensory friendly times are available at the Museum of Surrey.
City of Surrey sensory friendly spaces include:
- Noise-canceling headphones,
- Comfortable seating and bean bag chairs, and
- Sensory and fidget toys.
Visual Stories & Videos
In partnership with the Canucks Autism Network, Surrey has created a series of visual and social stories to help community members feel comfortable attending an emergency reception centre, a fitness centre, understanding the COVID protocols and coming to community events. We've also created an autism spectrum disorder awareness training video for staff.
Review our Sensory Friendly Space Visual Story at Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre.
Ensuring that our buildings and other public spaces are accessible to our community members is a key priority. We work with the Rick Hansen Foundation, where Surrey is the highest participating municipality in their Accessibility Certification program. Many of our facilities have received a rating of "Certified" and five facilities have received "RHF Accessibility Certified Gold": North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex, The Cloverdale Recreation Centre, Grandview Heights Aquatics Centre, Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre and the Surrey Arts Centre.
Website and Wi-Fi Accessibility
The City of Surrey is striving to meet website accessibility guidelines. We're doing this to ensure a great experience for all our users. This includes accessibility considerations like:
- providing alternative text for images,
- accessible colour contrast,
- editing content for plain language,
- closed captioning for videos,
- working towards accessible PDFs that open in new windows,
- working with staff to create web content that is accessible screen readers, and
- offering Google Translate.
The City is also proud to offer free Wi-Fi at venues across the city, which can be found on the Wi-Fi Locator Map.
Learn more or report an issue with website accessibility.
Inclusive Hiring & Volunteering
The City of Surrey is focused on attracting, hiring and promoting a diverse workforce that includes individuals with disabilities. We strive to interview and hire individuals with disabilities into existing positions within the city using a minimum of modifications. Our Human Resources team works closely with disability employment agencies to ensure support throughout the hiring process and into employment. Volunteers who require additional support are welcome to volunteer and will be offered the support of a Spirit volunteer.
Park Audits & Accessibility
Surrey Parks staff are guided through audits of parks by a Universal Access Audit Manual and Checklist that helps staff gain a hands-on understanding of universal access and apply this knowledge to site development. We are currently in the process of auditing all our parks and playgrounds to share more information about the pathways, features and terrain with our residents.
We are also in the process of updating our parks and playground manuals, ensuring that future renovations and projects are designed to best practices.
Transportation & Walkability
Effective transportation planning is another City focus. Our busses have automated electronic and audible announcements, courtesy seating for persons with a disability and the aging population and features like ramps with the ability to lower, ensuring all transit users can disembark safely.
Transit stations feature tactile warning surfaces to indicate changes in the environment—ideal for someone who is blind or may use other kinds of assistive devices. We are continuing to work with our transit partners, city planners and contractors to ensure the highest level of accessibility in Surrey.
A hearing loop is a special type of sound system that supports people who use hearing aids and cochlear implants. The loops are installed into many of Surrey’s meeting rooms, and most recently at the Museum of Surrey and in Council Chambers/Centre Stage. When you come to a meeting or performance, you just simply need to turn your hearing aid on to the T-coil setting if this is not automatic. The sound will come directly into your hearing aid or cochlear implant for you to fully participate in the event.
Hearing loops can be found in the following facilities:
- Council Chambers/Centre Stage
- Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre - multi-purpose room
- Guildford Recreation Centre - upstairs multipurpose room
- Fleetwood Community Centre - large hall
- Newton Seniors Centre - large hall
- Cloverdale Recreation Centre - upstairs multipurpose room
- South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre - gym #3
- Museum of Surrey - front counter
A wireless listening device, available on a first-come-first-serve basis is also available at the Surrey Arts Centre. Ask the Front of House staff for assistance with this free service.
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation
ASL interpretation is available during our special event’s opening ceremonies and upon request for many of our meetings, performances and programs. When registering for a program, please let us know if this is a service you require.
Video Remote Interpretation for ASL
The Museum of Surrey is proud to offer a new service: Video Remote Interpretation for ASL. An iPad can be found at the reception desk, where one of our staff will connect to an interpreter through an app. You’ll be able to communicate seamlessly and even take the iPad with you during future offered programs and curated tours.
Surrey's Commitment to Accessibility
The City is committed to improving access to our facilities, public spaces and projects. With the support of grants and funding from various sources, we are proudly improving access in our facilities, parks and playgrounds.
We are focused on making updates that are universally accessible including adding automated washroom doors, multi-sensory programming, interpretation, telecoil systems, high-contrast signage and more.
We are working to ensure that strategic plans and initiatives include the voices and perspectives of members of the disability community with the aim of Surrey including persons of all abilities in City life.
For more information about Surrey's accessible communities, contact Tara Cleave, Support Services & Accessibility Manager at email@example.com.