Driven by the commitment to building a more inclusive society, the Government of Canada has furthered its partnership with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s GoHere program, which is a national initiative dedicated to improving public access to washrooms.
Initiated in 2018, the partnership focuses on enhancing quality of life for the 300,000 Canadians living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis – the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease – by improving washroom access in communities across Canada. With no known cures, the chronic autoimmune diseases cause the frequent and urgent need to access a washroom. The GoHere program helps create understanding, supportive and accessible communities for Canadians living with disabilities that cause incontinence.
As a first step, the government registered the locations of 20 Crown-owned properties in the National Capital Region and three in the Greater Toronto Area with accessible washrooms with the program.
Today, the government has registered an additional 51 federal government buildings located across over 40 municipalities throughout the country, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to enhancing the accessibility of its properties. The locations of all 74 registered buildings are viewable through the GoHere washroom locator app, which helps people find the nearest publicly available washrooms anywhere in Canada.
The collaborative effort highlights a collective commitment to improving quality of life for Canadians living with these chronic diseases. As the country navigates the pandemic, it is critical to continue supporting programs designed to create accessible communities for Canadians from coast to coast.
Local businesses are encouraged to follow the government’s lead by registering for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s GoHere program. Business owners can learn more about the program and register their business by visiting go-here.ca
- Crohn’s and Colitis Canada developed the GoHere washroom access program to improve washroom access for people living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- The two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are chronic autoimmune diseases that cause the body to attack healthy tissue, leading to the inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Canada has some of the highest rates of IBD in the world as 270,000 Canadians live with the disease and experts expect this number to rise to 400,000 by 2030.
- For people living with Crohn’s or colitis, the frequent and urgent need to use a washroom can impact one’s ability to work, go to school, and otherwise participate in the community, which can lead to social isolation.
- Many other individuals can benefit from increased washroom accessibility, such as those living with incontinence issues due to certain neurological disorders and forms of cancer. Seniors, pregnant women and young children also benefit from the GoHere program.
- The GoHere Washroom Locator App, which maps out publicly available washrooms across Canada, is free for download in English and French for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices.