Julie Sawchuk is a best-selling author, accessibility strategist and educator at Sawchuk Accessible Solutions. After sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2015, Julie turned to educating everyone about accessibility.
In 2018, Julie attained the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC) professional designation. She has completed accessibility ratings for commercial and institutional buildings all across Ontario.
Julie has helped the owners of century-old buildings, as well as brand new infrastructure, achieve meaningful levels of accessibility. Julie’s work allows all people to benefit from the principles of universal access.
Julie has reviewed and rated facilities to give feedback on ways to improve access to parking & transportation, exterior and interior paths of travel, washrooms, recreation facilities (aquatics, gym & fitness, multi-purpose spaces (including kitchen), arenas, etc.), signage, landscaping, emergency systems, common areas, restaurants and administration/workspaces.
Education is the focus of Julie’s work and she works with high school students and teachers, architects, designers, and the general public to bring awareness of Universal Design and accessibility.
Writing is a big part of educating. After completing the construction of her completely wheelchair-accessible home, Julie wrote Build YOUR Space. Her most recent publication was a team effort with Jane Vorbrodt and Samantha Proulx, Building Better Bathrooms. Julie’s third book is Roadmap to Recovery finding your way forward after spinal cord injury.
Since the beginning of 2022, Julie has been the Chair of the Standards Development Committee for the review of the Design of Public Spaces under the AODA. She is also a member of the CSA B652 Accessible Housing Building Code working group, responsible for interior rooms in the development of the new standard planned for release in 2022. As a part of this team, Julie is gearing up to help people see that accessible living spaces are possible and practical.
As a part of her commitment to creating accessible communities at home, Julie is a member of the Huron County Accessibility Advisory Committee, working on both education and site review within the county. Julie is also a passionate speaker, sharing stories from her own personal experience with everyone from high school construction students to seasoned architects. Her message shows that it is possible to design and construct spaces for everyone to function safely and independently with the result of preserving physical energy.