Warren's World originally tested the waters of accessibility during the 2006 federal election by visiting every election campaign office in Toronto (that's 66 offices and meetings with candidates in fewer than 3 weeks!).
A crew of five people would load up in a donated wheelchair van and, with riding maps, lists of contacts, and addresses, photographer and film crew, and visit the offices of the Liberal, Conservative and NDP candidates – one riding at a time.
The crew would approach each office, identifying itself from the March of Dimes, producing official information (such as business cards) with website information, and leaving with a March of Dimes “Thumbs Up” window decal (if the office was accessible to accommodate all crew members – especially Warren, who uses a motorized wheelchair.
After an introduction of the purpose of our visit, Warren would interview the candidate or campaign manager, with either a photo journal or digital video of the experience, ultimately seeking to determine (a) if they were aware of disability issues in the election and (b) if they would support or endorse national disability legislation.
The initiative received media attention locally, nationally and internationally (radio, television, newspaper and internet coverage). The daily experiences of the Crew were recorded and reported on at this website, www.warrrensworld.ca, which is an extension of the March of Dimes, www.dimes.on.ca. The site, developed in record time, developed by 4NPC.com, featured never-used-before integration of multimedia technology, including blogs, podcasts, digital video, exclusive online coverage and online voting.
Offices were approached in a strictly non-partisan and balanced way, and no party or candidate endorsements were given or mentioned by anyone on the crew.
The Top Five Accessible Campaign Offices in Toronto
Announced on Warren’s World – January 23, 2006
(in no particular order)
Judy Sgro – Liberal (York West)
Lewis Reford – Conservative (Toronto Centre)
Jim Peterson – Liberal (Willowdale)
Michael Shapcott – NDP (Toronto Centre)
Jerry Bance – Conservative (Scarborough Rouge River)
Honourable Mention for the Most Painstaking Effort to Achieve Accessibility went to Tony Ianno – Liberal (Trinity-Spadina)