Darby Lee Young, Accessibility Strategist
Level Playing Field Inc.
Darby Lee Young was born with mild cerebral palsy, but has never allowed her physical limitations to stop her from following her dreams. Darby spent several years as a member of the Para Alpine Ski Team. One of her big dreams has been to apply her personal experiences as a disabled individual to her professional life, so that she can help others with physical challenges chase their own dreams.
Darby has turned her passion for removing barriers into a decade of experience working as an accessibility strategist. She is an expert in universal design, has a deep understanding of building codes and drawings, and has contributed to the success of removing barriers at a municipal level as well as across North America. In 2016, Darby founded, Level Playing Field Inc., an accessibility Consulting firm that provides universal design solutions for a variety of environments. LPF works alongside firms, institutions, companies and non-profits using their accessibility lens to ensure spaces, and awareness are inclusive for all regardless of age, ability or circumstance.
Level Playing Field Inc. consults with designers on spaces for education, recreation, government, hospitality, healthcare, residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation facilities, to help create universally accessible spaces whether it is an existing space or a new build. Creating change through lived experience has been the largest motivating factor behind the inception of LPF and all it has to offer. LPF can provide services throughout all stages of the project, and can review drawings, onsite audits and finishing's.
Darby most recently won the 2016 Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Award for Innovation. "In recognition of demonstrating significant impact in the province of Alberta by promoting and preserving the values of western hospitality commitment to community, pride of place and in integrity."
Bill Ptacek, CEO
Calgary Public Library
Bill joined the Calgary Public Library as its CEO in early 2014. Previously, Bill was the Director of the King County Library System in western Washington state, where he led King County to become the Library Journal's "Library of the Year" in 2011.
In his two and a half years at the Calgary Public Library, Bill has been busy. He is working hard on developing relationships for the Library with government and community groups and partnerships with the school boards.
On other fronts, new initiatives include a full rebranding, a new catalogue and website, a focus on safety at the Central Library, free library cards for all, the growth of the Library's Foundation, and a refresh in the design and collections at all libraries in the system.
Work on Calgary's New Central Library, headed by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, continues on time and on budget. In the meantime, the Library is getting ready for it by piloting new projects and materials throughout the city's 18 community libraries.