Building on nearly 20 years of work in the field of universal design and accessibility Marnie brings to projects her ability to understand the needs of all people, including those with a wide range of disabilities. Marnie specializes in code analysis and compliance and understands the complex legislative framework and the broad range of technical specifications of building codes and accessibility guidelines and standards.
Marnie has managed and participated in numerous projects related to Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DiDRR), in Canada and Internationally. In 2017 the On Thin Ice Project: Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities in Canada’s North she managed was named as one of 5 Winners of the International Good Practice - Design for All Foundation Award 2017.
Marnie is the Canadian representative to the ISO TC228 –Tourism and related services Committee, and is the Chair of the Canadian Mirror Committee on TC228/WG14 – Accessible Tourism.
Marnie is the past Executive Officer and Acting Executive Director of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), the leading international organization dedicated to the promotion of accessibility of the built and virtual environments.
In addition to her work in the accessibility field, Marnie was in the Team Canada National Team and Paralympic program for Wheelchair Basketball from 1996 – 2004, and competed and won gold at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and the 2002 World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.
Betty Dion is a recognized International leader in accessibility of the built and virtual environments and has expertise in universal and accessible design which enables her to apply her understanding of design and human functioning.
Betty is past member of the Canadian National Building Code Executive Committee and served, for 15 years as the Chair of the Canadian Standards Association CSA/CAN B651 Accessibility of the Built Environment Standard. Betty represented Canada in the development of the first international standard on accessibility of the built environment and is the Chair of Canadian Advisory Committee to the ISO TC59/SC16 Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment.
Betty is the Founder and Past - President of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), the leading International NGO dedicated to Universal Design and Accessibility. As a frequent speaker at the United Nations, Betty has presented widely on disaster preparedness, fire and life safety and universal design and accessibility in the areas of the built environment, assistive technologies and accessible transportation.
Betty is the author of the international recognized seminal document International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review (2005) and the International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Comparative Study (2000). These reports provided technical specification on accessibility codes and standards in Australia, Spain, Uruguay, Lebanon, Canada, the US, Bangladesh, Singapore, South Africa, Mexico, Ireland and Sweden.
BDEL has extensive international and Canadian based experience working collaboratively with a range of clients, including governments and design teams. We provide consultative services in: building code development, analysis and compliance, in the review of construction drawings, conducting accessibility audits and developing detailed and comprehensive recommendations to ensure facilities are in compliance with accessibility requirements. The firm is able to suggest innovative and unique accessible design features and best practices in universal design in order to create an accessible environment that is functional for the greatest number of users.