This spring, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities announced the launch of an annual National AccessAbility Week devoted to inclusion and accessibility in Canada. From May 28 to June 3, National Accessibility Week will celebrate, promote and showcase diversity, inclusion and accessibility in this country, and highlight some of the important initiatives aimed at creating an Accessible Canada.
“Building an inclusive and accessible Canada—creating real social change—is going to take a huge collaborative effort and a significant shift in the way we approach the physical, social and attitudinal barriers that currently exist for people living with disability in this country,” says Dave Starrett, President and CEO of Easter Seals Canada. “Easter Seals is proud to be at the forefront of this shift, and we’re excited about the awareness that the new National AccessAbility Week will bring to these efforts.”
As a national leader and Canada’s largest local provider of programs, services, issues-leadership and development for the disability community, Easter Seals strives to enhance the quality of life, self-esteem and self-determination of all Canadians living with disabilities. It is the mandate of Easter Seals across Canada to promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities. We accomplish this by helping to ensure that everyone living with a disability has access to the equipment, programs, services and support they need to truly access their world, make the most of their abilities and live life to the fullest.
Recently, Easter Seals wrapped up a national multimedia fundraising and awareness campaign titled, “UnstoppABLE”. The campaign featured the accomplishments of three young people who have grown up with support from Easter Seals. Similar to the aim of National AccessAbility Week, the goal of the campaign was to highlight and celebrate what is possible for young people living with disabilities when they receive the support they need to thrive and ultimately become unstoppable.
“Canada is known for its diversity and it’s that diversity that makes us who we are as a country,” says Starrett. “When we empower and include people with disabilities—and support them with what they need to thrive, contribute and be successful—it only makes for a better, stronger Canada for everyone.”