Friday, December 3, 2010

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Every year on Dec. 3, people around the world celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities. The aim is to promote an understanding of disability issues, the rights of persons with disabilities and the gains to be derived from the inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities.

The City is proud to accommodate employees with disabilities, and the Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA) helps mandate The City's Corporate Accessibility Policy to ensure employees with disabilities can succeed in the workplace.
"We need to think about what we do through an ‘access lens,’” said Leanne Squair, an issue strategist with Community & Neighbourhood Services who is involved with the ACA. “The City accommodates employees with disabilities with accessible work spaces, the provision of appropriate hardware and software, and an accessible public transportation system to get back and forth to work in.”
The theme for Calgary's 2010 IDPD is Success.
In 2010, The City contributed to a great success for local people with disabilities by completing a series of accessibility upgrades in its renovation of the Council Chamber at City Hall.
The guiding principles for the renovation were to improve accessibility for those with physical, visual, hearing and cognitive disabilities to access the Council Chamber so that they can participate in the democratic process.
Another success is the Access Design Standards (ADS) 2010 which was approved by Council as a mandatory standard as of January 1, 2011 for any City owned and operated property.
“While ADS is about the built environment; it is the foundation to providing accessible services,” said  Darlene Boyes, a community resource services co-ordinator and member of the ACA.  “People with disabilities are a part of our diverse city and these successes exemplify how we are working towards making Calgary a more accessible & inclusive place to live, work and participate in community life”.

December 3rd is a day for all. This year’s event is taking place at the Metropolitan Conference Centre, 333 Fourth Ave. S.W.  from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is comprised of a number of local organizations involved with IDPD. There will be a trade show component, entertainment, proclamation by The City and Premier’s Council and ACA Awards. 

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