Access Award to honour those who make Kingston accessible

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null Access Award to honour those who make Kingston accessible

November 30, 2015 -

The public is invited to the ceremony announcing the winner of the City's 2015 Access Award on Dec. 3 – the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

"Accessibility is about making our city more livable so that every Kingstonian feels included and welcome to participate," says Mayor Bryan Paterson. "This award highlights the importance of offering full access and recognizes the significant contributions of those working to removing barriers for persons with disabilities."

And the nominees are:

  • Driving Miss Daisy provides non-medical services including transportation, accompaniment and companionship for seniors, those with disabilities or special needs. Its mission is to help preserve independence and prevent social isolation and to be the eyes for those with compromised vision, the feet for those with limited mobility and a strong arm for those who are frail.
  • The Independent Living Centre of Kingston provides those with disabilities the tools to succeed and achieve independence in their lives. The non-profit organization offers programs and activities to help its members to live full and enriching lives within the community. The centre receives more than 5,000 requests for disability-related information each year and acts as a gateway to community services and a source of mentoring and advice.
  • MusicMates is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating social opportunities for children, youth and adults through music. Director, Shera Lumsden has seen the difference music makes in the emotional, physical and social development of children, youth and adults with special needs. Programming is designed to encourage social skills and create friendships. Programs offer children, youth and adults the opportunity to make friends, learn sign language, and practice important social skills, all through the use of music!
  • St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In March 2015, the parish undertook a number of renovations including the installation of a ramp with railings at the baptismal font and an automatic door opener between the church and the parish hall. The washrooms in the parish hall were also completely renovated to ensure accessibility. The improvements enable everyone to attend functions at the church to take part in the activities and spiritual celebrations knowing that accessible facilities are available.
  • Y2K - Kingston Youth Strategy. In September 2013, city council endorsed and funded the Kingston Youth Strategy.  The Y2K project involves municipal government, community organizations, businesses and residents who listen to young people and hear their ideas and recommendations on how to create a youth-friendly city. Y2K has given youth – and adult allies with intellectual disabilities – a voice, boosted their self-esteem and developed their leadership skills through work at their four action tables: environment & spaces, health & wellness, programs & opportunities and youth voice.

"Every year we get a great roster of nominees for the Access Award.  It's proof that Kingstonians really understand what it means to be inclusive and are happy to take steps to make their programs, organizations and businesses accessible to everyone," says Julie Salter-Keane, manager, community projects. 

The public is invited to the ceremony and reception to celebrate those who make Kingston more accessible from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 at the INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd.  Assistive listening devices will be available. Those with other assistive needs can contact Julie Salter-Keane at 613-546-4291, ext. 1163 or email jsalter-keane@cityofkingston.ca

Offered by the City, in partnership with the Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Access Award recognizes a person, group or organization that has made or is making a significant contribution towards improving access for persons with disabilities in Kingston.

Last year's Access Award winner was Kingston 4 Paws Service Dogs.

Plan your bus trip with Google Transit: www.kingstontransit.ca/tripplanner

About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 125,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. In 2014, it was named a Top 7 Smart Community by the Intelligent Community Forum. Kingston is focusing on being smart and livable as it pursues its vision to become Canada's most sustainable city. We focus on environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality - - ensuring that today's decisions don't compromise our future. 

Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston

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Media contact: For more information call the communications department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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