Celebrating inclusion in Red Deer on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

By Sheldon Spackman
December 3, 2017 - 12:32pm Updated: December 4, 2017 - 8:42am

Raising awareness about inclusion and working towards acceptance was the goal of a banner signing campaign held at the Collicutt Centre in Red Deer on Sunday.

It was held on December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities Day and hosted by Capabilities Connection of Central Alberta Association, a new non-profit organization in Red Deer that began operations in the spring of this year.

Co-Chair Jessica Schurman says it was important for them to recognize and celebrate persons with disabilities in our community, specifically on this day.

“Today we are having a little banner signing and we are just asking people that come here to the Collicutt to sign our banner in support of the day and in support of these individuals in our community,” says Schurman. “Then our banner is going to be displayed at The Hub on Ross on their stage for everyone to see.”

Schurman says Red Deer and central Alberta are doing a great job at making our communities inclusive but admits there’s more that can still be done.

“Sometimes our people with disabilities, we kind of get lost in the shuffle,explains Schurman. “It’s really important to me, I have a daughter with autism. It’s important that these individuals and these families are in the forefront of our mind in my opinion.”

Schurman says supporting organizations like theirs is just one simple way that we can all make things better for persons with disabilities and make our communities more accessible, inclusive and accepting.

“On a completely cellular level, you can treat these individuals and these families how you’d want to be treated,” adds Schurman. “I often think in my mind when I was growing up, our parents might say ‘don’t stare, don’t look over there’ when we saw somebody who was different. When I see someone, I want them to smile at me and say ‘Hello’, anybody can do that.”

Schurman also expressed gratitude for some local business who donated items for their banner signing campaign, such as David’s Tea and The Keg. She says anyone who signs the banner will be entered into a draw to win those items.

For more information on the Capabilities Connection of Central Alberta Association, visit their website here.  

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