"Charting Our Course", was the theme for AccessAbility Day 2016 where participants learned more about the 115 new accessibility initiatives included in the 2016-2020 City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan (COMAP).
The Opening Ceremony was emceed by Adrian Harewood, co-host of CBC News Ottawa and began with welcoming remarks from the City Manager Steve Kanellakos.
Participants had the opportunity to hear from two keynote speakers: The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and Parliamentary Assistant Marie France Lalonde, MPP Ottawa-Orléans. Both spoke to Federal and Provincial commitments to enhance accessibility for all.
Mayor Watson proclaimed June 1, 2016 AccessAbility Day in the City of Ottawa, and presented this proclamation to Accessibility Advisory Committee Chair Brian Wade.
The weather was perfect for the outdoor barbeque lunch, as participants engaged with City staff during the Departmental Accessibility Initiative Showcase. There was also an opportunity for participants to enjoy an installation of works by local artists with disabilities.
In the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to take part in a number of activities including:
- PaintAbility, where participants expressed themselves creatively, using a wide range of modified tools, facilitated by Katie Jacobson-Lang of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department;
- A sensory-based storytelling, facilitated by Margaret-Mary Conlon of the Ottawa Public Library; and
- Musical entertainment and full participation with movement, singing and dancing with Ottawa Blues Lady, Maria Hawkins.
The City's 13th annual AccessAbility Day was a great success; an opportunity to look towards the future, and celebrate accomplishments.
Please check back next year for news and registration for AccessAbility Day 2017.