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Many local groups work for inclusivity and accessibility in Moose Jaw

National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) was declared from Sunday, May 29th, 2022, and will continue until Saturday, June 4th, 2022. 

This is the week to show some appreciation to the services that do their absolute best to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all the people in our community. 

National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) was declared from Sunday, May 29th, 2022, and will continue until Saturday, June 4th, 2022. 

This is a time we can celebrate the amazing talent and contributions of people with disabilities in Canada. This is also a great time to uplift and show- off our wonderful individuals, organizations, and communities that are working hard to remove barriers and make this country more inclusive. 

One in five people in Canada have a disability so, it is extremely important to shed light on our differences to create stronger bonds in our communities. 

Families for Change

An organization that works towards strengthening our community’s bonds is Moose Jaw Families for Change. Moose Jaw Families for Change is a non-profit organization that is committed to supporting individuals of varying abilities in both residential and community settings. They currently support individuals through the Kinsmen Inclusion Center, the Kinsmen Cafe, three group homes, and the Supported Independent Living Program (SILP) which is a program that aids and supports individuals looking to transition into an independent lifestyle within the community. They pride themselves on creating meaningful options to create new skills that promote individual choice, independence, and self-awareness. 

Moose Jaw Families for Change ensures that all members of our community can work and provides the life skills needed to succeed despite any barriers that might exist. Moose Jaw Families for Change also runs a local coffee shop named the Kinsmen Café. This is a café that promotes inclusion and diversity by providing positive employment for people of all abilities. The Kinsmen Café facilitates employment opportunities for those living with barriers, allowing all members of our community the chance to work and gain working skills.

Wakamow Valley 

Parks are an important facet of a community. They’re a place to play, rest, and enjoy the outdoors. Wakamow Valley takes special care to ensure its parks are as accessible as possible. Since it is an urban natural park, there will always be areas that are less accessible because of the natural landscape. 

Back in 2016, the Wakamow Valley Authority raised $70,000 through events, donations, and grants to replace the original structures at Kinsmen-Wellesley Park Playground after the original structures were vandalized. While replacing the structures, the park was made fully accessible. Wakamow Valley also installed a fully accessible washroom at Rotary Park, with help from students at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the washroom was completed in the Spring of 2018. Currently, the Wakamow Valley Authority is working with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation to add a wheelchair-accessible docking system to one of the campgrounds. This dock has not been put in yet, but it is projected to be added soon. These efforts in making Wakamow Valley more accessible have in turn also made Wakamow Valley more inclusive. The more people that can access Wakamow the more inclusive it becomes.

"We have about 20km of paths that are either asphalt, crusher dust, or paved streets through Wakamow. Accessibility can be a problem within the park if you were to get off the beaten path because the ground is uneven and unlevel, but that’s why we encourage people to use the asphalt." Todd Johnson the General Manager of the Wakamow Valley Authority said when asked how accessible Wakamow Valley is.

Moose Jaw Diversified Services

One of the best ways to promote accessibility and inclusivity in our community is by providing help to those who need it. Moose Jaw Diversified Services is a community-based organization that provides day services to people experiencing a disability. This service looks at what an individual needs based on their personal circumstances and applies that to their day program. It could be recreational, quality of life, learning skills, employment, volunteering, cooking, communication, and socialization. Moose Jaw Diversified Services makes use of the many available services or events in our community that are looking for volunteers and provides them with those volunteers. This allows everyone to be a part of the community and help in their own ways.

"Moose Jaw is a great community and we feel welcomed and included in all aspects of our community. We are very fortunate that Moose Jaw has done a great job of ensuring that people are included and welcomed.” Valerie Budd-Pritchard, Executive Director of Moose Jaw Diversified Services.

By understanding our differences, we strengthen the bonds within our communities. Thanks to these amazing organizations Moose Jaw is becoming more accessible every day. The more accessible we can make our city the more inclusive it will become in turn.

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