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Manitoba Possible seeks to make Thompson more Accessible

Last week, National Accessibility Week was celebrated in style with Manitoba Possible hosting a local barbeque at the Thompson Juniper Center on Wednesday, May 29th.

Last week, National Accessibility Week was celebrated in style with Manitoba Possible hosting a local barbeque at the Thompson Juniper Center on Wednesday, May 29th. This event coincided with Red Shirt Day, aiming to engage the community and raise awareness about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. The gathering served as a platform for community members to share suggestions on how we can create a brighter future for these individuals.


A special table was arranged to provide a platform for compassionate individuals to acknowledge the need for attention to those facing challenges. They were encouraged to make a pledge, expressing their commitment to enhancing the community's support for people with disabilities. Attendees eagerly filled out pledge forms, offering insightful suggestions on how Thompson could improve its accessibility.


This inaugural event was a resounding success, drawing enthusiastic feedback and sparking a promising outlook for future actions aimed at assisting individuals facing accessibility challenges in Thompson.


Senior Job Coach of Northern Employment Services; Natalie Lagace stated “When I was in grade 8 one of my co-workers has cerebral palsy, so her legs didn’t work properly and when I was in school I always wondered why that lady made her go up and down the stairs when she was crying her eyes out.  I eventually realized that they were helping her up and down the stairs and I thought ‘why can’t they get an elevator or chair lift or something like that to help students go up and down the stairs?’”


As progress in accessibility takes shape around Thompson, becoming more inclusive for individuals with disabilities, it is important to acknowledge that there are still numerous areas requiring attention. Lagace noted, "Previously, the absence of wheelchair-friendly curb ramps was a significant issue." However, despite the advancements, certain older buildings continue to lack proper accessible entrances, thereby highlighting the ongoing need for further improvements.


Lagace then further expressed that while she has witnessed those with mental or physical disabilities learn to work around the barriers, that they shouldn’t have to, that they deserve to live life as freely as anyone, such as the difficulty of transportation with groceries; “If you're in a wheelchair how will you get across town with groceries in each hand?” Lagace added.


With these pledges, the organization aims to organize a series of fundraisers in the near future. Through these events, they intend to gather the necessary funds to bring the proposed ideas into fruition.


Lagace emphasized the importance of every single vote, emphasizing that each one holds significance. Furthermore, she reiterated her strong commitment to assisting and supporting the community, emphasizing the importance of mutual aid and collaboration within the community.


Accessibility Week has been an enlightening and transformative event, shedding light on the importance of creating inclusive spaces and experiences for all individuals. Through engaging discussions, interactive workshops, and insightful presentations, we have deepened our understanding of accessibility and disability rights. As we take the lessons learned during this event into our daily lives, let us continue to advocate for equal access and champion inclusion in all facets of our society. The impact of Accessibility Week will ripple on, inspiring positive change and fostering a more accessible, equitable world for everyone.

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