About a dozen community leaders in Grande Prairie will spend all or part of the day in a wheelchair to help raise awareness for the needs of persons with disabilities.
The Chair Leaders Enabling Access started at Muskoseepi Park on Friday, with participants including Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard, Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton, and City Councillors Dylan Bressey, Wade Pilat, and Kevin O’Toole.
Regional Program Coordinator for Spinal Cord Injury Alberta Mieke de Groot says those taking part will go through their normal daily routine. She adds within the first few minutes, they will get a first-hand glimpse at what persons with disabilities can go through on a day-to-day basis.
“They’re finding that they cannot get their coffee cup, they couldn’t get out of their house, couldn’t use the washroom in the office, couldn’t figure out how to put the wheelchair in their car,” she says.
“They were excluded because people don’t, they only look across to see who is there in the room, it’s very powerful.”
She says the municipality has been proactive when it comes to accessibility issues. She adds there is always room to improve, but they’ve got a good baseline to begin any further progress.
“The public can pick up the phone, call 311 say to the city ‘I’m having a problem getting here,’ and the city will figure out how they can fix it, and do it quickly,” she says.
As part of the event, Mayor Clayton also proclaimed June 11th, 2021 ‘Chair Leaders Day’ in the City of Grande Prairie.