Inclusion Awareness Week

Charity launches Inclusion Awareness Week
The City of Toronto proclaims June 11 – 17, 2017
Reach for the Rainbow Week

MEDIA RELEASE


Reach for the Rainbow Week of Inclusion is as important now as it was 14 years ago. As advocates for the rights of children, youth and emerging young adults with differing abilities, Reach for the Rainbow is shocked and saddened to hear the news of two police officers from Toronto Police Services insulting a woman with Down Syndrome. “It doesn’t matter whether the derogatory comments stemmed out of sheer ignorance or through malice, those comments are never acceptable” expressed Executive Director, Dawn MacDonald. Ontario is at the forefront of a significant societal change, and it must continue to serve as an example of an inclusive society to the rest of Canada and the world.

Reach for the Rainbow is deeply rooted in the culture of inclusion and the use of person-first language. This recent story is an example of why Reach must continue to advocate, educate and train on inclusion and integration of people with developmental and physical disabilities into our communities. “As a leading training organization in the field of inclusion and integration, we would be happy to offer training to the Toronto Police Services staff and auxiliaries” stated Oksana Romanov, Program Manager of Reach for the Rainbow. It is important that the very people who are there to serve and protect do so equally for all members of society in a caring and respectful way.

During Inclusion Week, Reach for the Rainbow is holding a training opportunity which promotes inclusion and the urgent needs of children and youth with disabilities in sport and recreation across Ontario. Participants attend four intensive sessions and hands-on workshops on a wide variety of disability related topics for counsellors, camp and community recreational program staff. Reach for the Rainbow provides practical strategies to support individuals and a fantastic integration toolkit to create rewarding experiences for people with disabilities in integrated environments.


DETAILS:
Date: Friday, June 16th, 2017, 2:30pm – 5:30pm
Place: YMCA of Greater Toronto, 60 Centurian Drive, Markham, Ontario L3Y 8T5

'Inclusion is important to me because I believe that every child, regardless of ability, should be able to get in the game.  Sports and activities like summer camp teach valuable life lessons about leadership, friendship and what it means to be a good teammate”, said Carly Agro from Sportsnet. “I'm proud to be an ambassador for Reach for the Rainbow because it's a charitable organization that puts kids first.  Sports and summer camps were the highlights of my childhood, I'm excited to be part of a group that breaks down the barriers for children and families who need it most.”

 

Reach for the Rainbow Week Proclamation

 

About Reach for the Rainbow:
Reach for the Rainbow is a not-for-profit organization that provides essential, barrier free, support services that connect children and youth with disabilities to inclusive recreation and sport opportunities in their own community. www.reachfortherainbow.ca

Who We Serve:
Reach for the Rainbow is a regional community-based navigation system with full support for families, participants, program delivery partners, community organizations and Social Services agencies. We serve children, youth and Emerging Adults with developmental and physical disabilities, ages 4-24.

Working with a variety of Program partners (camps and recreational programs) across the

Province of Ontario, Reach sets the inclusion and integration standards and enables typical children to live, play and learn alongside children and youth with disabilities. Experiences are created in a safe environment of belonging, while parents and caregivers receive respite.

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Jeynes                   
Manager of Communications, Reach for the Rainbow                   
416.503.0088 ext 147     jjeynes@reachfortherainbow.ca