“To encourage people of varying abilities to engage in meaningful participation together in an environment which fosters a sense of belongingness and autonomy.”
Building Inclusive and Accessible Communities
Our focus is to embed inclusion and accessibility at every level of our society to influence cultural change, where values are lived through action. By removing the attitudinal, social and community barriers, both physical and invisible, that segregate populations from full community engagement, we create communities that are more accessible and welcoming for all.
Our work at Abilities Centre is grounded in a universal-design approach to support people living with and without disabilities. Abilities Centre’s programs and services are intended to be accessible to everyone, and we take a pan-disability approach to ensuring that everything we do meets the needs of all guests and respects the diversity of our community.
Collaborating with Our Sector and Our Community
While we are regarded as experts in this universal approach to accessibility and inclusion, we rely on the expertise of the many incredible organizations in our sector to inform our approach to supporting the needs of our members, participants and visitors. We are proud of our relationships with many outstanding organizations to ensure that our programs and services meet the needs of the entire community.
A truly inclusive community embraces and reflects the diversity of its people. While accessibility and inclusion for people living with and without disabilities are at the heart of our mission, we are committed to serving every member of our community, including people who may not identify as disabled but who face other barriers to full participation in community life. We are proud to collaborate with such organizations as the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion to build communities that are free of prejudice and discrimination, and which generate the awareness, dialogue and action for people to recognize diversity as an asset and not an obstacle.
The Inclusion Journey
In our experience, many of the individuals, organizations and communities we work with express the challenge of knowing where to focus their attention as they strive to become more accessible and inclusive. We believe the most important step is to begin. If we view the path to inclusion as a journey, we give ourselves and our organizations permission to take progressive steps that, over time, enable communities and organizations to have transformative results.