Our community hub is a learning lab and inclusion incubator, providing a unique opportunity to measure and evaluate how we are improving quality of life, social and economic inclusion and health and well-being.
Creating Synergies in Healthcare
Three 2-hour healthcare administrator, practitioner and community engagement sessions were held to discuss social inclusion and accessibility in the systems supporting health in Durham Region. Network members continue to collaborate to identify action ideas, form action groups, and co-create action strategies towards implementation.
- 26 participants in person and virtual
- Age ranged – 26 to 77 yrs old
- 69% Female
- 31% identified as living with a disability
25 action items were identified in 6 main themes:
||Action item examples
|System design and navigation
||Improve the referral system
||Program and service information hub
||Early learning programs
|Social determinants of health
||Accessible technology initiative
|Leadership and collaboration
||Develop existing volunteer programs
Ontario Shores, Ontario Tech University, Grandview Children’s Centre, Canadian Disability Participation Project, Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services, CNIB, DesignABLE Environment, March of Dimes, Alzheimer’s of Durham, Region of Durham, Neurochangers, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, Lakeridge Health, Participation House, Viva Life, Durham Association for Family Resources and Support and community members with lived experience
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) at Abilities
A truly inclusive organization embraces and reflects the diversity of the communities it serves. While accessibility and inclusion for people living with 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 acknowledge inclusion is a journey and there will always be opportunities for continuous learning and improvement.
Our inclusion journey: investing time, energy and resources to create sustainable change
||Organizational re-structure, including review of gender parity and pay at all levels of the organization
||Revision of Board of Director’s Recruitment Matrix to ensure greater representation and diversity in governance
||All staff Unconscious Bias and Diversity Training with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)
||Launch of the Diversity Meter in partnership with CCDI. This initiative was designed to assess the current levels of diversity within the organization, alongside inclusion measures
||Implementation of the LEAD assessment in partnership with Activity Alliance (UK) - identifying areas of improvement and engagement with persons with disabilities, both internally and externally
||We remain committed to changing the landscape of inclusion for our organization and through our work in the communities we serve.
is a methodology to help governments, public, and private sector organizations to define and embed inclusion and accessibility into strategic planning, daily operations, program environments, and organizational culture.
|Throughout 2019 the groundwork was laid with Rugby Ontario as Abilities Centre began to develop the pathway to Mixed Ability Rugby programming. As part of Rugby Ontario’s action plan coming out of the LEAD process, considerable work was put into creating variations in the Rookie Rugby program plans to make them more accessible and inclusive. The updated program plans were piloted in Abilities Centre Summer Camps where one day per week was dedicated to joint program delivery between Rugby Ontario and Abilities Centre to ensure that all campers were able to participate in rugby programming using the variations that had been created.
The next phase of development focussed on the introduction of Rugby into THRIVE programming. This was an essential step in the Mixed Ability program development, introducing a new population to the sport of rugby, building their confidence and motivation to participate in rugby, as well as participants’ love for rugby.
In the fall of 2019, conversations also began with the local rugby club, the Oshawa Vikings, to begin educating their team on the concept of Mixed Ability programming for a program pilot in January of 2020. As the pilot program launch date approached, we were able to bring all three working groups: Rugby Ontario, THRIVE participants, and the Oshawa Vikings together in order to create the ultimate Mixed Ability Rugby program together, ensuring that we truly represented individuals from the entire community (people with and without disabilities, people new to the sport, people who were currently players, and those who had ‘aged’ out of the sport) participating together in a Mixed Ability environment.
Organizations that completed LEAD in 2019/2020
- Rugby Ontario
- Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
- Calgary Adapted Hub
- University of Calgary
- Mount Royal University
- City of Calgary
- Sport Calgary
Our Impact through Affiliations
- Ontario Parasport Collective
- National Parasport Collective
- Municipality of Clarington – Accessibility Advisory Committee
- Durham College Community Integration through Cooperative Education (CICE) – Program Advisory Committee
- Durham Local Immigration Partnership
- Community Partners in Diversity (Durham Region)
- ParticipACTION – Disability Advisory & Research Team
- Include-Me National Disability Coalition
- Local Poverty Reduction Fund Steering Committee
- Make A Difference Steering Committee
- Founding Partner – Canadian Accessibility Network (Carleton University)
- Executive Member & Inclusion Representative – International Physical Literacy Association