The City of Sarnia celebrated this year’s Accessibility Award winners Thursday, honouring local businesses and individuals that make the city more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.
The event, now in its 10th year, included a keynote address from local motivational speaker and mental-health advocate Dan Edwards.
“It takes effort at every level to create a welcoming and inclusive community where all individuals, regardless of ability, can live, grow and thrive,” said Accessibility Coordinator Dale Mosley, adding, “right across our community there are those who step up to create accessible, inclusive spaces, and today we thank them for that critical effort and hope their example encourages others to take action.”
In 2022, the City received 20 nominations from the public; from those, the the Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee (SAAC) chose the following winners in each category:
Penny Churchill, Sarnia Observer – is receiving the Prelude to
Excellence for a Large Business Award for developing an inclusive culture
that hires and supports people with disabilities.
The Book Keeper – is receiving the Prelude to Excellence for a Small
Business Award for implementing an inclusive hiring culture that supports
a diverse work environment to include people with disabilities.
The Mitton Village Citizen Collective – is receiving the Providing
Exceptional Leadership in Customer Service Award for exceeding
expectations by advocating for a customer with a disability. The organizer
made extra efforts to promote, support, and include accessibility when
organizing and hosting events.
Keira Hong – is receiving the Creating Opportunities for an Inclusive
Community Award. Keira provides hair services for people within their
homes who are unable to access services within traditional settings. Keira
delivers exemplary care and customer service to clients she provides for,
as well as their families. She is known to work outside of standard work
hours to continually provide care for her clients.
Bains BBQ – is receiving the Exceptional Accessible Physical Environment
Award for showing forward-thinking in developing inclusive design within
the restaurant. Bains BBQ employees escort individuals with disabilities
into the restaurant in bad weather and have shown forward-thinking when
designing the restaurant to ensure it is accessible to everyone.
Massage Therapy Clinic, Lambton College – is receiving the Going
Above and Beyond Award for a business that shows forward-thinking
when serving and assisting people with disabilities. They provide
exemplary customer service by guiding clients with sight impairments to
and from the clinic, ensuring hallways are clear of barriers, and offering
reduced rates for people on fixed incomes.
Community Paramedic Program, County of Lambton – is receiving
the award for Outstanding Customer Service in a Social Service Sector for
advocating for people with disabilities by researching and advocating for a
person with a disability requiring additional care.
The SAAC also introduced the first-ever Kevin Schenk Legacy Award for
individuals who inspire the citizens of Sarnia to help make the City more
inclusive and accessible.
The award will be given to Kevin Schenk’s family. Kevin passed away in 2022.