Just ahead of the International Day of People with Disabilities, the City of Sarnia paid special recognition to those businesses and individuals that strive to make the community more inclusive and accessible for individuals living with a disability.
The Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the City’s 10th annual Accessibility Awards on Dec. 1 at the St. Clair Corporate Centre, welcoming award recipients to join for refreshments, an awards ceremony and 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.”
This year’s awards recipients are outlined below.
Prelude to Excellence for a Large Business Award
This award recognizes businesses with 50 or more employees that create inclusive environments. This year’s award went to Penny Churchill and the Sarnia Observer.
Prelude to Excellence for a Small Business Award
This award recognizes businesses with less than 50 employees that create inclusive environments. This year’s award went to The Book Keeper.
Exceptional Leadership in Customer Service Award
This award recognizes business that provide exemplary service to people with disabilities. This year’s award went to The Mitton Village Collective.
Exceptional Accessible Physical Environment Award
This award recognizes forward-thinking inclusive design in build environments. This year’s award went to Bains BBQ.
Creating Opportunities for an Inclusive Community Award
This award recognizes groups and/or individuals that provide community leadership in inclusive programming for individuals with disabilities. This year’s award went to hair stylist Keira Hong.
Going Above and Beyond Award
This award recognizes a business or individual who goes above and beyond in serving or assisting individuals with a disability. This year’s award went to the Lambton College Massage Therapy Clinic.
Outstanding Customer Service in a Social Service Sector Award
This ward recognizes individuals working in the social service sector who offer exceptional service for individuals with a disability. This year’s award went to the County of Lambton Community Paramedic Program.
Kevin Schenk Legacy Award
A new award for this year, the Kevin Schenk Legacy Award provides posthumous recognition to individuals who inspire the community to make the city more inclusive and accessible. This year’s award will recognize SAAC member Kevin Schenk who passed away in 2022.