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Partnership Continuing to Build Inclusive Community


June 22, 2010 – Have you ever gone to a recreation activity to find that you are not able to remember how to get around the building, even though you have been there many times before?  Have you ever experienced what it is like not to be able to understand what a fitness instructor is saying, or to see the movements demonstrated by a yoga teacher? 

Community Living Thunder Bay and City of Thunder Bay officials held an event today to celebrate the success of ‘Inclusion Services.’ The two organizations formed a unique partnership to launch Inclusion Services in 2005 to help citizens of Thunder Bay with disabilities participate in City of Thunder Bay recreation and culture activities. After five years, this partnership has grown to serve an average of 75 adults with disabilities on a weekly basis and continues to be a great success.

To date, Inclusion Services has been implemented at the Canada Games Complex, the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre, Herb Carroll 55 Plus Centre, Volunteer Pool, Sir Winston Churchill Community Pool, City golf courses, and Community Centres.  This partnership enables people with disabilities to be involved in swimming, fitness classes, playing a round of golf, visiting the library at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre, and an array of other exciting recreational and cultural opportunities.

With the Standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disability Act, 2005, shaping how municipalities deliver service to people with disabilities, the City of Thunder Bay continues to place a high value on this partnership with Community Living Thunder Bay.  Inclusion Services is a shared vision that has changed the way that people with disabilities access City of Thunder Bay recreation and culture facilities and programs.

“Inclusion Services has enjoyed success thanks to a long term approach to supporting people with disabilities in recreation programs,” said Stephen Holloway – Inclusion Coordinator with the City of Thunder Bay.  “This approach has enabled some participants to use recreation facilities independently and has resulted in significant positive impacts on their quality of life.”

For more information on Inclusion Services, call 625-3220 or visit www.thunderbay.ca.

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Contact: Stephen Holloway, Inclusion Coordinator, 625-3220 or SHolloway@thunderbay.ca