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For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2008

Peel Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

BRAMPTON, ON (Dec. 5, 2008) – Peel Regional Council celebrated the 2008 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Over 120 people attended the event featuring keynote speaker Shelley White, Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Peel Region, an Accessibility Awards presentation, a panel discussion focusing on accessibility initiatives currently underway or already completed in Peel and a tradeshow showcasing products for accessible housing and Universal Design projects in Peel.

“IDPD allows us to reflect on what needs to be done to remove the barriers to participation for persons with disabilities,” says Shelley White. “I commend the Region for its progress in improving access to services in our community including transportation, employment, education, recreation, and health care.”

This year’s theme, Dignity and justice for all of us, highlighted the importance of equal participation in society by persons with disabilities and was aimed at mobilizing support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The event was equipped with closed captioning, attendant care and a sign language interpreter to ensure the needs of every participant were met.

“As a customer-focused organization, we are committed to ensuring that those with disabilities have equitable access to our services and are treated with dignity and respect,” says David Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer, Region of Peel. “We initiate corporate-wide projects on an ongoing basis to ensure that the Region is in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and is on the road to being barrier-free by 2025.”

IDPD is an annual celebration at the Region which is intended to raise awareness about the issues facing persons with disabilities and the need to recognize and eliminate barriers in the community so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of society. This year’s event was hosted by the Region’s Accessibility Planning Program and Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC).

“We are so pleased to have generated such a large interest not only from those who attended the event but also from those who joined us over the internet,” says William Goursky, Chair of the AAC. “IDPD provides us with an opportunity to celebrate and embrace the diversity that exists within our community and ensure everyone receives equal treatment.”

Municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more are required to form an AAC and seek its advice. The overall goal of the AAC, in conjunction with the Accessibility Planning Program of the Region, is to incorporate an accessibility component into the services and programs provided by the Region.

For more information about the Accessibility Planning Program, please contact Meenu Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist, at 905-791-7800, ext. 4778 or visit www.peelregion.ca/corpserv/makingway.

The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon.

For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit www.peelregion.ca.



Irene McCutcheon
Senior Public Affairs Associate
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, ext. 4507

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595, e-mail



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