When Vernon resident Katie Moore started regularly using a wheelchair in 2016, she was struck by how many barriers prevented her from fully accessing her community. So, she decided to break some of those barriers down.
Moore started the Okanagan Accessibility group, which promotes the importance of making public areas accessible to everyone and gives recognition to businesses and public spaces that accomodate people with limited mobility.
For her efforts, Moore has been named a recipient of a Widening Our World award from Community Living British Columbia (CLBC), a crown corporation that supports adults with developmental disabilities.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29 – before the end of Community Inclusion Month – Moore will be presented with the award at a celebration event at 1:30 p.m. at the Kindale Developmental Association in Vernon.
“I am proud of what we have been able to do as a group and honoured to be recognized,” said Moore.
“I believe that everyone should be able to go into their local store or park no matter what their abilities are,” she added. “To be a part of a community means you have full access to your community. The Okanagan Accessibility Group works hard to make sure that communities in B.C. are more accessible for everyone, giving people the ability to fully participate in their community.”
Moore is one of five award winners chosen this year by the CLBC, which received more than 60 nominations. Moore was nominated by Julie Armitage from Vernon Music Therapy.
“Katie and the Okanagan Accessibility Group have done so much to help make our community a better place for everyone and I am thrilled she is being recognized with a provincial award for her hard work and dedication,” said Armitage.
“Katie has done so much to make Vernon more accessible,” said Lisa Porcellato of CLBC. “She works each and every day to advocate for those who just want to access places in the community like everyone else.”
CLBC has presented Widening Our World awards since 2009 to people who help to build communities where everyone is valued. As an organization, they provide services to more than 20,000 people with developmental disabilities and autism.