COLUMN: Celebrating Inclusion Month in Vernon

Venture Training organizations across the province are celebrating Community Inclusion Month.

Ryan Cucheron

For the Morning Star

This October, Venture Training and other disability service organizations across the province are celebrating Community Inclusion Month.

This is the 20th year that we are recognizing and celebrating the contributions and potential of people with disabilities in our community. It is also an opportunity to celebrate with the families, friends, caregivers, volunteers and employers who contribute every day to enhance the quality of life for people in our community.

In the past, people with developmental disabilities were isolated and there was not a lot of interaction within the community. The catalyst for change came in the ‘80s when students with disabilities were fully integrated into the regular school system. Around the same time, Venture Training started taking work crews out to clear snow and perform landscaping tasks for homeowners and businesses. We also started working with local businesses to train and place people with developmental disabilities in their operations. In the 90’s, day programs were developed where people with developmental disabilities were taken on excursions such as visits to the library, recreational facilities, local attractions and parks. Today, about 8,500 people in Greater Vernon have a disability and you will see them active throughout our community.

Everyone has a part to play in building inclusion and we all benefit when there is an opportunity for everyone to achieve their potential. During Community Inclusion Month, we ask everyone to celebrate the contributions and potential of people with disabilities and to think about how each of us can make our community more inclusive.

“Inclusion happens when a community accepts, understands and values everyone,” says Community Living BC CEO Seonag Macrae. “I want to thank the countless individuals, families and community groups, including Venture Training, for all they do to build welcoming communities full of possibilities.”

Venture Training will be celebrating Community Inclusion month by holding a Bike Drive event at Kin Race Track on October 6 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Our Cycle-Cycle program will be collecting and selling used bikes; there will be bike shop booths, food trucks, a bike obstacle course, information on local cycling routes and more. Vernon’s Leah Goldstein, World Champion Cyclist, will be on hand to meet people and talk about her upcoming Race Across America in 2019. Join us to immerse yourself in “everything cycle”, celebrate Community Inclusion Month and have fun at this event for the whole family.

Ryan Cucheron is the new Executive Director of Venture Training. He can be reached at 250-542-2374 or by e-mail at rcucheron@vdacl.ca.

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