The Pathways Abilities Society, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities, was joined by Mayor Colin Basran outside city hall Monday to mark October as Community Inclusion Month.
“City council has made it a priority to make diversity and inclusion one of the most important priorities of our term on council," said Basran.
"It’s something that, regardless of who’s in those chairs next term, should carry it on because everybody in our community should be able to find their place and feel like Kelowna is home."
The Pathways Abilities Society in Kelowna brought everyone together to create what they’re calling "the inclusion chain," which symbolizes the importance of including everyone no matter their abilities.
“The idea of the event is to really showcase the diversity of our community and celebrate that diversity and the idea of inclusion. Every individual matters, and we want to make that point by holding this inclusion chain event," said Adam Less of Pathways Kelowna.
"The point isn’t so much the number of people, it’s the diversity of people. You see people of all ethnicities, people of all abilities, people of all genders, you see everybody represented here. And it’s that. It’s seeing what a community really looks like. That’s really the message we are trying to deliver here.”
Pathways Kelowna says it’s very important to have Kelowna’s support in marking October as Community Inclusion Month, but they know there is more work left to be done.
“I think we’ve come a long way, but I think we have so much further to go. That’s why we run an event like this because you never want to take your foot off the pedal. You want to keep reminding the community that every day we need to be hiring people with diversabilities, we need to be making contingencies and understanding the needs of all people regardless of abilities," added Less.
Pathways Kelowna is heading into its 70th year, and are currently working on constructing 68 units of affordable housing in downtown Kelowna meant for people with disabilities.