Three locals have been recognized for their contributions and commitment to helping build communities where people of all abilities feel welcome and included.
Community Living BC, a provincial Crown Corporation responsible for funding supports for adults with developmental disabilities, has awarded David Paynter as well as Taylor and Jodi Kolb with WOW awards for helping to make their community more inclusive.
The Widening Our World awards have been handed out across British Columbia since 2009, to recognize the work taking place across the province that helps people feel welcomed, included and respected in their communities.
"It is very exciting that Kelowna is representing two (of the four) awards that were given out this year. This showcases how our community truly embraces equality and citizenship for everyone," says Lisa Porcellato
David Paynter has been working on inclusion for people with developmental disabilities for over 30 years. Paynter is a founding and current board member of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network Okanagan and he has served on the Inclusion BC, Vela Canada, and Family Support Institute boards, and is currently part of the Family Support Institute housing group.
Paynter was presented with his WOW award at the Inclusion Chain event held on Oct. 5 outside Kelowna City Hall.
“David embodies what it means to be a leader in everything, he is a voice for people with disabilities, forging relationships with organizations, committees, and leaders,” says Porcellato.
Taylor and Jodi Kolb were nominated by Laryssa Rock, from Pathways Abilities Society, for their 20 years as dedicated home sharing providers to individuals with diverse abilities. The Kolb’s made considerable alterations to their home, so it is more accessible for one individual who is aging and facing significant challenges.
“Taylor and Jodi have shown unconditional support for people with diverse abilities. They are strong advocates of inclusion, the people they support have expressed how comfortable, safe, and supported they feel in their home. I am grateful that our community has caregivers like Taylor and Jodi who bring out the best in the people they support and support their unique interests," says Rock.