Pathways Abilities Society teamed up with the City of Kelowna Friday to mark Community Inclusion Month by forming a human chain down Water Street to show their support for people of all backgrounds.
Pathways Kelowna media and marketing manager Adam Less describes the group as a society that provides services for people living with disabilities.
"It’s very important for us to send a message to the community that every individual in our community matters. Regardless of age, gender, religion, ability, every individual matters, and that’s really what Pathways is all about."
He tells Castanet that Pathways Abilities Society in Kelowna provides a number of different services, including activities for people living with disabilities, customized employment for individuals, homeshare opportunities and others.
On site to read the city's official proclamation was Coun. Ron Cannon, who says he’s seen community support grow year after year for people with disabilities, especially after 10 years of celebration each October.
“From personal experience and from observing the smiles on their faces, and from the parents that also have so much more hope and opportunity. I think all of us want hope and opportunity and by bringing this community inclusion chain together just reinforces that ability that the community is a social fabric and the strength of all of us living together in an inclusive manner,” said Cannon.
“I think it just keeps getting better. As our community grows and people become more aware, more accepting and as I said, embracing and employing these individuals, it makes for a better community for all.”
Pathways Abilities Society currently helps over 225 people with disabilities throughout the community.
“We try to get employers to understand there are ways to build in customized employment where we have skilled people who are capable of coming in and doing great work. They’re excited to work, they’re excited to come in every day and do the job, they want to be fulfilled just like everyone else in the community does. We have people working at car dealerships, people working at retail stores … we have people working all over our community.”
The human chain of inclusion day ended with a pancake breakfast at the Rotary Centre of the Arts, inviting people of the public to learn more about Pathways and what they have to offer.