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Recognizing outstanding contributions and accomplishments: Guelph Barrier Free Committee 2023 Access Recognition Awards

Nominate individuals or businesses who help make Guelph inclusive by October 10

This fall, get ready to celebrate Guelph’s accessibility champions.

After a five-year hiatus, the Guelph Barrier Free Committee (GBFC), in partnership with the City of Guelph, is bringing back the Access Recognition Awards (ARAs). It’s a chance for the public to nominate individuals, groups and/or businesses who go above and beyond to help create an accessible city.

With the Access Recognition Awards, you can also nominate an individual with a disability who has overcome personal barriers to accomplish or fulfil a goal or a dream.

Nominating an individual, group or business that removes barriers and/or takes action for the inclusion of people with disabilities is an effective way of thanking those who contribute to the momentum of this work in our community!

Over 24 percent of Ontario’s population, or 2.6 million people, have a disability, according to Statistics Canada. This means roughly one in four Ontarians have a disability.

Also, as the aging population is expected to grow in the next 25 years, it is projected that the number of people living with a disability is also expected to grow in Ontario. This is why it is more important now than ever to remove all barriers that impede accessibility for all.

There are two nomination categories for the Access Recognition Awards:

Outstanding Contribution of an Individual or a Business: This category recognizes an individual (or a group of individuals) in Guelph who has made an outstanding contribution above and beyond the expectations and requirements of the current Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) by recognizing, removing and/or preventing barriers for individuals with disabilities.

Outstanding Accomplishment of an Individual: This category recognizes a Guelph-based individual (or a group of individuals) with a disability who has/have overcome personal barriers to accomplish or fulfil a goal or a dream.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) helps remove barriers for people with disabilities to increase employability and customer accessibility of goods, services, and facilities. All businesses and organizations must develop policies, train staff and document accordingly. In order to recognize, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities, every organization should ensure their policies are guided by the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

You may choose to nominate an individual or business who has made contributions to address one or more types of barriers, such as attitudinal/social barriers, communication/information barriers or architectural/physical barriers.

Check out the Nomination Forms for more details and examples.

Forms are available for pick up at Service Guelph, Guelph City Hall, online or by emailing [email protected].

The GBFC’s mission is to help our community attain inclusion, equity, access and independence for all persons with disabilities residing in or visiting Guelph, by addressing accessibility related topics. Help us recognize individuals and businesses who have shown exemplary commitment and leadership towards advancing accessibility by nominating them for the ARAs.

To support your nomination, consider providing information details describing the type of barrier (social, physical, mental, emotional, health-related, occupational, recreational, or customer service-related), as well as evidence to support the impact of the removal of barriers for people with disabilities. If the nominee took a more collaborative approach, please include these details in the nomination form.

Posthumous nominations will be accepted for individuals who have passed within the last five calendar years, beginning with 2019.

Once you’ve completed the Nomination Form, please submit the form and accompanying documents by mail/in-person to:

Guelph City Hall
C/O Access Recognition Awards,
Sarah Cunneyworth,
1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON N1H 3A1

Or by email to:
[email protected]
Subject line: C/O Access Recognition Awards

Nominations close on Tuesday, October 10.

Nominees who qualify for the Access Recognition Award are presented with a recognition award by Mayor Cam Guthrie during the November City of Guelph Council meeting.

Follow the GBFC on social media, and help us promote the ARAs by sharing/reposting!  Find them on Instagram: @guelph.barrierfree or Twitter (X): @g_barrierfree