If a structure is constructed according to building codes, one might think it would be easy to manoeuvre around and through.
It’s not true, insists Zosia Ettenberg, founder and president of Langley Pos-Abilities.
Her group is hosting a Day of Pos-Abilities event this weekend that is intended to spotlight just how difficult it can be for people living with disabilities to get around.
“Come and try it out,” she said, noting the fourth annual event is about education, and fostering understanding and inclusion.
In an effort to ramp up the education and fun aspect of the day, the Day of Pos-Abilities will feature a new Try on a Disability challenge, she explained.
Teams of four to five people – and she waiting for confirmation from a few celebrity teams – will compete in several tasks demonstrating the different challenges people in the community live with every day, be it visual, hearing, or mobility impairment, Ettenberg said.
“Who knows maybe it will become a regular part of [Day of Pos-Abilities],” she said of the challenge.
“It is always amazing to me, when I come up in my wheelchair to a door, that someone has gone through and they just let it closed in my face. And those doors are always the heavy ones, which are very difficult to open and hold open,” she said, pointing to the need to educate everyone, not just those responsible for designing for accessibility.
Included in this Saturday’s event will be the organization’s wheelchair obstacle course. People of all ages are invited to try manoeuvring through the 20 X 40-foot course.
“There is even a little bathroom in it, as well as manual and automatic doors ramps, and check out the width of the hallways – can you get by without scraping your knuckles?” she explained.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW PICTURE:
“We love having it in our arsenal because it makes people more aware of the challenges facing people in wheelchairs,” said Ettenberg. She is wheelchair bound and accompanied by a service dog and lives with the constant struggles of trying to access places in town.
This year’s Day of Pos-Abilities happens Saturday, Aug. 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Douglas Park.
“We have always done it in Douglas Park and one of the reasons is because there are a lot of people in the downtown core who have disabilities and therefore transportation is a lot easier than to other venues,” Ettenberg added.
The day will also feature live entertainment (including the Wheeling Eights wheelchair square dancing group), along with various food vendors, a marketplace, and a kids activity tent and bouncy castles.
For more information on the society, and its efforts, visit their website by clicking here.