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Today, three outstanding citizens and organizations were recognized by The City’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA) as recipients of the 2018 Accessibility Awards. The Accessibility Awards recognize citizens and organizations that are making Calgary more accessible for persons with disabilities. The awards were presented in today’s Council meeting by Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“With the thoughtful guidance and recommendations Council receives from the Advisory Committee on Accessibility, we continue our work to make Calgary more inclusive with every Calgarian in mind,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The result of that hard work is a city where everyone fully enjoys and contributes to all this great city has to offer.”

“Today, we recognized the award recipients for their exceptional qualities and actions in supporting people with disabilities,” says Mayor Nenshi. “Each award recipient is doing vital work to ensure that Calgary is inclusive for all.”

The recipients were selected by an open nomination call of individuals, corporations, community groups, and organizations, in three award categories:

  • The Transportation Opportunities Award celebrates Brooke Garcia, owner of 4 Seasons Transportation, who has provided barrier-free transportation to children. Much of her work is focused on helping children, supporting several school districts and government programs. The company has grown significantly since it first started, with a staff of 300.
  • The Advocacy Award was awarded to Dr. Susan Barker, Vice-Provost (Student Experience) at the University of Calgary. Dr. Barker is also the liaison and primary advocate for The Integrated Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) Society of Alberta. This local NGO exists, for the most part, because Dr. Barker has been the driving force behind the inclusion of 13 students with intellectual disabilities into the U of C’s learning landscape. She has ensured that IPSE students have an authentic university experience.
  • The Access Recognition Award was awarded to West Campus Development Trust’s Northwest Commons Park in Calgary’s Northwest community of University District. The playground has been designated a national demonstration site by PlayCore based on seven principles of inclusive design. The swings are boat-like structures that can accommodate a wheelchair and seating for additional people. The climbing net and monkey bars include transfer points, so that kids arriving in wheelchairs can move from their chairs to the equipment and back to their chairs more easily. The slides are also built with disabilities in mind, with rollers that give children a heightened sensory experience.

The awards presented to the recipients were created by artists from the In-Definite Arts Society, which has been a leader and innovator in Calgary’s arts and disabilities sector. The annual awards program started in 2006. Since then, 36 Calgarians have been recognized as part of The City of Calgary’s efforts to support people with disabilities. For more details on the awards and nomination process, visit

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