BRAMPTON, ON – A Brampton-based sports coach, a cupcake shop and a local hockey team have one thing in common: they were all recognized at the City of Brampton’s first annual Accessibility Awards for exemplary achievements in supporting and empowering individuals with disabilities. At a reception held at City Hall yesterday, Jennifer Andrade, Cristina’s Tortina Shop Inc. and the Brampton Hockey Midget MD Gold Team were presented with their awards.
The recipients were evaluated based on their contributions to Brampton’s community, in areas such as championing accessibility initiatives, promoting accessibility awareness, providing accessible customer service, accommodating persons with disabilities to help them participate in the community and providing equal employment opportunities.
The Community Member Award was presented to Jennifer Andrade, who is actively involved in the Special Olympics Brampton Chapter. She has helped coach and support athletes through sport, helped boost their confidence and ultimately advocates for inclusiveness in the community.
From left to right: Councillor Fortini, Community Member Award recipient Jennifer Andrade and Glenda Coupland, Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee
The Business Award went to Cristina’s Tortina Shop Inc., a unique cupcakery offering employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Created by Mary Iusso for her young daughter Cristina and other individuals with Down syndrome, the shop lives by its “We Bake to Advocate” motto, baking with the goal in mind to recognize and support individuals of all abilities.
From left to right: Glenda Coupland, Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Business Award recipient Mary Iusso, her daughter Cristina and Councillor Pat Fortini
The Brampton Hockey Midget MD Gold Team won the Community Member Award for a team. Members of the team actively raise awareness and support the abilities of people with disabilities. They embrace the belief that you do not have to be a player on the ice to be a member of their team.
Glenda Coupland, Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee and Councillor Pat Fortini (third and fourth from left) seen with the Community Member Award for a team recipients, the Brampton Hockey Midget MD Gold Team
Nominations for the 2019 Accessibility Awards will open in August 2019 and close in mid-September. Nomination forms will posted on the City website and paper copies will be available at City Hall in summer 2019.
“We are excited to recognize our first ever Accessibility Awards winners. They have each demonstrated great commitment in empowering individuals with disabilities, helping improve the quality of their lives. Their continued efforts help provide equitable opportunities for everyone while inspiring us all.”
- Mayor Linda Jeffrey
“Confident and independent living are important for individuals with disabilities. The more we can do as a community to help remove barriers, the more they can become active and engaged in our city. The winners of our Accessibility Awards have shown that by creating the right opportunities and recognizing capabilities rather than focusing on disabilities, there’s a brighter future for everyone.”
- Pat Fortini, City Councillor and Accessibility Advisory Committee Council Member
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