“The provincial election was one of two big concerns at our Annual General Meeting” said Ralph Ferguson, adding, “the other was encouraging further social and recreational activities throughout the county for persons with disabilities.” The meeting took place Sept. 18 in the basement of the Christian Fellowship Church on Abercrombie Road.
Susan Fraser advised the members gathered at the Let Abilities Work Partnership Society meeting that for this election, special consideration is being given to those people with disabilities who are unable to get out to vote. “I’m very much involved in this great new initiative,” she said, “but you do not call me direct. Anyone not able to get to the polls can call their returning office and arrange to have someone like me go to their home to collect their ballot." The numbers to call for the returning offices are: Pictou East 1-855-271-7657; Pictou West 1-855-271-7779; and Pictou Centre 1-855-271-7435.
Members also discussed having questions relating to disability issues prepared for when candidates come knocking at the door seeking voter support. All were encouraged to prepare their own questions but, to help with that, several sample questions were distributed that have been devised by the disability community in Nova Scotia.
Members decided to work through Active Pictou County to expand the number and type of suitable recreational and social activities for people with disabilities in the Pictou County area. Activities like the 55+ clubs and a tandem bike club were mentioned and other possible events like swimming, horseback riding, bocce, bowling, lawn bowling, and chair yoga. Rae Gunn, co-ordinator of Active Pictou County, attended the meeting and advised members that the various municipalities desire to contribute to and support such activities. She spoke of the program of inclusive services in Saint John, N.B., with equipment loans and an attendant pass system. However, here locally, they find that those with disabilities are not too active “and the impetus for action must initiate from the persons with disabilities themselves. We need to know from your community just what activities you want and will support before we can invest in them and purchase suitable equipment.” Members of the executive will meet again with Rae Gunn in October to devise a plan including some “try it” sessions.
Christian Fellowship Church Pastor Bruce Morrison has advised that the church is receptive to having ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation at services making them inclusive for those in the area who are deaf. Co-ordinated and promoted by Let Abilities Work Partnership Society and our Deaf Sub-Committee, ASL interpreters Susan Fraser and her daughter have agreed to interpret at 12 services, once a month for the next year to provide this spiritual service to members of the deaf community.
Members voted to return the board directors and executive for another yearly term. Thus for the next year the board membership is chair Ralph Ferguson, vice chair Philip Fisher, secretary Allan Collie, treasurer Ron Levy and two directors at large, Jason MacDonald and Darrell Feit. Following the meeting, members enjoyed a little social time with trays of fruit, crackers, cheese and cookies.