Efforts improved access for people with disabilities

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To the editor,
On behalf of Let Abilities Work Partnership Society and members of the disability community, especially those who use wheelchairs, scooters and walkers in the Pictou area, I’d like to acknowledge and thank two groups who through their co-operation, made major improvements to access for people with disabilities.

Firstly, I see that on the north side of Church Street, the wires have been diverted and the poles removed that were blocking the sidewalk for wheelchairs and scooters users. So a big shout out and thank you to the Town of Pictou who in co-operation with the electric power company, the telephone company and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission accomplished this work. I hasten to point out that this issue was a matter of federal jurisdiction so no one was required to do this work. They all just co-operated to get it done for the right reason – because it was the right thing to do.

The second thank you and shout out goes to the Pictou County Health Authority, Rev. Mike Simmons with the Sutherland Harris Hospital Foundation and Dr. Randy Burrill at the Pictou Medical Clinic. It all began last fall when I mentioned to Dr. Burrill that the entrance door to the Clinic with its short, steep ramp was awkward for people using walkers and wheelchairs. He agreed and suggested that a power door might be the answer. At Let Abilities Work, we had a small amount unspent from a Wellness Grant budget so, thinking of that as seed money, I felt I might be able to coax the rest needed to fund a power door in a grant from the Sutherland Harris Hospital Foundation. I picked up a Foundation application from Mike Simmons which I completed and submitted. I don’t know the ins and outs of what happened then but at a function a few weeks later, Mike advised me that Pictou County Health Authority had decided to do the work itself and that the job was now complete. Again, I believe all these folks did what they did for the right reason – because it was the right thing to do.

So, on behalf of the disability community, I say, “We see what all of you have done and we appreciate it. Thank you.”

Ralph Ferguson, Pictou

Chair, Let Abilities Work Partnership Society

Organizations: Pictou County Health Authority, Sutherland Harris Hospital Foundation, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Pictou Medical Clinic

Geographic location: Church Street

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