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ACCESSIBILITY: Allows everyone to participate and contribute

| May 19, 2023 1:00 AM

Thursday, May 18, was Global Accessibility Awareness Day. As people and community members it is important for everyone to be aware that other people have impairments and that everyone can participate in making information, activities, and our environments sensible, practical, functional and meaningful, for as many people as possible.

Accessibility means that there are no barriers of any kind that interfere with a person fully participating in all aspects of society and life. When we improve accessibility, it benefits all people, making our community more inclusive.

Are people disabled because they have a certain condition or impairment? Or are they disabled because their environment and community are not accessible to them? Over a billion people worldwide, and over 25% of the Idaho population live with an impairment.

People with impairments are the largest minority group in the world, a group that anyone can join at any time. People with impairments deserve to live free from assumptions, attitudes and barriers that disable them. Awareness and accessibility remove those barriers, unlocking possibilities.

North Idaho has amazing organizations providing opportunities and support for incredible people, all with unique strengths and contributions to offer.

Learn about TESH, Project Search, Team Hoyt, Specialized Needs Recreation, Ds Connection, CDAACT and the Village Bakery. Support them, volunteer, get to know the people they serve and learn how you can better acknowledge our community members who want to participate and contribute.

Taking time to interact with people who have impairments will make the biggest difference in being aware making our community as accessible as possible, to everyone.

SUZANNE KNUTSON

Coeur d’Alene