Indigenous Disability Awareness Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous peoples with disabilities and take action to ensure equity of rights, access, and opportunities.
In the month of November, Siksika Health Services committed to educating and raising awareness about inclusivity around disabilities. Indigenous peoples with disabilities face barriers and opportunities that magnify the social and economic exclusion they experience. Everyone deserves to take part in their community.
Siksika Sports for All Recreation Program
Community Mental Health and Wellness and SN7 will be collaborating to implement an adaptive recreation program that will modify sports activities to be inclusive of all abilities. Adaptive sports provide modifications to a particular sport so that athletes will be given the opportunity to participate with appropriate accessible accommodations.
The key principle of adaptive sports and recreation is inclusivity. The Siksika Sports for All Recreation Program will offer a variety of adaptive sports beginning with a 6-week adaptive lacrosse program. The Autism and Asperger Friendship Society (AFFS) is a program that offers specialized sports, supports, and recreational respite to many families with all abilities.
They will assist in the facilitation of the instruction, equipment purchase and lacrosse instructors. The AFFS coordinators are specialists in the field of disability and sports and are excited to mentor SN7 in facilitating adaptive sports.
This mentorship allows SSARP to be sustainable in future inclusive sport programming. Other adaptive sports that will be offered to the community will be goal ball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair lacrosse, adaptive running, sledge hockey and sitting volleyball. The SSARP committee are dedicated to provide an inclusive sports program so that all Siksika members with all abilities will be given the opportunity to participate in any sport.
Organizational Commitment to Accessibility
Participation in society requires barrier-free access to online content. Siksika Health Services has partnered with UserWay to meet international standards for website accessibility. This allows all visitors to our Siksika Health website to access information equitably.
UserWay has been implemented on the website, and further instruction on how to use it will be shared with Siksika Nation members in December.
Siksika Disabilities Services Christmas Dinner
Every year, Siksika Disabilities Services hosts a Christmas dinner for their clients that aligns with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The department celebrated a bit earlier this year, however, the celebration was special as it’s the first time staff, clients and family members have been able to gather at an in-person event before the pandemic.
Siksika Health Services recognizes all the hard work Disabilities Services puts in for the community and thanks everyone who made the dinner special. International Day of Persons with Disabilities is December 3rd.