The City of Sarnia and its Accessibility Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted their 11th annual Accessibility Awards, Dec. 6, to mark the International Day of People with Disabilities.
The awards recognize organizations and individuals that make the community a more accessible and inclusive space.
“It takes a community to create an accessible and inclusive environment we can all grow and thrive in,” said SAAC Chair Debbie Draganits. “We want to celebrate those businesses and individuals who have helped make Sarnia a more welcoming and accessible community."
This year’s awards recipients are:
Prelude to Excellence for a Large Business Award — Nanette Jean, Home Depot Recognizes businesses with 50 or more employees that create inclusive environments.
Prelude to Excellence for a Small Business Award — Richard Kelch, Northgate Pharmacy Recognizes businesses with less than 50 employees that create inclusive environments.
Exceptional Leadership in Customer Service Award — Melanie Klyne, Scotiabank, Exmouth Street Recognizes business that provide exemplary service to people with disabilities.
Exceptional Accessible Physical Environment Award — Robert Esser and Courtney Hind, IG Wealth Management Recognizes forward-thinking inclusive design in built environments.
Creating Opportunities for an Inclusive Community Award — Helen Van Sligtenhorst Recognizes groups and/or individuals that provide community leadership in inclusive programming for individuals with disabilities.
Going Above and Beyond Award — Richard Gilbert, Wellwise by Shoppers Drugmart Recognizes a business or individual who goes above and beyond in serving or assisting individuals with a disability.
Outstanding Customer Service in a Social Service Sector Award — Michelle Taege Recognizes individuals working in the social service sector who offer exceptional service for individuals with a disability.
Kevin Schenk Legacy Award — the late Luana Cameron Named after former SAAC member Kevin Schenk, this award recognizes individuals living with a disability who inspire the community to make the city more inclusive and accessible.
Trailblazer Award — John Hagens of Community Living Sarnia-Lambton A new award this year, given on a year-to-year basis, celebrating the life-long passion, commitment and creativity of individuals that have advocated for and impacted the lives of people with disabilities in the City of Sarnia. This award is given to someone who has initiated, tried, and tested new methods and ways of delivering service, experience, and standards for persons with disabilities.