Coming into its fourth year in Grande Prairie, the International Day of Disabled Persons Grande Prairie Committee is accepting nominations for the 2020 Inclusive Community Award. Spokesperson Mieke de Groot says the theme of this year’s award is “Not All Disabilities Are Visible”, putting an emphasis on persons who may not be immediately perceived as bearing a disability.
The United Nations designated December 3rd as the International Day for Persons with Disabilities in 1992, something de Groot says is important to have brought home to Grande Prairie.
“Our local committee has decided that we needed something to recognize those in our community who absolutely create an inclusive place to be,” she says. “It’s a wonderful day recognizing people with disabilities, their lives and their support systems around the world. We wanted to bring that home to Grande Prairie.”
She says the award is designed to acknowledge individuals, or groups of people, who go out of their way to let everyone know they are valued. De Groot adds she would like to see the award reach a point where more than one person or party can be acknowledged every year.
“The people who’ve received the awards bring me to tears every time I think about their appreciation of being acknowledged. When a person is so giving and they don’t care who knows it, they’re not giving to impress anybody, they’re giving because that’s who they are, they’re often not fed emotionally enough in return and often they can end up feeling depleted.”
“The purpose of this award is to help strengthen those individuals and the next person down the line so that we are recognizing what we are doing well,” she adds.
The award ceremony will be streamed online on December 3rd, lining up with the IDPD.