March of Dimes Canada will be embarking on an accessible bus tour to highlight the need for inclusion in recreation and community participation for people living with disabilities
Beginning in June, 2015, March of Dimes Canada (MODC) will be rolling out its ModMobility bus tour.
For many Canadians living with physical disabilities, there are barriers to accessing the recreational activities and community events that lead to friendships and essential social integration. March of Dimes Canada’s MODMobility Bus offers flexibility in configuration that can accommodate up to 10 wheelchairs and 10 seated passengers, allowing groups to enjoy recreational activities, day trip and family outings.
The tour will leave Toronto, Ontario on June 2, 2015 with stops at Sault St. Marie, Sudbury and Thunder Bay. A further trip to Atlantic Canada is being planned.
On June 5th, the bus will be stopping in Thunder Bay, allowing participants from March of Dimes Canada’s Warehouse Project to enjoy a fun-filled day touring Gammondale Farm, Kakabeka Falls Park and Hillcrest Park and the Prince Arthur Landing.
The Warehouse Project and MODC Community Garden is a unique community program that allows participants living with disabilities to build upon their social network, take part in activities such as art, woodworking, gardening, cooking, recreation, community outings and special events. The Warehouse programming supports building confidence and enhancing independence beyond the program itself. The Warehouse encourages community engagement and often participants move on to new experiences such as volunteering, furthering their education, joining social groups and pursuing employment. The Warehouse is well known for being an upbeat, positive and fun environment for all participants, from young adults to seniors.
Participants will be able to enjoy an outing thanks to the new MODMobility Bus.
On June 9th, the bus will be stopping in Sudbury, Ontario, allowing participants from March of Dimes Canada’s Wade Hampton House to enjoy a fun-filled morning with fishing and a picnic at Bell Park (near Science North). The bus will then travel back to Wade Hampton House for an Open House taking place from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Wade Hampton House is a congregate care home in the City of Sudbury that integrates safe and accessible
housing for 10 residents with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). In addition to in-home care, the Wade Hampton
House also offers day programs and community outreach. Prior to the opening in 2011, there was little support for people with ABI in north eastern Ontario and this new home has brought much-needed service and community supports. A capital campaign is now underway to develop a new building that will house 10 more consumers and reduce the long waiting list of people with ABI who live throughout Sudbury and surrounding areas and need accommodations.
At the Open House there will be a chance to tour the grounds, and hear from brain injury survivor Candice Kirkbride, who is Wade Hampton House’s Spokesperson and athlete Amber Konikow, the home’s Ambassador. Joe-Ann Vandeligt, mother of one of the consumers will say a few words as well.
“The aim of the MODMobility Journey is to demonstrate how accessible transportation can enrich and enhance the quality of life and community participation of people living with disabilities, their families and caregivers,” says Jerry Lucas, Chief Operating Officer of March of Dimes Canada. “It is our hope to be able to expand this type of programming across Canada, offering recreational opportunities to more Canadian families living with disabilities,” he continues.
Participants throughout the tour will engage in a social media campaign sharing highlights of the special events and the beautiful views and scenery. To virtually access the MODMobility Journey, please follow @modcanada using the hashtag #MODCBusTour.
As well, the MODMobility Bus Tour will be partnering with Make Me Smile, a national thank-you/gift program to support family caregivers. Make Me Smile will give out gift packs to deserving families and will work with discharge planners, social workers, occupational and physiotherapists to deliver the program.
MODMobility’s Journey will also raise awareness of March of Dimes Canada’s programs geared to improving community engagement of Canadians with disabilities, including its Accessible Transportation Services, Campers Helping Campers Program, Recreation and Accessible Travel Program and other services offered at the chosen communities on the tour.
For more information, please email ModMobility@marchofdimes.ca.