Red Shirt Day & National AccessAbility Week - Easter Seals Canada

RED SHIRT DAY

of Action for Accessibility and Inclusion

#RedShirtDay  #RedForAccessAbility

Thank you CANADA for participating in Red Shirt Day 2022 on June 1st, and posting your photos and pledges on social media! 

Mark your calendar for the next Red Shirt Day on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 and National AccessAbility Week from May 28 to June 3, 2023.

Countdown to the next Red Shirt Day on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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A screenshot of the news segment on Citynews reporting about Red Shirt Day

Click the start button above to watch a CityNews tv report about Red Shirt Day

What is Red Shirt Day?

Red Shirt Day (of Action for AccessAbility and Inclusion) is a day when people across Canada come together and wear red in schools, workplaces and spaces everywhere in order to create a visible display of solidarity: to show their support for persons and families who are living with disabilities, celebrate the achievements of people living with disabilities, and to pledge their commitment to help create a fully accessible and inclusive society that honours and values the contributions of people of all abilities in all aspects of life in Canada.

Red Shirt Day takes place on the Wednesday of National AccessAbility Week each year. In 2023, Red Shirt Day will take place on Wednesday, May 31 during National AccessAbility Week (Sunday, May 28 to Saturday, June 3).

Photo of a group of about a dozen people - some standing, some seated in wheelchairs. All are wearing red t-shirts and clothing and smiling.

On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, post a selfie or a group photo of you with your friends, classmates or colleagues – with your Red Shirt Day pledge and in your red shirts/attire – on social media with the hashtags:

#RedShirtDay, #RedForAccessAbility, #EasterSeals, #unstoppABLE.

Red Shirt Day is an Easter Seals initiative and was first celebrated in 2019.

By wearing red on Red Shirt Day, you also commit to making a Red Shirt Day Pledge: Click here to learn more about the Red Shirt Day pledge.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The next Red Shirt Day is on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

National AccessAbility Week: Sunday, May 28 to Saturday, June 3, 2023
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If your school, workplace, or group is planning on taking part in Red Shirt Day 2023, let us know. Join the Red Shirt Day mailing list and we will send you updates on Red Shirt Day and free resources to help you mark National AccessAbility Week and Red Shirt Day.  

Download a reminder (.ics file) to your calendar.

Like and Follow Red Shirt Day on social media!

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“Building an inclusive and accessible Canada—creating real social change—is going to take a huge collaborative effort and a significant shift in the way we approach the physical, social and attitudinal barriers that currently exist for people living with disability in this country. Easter Seals is proud to be at the forefront of this shift, and we’re excited about the awareness that the new National AccessAbility Week and Red Shirt Day will bring to these efforts.”

– Dave Starrett, President and CEO, Easter Seals Canada

THE RED SHIRT DAY PLEDGE

Image of a blank sheet of paper with some instructions and a red paint streak on top left hand corner with the words My Red Shirt Day Pledge

Disability, accessibility and inclusion does not end with just a one-day annual event. In order to make Canada a truly accessible and inclusive society, it requires the constant, year-round commitment and efforts of all Canadians to put it into practice in order to make it real, and to also advocate and take action to increase accessibility and inclusion.

As such, by wearing red on Red Shirt Day, participants are also encouraged to make a commitment – a pledge – to educate and inform themselves on issues related to disability, and do what they can – individually and collectively – to remove physical, attitudinal and systemic barriers in their schools, workplaces and communities in order to make Canada a truly accessible and inclusive places/environments for people of all abilities.

So, on Red Shirt Day, write down your Red Shirt Day pledge on a sheet of paper (or the pledge form below), and take a selfie/group photo of yourself/your group with your pledge(s) while wearing red. Or include your Red Shirt Day pledge in the text of your social media post. Click on the following links to download the Red Shirt Day pledge form. 

Red Shirt Day pledge form (ENGLISH)   |  Red Shirt Day pledge form (FRENCH)

Sampling of Red Shirt Day Pledges from Individuals and Organizations from across Canada

Moncton, New Brunswick

“Most of what we do in OT focuses on accessibility and inclusion and we hope to use this opportunity to continue to spread awareness about OT and how our profession can be used to combat barriers related to disability, accessibility and inclusion in the community!”

Fort McMurray, Alberta

“We pledge to help make our library accessible and our programs to include our inclusive community!”

Markham, Ontario

“We pledge to keep on educating the general community of ensuring that accessibility doesn’t just mean physical access – it also encompasses our perceptions, biases and also includes those individuals living with a developmental disability.”

Prince George, British Columbia

“Holding an AccessAbility event at our school with interactive displays, resources and games run by staff from different areas participating, including Accessibility Services, Health& Wellness, Academic Advising, and the Students’ Union.”

Pointe-Claire, Quebec

“I wrote to the City requesting a resolution to declare National AccessAbility week a yearly event and the motion passed and it was proclaimed!”

Quispamsis, New Brunswick

“My family is working on building a new inclusive playground at my son’s elementary school. I am also a Resource teacher and always share ways to celebrate all abilities.”

Ottawa, Ontario

“Invite employees to join virtual AccessAbility week events, recognize Red Shirt Day, read articles about inclusive language and disability awareness and learn about disability sensitivity.”

RED SHIRT DAY RESOURCES

Posters for Red Shirt Day & National AccessAbility
Composite image of 3 posters, featuring photos of children wearing red, set against a grey background.
Recommended books for children and adults
A colourful collage of different children's books covers
Colouring sheets for children
Recommended TED Talks, movies and videos
Photo of a smiling woman looking into the distance. She is dressed in black and has red hair. The image is a screenshot from a video still, and has the words TED in red at the top corner, and Stella Young: I'm not your inpsiration, thank you very much at the bottom left corner
Podcasts on inclusive workplaces
Close up image of two persons engaged in a discussion. Between them is a microphone.
Articles on diverse topics authored by persons with disabilities
Composite image featuring a lit light bulb swinging towards 2 unlit light bulbs, against a green background. There are 3 various photos inset on the right hand set.

Check out our Resources Page for free posters, inspirational quotes from famous persons with disabilities, as well as read our recommendations of some of the best TED Talks, books, and films about disabilities, accessibility and inclusion.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

The following are some additional suggested activities that you, your family, school or workplace can do to celebrate and observe National AccessAbility Week and Red Shirt Day.

  • On Red Shirt Day, wear red with your family members or colleagues and post your selfie or group photo on social media with the hashtags #RedShirtDay, #RedForAcccessAbility, #EasterSeals. In your post, share the reason why you have chosen to wear red and participate in Red Shirt Day, and what you pledge to do in the year ahead to enhance accessibility and inclusion in your workplace, school, and other community spaces.
  • Tell other people about Red Shirt Day and encourage them to take part as well.
  • Provide the colouring sheets in our Resources section to your children/students to encourage them to colour-in. The colouring sheets are also a great way to open up about discussion about disabilities and inclusion.
  • Together with your children/students, create positive messages of support for people and families living with disabilities, as well as your commitment to accessibility and inclusion. Put them down on construction paper and decorate them with drawings, etc, and put them up on the walls or windows of your home, classroom or school.
  • Read books or watch movies and video clips that feature characters with disabilities or which touches on disability, accessibility and inclusion. Then have a discussion with your family members, friends or colleagues about what you have read or watched. Check out the Red Shirt Day resources page for suggested books, films and other materials.
  • Get together with your colleagues, friends and family members to think about accessibility in your home, workplaces, school and community spaces. How are they accessible and in what ways are they not? What can you and your community do to help make private and public spaces, policies, programs and activities more inclusive and accessible?
  • Get Involved! Look up your local Easter Seals or other organizations serving people with disability in your communities. Sign-up to volunteer, donate or organize your own fundraising event to help enable these organizations to provide services in support of people and families with disabilities.

EASTER SEALS CHILDREN’S ART COMPETITION

A colourful posters with images of art materials such as paint and brushes, with lots of text which explain rules for the art contest

Easter Seals Canada regrets that we will not be hosting a Children’s Art Contest for National AccessAbility Week & Red Shirt Day year. We hope to offer the contest next year. If your organization would like to sponsor the 2023 Children’s Art Contest, please reach out to partnerships@easterseals.ca.


Fun Activity Alert!

Get children and students involved in celebrating National AccessAbility Week and Red Shirt Day by taking part in the Easter Seals Children’s Art Contest!

For our 2021 Art Contest, we are asking kids across Canada to draw or paint their interpretation of the theme “When We Include Everyone, We All Win!” and submit it to our Art Contest.

SUPPORT RED SHIRT DAY & EASTER SEALS: WHAT YOU CAN DO

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Take Part. Spread the word and be an advocate for accessibility and inclusion:

Organize Red Shirt Day at your school or workplace in order to raise awareness about National AccessAbility Week.

Talk to your family members, friends and colleagues about accessibility and disability issues that affect you or your community. Challenge any stereotypes or misconceptions.

Work with your school, local community group, businesses or councillor to improve physical and social accessibility and inclusivity in your community.

Support Easter Seals and People living with Disabilities: Make a donation to Easter Seals, Take Part in an Easter Seals event, or organize your own fundraising event for Easter Seals:

It’s easy to make a personal donation to Easter Seals, or a donation in honour of someone.

There are also many simple fundraising events or activities that you can organize on your own, at your school or workplace to raise funds for Easter Seals. For example: collecting donations in lieu of birthday gifts, organizing a bake sale at school, holding a garage sale. For ideas or information, reach out to us at partnerships@easterseals.ca.

Stay in touch!

Stay up-to-date about Easter Seals programs and services, events, and activities across the country by signing up for the Easter Seals Canada e-newsletter. We will also bring you the latest news and developments on accessibility issues from across Canada.

For even more current updates on Easter Seals and accessibility news and announcements, join our social media channels to be the first to know. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter or Subscribe to our Instagram page.

Sponsors and Partners

We are looking for partners and sponsors for Red Shirt Day. Join the movement by reaching out to partnerships@easterseals.ca

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