ABOUT RED SHIRT DAYTM
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 to create a visible display of solidarity: to show their support for disabled people and their families, celebrate the achievements of disabled Canadians, and to pledge their commitment to help create a fully accessible and inclusive society.
Red Shirt Day is an Easter Seals initiative and was first celebrated in 2019. It takes place on the Wednesday of National AccessAbility Week each year.
Anyone can take part in Red Shirt Day. Put on your favourite red shirt, take some photos and make a pledge to help improve accessibility and inclusion in your community. Then post your photos and your pledge on social media with the hashtags. #RedShirtDay #RedForAccessAbility
What is National AccessAbility Week?
Established in 2017, National AccessAbility Week celebrates, celebrates and highlights some of the important initiatives aimed at creating an Accessible Canada.
National AccessAbility Week begins on the last Sunday in May every year. This year, National AccessAbility Week will take place from May 28 to June 3.
Countdown to Red Shirt Day
Red Shirt Day Mailing List
Subscribe to the Red Shirt Day mailing list to receive reminders, resources and ideas to help you celebrate Red Shirt Day and National AccessAbility Week.
Save these dates!
Red Shirt Day is on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.
National AccessAbility Week runs from May 26 to June 1, 2024.
A one-day annual event will not make Canada a truly accessible and inclusive society. We need constant, year-round efforts of all Canadians to raise awareness, advocate and take action to increase accessibility and inclusion for people living with disabilities.
Red Shirt Day participants are encouraged to make a commitment—a pledge —to educate and inform themselves on issues related to disability and do what they can to remove physical, attitudinal and systemic barriers and make their schools, workplaces and communities accessible and inclusive for people of all abilities.
On Red Shirt Day, write your pledge on a sheet of paper and take a selfie/group photo 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 Pledges 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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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
Red Shirt Day posters
Recommended books for children and adults
Recommended TED Talks, movies and videos
Podcasts on inclusive workplaces
Articles authored by people with disabilities
Colouring sheets for children
Here are some activities that you, your family, friends, school or workplace can do to celebrate Red Shirt Day and educate yourself about disability during National AccessAbility Week.
Wear Red and Make a Pledge
On Red Shirt Day (Wednesday, May 31, 2023), wear red and post a selfie or group photo on social media with the hashtags #RedShirtDay and #RedForAcccessAbility. Share why you are wearing red, and what you pledge to do in the year ahead to enhance accessibility and inclusion in your home, workplace, school, or community.
Raise Awareness with Positive Messages
Get creative by writing positive messages of support for people living with disabilities and their families. Write them on the sidewalk with chalk or decorate posters to put up on your windows and doors or hang from your fence, deck or anywhere outdoors where they can’t be missed!
Colouring for Kids
Print out colouring sheets to engage your children in discussion about disabilities, accessibility and inclusion.
Bring Disability Awareness to Book Club
Choose a book written by an author with a disability for your book club to read and discuss. Click here to check out Easter Seals’ list of recommended books.
Host a National AccessAbility Week Watch Party
Invite friends, family or colleagues to watch films about disability, accessibility and inclusion. Then have a discussion about what you watched. Click here to find suggested films about disability.
Make an Action Plan
Think about your home, workplaces and community. How are they accessible and in what ways are they not? Make a plan of things you can do to make spaces, policies, programs, etc. more inclusive and accessible.
Look up your local Easter Seals or other organizations serving people with disabilities. Sign up to volunteer or donate to help these organizations provide services in support of people with disabilities and their families.
- Download poster of general suggested activities (PDF)
- For Teachers and Students: Download poster of suggested activities for schools (PDF)
“Red Shirt Day is an opportunity to get engaged and take action to improve accessibility and inclusion for Canadians living with disabilities. Easter Seals is committed to advocating for equity in employment, transportation and housing — areas where major barriers still exist and hinder people with disabilities from fully participating in society. On Red Shirt Day, and all throughout the year, we invite Canadians to join our efforts and make a pledge to do what they can to make their corners of the country more accessible and inclusive.”