CALLING ALL SUPERHEROES: TAKING A LEAP FOR ACCESSIBILITY
The 2018 Easter Seals Drop Zone will see ordinary Canadians become superheroes for a day by rappelling off a high-rise tower in seven cities across Canada to raise funds to support Canadians who are living with disabilities
Toronto, ON – 13 August 2018: Throughout August and September this year, ordinary Canadians across the country will forego their regular daily routine and instead, put on their masks and superhero outfits in order to participate in the annual Easter Seals Drop Zone events. The Drop Zone, Easter Seals’ unique signature fundraising event, is a knee-shaking, heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping adventure that encourages Canadians to get out of their comfort zone and face their fears by rappelling from the top of a towering high-rise building – all in support of Canadians who are living with disabilities.
Participants – regardless of gender or ability – can register to participate as an individual or as a team. In order to rappel, they must fundraise the minimum amount set for each location. The task is made simple with the fundraising platform that Easter Seals provides to all registrants. This year, the event is taking place in seven cities across Canada beginning in Ottawa, followed by Regina, Winnipeg, Victoria, Vancouver, Halifax, and ending in Toronto. Since 2005, approximately 8,500 brave superheroes have stepped over the edge and safely rappelled off a building in support of Easter Seals and fellow Canadians who are living with disabilities.
One of the participants is 44-year-old, Andrew Nielsen, who is living with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to move around. He is also non-verbal and communicates with his voice output device and word board. This didn’t stop Andrew from participating in last year’s event. “I went to Easter Seals Camp as a child and want to help children of this new generation experience camp as well,” Andrew explains his reasoning for braving the rappel in downtown Toronto. “This is my way to support Easter Seals.”
Despite many advances and awareness of disability and accessibility issues, Canadians living with disabilities still face many barriers and obstacles that prevent them from participating fully in society. According to statistics and studies:
- 15% of people in Canada are presently living with some form of disability. This figure will grow with an aging Canadian population which will likely lead to an increase in age-related disabilities
- Canadians who are living with disabilities, especially women, are more likely to live in poverty and be victims of violence
- Children living with disabilities are twice as likely to live in households that rely on social assistance
- People living with disabilities are only half as likely to obtain a university-level degree, and are more likely to be unemployed or unable to secure employment relative to the general population
Easter Seals Canada and its provincial member organizations strive to support Canadians who are living with disabilities by offering vital programs and services that enhance their quality of life, physical and mental health and well-being, and self-determination. “I cannot thank [Easter Seals] enough for Nathan’s equipment. Without it, Nathan wouldn’t be striving today. I could not have raised him alone. Easter Seals was there every step of the way. Thank you so much for all that you do,” says Shuky, a parent who received support from Easter Seals for her child. This is echoed by Dave Starrett, President and CEO of Easter Seals Canada, who said that “Easter Seals has been able to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of Canadians who are living with disabilities thanks to the support and generosity of individuals and businesses across the country. We encourage everyone to get involved and pledge their support for this year’s event so that together, we can continue to support fellow Canadians who are living with disabilities and build a more inclusive and accessible society for everyone, regardless of ability.”
About Easter Seals Canada
Easter Seals is Canada’s largest local provider of programs, services, issues-leadership and advocacy in support of children, youth, and adults who are living with varying physical, cognitive, sensory and learning disabilities. For over 95 years, Easter Seals Canada and its provincial organizations have worked to create a more inclusive and accessible Canada and ensure that Canadians who are living with disabilities have access to the equipment, programs, services and support they require in order to achieve their goals and realize their potential.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Manager, National Corporate Partnerships, Easter Seals Canada
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 1-877-376-6362 ext 228
Ana Maria Faria
Vice President, Development, Easter Seals Canada
Email: email@example.com, Tel: 1-877-376-6362 ext 226