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 2022, Red Shirt Day will take place on Wednesday, June 1 during National AccessAbility Week (Sunday, May 29 to Saturday, June 4).
On Wednesday, June 1st, 2022, post a selfie or a group photo of you with your friends, classmates or colleagues – all wearing red – 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, June 1, 2022
National AccessAbility Week: Sunday, May 29 to Saturday, June 4, 2022
If your school, workplace, or group is planning on taking part in Red Shirt Day 2022, 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.
“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
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, and take a selfie/group photo of yourself/your group with it while wearing red. Or include your Red Shirt Day pledge in the text of your social media post. Click here to download the Red Shirt Day pledge form.
Posters for Red Shirt Day & National AccessAbility
Recommended books for children and adults
Recommended TED Talks, movies and videos
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.
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.
Easter Seals is pleased to collaborate with our partners to present the following free webinars and online workshops to celebrate National AccessAbility Week and Red Shirt Day. Spaces are limited for some workshops so register early to save your spot!
Storytelling, Q&A and Creative Writing Workshop for Children in Grades 1 to 5
Calling all children who enjoy reading and writing! Join Candice O’Sullivan, author of the children’s picture book, A New Way to Play, for this special virtual workshop! This interactive session will include a group storytelling and creative writing session led by Candice, and a question & answer session. There are two sessions available: one for kids in Grades 1 to 2, and another for kids in Grades 3 to 5. If your children enjoy writing their own stories, consider registering them for this special enrichment activity! Spaces are limited so register early!
Presenter: Canadian author, Candice O’Sullivan
The Accessible Canada Act: What it means for Canadians
The adoption of the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) by the Government of Canada in 2019 was an important moment for persons with disabilities. This presentation will cover what the ACA does, its objectives and guiding principles, and how it supports the rights of persons with disabilities to equally participation and inclusion in Canadian society. It will also cover some of the work that is currently underway to implement the ACA, including the development of standards by Accessibility Standards Canada and the development of regulations by the Government of Canada, Canadian Transportation Agency, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission.
Presenter: Rachel Weiner, Staff Lawyer, ARCH Disability Law Centre
When: Tuesday, June 1, 2021. 1pm – 2pm ET
If you missed this webinar, a recording with closed captions will be made available here in mid-June.
What Does Disability Inclusion Bring to the Workplace?
The PROUD project focuses on understanding and communicating the lived experiences of people with disabilities in the workforce and those of employers who hire and retain them, in five different countries. This webinar recounts the experiences and reveals the insights from our participants that speak to the many problems faced by people with physical disabilities as well as the solutions they suggest. The research asks whether there is an optimum environment that enables some people who have a physical impairment to thrive in the workforce. The goal of the research is to develop a guide or “best practices” for inclusive employment by gleaning ideas from these groups.
Presenters: Dr Chloë Atkins and Dr Andrea Whiteley, University of Toronto
When: Wednesday, June 2, 2021. 1pm – 2pm ET
If you missed this webinar, a recording with closed captions will be made available here in mid-June.
“I Can Too!” Disabilty Awareness Workshop for Kids
“I Can Too!” is an interactive disability awareness presentation designed by Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador to engage students from kindergarten to grade six in conversations about disability, what a disability is and how we can think differently about disability. It includes videos, books and dolls with adaptive equipment that helps students in learning that disability does not mean inability! Participation is free and is open to any children in Kindergarten to Grade 6.
Presenter: Rachel Warren, Easter Seals Newfoundland & Labrador
When: Thursday, June 3, 2021. Presentations are being offered at 2pm and 4pm Eastern Time (3:30pm and 5:30pm Newfoundland Time).
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.
- Encourage your children/students to take part in the Easter Seals Art Contest for National AccessAbility Week. There are prizes to be won!
- Create positive messages of support for people and families living with disabilities, and your commitment to accessibility and inclusion and put them up on your windows.
- 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.
- 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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
We acknowledge and thank the following partners for their support and contributions to Red Shirt Day 2021. Support the Red Shirt Day Campaign by coming on board as a sponsor or partner. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Easter Seals Events and Campaigns
Reimagine Employability Campaign
The Drop Zone Challenge
The Paper Egg Campaign
COVID-19 Emergency Charity Coalition
Shop & Support Easter Seals