What is Access Awareness Week (AAW)?
AAW provides an opportunity to raise awareness and engage Nova Scotians on issues around access and inclusion. This year's theme, Accessibility in Action, was specifically chosen by the AAW Committee to draw attention to the impact of Accessibility Legislation in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
Inclusivity isn’t just about eliminating physical barriers; it’s also about challenging societal attitudes. While changing a municipal by-law or enforcing the UN Convention may remove physical barriers, it is by fostering attitudes of acceptance and responsibility that we can create a truly inclusive environment.
The AAW Committee is committed to achieving two distinct goals during the Week:
The first is to bring issues of access to the attention of the public and the policy makers. Change can grow from the bottom up or it can be implemented from the top down. PAANS wants both to happen - with the movements meeting somewhere in between.
The second is to celebrate what has happened to increase accessibility and the potential of things to come. Formally, we achieve this with the presentation of the Mel Hebb Hourglass Action Awards and the PAANS scholarships. Informally, we attempt to integrate this attitude into our approach to all things.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Halifax Public Libraries and community members have created a virtual portal, featuring interviews of individuals with disabilities living in the municipality, explaining what accessibility means to them, as well as previews of future events. Take some time to explore Access Awareness Week 2020: A Virtual Celebration.