Easter Seals (Canada)

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In Canada, Easter Seals is a group of charitable organizations which provide opportunities for children with physical and/or mental disabilities. Founded in 1922 by a group of ten Rotary Clubs, it sought to emulate the success of the American Easter Seals program. In 1945, the first Canadian Easter Seals were introduced in Alberta. Today, licensed agencies work across Canada to provide programs and services to over 40,000 children and their families.

The best-known services are the camp programs. There are 12 camps across Canada providing camp opportunities to over 4600 children with physical and/or mental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, autism, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida. These camps provide children with opportunities to do activities such as: sledge hockey, archery, arts and crafts, music and drama, campfires, accessible High Ropes, camping in a tent, and swimming. Camps are provided to children at little or no cost to the families. Easter Seals also provides services such as mobility aids, adaptive computers, communication aids, and wheelchair-accessibility modifications to vehicles and homes.

National programs[edit]

Access 2 Entertainment Card[edit]

The Access 2 Entertainment Card is a partnership with Cineplex Entertainment that provides either a free or a discounted ticket for a support person accompanying someone with physical disabilities. It is valid at most movie theatres in Canada and at many museums, art galleries, zoos, historical sites, and aquariums.[1] There were more than 200,000 uses of the card in 2013.[2]

Disability Travel Card[edit]

This card is a partnership with Via Rail, Greyhound and Coach Canada which is intended for people with disabilities who require assistance from support personnel while traveling. The card applies the same discount the holder receives to the support person who accompanies them at the time of travel[3]

Canadian Easter Seal organizations[edit]

British Columbia[edit]

The BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities

New Brunswick[edit]

New Brunswick Easter Seals

Alberta[edit]

Alberta Easter Seals. Easter Seals Camp Horizon, located near Bragg Creek, is the only Easter Seals camp in Alberta.[4][5]

Saskatchewan[edit]

Saskatchewan Abilities Council

Manitoba[edit]

SMD Foundation

Ontario[edit]

For 94 years, Easter Seals Ontario has offered programs and services to help children and youth with physical disabilities from all ethnic and religious backgrounds achieve a greater level of acceptance and independence. Easter Seals provides financial assistance for the purchase of costly mobility equipment and communication devices. Easter Seals also owns and operates two fully accessible camp properties, one in London and the other near Perth, Ontario, and is recognized as an industry leader in providing specialized camping and recreation programs for kids with physical disabilities.

Camp Woodeden[edit]

Opened in 1946, Camp Woodeden is located on the Thames River just outside London and sits on 107 acres of land. The camp currently has 18 buildings which include camper cabins, an outdoor amphitheatre, a swimming pool, the only fully accessible ropes course in North America and an accessible outdoor climbing wall. In 2011 the camp opened a new gym and life-skills kitchen. There are 58 staffers including 3 registered nurses and 2 health care assistants.[6]

Camp Merrywood[edit]

Camp Merrywood opened in 1948, originally as a camp for children with polio; 6 children attended in the first year. The camp now accommodates 72 children with all physical disabilities. It sits on 30 acres of land between Smith Falls and Perth, just outside Ottawa. There are 12 buildings staffed by 64 people, including 3 registered nurses and 2 healthcare assistants. Activities include overnight canoe and camping trips, sport, fishing, music and drama, and campfires.[7]

Nova Scotia[edit]

Easter Seals Nova Scotia

Newfoundland[edit]

Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador has a history dating back to 1937, when the then Rotary Sunshine Camp Association was formed to establish a summer camp for children. Offices are currently located in St. John's and Corner Brook.

Awards[edit]

In 2014 Easter Seals Ontario was awarded The Tourism Industry Associate of Ontario’s (TIAO) Award of Excellence for Accessible Tourism. Easter Seals is the first recipient of this award, which celebrates the efforts made to make tourism destinations available to all Canadians, regardless of abilities. The award particularly reflects the Access 2 Entertainment Card and the Disability Travel Card.[2]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Access 2 Entertainment Card, Easter Seals Canada; Attractions, Access 2 Entertainment Card.
  2. ^ a b CNW, Easter Seals Canada Wins New Accessible Tourism Award, Canadian Newswire, November 14, 2014, retrieved July 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Disability Travel Card, Easter Seals Canada.
  4. ^ About Us | Alberta Easter Seals
  5. ^ Year-Round Facilities | Alberta Easter Seals
  6. ^ About Woodeden Camp, Easter Seals camps.
  7. ^ About MerryWood Camp, Easter Seals camps.