ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development

ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
Success By 6 Peel

Success By 6 Peel

April 20, 2009 10:00 ET

Kids With Disabilities Take UN Charter Cause to Peel Region Council

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 20, 2009) - Two brave young people will roll their wheelchairs into the spotlight of the Peel Region Council Chambers at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 23, to talk about the right to equal access - and what's still missing in our society's approach to it, even in this enlightened year 2009.

"The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989," said Bridget Fewtrell, President of ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development. "Yet even today, the right to equal access for children with special needs is not adequately served." That's why two past clients of ErinoakKids will address Council to talk about those needs. It's part of a joint effort with Success By 6 Peel, which modeled the Peel Children's Charter after the UN charter - a charter of rights widely ratified around the world, focusing on many children's rights. The ErinoakKids clients will be presenting to Council on the one that affects them most: The Right to Equal Access.

"The Right to Equal Access, in the Peel Children's Charter, highlights the fact that, in order to reach their fullest potential, all children must be included and supported according to their individual needs," said Josephine Bau, Peel Children's Charter of Rights Committee member. "The Success By 6 Peel vision is that 'In Peel, all children will thrive.' We can only pursue this ideal in a truly inclusive and barrier-free community."

It's a powerful plea which these young people, who came to ErinoakKids as children, will carry to Peel Council. They are young adults now; one man, one woman, both with long experience overcoming obstacles the able-bodied world leaves in their path as it rushes ahead. "ErinoakKids is pleased to stand with Success By 6 Peel in this effort," added Fewtrell. "It is a cause we share, and which all who love children should share."

ErinoakKids is one of 20 Children's Treatment Centres in Ontario, currently serving almost 9,000 children with a wide range of disabilities, including many which require the child to use a wheelchair. "For kids in wheelchairs, even a six-inch curb can be an insurmountable wall," said ErinoakKids Occupational Therapist Tanya Eimantas, who on April 23 will give Council an overview of access issues for these young people.

Success By 6 Peel, coordinator of the Peel Children's Charter project, is a collaboration of more than 40 partners in business, labour, education, recreation, health, social services and government dedicated to providing important opportunities and experiences for children in Peel to develop the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical skills to reach their fullest potential from birth to age six.

The presentation, scheduled to begin at 9:30 in Council Chambers, 5th Floor, 10 Peel Centre Drive, is the tenth in a 12-month series of presentations to Peel Regional Council, each session focusing on one of the rights statements from the Peel Children's Charter of Rights.

As a leading centre for the treatment and care of children with disabilities including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, traumatic injury and many other conditions, including multiple and complex diagnoses, ErinoakKids works in many ways to advance their cause, to support their families as they cope with special needs, and to help schools become as inclusive as possible for special-needs kids.

"Yet our society still needs to take up their cause with greater gusto," said Fewtrell. "The United Nations declaration says that children need special care, and nowhere is that fact more clear than it is for children with disabilities. The fine young people who will speak to Council are the ideal spokespersons to bring them this message."

On the web:

Information about ErinoakKids is at www.erinoakkids.ca.

Information about the Peel Children's Charter of Rights is at www.successby6peel.ca.

To glimpse the world of a special-needs child, please visit the link below: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/EK0420.pdf

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