Supporters rallying in support of employment inclusivity today along Water Street (Connor Trembley - Capital News)

Okanagan residents gather at Kelowna City Hall in support of workplace inclusivity

Hundreds gathered as part of sixth annual Inclusion Chain event

There is now greater support in the Kelowna area for those with disabilities requiring assistance in the workforce.

Hundreds of people turned up to the sixth annual Inclusion Chain event in front of Kelowna City Hall Tuesday to link hands along Water Street, sing the national anthem and to hear a proclamation from Mayor Colin Basran.

“B.C. communities are celebrating inclusion, diversity and the strengths and abilities of people with diverse abilities,” said Basran.

“The U.N. Declaration on Rights of Disabilities gives everyone the right to earn a living, and to give them freely chosen work in a labour market that is open, accessible and inclusive.”

READ MORE: Pathways, mayor to announce October as Community Inclusion Month in Kelowna

During the festivities, participants were given hot chocolate and other warm beverages as the temperatures hovered around four degrees Celsius.

Also at the event were members of the Pathways Abilities Society, a not-for-profit organization that helps provide services for those with disabilities in the workforce.

Mark Reinelt, president of the board of directors for the society, said there’s many people with disabilities looking to get involved in the community.

“We want to let everyone know that there’s resources, let them know that there’s members of the community that need support, and let people know that there’s members of the community that are wanting to go to work and volunteer.That’s part of what Pathways does,” Rynold said.

The event is also a timely one because it marks the start of Diversity Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) worldwide.

According to Statistice Canada, 42 per cent of Canadians reported working with a severe disability between the ages of 25-64 in 2011 in the workforce.


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