GNWT Announces 2024 Accessibility Impact Awards Recipients

Press Release

June 3, 2024

Minister of Health and Social Services, Lesa Semmler, is pleased to announce the three recipients of the 2024 Accessibility Impact Awards. This collaborative awards event is an opportunity for the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), the NWT Disabilities Council, and the NWT Human Rights Commission to recognize and celebrate the outstanding people and businesses advancing accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the territory. By promoting community accessibility and social inclusion, the winners of these awards enable persons with disabilities to engage with their neighbors and community to achieve more fulfilling lives.

This year’s recipients are:

GNWT Accessibility and Inclusion Award:
Sharon Oldford, Yellowknife – Since earning an education degree from Memorial University, Sharon has dedicated her career to special education, advocating for the inclusion of students with disabilities for many years in her current role as Program Support Teacher, and in previous roles as a classroom teacher and in administration. Sharon has shown unwavering professional support for students with disabilities throughout their multi-year educational journeys, and her personalized approach has contributed to student success by advocating for inclusion and encouraging participation which meets their social, educational, and developmental needs.

The NWT Disabilities Council Judith A. Sharp Memorial Community Champion Award:
Dudes Club and GirlSpace programs, YWCA NWT – The Dudes Club program nurtures resilient and self-assured young leaders, fosters self-discovery, and promotes inclusivity and accessibility for all. The program helps boys uncover their potential and access support services. The Dudes Club program has a significant positive community influence. The profoundly impactful GirlSpace program nurtures and supports young girls to develop leadership skills, build self-esteem, collaborate, and engage meaningfully with their community while fostering inclusive space for every participant. The GirlSpace program makes a significant difference in the lives of its participants.

The Human Rights Commission Accessibility Award:
Tłı̨chǫ Community Builders – The Tłı̨chǫ Community Builders aim to enhance the economic self-reliance, prosperity, and certainty for Tłı̨chǫ citizens and First Nations in the Northwest Territories through sustainable economic developments. With that goal in mind, the Tłı̨chǫ Community Builders constructed the new Tłı̨chǫ Government Building in Wekweètì to address the mobility limitations faced by community members. The building was constructed with numerous accessibility features including a wheelchair ramp, slip-resistant paint and grab bars, increased seating areas, barrier-free washrooms, preferential parking for persons with disabilities, and accessible safety equipment. The Tłı̨chǫ Community Builders are setting a wonderful example by constructing inclusive and accessible public buildings.

This year’s awards ceremony was held on May 31, 2024, as a part of National AccessAbility Week in Canada. The ceremony provided an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding persons and businesses committed to advancing accessibility and inclusion in the territory.

For media requests, please contact:

Umesh Sutendra
A/Manager, Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9052 ext. 49036


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