Red Shirt Day creates visible display of solidarity for accessibility and inclusion

Image via Easter Seals Canada website

Easter Seals Ontario is ready to celebrate Red Shirt Day next week. Wednesday, May 31, 2023, will be the fifth annual day to promote greater accessibility and inclusion within Kingston and communities everywhere, while also increasing awareness of the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to all aspects of life in Canada.

Red Shirt Day encourages Ontarians and people across the country to proudly wear red as a visible demonstration of support for persons living with disabilities and their families, according to a release from Easter Seals. “By actively participating, we not only acknowledge the remarkable accomplishments of people living with disabilities but also reaffirm our collective commitment to creating a fully accessible and inclusive society,” the organization stated.

Since its establishment in 2019, Red Shirt Day has gained significant momentum, with a growing number of individuals and organizations sharing photos of themselves wearing red on their social media accounts each year, according to Easter Seals.

“By participating in Red Shirt Day, we send a powerful message of solidarity and support to people living with disabilities,” noted Kevin Collins, President and CEO at Easter Seals Ontario. “Together, we can break down barriers and create a future where accessibility and inclusion are the foundation of our communities.”

Held annually on the Wednesday during National AccessAbility Week (NAAW), this year’s Red Shirt Day will take place on Wednesday, May 31, with NAAW scheduled from Sunday, May 28 to Saturday, Jun. 3, 2023.

“We encourage everyone across Ontario to join us in celebrating Red Shirt Day,” Collins continued, noting that there are several ways to get involved:

  • On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, post a selfie or a group photo with friends, classmates or colleagues – all wearing red – on social media, using the hashtags #RedShirtDay, and #RedForAccessAbility and tag @EasterSealsON.
  • Make a commitment or ‘pledge’ to take action to create greater accessibility and inclusion for individuals living with disabilities in your school, workplace, or community and share your Red Shirt Day Pledge on social media.

Easter Seals Ontario has been a leading provider of programs and services for children and youth with physical disabilities since 1922. The organization is a registered charity, and offers a wide range of programs and services, including mobility and accessibility equipment funding, fully accessible summer camps, post secondary scholarships, youth ambassadors, and advocacy and public awareness. Easter Seals is only able to provide these programs thanks to the generous support of its donors and sponsors.

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