International day of Persons with Disabilities ( IDPD ) was celebrated in Yass by Valmar Community Access hosting a very successful and well attended farm day. Community members were invited to come and participate in a range of activities at Valmar’s Meehan St facility.
That day was held in partnership with the Yass Valley Council who presented a number of Access and Inclusion awards to local businesses, organisations and individuals. Awards went to Jan Wilson from Yass FM, Helen Nesbitt on behalf of the Red Cross, Darrel Dowling of Barnies of Bookham, Robert Packwood of the Yass Soldiers Club and Health Share.
Yass Mayor, Rowena Abbey addressed the large crowd attending and said “ people with disabilities are not disabled by their impairment but by the barriers in the community that prevent them from gaining equal access “
Valmar CEO, Hugh Packard also spoke and congratulated the community of Yass for its rapid change to become a very inclusive community and for the ongoing support it provides to assist Valmar. Lyn Walker, from Valmar Yass Community Access service added to this saying “ it is really good to be able to thank businesses and individuals from around the Yass Valley through these access awards”.
The keynote speech was then given by Vicki Walters who spoke of her personal experience dealing with the day to day frustrations with, and importance of, access in all its forms. “ I know what its like to have your independence ripped away….and to feel the independence you gain, even from simple things, like getting through a doorway” Vicki said.
Photo Caption: Back Row CEO of Valmar Hugh Packard, Bill Nesbitt ( Yass Soldiers Club). Middle Row: Yass Mayor Rowena Abbey, Jan Wilson form Yass FM, Lynette Baker Yass Home Living Support Service. Front Row: Helen Nesbitt – Yass Red Cross and Vicki Walters - Speaker