Calgary

Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta honoured for work on Calgary Ability Network

The Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta has earned a Civil Rights Award in honour of World Cerebral Palsy Day.

Organization focuses on poverty reduction, affordable, accessible transportation and human rights

Mezaun Lakha-Evin, executive director of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta and daughter, Shari. The association was given a Civil Rights Award in honour of World Cerebral Palsy Day. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

An Alberta organization has won an international award for their work supporting people with disabilities in Calgary.

The Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta earned a Civil Rights Award in honour of World Cerebral Palsy Day.

It's for their work in creating the Calgary Ability Network (CAN) — a group of organizations and businesses that support those living with disabilities in the city.

Mezaun Lakha-Evin is the associate executive director of the association and says their work is about ensuring everyone can enjoy full citizenship in the community.

"We have a right to live, love, work, do all of those things just like everyone else. We need the opportunities to do that. We need employers to understand. We need restaurants to accept us in. We need buildings to be accessible," she said.

"And whether it be from government or private sector, [we need] all the stakeholders on the same page. And that's what we hope to do."

The project was chosen out of 75 entries from 42 countries.

CAN was formed about 10 years ago and focuses on things like "poverty reduction, affordable accessible transportation, human rights [and] recreation," said Lakha-Evin.

"We really look at, what are the challenges facing our members and clients of the many organizations in Calgary," she said. "And we put forward issues and solutions for that."

On Oct. 6, the Calgary Tower and Reconciliation Bridge lit up in green for World Cerebral Palsy Day.

With files from Anis Heydari

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