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Canadian Access 2 Program - International Day of Persons with Disabilities

  • Published: 2014-12-03 : Author: Easter Seals Canada : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Access 2 Program offers Canadians with disabilities free admission and discounts at participating movie theaters and attractions across Canada.

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Easter Seals Canada proudly announces the appointment of 14-year-old Brandon Liston as Easter Seals' first National Ambassador. The day also marks the ten year anniversary of the organization's successful Access 2 Program. Today, in a special ceremony at the Ontario Science Center, Liston will be the official 60,000 person to receive the Access 2 Card.

Liston is the former Ambassador of Easter Seals New Brunswick, having served from the age of six to ten. He is also the youngest recipient of the Rotary Club of Fredericton's Paul Harris Fellowship. The award, which acknowledges 'service above self', is the highest honor a Rotary Club can bestow on a person. Liston has cerebral palsy, which affects his right leg and arm. He uses a walker primarily to get around, and a wheelchair for longer distances. Easter Seals' provincial organizations appoint child and youth ambassadors who foster leadership skills and speak on behalf of Easter Seals' clients.

"I am really honoured to serve as Easter Seals' very first National Ambassador," says Liston. "The Easter Seals Ambassador Program in New Brunswick has given me so much courage and a great start for the future. I think it's pretty awesome that my very first assignment for Easter Seals Canada is to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Access 2 Program because I love going to the movies."

The Access 2 Program offers Canadians with disabilities either free admission or a significant discount for their support person at participating movie theaters and attractions across Canada. The Access 2 Program's outstanding success is due primarily to the partnership between Easter Seals Canada and the program's founder, Cineplex Entertainment.

Since its inception in 2004, the Access 2 Card has been accepted at Cineplex movie theaters and has now expanded to include Landmark and some independent movie theaters, as well as 229 attractions across Canada.

Recognizing the Access 2 Program's role in promoting active living for people with disabilities, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario awarded it with its first Accessible Tourism Award at a special ceremony at the Ontario Tourism Summit on November 13.

"The Access 2 Program has helped tens of thousands of Canadians get out more and enjoy active lives," says Max Beck, CEO of Easter Seals Canada. "We are grateful for Cineplex Entertainment's leadership in supporting this important program and helping to break down barriers for Canadians with disabilities."

"The Access 2 program has made Cineplex theaters and hundreds of other entertainment destinations accessible to Canadians with disabilities," said Pat Marshall, Vice-President, Communications and Investor Relations, Cineplex Entertainment. "The program's overwhelming success has exceeded even our most lofty expectations since its launch a decade ago."The Access 2 Card is primarily used at movie theaters, but it's also accepted at participating museums, art galleries and other attractions.

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