Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, today I wish to recognize the contributions and abilities of persons with disabilities. NWT Disability Awareness Week is from May 20 to June 4, 2005. The theme for this year's activities is "Celebrating our Strengths."
Madam Speaker, disability can affect any one of us directly or indirectly at any point in our lives. Some people are born with disabilities. Other people are disabled by an accident, illness or disease. Some disabilities are temporary, while others are life long. Some disabilities are visible and other disabilities cannot be seen. The important message is that we can focus on people's abilities, rather than define them by their disabilities.
The NWT action plan for persons with disabilities and the NWT disability framework, which was released in December 2004, guides GNWT services for persons with disabilities.
Earlier today, I had the honour of presenting an award on behalf of the NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities to Tammy Saunders of Yellowknife, a person with a disability, in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the field of disabilities within the NWT.
The NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities will be presenting two other awards to the mayor of Holman, Peter Malgokak; and Jacques Van Pelt of Fort Smith. These are two people that live with a disability who have been recognized by the NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities as having achieved and provided outstanding contributions to their communities.
Madam Speaker, I ask Members to join with me and thank all persons with disabilities in the NWT for their contributions and strengths, which are shared with friends, families and communities. Thank you, Madam Speaker.