Through a new community event, Brock University hopes to help give people living with developmental disabilities the credit they’re due for what they’re capable of achieving.
Open to the Brock and wider Niagara community, the inaugural Momentum Community Funfest will take place Saturday, July 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Bob Davis Gymnasium.
“This event is important because it showcases the abilities of those experiencing disability,” says event co-organizer Elyse Lappano, Brock’s Department of Kinesiology Experiential Education Co-ordinator, Inclusive and Adaptive Physical Activity. “So often this population is infantilized and simply not given the opportunity to try things in an authentically autonomous way. This event will showcase the abilities and potential of individuals living with developmental disabilities.”
The festival grew from discussions that began more than a year ago when Momentum Choir board member Maggie Denison approached Kinesiology Professor Maureen Connolly and Lappano about running an event to highlight the skills of individuals living with developmental disabilities. The Momentum Choir is a highly disciplined, professionally facilitated performance choir based out of Niagara that consists entirely of musicians living with a disability.
Denison had just attended an event in Toronto that focused on creating a better future for individuals experiencing disability and wanted to do something similar in Niagara. She connected with Brock and planning for the festival began soon after.
Considered a leader of adapted physical activity in Ontario, Brock has been offering developmentally appropriate movement education to children and youth with special needs in Niagara since 1994. The University has won several awards for its service and is a recognized research site, which has led to its findings being published nationally and internationally.
“Brock University has a reputation for embodying a spirit of inclusion,” Lappano says. “I am confident that together we will host a celebration where everyone is welcome.”
Individuals who often experience disability will be facilitating various activities and games for people of all ages to enjoy while simultaneously showcasing skills applicable to the workplace.
The event will also feature a performance by the Momentum Choir, free snacks and T-shirts (while quantities last) for participants.
People of all ages are encouraged to attend the free event, which is sponsored by Niagara Recycling. While there is no cost to attend, online RSVP through momentumfunfest.eventbrite.ca is required as space is limited.
For more information or to reserve a space, call 905-688-5550 x3381 or email firstname.lastname@example.org