The City of Kingston, in partnership with the Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee (MAAC), created the Celebrating Accessibility Awards in 2011 to recognize a person, group or organization that has made or is making a significant contribution beyond legislated requirements, towards improving access for persons with disabilities in Kingston. 

Award Criteria

  • Eligible nominees for a Kingston Celebrating Accessibility Award are: Kingston residents, organizations, or  businesses, who have had a positive impact on accessibility in Kingston.
  • Nominees whose paid employment or educational requirements include an accessibility component are not eligible for the award unless they demonstrate exceptional accomplishment.
  • The achievement should reflect a nominee's positive impact on accessibility in the past three years (2014 to 2017).
  • The selection of awards will be based on the information submitted with the nomination form. When submitting the nomination, nominators can submit additional information including letters of support, testimonials, pictures, drawings, etc.
  • Incomplete and/or late nominations will be accepted at the sole discretion of the committee.

Award Categories


A teacher or other individual who demonstrates enthusiasm, innovation and commitment in creating an accessible learning environment.


An organization, business and/or individual who demonstrates flexible and respectful integration of people with disabilities into their workforce.


An organization, business and/or individual who creates welcoming and inclusive recreational opportunities for everyone by eliminating barriers to participation.

Customer Service

An organization, business and/or individual who are leaders in providing exceptional customer service to people with disabilities.

Built Environment

A building, interior, or outdoor space purposely designed, modified or renovated to eliminate barriers and/or enhance access for people with disabilities.


A volunteer who makes significant contribution to improving access and community involvement for people with disabilities.


A youth, 25 years or younger, who makes an outstanding contribution to increase the active engagement and participation of people with disabilities.


Activities, achievements and projects that are not captured in the above categories.

Selection committee

The award's selection committee chooses the finalist from amongst the nominations received. The selection committee is comprised of four members of the City's Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee (MAAC). All selection committee deliberations will remain confidential and decisions are final. The judging of nominated projects takes place in November and the awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5 at City Hall in Memorial Hall. Further details will be posted in late October.

Selection factors

The selection committee will consider the following factors:

  • The degree to which the initiative demonstrates innovation and creativity in preventing, identifying and removing barriers to accessibility
  • The degree to which the initiative enhances accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • The degree to which the initiative improves the quality of life for persons with disabilities
  • The impact the initiative has on developing and delivering interesting and effective awareness about disability and accessibility issues

Award Winners


  • Built Environment - The Screening Room: Wendy Huot
  • Customer Service - Quarry Medical: Dr. John Nuttall and Foot Care Nurses
  • Education - H'art Centre: MixAbilities Artist/Educator Training Program
  • Employment - Pita Pit: Alex DesRochers
  • Recreation - Kingston Circus Arts: Accessible Circus for Everyone - Erin Ball
  • Volunteer - Kingston Elite All-Star Cheerleading: Team Volunteers and Coaches
  • Youth - St. Martha Catholic School: Stop Gap School Project
  • Other - Downtown Kingston: Rotary Comfort Zones at Santa Claus Parade

2018 Access Awards Winners


  • Education - Jordan De Rooy, Teacher & Coach, LCVI
  • Employment - Michael Moore, Costco Kingston
  • Recreation - Vicki Keith, Kingston Y Penguins
  • Customer Service - Deaf Mentor Grass Creek Park Summer Camp, City of Kingston Recreation and Leisure Services
  • Built Environment - NORTHSIDE Espresso + Kitchen, Jessica Huddle and Cade Pentland-Boyce
  • Volunteer - Volunteers of the Humanitarian Program, Independent Order of Odd Fellows
  • Other - Wheelchair Rally, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour


  • Built Environment - Kingston Community Health Centres, 263 Weller Ave. and 115 Barrack St.
  • Customer Service - Kimberly Sutherland Mills, Kingston Frontenac Public Library
  • Education - James McNutt, GoPro Camera Journey Sequence Video #1
  • Employment - Dolphin Digital Technologies Inc., Disabilities Mentoring Day & J. E. Agnew Food Services Ltd. (Tim Hortons)
  • Recreation - KAMHA Special Needs Hockey, Rob Chapman & Kingston Yacht Club, Able Sail Kingston
  • Volunteer - Peter Rose and Seniors Association Kingston, carpenter volunteers
  • Other - Tara McCallan, Happy Soul Project


MusicMates is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating social opportunities for children, youth and adults through the use of music.

The Director, Shera Lumsden has seen the difference music makes in the emotional, physical and social development of children, youth and adults with special needs. Programming is designed to encourage social skills and create friendships.  Programs offer children, youth and adults the opportunity to make friends, learn sign language, and practice important social skills, all through the use of music!

2015 Access Award Winner


The 2014 winner of this award was Kingston 4 Paws Service Dogs. Kingston 4 Paws Service Dogs is a unique not-for-profit service which, trains dogs for people with a range of disabilities including autism, seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, mobility challenges and other challenges. In addition to assisting their owners in their daily lives, the dogs also enhance public awareness of disabilities when they are out in the community with their owners.

2014 Access Award winner


The 2013 recipient of the award was Providence Care for their ABI System Navigator Service which assists people with acquired brain injuries in finding and accessing education and health services

2013 Access Award Winners


The 2012 recipient of the award was H'art School. H'art School was nominated for "The Box," a fully accessible, mixed-ability performing arts studio and presentation space. H'art School, 237 Wellington St., is a non-profit, charitable organization helping adults with intellectual disabilities reach their highest potential through arts and education.

Winners of the 2012 award - H'art School


Winner of the 2011 award - Dawn CampbellIn the inaugural year of the award, 2011, personal trainer Dawn Campbell, owner of allAbilities Fitness, received the award. Campbell used her education in Disability Studies to inform her role as a fitness advocate for people with disabilities.