Action Centre, Habilitas Foundation joining forces to benefit Montrealers with disabilities

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WATCH: The Action Centre in LaSalle is entering into a new partnership with the Habilitas Foundation. It hopes this new arrangement will bring new opportunities to the centre that provides education and support for the physically and cognitively challenged. Global’s Kwabena Oduro reports. – Feb 12, 2020

After 22 years of operations, the Action Centre is joining forces with the Habilitas Foundation.

The Action Centre is a bilingual, multicultural community organization for adults with motor and/or cognitive disabilities. The Habilitas Foundation is dedicated to inspire, guide, impact and create a world where disabilities are no longer disabling.

This merger creates a new partnership to benefit Montrealers with disabilities.

It’s a win-win partnership that will especially benefit the members, said the chair of the Habilites Foundation.

“You see the energy in the room, you see the members how much they get out of this centre there couldn’t be a more worthwhile organization,” said Kippy Wiegand.

“We’re extremely positive we will be able to maintain what they are doing but hopefully take it to the next level.”

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That next level could include expansion.

“We just have one centre right now in LaSalle and we’re looking to try and expand in other areas that are underserved, allowing us to take our template and our sort of business model and expand across the city,” says Andrew Lindsay, past president and Action Centre board member.

Roger Rampersad, principal and director of PACC Adult Education Centre, was also on hand for Wednesday’s formal announcement. Two PACC employees teach at the Action Centre, Rampersad pointed out.

“The students here come to this school, I think it’s almost the highlight of their day and I can appreciate that. It’s a loving, caring environment, and why would you not want to be in a loving and caring environment?”

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Many members and students were on hand at the press conference when the announcement was made.

“When I came to the Action Centre, I didn’t even think I would be accepted, (but) I was accepted with open arms, coming here — I felt instantly at home,” long-time member Cindy McKay said.

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“The activities that I do here are to my needs. Nothing I do here is not something I can’t do. Everything is to my needs and I feel like I have a place to come where I can just be myself.”

McKay’s story is just one example of how the Action Centre embraces its members and helps them reach their full potential.

“Hearing Cindy talk about essentially feeling like she didn’t belong and finding a place like ours where she does belong, that’s what it’s all about,” Wiegand said.

“Just her beautiful story without notes reinforces what we do here,” added Lindsay.

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