Your Letters: Thank You for Helping Create an Inclusive Community

Dear Ms Mathyssen,

Thank you so much for your assistance in ensuring that our all candidates meeting was accessible to some of the most isolated members of our community. It is almost routine for us now, to consider whether a venue is accessible for those with mobility challenges, but we so frequently ignore ensuring accessibility for those who experience life-long communication barriers. I do not know whether there were any attendees at the meeting that required the services of the translators. In my experience, it takes people time to become accustomed to having a service available, and to begin to use it. Thank you for helping us put the option of participation (something most of us take for granted) in place.

Thanks as well to you and your staff for your assistance in publicizing the meeting. I was hoping 75 people would attend. We set up chairs for 100 people, when they were filled up, more chairs were brought out, then more, until finally we had brought out all the chairs for the hall and began bringing in the armchairs from the lounge area. We still ended up with people standing. I stopped counting at 130 people, and someone else put the attendance at over 180. This was truly amazing. Thank you for your part in making this happen.

People didn't just come to the meeting. The open mike session at the end of the meeting was popular, and I am sure people would have continued participating for a much longer period of time. Our moderator, Allan Ralph, did a tremendous job keeping candidates and participants focused on the task at hand and can certainly take a great deal of credit for the success of the evening.

I appreciated the opportunity to meet your assistant Shawn and expressed my appreciation to him for the efforts of you and your office staff. Please accept this letter as a formal appreciation to your staff for their assistance.

Looking forward to future collaborations.

Your constituent,
Carol Burns