National Deafblind Awareness Month – June 2024

On December 21, 2000, the Ontario Legislature officially proclaimed the month of June in each year as Deaf-Blind Awareness Month, to recognize that "Deafblindness is a unique disability that incorporates the sensory loss of both sight and hearing" and was created to help "recognize that increased public awareness of this disability is crucial to increase opportunities for those who live with it."

The Canadian Senate passed a motion on May 28, 2015 also recognizing June as Deafblind Awareness Month across Canada. This motion helps "to promote public awareness of deafblind issues and to recognize the contribution of Canadians who are deafblind."

June is also the birth month of Helen Keller, an internationally recognized person who was deafblind.

Join us in celebrating National Deafblind Awareness Month virtually in communities across Canada. Throughout the month, community objects across the country will be yarn bombed, a form of street art where yarn that is knit, crochet, or wrapped, adorns an object in a public space. This largescale global tactile arts project symbolizes the coming together of people in the field of deafblindness, with the goal of raising awareness and knowledge about this unique disability.

The National Deafblind Awareness working group includes individuals who are deafblind, service providers and consumer groups working in partnership to plan annual awareness campaigns each June that celebrate the achievements and contributions that individuals who are deafblind make from coast to coast. Our goal is to share information with members of the public about the unique disability of deafblindness and the supports, available through Intervenor Services. We are interested in helping members of the public, media and elected officials understand the distinct disability of deafblindness so that they can learn how to remove barriers that individuals who are deafblind face in their daily lives.

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Seniors Month – June 2024

June is Seniors Month in Ontario. It is a time to recognize our amazing older adults and the contributions they have made in our community.

The City of Pickering has many exciting programs and events planned to help celebrate the occasion. Community Services Staff are hosting Spotlight Series information sessions, a variety of workshops and programs, and the Seniors Month Big Band event, just to name a few.

For more information on the Seniors Month program line up, visit and be sure to subscribe to the 55+ Aging Well Together Newsletter to keep updated on program offerings.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 15, 2024

June 15, 2024 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Older adults deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and valued as contributing members of society, imparting a wealth of experience and wisdom in our communities. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action, proclaimed this day to recognize the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.

We all need to recognize the importance of taking action to invest in creating social change, to prioritize the prevention of elder abuse and raise awareness to foster a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older adults and their rights. Elder abuse has a significant impact on the lives of older adults and families; and is not limited to race, gender, culture, or circumstance, and regardless of whether the abuse is physical, emotional, sexual, financial or neglect; ageism and social isolation are major causes of elder abuse in Ontario.

Recognizing that it is up to all of us, as citizens, organizations, communities, and governments, to work collectively to prevent violence and abuse of older adults in their homes and communities. Preventing abuse of older adults through improving and maintaining social and health services and systems such as housing, income security, and safety will improve their quality of life and allow them to live independently and contribute to the vibrancy of Ontario. Where there is respect for human rights, equality, and justice there can be no abuse; therefore, all residents are urged to join this global movement to promote the Rights of Older Adults and Stop Abuse and Restore Respect.

For more information, please visit Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario and The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

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National Drowning Prevention Week – July 21 to 27, 2024

With over 450 Canadians drowning in preventable water-related incidents annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age. Even one drowning is one too many.

To help reduce drownings, all Canadians are urged to:

Supervise children. Children require direct adult supervision in and around the water at all times and should not enter the water alone. It is critical that parents watch their children while they are in the water and not be distracted – watch your children, not your phone. Whether it is in a pool, the bathtub, or the beach, children should always be actively supervised – even if they can swim. If you are not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far.

Practice Boating Safety. Lifejackets help save lives. Always WEAR your lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device (PFD) when in a boat. Make sure everyone wears a lifejacket or PFD in the proper size. Drive responsibly, don’t speed, don’t drink and drive. Check the weather and make sure someone knows your boating plan. Be prepared.

Be Open Water Safe. Always be alert and cautious when near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. Make note of the posted signage and safety equipment. Open water can be dangerous, so be aware of weather and water conditions, and objects in the water. Inflatables can obstruct views, float away and take children and adults further out than they intend to be, leave them at home. Know your limits and never swim alone.

Remember Backyard Pool Safety. Always directly supervise children. Designate and visually identify a responsible adult to be “on guard” to be clear that everyone knows who is watching. Control and restrict access to the water with barriers such as four-sided fencing with self-closing and latching gates. Make sure water toys are stored away after the swim is over so that children are not encouraged to return to the pool. Never swim alone.

Stay Sober In, On, and Around the Water. Alcohol and substance consumption is a factor in many water related fatalities. Both alcohol and cannabis use impair balance, judgment, and reflexes. Stay sober when in, on or around the water.

For additional information on Water Safety, please visit

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