June 11, 2008 Letters to the Editor

To the Editor,

I was a bit disappointed that you didn’t include St. John’s by the Lake Anglican Church in your list of wheelchair accessible buildings. St. John’s has two ramps; one to the church proper and one to the parish hall direct from the parking lot and a wheel chair marked parking space at the parish hall door. In the parish hall we have one wheel chair accessible washroom. If a person is in the church and cannot get up the steps to the altar, the priest brings communion down to him or her. The person can access the altar by coming in through the parish hall. There is a lovely large porch at the back of the hall that is also accessible from inside the parish hall and from the lawn (another ramp).

Elinor Clarke

Our assessment stopped just short of the property housing St. John’s by the Lake, so thank you for sending in your assessment of the church. Unfortunately, Rick and I noticed many churches in the area do not have ramps to their front doors, effectively blocking access to many people who would like to worship.

To the Editor,
I read your article about the need for wheelchair-friendly businesses in Grand Bend with interest. The Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC), together with Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI), has created  an on-line course to assist businesses with accessibility. This is an EnAbling Change Initiative to increase the awareness and readiness of small and medium businesses in northern and rural Ontario to respond to future mandatory accessibility standards being developed under the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act (AODA).
This is one of our free courses, which can be accessed on-line at www.cfdlearn.ca. Register with the website, then go to the Course Catalogue. Scroll down to the section on Customer Service, where you’ll see “Accessibility: Its Impact on Small and Medium Business” and click “Buy” (even though it says Buy, there is no charge for this course). This course will raise awareness about various disabilities, how to accommodate customers with disabilities, providing excellent customer service and increasing business, and how to accommodate employees with disabilities. The on-line learning website at www.cfdlearn.com is available for anyone to take courses anytime – there are courses available in English or French for a variety of small business needs.
Mary Alderson
Member Services Coordinator
Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations Inc.

To the Editor,
Forest Baptist Church has become a member of Neighbourlink in an effort to reach out to those who might use the services provided by this organization, which is currently operating in Sarnia, but has no representation in areas outside the city. As Forest Baptist Church has congregational members from a vast area, it is their wish to provide the services of Neighbourlink to people living anywhere in Lambton Shores.
What is Neighbourlink? It is a ministry made up of people who give practical help to those needing a helping hand. It’s a national ministry of World Vision Canada that equips churches and members to work together in local networks to respond to specific needs in their communities. This allows individuals the opportunity to express the love of God to their neighbours. Neighbourlink networks with other service organizations in order to avoid duplication and or abuse of services. When someone is beyond the limits of other service agencies, Neighbourlink responds through the many volunteers who are ready to act. Neighbourlink is the only transdenominational nationwide program of its kind in Canada.
Forest Baptist Church has volunteers ready to act. People needing assistance have only to call the office in Sarnia at 519-336-5465 and then Forest Baptist Church will be given directives.
To learn more about Neighbourlink, just put that word into your search or add the word Sarnia or Canada and you get lots of information. You could also call or email me and I would be happy to try to answer any questions you might have. My wife and I are church coordinators. Thank You.
Ivan Anderson
8324 Goosemarsh Line,
RR2 Grand Bend,
N0M 1T0