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Telegram reporter honoured by COD-NL for disability coverage

The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities-NL (COD-NL) celebrated a year of accomplishments Thursday night at its annual general meeting, reflecting on its emergency preparedness and blue zone parking projects in particular.

Bonnie Belec and her daughter, Lindsay. — Telegram file photo

The coalition also honoured several people and organizations for their support of inclusive practices, including The Telegram’s Bonnie Belec, who was given the Media Award for Excellence in Disability Coverage.

Over the past year, Belec has covered a wide range of stories focusing on inclusivity, including housing accessibility, assistive technology, accessible transportation and more.

She said she was surprised and humbled to receive the award for the second year in a row, and reflected on the work that’s been done in the past year.

“Community groups advocating on behalf of people with disabilities have been working very hard for inclusion, acceptance and the betterment of services. The province has made some positive contributions to that through the accessible taxi project and respecting blue zones, but inclusion and employment is still lagging behind,” Belec said.

“Hopefully, with some encouragement, the business community and the government can come together to improve both those issues.”

Fire and Emergency Services Newfoundland and Labrador and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary shared the Organization/Agency Award for Inclusion; the Business Award for Inclusion went to Steele Communications; Greg Hussey won the Individual Award for Inclusion; and Myrtle Barrett won the Council of Canadians Award for National Volunteerism.

Three scholarships were awarded, as well: Jennifer Brown of Gonzaga Regional High School won the $1,000 Scotiabank Scholarship; and Mark Hemmings of Holy Spirit High School and Jordan Singleton of Ascention Collegiate each won the $1,250 Husky Energy Scholarship.

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