Rally to Support Hannah Gunderson's Inclusion

    EDMONTON, June 25 /CNW/ - At noon on Thursday June 25 at Corner of Range
Road 213, Hwy 14 (half mile west of Ministik School) the Alberta Association
for Community Living (AACL) will host a family picnic rally with refreshments
and children's entertainment to support Hannah Gunderson and her family in
their fight to have Hannah's right to be included with her friends maintained.
    Until now Hannah, a young vibrant girl with disabilities has been fully
included, with her friends, in school and on the bus to and from school.
Without any consultation with her family Elk Island Public Schools is now
requiring Hannah to be segregated from her friends when traveling to and from
school. Children with disabilities are at great risk of being alone in life
and not having friends. Both loneliness and segregation increase the risk of
abuse and marginalization. Hannah's parents are fighting for their daughter's
right to belong, to know she is equally valued to other children to have and
keep her friends and to be safe.
    In effect Elk Island Public Schools is punishing Hannah and jeopardizing
her friendships because she cannot walk. How hard can it be for this School
District to find it in their heart to continue to ensure Hannah can travel to
school and home with her friends? What faith can we have in a school district
that knowingly breaks the heart of a child with disabilities and refuses to
consider making a simple decision to continue what they have always done?
    Join us at the rally so that Hannah and her family know the community
cares even if Elk Island Public Schools does not.
    Noon, Thursday June 25 at Corner of Range Road 213, Hwy 14 (half mile
west of Ministik School)

For further information:

For further information: Deb McLean, (780) 554-1546, www.aacl.org

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Alberta Association for Community Living

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