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Inclusive Community Grant aims to improve quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities

CAMERON McDONALD, Communications Advisor, The Regional Municipality of Durham

DURHAM: The Regional Municipality of Durham and local Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) announced up to $60,000 in provincial funding. The funding will help improve the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities through the Durham Enhanced Technology and Virtual Learning Series, on Wednesday, April 14th.

Through a proposed, two-part initiative, involving virtual learning and increased access to public transit, the Region and its local community partners aim to: improve access to safe affordable transportation, for seniors and persons with disabilities; reduce social isolation; and maintain the dignity of older adults and people with disabilities, through enhanced virtual programming.

Part one: series of virtual learning opportunities a series of live and pre-recorded events will offer access to information about various topics, such as: fall prevention, online fraud prevention, fire safety, healthy cooking workshops, and more. A series of innovative community challenge activities will help older adults to remain active, socially engaged, and connected.

These courses, to be offered through various platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, can reach up to 198,000 older adults across Durham. The annual in-person “North Durham Seniors Fair,” hosted in Scugog, has the opportunity to be transformed into a free, virtual event. The event includes service information from community agencies and workshops.

“This funding will allow older adults to engage in virtual community activities, learning about programs and services they may not have known about or didn’t have transportation to access. The Region’s Age-Friendly Durham Strategy and Action Plan is designed to help older adults remain engaged in their community. This lessens the impact of social isolation on their mental and physical well-being. By providing access to information on a range of topics, we can help encourage lifelong learning for older adults. We can help them maintain positive physical and mental health.” shared John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer.

A launch date for these sessions will be determined in the near future.

Part two: increased access to public transit services. This initiative also aims to allow easier access to On-Demand shuttle services provided by Durham Region Transit (DRT). Nine transit booking kiosks will be installed in local retirement residences, long-term care homes, and community service locations. One of which will offer a television monitor, displaying real-time bus arrival information for an adjacent bus stop. This is, anticipated. to reduce outdoor wait times in harsh weather conditions while also providing enough time to safely and securely arrive at the bus stop. More information about the kiosks will be available in the near future. To learn more about the Age-Friendly Durham Strategy and Action Plan, visit

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