There’s been a lot of buzz about the Langley Pos-Abilities Society lately, and for good reason. Founder of the society Zosia Ettenberg believes awareness of disabilities is key to understanding.
“My belief is that if people understand the disability, they are more likely to include the person with the disability in their circle of friends,” she said.
Two events – one past, one coming soon – give people an understanding of the challenges faced by those with various disabilities; from being in a wheelchair to being blind.
The September, Try on a Disability challenge, was well received, according to Ettenberg.
“It actually went extremely well,” she said. “I was very impressed with how everyone handled everything, especially our challengers.”
Challengers like City of Langley Mayor Ted Schaffer spent four hours in a wheelchair to see what it was like. It was the first time Langley Pos-Abilities ran the event this way and KPU students created a number of films in tandem with the event.
“The students put together some really good films,” Ettenberg said.
All of the films, including the winning entries, will be posted on the society’s site at www.pos-abilities.org on Friday.
“I think it was an eye-opener for them [challengers] as well as our students who were filming it,” she said, “to see our community is not as accessible as we thought.”
The next event for the Langley Pos-Abilities Society is the Masquerade Gala at the Cascades Casino Resort on Friday, Oct 30 at 6 p.m. The dinner can be experienced in the dark by donning one of the provided blindfolds.
“It’s not mandatory,” noted Ettenberg of the blindfold aspect. “Someone who is blind is going to be teaching you how to eat your meal [without sight].”
The fundraiser will include dinner, live music, dancing, silent and live auctions, and presentations. Auction items are diverse and include everything from sports event tickets to sports jerseys, wine baskets to artwork.
There will also be a discussion about the differences between guide dogs and assistance dogs.
“And we have a quartet from the Langley Community Music School playing in the lobby and during the meal as well,” Ettenberg said.
Tickets for the fundraiser are $100 and can be purchased on the society’s website at www.pos-abilities.org or by contacting Ettenberg at 604-961-0117. Funds raised at the gala will help the society in its work to improve the quality of life for local people living with disabilities.