The Peterborough Examiner
Event offering accessible fun
Free convention serving up entertainment, activities, community awareness
The Council for Persons with Disabilities’ second annual Capable Con event takes place Saturday at the Venture North building at King and George streets in downtown Peterborough from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event marks this week’s National Accessibility Week in Canada and the group has been holding a series of programs this week with sponsors to celebrate, including a free wheelchair and mobility device tuneups by Living Well, and inclusive conditioning and workouts at the Balsillie Family Y
“Capable Con is a no-cost family-friendly event,” said Rachel Quilty, Capable Con’s facilitator. “It’s kind of an educational convention, designed to open healthy dialogues about disabilities, accessibility and inclusion within our community.”
Capable Con is an event designed for both able-bodied people and those with disabilities. The event has a feature called Time in My Shoes that gives people a chance to briefly experience different disabilities, she added.
“The program allows individuals to put on different types of equipment that simulates living life with a specific type of disability. So, we have things like wheelchairs and different types of goggles that simulate vision loss,” she said.
“The whole purpose of Capable Con is that individuals can come and participate, but also gain education.”
The event builds off the Comic Con concept, with six superheroes representing five different disabilities.
“So, the Power Pals are Jamie and Jordan, and they have autism. Cruze is our individual that uses the wheelchair,” Quilty said.
“Then Traveler and Scout is our superhero that has visual impairment, Amanda is our skateboarder who uses hearing aids, and finally Bionica Bot is our superhero that has the limb differences.”
The superheroes were created to counter the lack of representation for those with disabilities.
“I’m an amputee myself. I was born missing my left arm below the elbow, and one of the superheroes is an amputee, and just this year, we got stickers of them,” Quilty said.
“So, I’ve got a sticker on the back of my laptop, and I’m able to have representation of something I identify with.”
The inaugural year of Capable Con was a huge success, despite the threat of COVID-19 still looming, she said.
“Capable Con is now something that will return year-after-year through CPD,” Quilty said.
About 1,000 people filtered through the daylong event last year.