Accessibility with Marshall Hohmann

Accessibility with Marshall Hohmann: Accessibility, Advocacy Inclusion and Awareness

Hello my name is Marshall Hohmann, please allow me to share a little about myself. I am an Ability Awareness presenter for Marshall Talks. I have spent the last 10 years speaking all over Durham Region and the greater Toronto area. I have spoken to many levels of government from municipal, right up to Queens Park enlightening those, not just around accessibility, which for the government was my primary objective, but also twice to the Canada Revenue Agency discussing the importance of that “thread of the financial pie’ in the provincial budget, that deals with the disabled or those people with acquired disabilities. They truly need to understand that so many people need that budgetary amount to move forward with their lives. That effort bestowed upon me the Durham Region Accessibility award in 2014. That is truly an honour but did they listen? Am I a clanging cymbal? In speaking to Durham Mental Health, I focused primarily on the isolation of people who cannot speak and how they just get slotted into “they can’t speak so they are not intelligent zone.” Those with mental health issues truly float in a sea of a broken system despite the empathic people that are truly tying to help! I think with the lock down of the last two years there are many, many, many in this boat. I did realize to truly make change in people’s attitudes that general thinking, needs to happen from the ground up. That being said, I began doing power point talks to different age groups in schools; Kindergarten to grade 2, grade 3-5, grade 5-8 and high school. The questions were endless from those students and kids really do have understanding and empathy if approached and taught properly concerning disabilities. That does not necessarily flow well from the home, so school is the next best thing. On average I have spoken to approx. 2000 students a month for the last 10 years.Interestingly enough I was invited to come and lecture at Durham College to a class on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and that has translated to every year for the last ten years.Ontario Tech University also asked me to speak to their third-year electrical engineering students, which again is an ongoing gig. Many of those engineering students focus on their year end projects to help those who need extra modifications in their daily lives. This to me is allowing my passion to translate into upper education where maturity hopefully will carry the knowledge forward. It is interesting the relationship I have with the service clubs. These men and women truly have their hearts in the right place, and after I speak, they have a multitude of new and interesting ideas to follow through with. Kudos and a shout out to: Rotary Clubs, Lions club, Kinsmen Clubs, Partnership in Service, Shriners, and Knights of Columbus. It is definitely worth thinking about for anyone who is in business to help others along the way by belonging to such service groups. Everyone can be a blessing and have an amazing fellowship with like minded people.I have sat on the leadership council-Strategic planning alliance for Children and Youth in Durham Region, and have been part of the research team for working with the Canadian Institute of Health creating optimal environments for severely disabled youth though Holland Bloorview in Toronto. I have also won an award from the council for Exceptional Children. To be able to work in this area has truly been a blessing given it really is my passion. Mentoring and empathy, education and enlightenment....there is so much to bring to the table to enhance and better the lives of others no matter what people are burdened with.I was nominated and honoured to be chosen to be the medal bearer in our region when Rick Hanson embarked on the “Man in Motion’ 25th anniversary of his epic journey.“There is nothing you can’t do, if you set your mind to it. Anything is possible”

“If you believe in a dream and have the courage to try, anything is possible.”These statements apply to EVERYONE! (Quotes from Rick Hansen)One last quote from my friend Rick Hansen;“My disability is that I cannot use my legs. My handicap is your negative perception of that disability, and thus of me.”Thank you for your listening ear...I am looking forward to speaking with you every month!!Marshall Hohmann Ability Awareness Presenter“Always strive to be the very best you can be!”www.marshalltalks.com

UTS Group is honoured to collaborate with Marshal Hohmann as he will be a contributor to our blog that will raise more awareness. To find out more about building accessibility: Automatic Doors, Sliding Door, Universal Washroom, Handicap Accessible Doors contact UTS Group (888) 205-4036

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