When our physical location had to close temporarily, we were concerned about our clients and keeping them engaged. Tova immediately addressed this and put a procedure in place for all staff to contact our clients (past, present & future) to stay in touch and connected. She then suggested we offer our programs online (they’re usually in person) and send our clients toolkits. This all happened within a few weeks of being closed. Her dedication allowed us to continue supporting our clients, who are some of the most marginalized individuals in our city, and her leadership reinforced our adaptability and confidence as a staff. Many of the staff also learned new skills through this process that we hadn’t developed before. Tova’s encouragement and assurance in our abilities gave us the space to grow as individuals, as a team, and as an organization. Her care for our safety and well-being is tenacious.
Our clients are people in the community who face barriers to inclusion of all sorts. Tova recognized a substantial need not only supporting these individuals, but also providing education and awareness within our communities, organizations and businesses to equalize the playing field for all our citizens. She built reachAbility on the foundation of diversity and inclusion, and those are still our mission, 20 years later. Our programs and events are accessible and inclusive to a wide spectrum of people facings barriers such as disability, mental illness/cognitive impairment, stigma, criminal record, etc. We advocate for these demographics in our community as well through employment programs and corporate diversity & inclusion training.
Tova is a leader to her core. She is always ready for a challenge and she believes that everyone has something to offer. reachAbility is the physical representation of what Tova has in her heart. Not only does she recognize injustice and inequity as opportunities for us to do better, she shows how. She has turned her passion into her life’s mission and continues to inspire and impact administration’s in many fields such as travel & hospitality, arts & culture and health & wellness. She has given a voice to our disparaged community, allowing people to be seen and heard in a way that has transformed lives and informed our society.
2020 Nova Scotia Invisible Champion Awards
Recognizing the extraordinary staff of United Way-funded agencies who make a difference every day.
Note: The pandemic led to Special Covid Awards being designated. If awarded, they are marked with a (C) in the Table above.
Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Venue: Province House and various venues virtual event
Remarks: Hon. Premier Stephen McNeil
MC: Former Lt. Governor Myra A. Freeman CM ONS MSM
Awards Presentation: Sara Napier, CEO, United Way Halifax
Attendees: Senators Hon. Frances Lankin, Hon. Linda Frum, Hon. Robert Black, Hon. Kim Pate, MP Hon. Andy Filmore,Hon. Gary Burrill, Leader of the NDP, MLA Susan Leblanc, MLA Tim Halman. Hon. Margaret McCain
Autism NS receiving their trophy