Holland Bloorview’s ground-breaking anti-stigma campaign, Dear Everybody has been awarded a Gold Quill Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Dear Everybody is a national campaign designed to educate Canadians about the role they play in building an inclusive and equitable society where young people with disabilities belong. IABC’s Gold Quill awards are the industry standard for communications excellence.
“We are beyond thrilled that Dear Everybody has been recognized by IABC with a Gold Quill award,” says Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO, Holland Bloorview. “It is a testament to the families we serve, the family, child and youth leaders with whom this campaign was co-designed, as well as the many team members that brought the campaign to life. The work of Dear Everybody to fight disability stigma is just getting started. We look forward to a world where inclusion of disability is the norm.”
Dear Everybody challenges and breaks down disability stigma and stereotypes. In Canada, there are more than 400,000 children and youth living with a disability, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission notes disability is the most citied (59 per cent) reason for discrimination by people in Canada. Stigma is all around and takes many forms – staring, whispers, name-calling, social exclusion, bullying and outright discrimination. Young people with disabilities face lower employment prospects on average compared to their able-bodied peers.
The campaign launches annually during the last week of August and includes media promotion, advertising, digital and social media outreach, internal communications and stakeholder engagement. Last year, the campaign earned 83 media stories, 3.4 million social media impressions using the hashtag #DearEverybody and over 1,000 new social media followers.
“We are extremely grateful to all of our partners that made Dear Everybody possible,” says Sandra Hawken, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation. “Their generosity and support allowed our message of inclusion to reach new audiences. Together, we are truly changing the world.”
The advertising component of the campaign, created in partnership with Forsman & Bodenfors, includes TV, radio, print, digital, and out-of-home advertising. Over $1 million of donated advertising supported the campaign.
The Gold Quill Awards are IABC’s premier awards program recognizing and fostering excellence in the field of business communication, and recipients from all over the world are recognized for their achievements across the communication profession. The Gold Quill Award sets out to acknowledge outstanding strategic communications on a worldwide scale for more than 40 years. Entries are evaluated by international professional communicators with more than 10 years of experience.