Happy Holidays: A Positive Message For The Disabled And Caregivers

2017_FCT_Holiday_Blog_FB_EN

I just want to give a huge thank you to all of you whom have visited this blog over the course of the pandemic. There’s quite the civil rights movement in the disability community and we’re all playing an active roll in changing the system of supports to better service those in need. I’ve been happy to play a role and making people think about their rights not just as a person with a disability, but also as caregivers/parents. The years of advocacy and constant battle to protect yourself or your loved ones from ignorance from a system of supports that is set up to discriminate rather than support can take its toll on basically everyone. Remember to take care of yourselves. Band together, and keep the pressure on, and record any contact you have with anyone in the system.

I remember when I was going through a rough time over the past year, I’d reach out to friends who have no lived experiences with a disability and had no idea how to help or understand at all. If you need someone to talk to or share your stories with, reach out to others in the community or myself. I’ve seen our community grow and often help lift each other up especially over the past year. A lot of advocates have commented to me in the past on how divided our community is. I haven’t seen that in 2021. The common goal is advancing the rights of the disabled in public policy and in the system of supports.

With another year coming to close I just wanted to share some positive experiences and updates over the past year. First our nationwide community has kept the pressure on the federal government, and mandate letters have gone out to each Ministry, including the Ministry of Disability Inclusion. Included in that mandate letter is the National Disability Benefit Act. You all deserve a huge congrats on that!

Second is that I’ve been contacted by several researchers over the past year who are looking at all avenues of disability supports on a national level. From the pandemic response to the lack of meaningful and relevant supports for people with disabilities, lack of direct supports for caregivers/parents, to educational support to researchers dedicating their lives to looking at the legal and policy side of what’s wrong at the tribunal level and how to better implement disability rights at that level.

There’s an army of really smart, caring and independent people – some of which have lived experiences with the disability support system – that’s immobilized behind our community in 2021. I have been assisting with connecting these people together on a national level over the course of the past year. Change is on the horizon. It’s not a matter of if, or what political party is in power, it’s a matter of when. It’s going to get very difficult in the future for law makers of all levels of government – and all parties – to claim ignorance to the situation on the ground, ignore our voices and to not actively change the system to purge it from those within it that discriminate, to reduce complexity within the system, and increase accountability at the organizational and employee level. Most of all it’s going to get very difficult for those who treat the disabled as a line in a budget, and not human beings with equal rights under domestic and international law. But we still have to keep up the pressure!

As many of you know I’ve been a professional DJ for over 25 years. I recently rebooted my radio show as a podcast. The genre I cater too is like being a in a big family. I took about a 10-year break to focus on advocacy and over the past year have been welcomed back by my extended family with open arms. I not only got a welcome back, but a welcome home! From record labels to artists, all have been extremely supportive of my return. One of my mentors back a decade ago used to always say (and still does) “keep your dreams alive”. To that end I found this really touching story of that not only captures the essence of why us DJ’s do what we do, but also that it doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not. If you dream a dream, live that dream. Go after it. Happy Holidays and have a very safe and happy new year!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s