A few months ago, I attended a tele board meeting of a well known Ontario organization and I was simply blown away when the presenter gave his personal views on how Canadians with disabilities are often viewed by the rest of Canada. In short; “disposable and devalued.”
These were the words of a well known advocate with a physical disability who has had many years of experience interacting, communicating, and collaborating with a plethora of communities, organizations, and agencies across Canada.
For me, I guess that I never really considered describing it like this but after the board meeting I took some time to ponder these words. For the chicken that I sometimes consider myself to be, I guess that I would probably not have used such strong words but then if I had to be honest with myself I would say that these are words that indeed reflect how it can often be.
Disposable? Yes and why? Because much of society often considers persons with disabilities to be such that our opinion does not matter. We are considered to be extremely hard to employ and we are often thought of as ones whose jobs and services would be first to be chopped when hard times occur.
In short; we are often thought of as an after thought. When financial times are hard, the needs and requirements of persons with disabilities are the first to be disposed of. Whenever consideration is being given to providing benefits, persons with disabilities are often considered as persons who either do not need them, require them, or are not even considered.
Devalued? Yes and why? Because sadly enough, we are often considered as not being able to contribute to society; financially and socially.
We are often viewed as persons considered to be unemployable.
We are also considered as persons who are unable to speak for ourselves and accordingly we need others to speak on our behalf.
We are often considered to be persons who are not scholastically capable or technically able.
Time for us to set the records right!
Just my two cents for today.
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