Is anyone home? lights on or lights out?

This is how I and so many other Canadians with a disability are feeling and have been so for so very long now.   Yes, is anyone home?  Is anyone listening?

When it comes to how Federal and Provincial entities interact with Canadians with disabilities; they consult but miserably fail to collaborate!  They work for us but not with us!  They continue to speak for us but not with us!  They ask for feedback and when we tell them that they need to change how they acquire their feedback and from exactly whom; they say they understand but alas!  They never listen choosing instead to continue with old habits.

Recently, I took some time to render some suggestions to a Provincial entity where I told them that more collaboration and less consultation needed to take place.  They told me that they understood and agreed but the next day I received an email from them that simply left me shaking my head with true sadness, horror and disappointment.

They said that they did not need to seek the opinions of individuals as they were already doing so through organizational reps.  They ended by saying that their 4 asks to individuals were their  opinions of what needed to be asked.

What’s wrong with the picture here in my humble opinion is that entities are not willing to change.  They continue to ignore the need to collaborate choosing instead to consult which is a one way communication process.  This is an old corporate cultural habit; an artificial barrier that continues to be a thorn in the side of Canadians with disabilities.

It is a chronic syndrome and an extremely toxic situation that will continue to prevail for as long as society as a whole believes that they know better than persons with disabilities when it comes to understanding the needs and requirements of persons with disabilities.

It is the reason why I decided some time ago to walk slowly away from advocacy and my walk is now almost complete.  No regrets!  Just disappointment that I am leaving an unsolved problem with no obvious solution behind.

Just my two cents for today.

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