In my humble opinion, there should never have to be a problem when it comes to paying for expertise but over the last few months I have disappointingly witnessed certain Provincial departments, universities, and large corporations continuing to take advantage of the unique and specialized expertise being offered by persons with disabilities. In other words, they have continued to expect us to provide our lifetime and specialized expertise voluntarily without even giving any thought to at least offering some sort of compensation.
For so many years now I have continued to advocate for Canadians with disabilities to stand up and raise their voices in support of being paid for their skills and expertise but alas! I may not be winning the battle here.
True it is that being able to volunteer to provide specialized input and expertise is often seen as a win-win situation for those providing the expertise and for those receiving it; but there should come a time when our unique and specialized expertise ought to be recognized as professional and extremely valuable.
In general, mainstream persons are more often than not compensated for their expertise and skills and it ought to be the same when it comes to paying for the expertise of persons with disabilities. So what am I missing here?
Why is it that these entities continue to fail to recognize us as having such knowledge? Why is it that they feel that it is simply okay for us to serve on committees for free giving of our time and knowledge in return for nothing?
Why is it that when a university fails to provide an accessible platform or format for taking an online exam they expect us to test their facilities in return for no compensation?
Or that when they are told that their online exam facilities are totally inaccessible, they turn around and ask you to test it for no financial remuneration?
This continues to haunt me and when I mentioned above that in recent months I witnessed a Certain provincial department, a certain university, and a certain large corporation being guilty of expecting to have our expertise to be given by persons with disabilities in return for absolutely no compensation, I was not kidding!
This is totally unacceptable. It is disrespectful and smacks of inequality. It can only be described as entities continuing to reflect an attitude that can only be described as outright meanness, malpractice, plus more.
I cannot even call this patronization but on the other hand when one of these entities plays the guilty card by saying that if you do this for nothing then you will be helping others; then I can only describe this as downright unfairness especially so when these entities can certainly afford to pay.
I can only urge persons with disabilities to stand up and demand that their skills, knowledge, and expertise be equally compensated. It is time for us to receive equal recognition and treatment.
Just my two cents for today.