July 21, 2022
Written by Amanda Hall
People with a diverse ability get restricted in what they can do because of low income and not enough accessible and affordable housing. There are not enough jobs and still some sheltered workshops, all people deserve to get a living wage and equal pay for equal work. In BC most institutions are closed but there are still some in Canada. Parents put their children into an institution because they did not feel they had an option. I am grateful for the families and self advocates who have closed most of the institutions down. Many governments are aware of the housing issue, federal provincial and local, they are slow to make changes. The PWD in the province is not enough to rent a place and “if you earn too much and over the amount the whole PWD for the month has been taken away.“ This is a quote from one of my friends. Not being accepted for who you are. Some people still use the “R” word because they do not know how to talk to people with a diverse ability. Some people are still afraid of people with diverse abilities because they do not know how to talk to them. Employers, I think, feel intimidated and that people will not do a good job or they will not be reliable. I am fortunate I have a job with equal pay. In fact , I have 5 jobs but I do not think I will ever make enough to rent my own place. Rent amount from PWD needs to go up or rent to go down and be affordable and accessible for all. I sit on the Community council for CLBC with parents and other self advocates. We have done presentations to our local city council and to the accessibility committee with Nanaimo. We have written letters to other city councils and hope in the fall we can go to a presentation to them. It will be the same subject as the Nanaimo meeting on inclusive and accessible housing as well as access sidewalks and more braille. As I mentioned earlier all levels of government need to be aware of the issues with people with diverse abilities. Talking to people about BC People First and making them aware of the advocacy work the Society does on our behalf. This matters to me because it is unfair, all people need to be treated equally and respected. We have the right to live, work, and play as other people do. I would like everybody to know if they have an issue they are not alone.
Human rights should not be taken away for people with divers abilities. For they have the human rights to do what they want. They can go places and have fun!! As per charter of Rights - Section 15 of the Charter makes it clear that every individual in Canada – regardless of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, colour, sex, age or physical or mental disability – is to be considered equal. This means that governments must not discriminate on any of these grounds in its laws or programs.