For people who think policies on disability don’t affect them, if you are lucky to live long enough, this statement will be true: you’re just not disabled yet.
Let’s think about this…
You will eventually need glasses, or hearing aids, or canes or walkers. You will eventually be using closed captioning and have issues with accessibility getting into places that don’t have ramps. You will eventually have more doctor’s appointments to maintain your body. People may need speech therapy post stroke or deal with dementia or other age-related health issues.
If you are lucky enough, your goal in life is to get to a place where you are disabled. People who pay attention to their healthy eating, exercise regularly, reduce their stress, their goal is to reach and experience disability.
I guarantee you, when you arrive to that place in your life, you will absolutely still believe that your life has value and you will want to live. Your family members will not love you any less.
As reported from others who reach this stage in life, they are shocked at the system they now need to navigate through and the barriers and oppression they suddenly find themselves or their loved ones in.
The government funds the education system for children with disabilities from a place of scarcity. There are never enough speech-therapists, occupational therapists, assessments and learning supports. These are children with all of the potential in the world laid out in front of them, and this is what the government thinks of investing in them and their families. If kids are treated so poorly you can just image how you’ll be treated at the end of your life.
Now….who is interested in disability issues??
1 out of 4 Canadians identify as having 1 disability or more. That’s just the individual. Now let’s include the family members who are involved in support or advocacy. Why has the government not taken this on as a platform issue?
Well, for all those in government who don’t think disability is worthy of their time. Just wait…. you’ll get there eventually.
With Long COVID, the disability rate is going to rise. The time is now. Disability issues are everyone issues.
Let’s give all kids a chance. Fund schools and systemically design them for inclusion and success.
We will all benefit from anti-ableism policy development at the government level.