My name is Laurie Fairweather and I have been a self-advocate for many years. I have been at the Garth Homer Society for 23 years and hope to be for many more.
I recently participated in a Self-Advocacy Café. It was the first one we (the Garth Homer Society Self-Advocacy Group) had ever put on. A total of 18 people attended. I was the MC and greeter for the event. I was nervous, but I pulled it off! I did learn that I do have limitations. Two roles kept me busy! It was like a patch work quilt – everyone’s contribution was different. There were people of all ages which made the discussion very interesting.
We shared and learned about social media (safety, Facebook friendships, do’s and don’ts), healthy being, and community resources. It was obvious many participants want more accessible information about low-cost services and opportunities in the community. I learned to stand up for what is right. In addition to the discussions, we had a colouring table with positive words and pictures. We also had a dream wall where participants could write what the day meant to them.
I am a self-advocate and love to help others to be self-advocates. We ended with a circle and all the feedback was so positive! We are hoping that we are able to do this again in the future! And I would like to be MC again!
By Laurie Fairweather