Shelley DeCoste works as a Self Advocate Liaison for Pathways in Kelowna, and is passionate about promoting ‘diversabilities.’ Below she shares her thoughts on public speaking engagements and sharing her ideas with groups across BC.

It is important for my community to see that I am contributing. I might need a little extra help or time but the main thing is that I’m being part of community and not just sitting around waiting for a hand out.

I’ve presented to the Rotary Club, at a school district special education parent advisory committee, to the local CLBC board, to service providers taking customized employment training, to high schools and colleges, and to a few at the University. I’m always surprised people show up! People are seeing the obvious and hearing that we want to work because we want a fair way in life, treated like all adults who are all expected to work.

I like being able to get out and educate other people about the possibilities and being able to think outside the box. When people hear the word diversability and my reasoning. Seeing the little light bulbs in their heads go off and people actually getting it. It’s awesome!