Hello and welcome to the first essay in my column. Over the next long (I hope) while I will be sharing my thoughts and opinions to what I hope are the many readers of Selfadvocate.net. Some of my stories may make you laugh, or cry or even get a bit mad, but I hope they will always make you think. Before we start this journey I’d just like to take the time and thank my ‘hands and feet’ Sandy A. He’s the one doing the typing and has been a big help to me throughout this entire process. Now if he’d just get to work consistently on time he’d be perfect.
If you would like to read more of Cathy’s thoughts and opinions, please check out her eBooks at these sites or anywhere were popular eBooks are sold.
The following is one topic that has had a lot of impact on the world around me. I’m sharing it with you today to remind everyone that sometimes it is better to receive than to give.
For Wheeling Through Life
Dear Minister Simpson Hello and greetings. I know that you’re busy with running a very complex and diverse ministry, and I know that you have plenty of experts giving you advice on how to change (and hopefully improve) services. As a long-term receiver of these services I believe that I too am something of an expert regarding the ministry and how it delivers its services to people
So, I was reading through the interview that Shane Simpson did with the Vancouver Sun over the weekend. I really liked a lot of what I was hearing. Indexing PWD, an increase in how much money people can make before their disability gets clawed back, and the possibility of guaranteed basic income; all good stuff that has been too long in coming. Then the interview got to the issue of
If you’re like me then you’ve had a lot of dealings with different organizations; service providers, wheelchair repair, cleaning services, or even home maintenance services. The list goes on and on. Some of been so bad that they were next to useless, others have been so-so. Perhaps the most frustrating are those companies that absolutely brilliant one time and bone headed incompetent the next. To find a truly
18 months ago, this would have been a very different conversation. 18 months ago, I would have been looking at my savings and cursing the fact that it was approaching the $5,000 asset limit. But today that wasn’t the case. Today I was wheeling into an appointment with an investment manager at my bank wanting to setup a Tax Free Savings Account. The investment manager was very nice and
To say that many people with disabilities have a ‘conflicted’ relationship with government bureaucracy is an understatement of almost British proportions. On the one hand, most of our services and supports are paid for by government, yet this money comes with so many strings attached, hoops to jump through and barriers to breech; that if some government program offered something more there is a very strong chance you’d
One of the things I like to follow on the web is how new technology might change, or is changing the lives of people with disabilities. One of the areas of change coming up is with prosthetic limbs. In only a few more years, limbs that can do as much as a regular human hand/arm (including near normal touch sensitivity) are going to be commonly available. These arms are going
Story by Cathy Grant So, last week a staff read to me a CBC article. At its heart the article was about the new levels of automation that are affecting and going to affect many Canadian businesses within the next ten years. The part the interested both me and my staff was around the various responses that this next evolution (some call it revolution but that word is so
Author’s note: This month’s column is an excerpt from my longer essay Staff: A Necessary Evil. If you want to read more about the thoughts of staffing please check out the essay at Amazon, Kobo or Smashwords. The Reality TV of My Life. Years before the Kardashians made it popular, I felt like I had the world watching my every move. Only instead of me getting paid, for
By Cathy Grant ‘Well how have you been coping with all of the snow?’ At least in the lower mainland that has been the ongoing topic of conversation for everyone over the past two months. I know people who live in the lower mainland often don’t get much sympathy from the rest of the country (or even the rest of the province for that matter) around our winters but this
Author by Cathy Grant I wanted to start off this year on a positive note, so I decided to talk about one of my favorite surprises of 2016; that being the comedy Speechless on ABC. I’m not one to get excited at all about TV but when a staff person showed me the trailer of Speechless early in the fall last year I was intrigued. After watching the pilot,
On November 26, a friend and I headed down to Canada Place to take part in the Federal Government’s Public Engagement meeting. There with around 300 people, most of whom had a disability, we talked to the Mister of Sport and People with Disabilities about various disability issues. I learned a lot from the meeting, including a big reminder on just how diverse the disability movement really
‘United we stand, divided we fall’. ‘A house divided can not stand’ These are but two of the many sayings regarding the dangers of being divided in the face of opposition. Unfortunately, the wisdom of such sayings is clearly evident when it comes to how people with disabilities are treated within this province. Currently within British Columbia services for people with disabilities is divided between three ministries and one
This column is dedicated to Lorraine Dunlop another gentle soul who had left selfadvocatenet.com hopefully for bigger and brighter things. In 2000 I moved to yet another service provider and a hole new part of the city. My goal was to find a situation where I had a core group people in my life that would treat me with some respect. Early on, I lucked out with the new service
Shorter column this month because I want everyone else to do some writing this time. Every once and a while an issue arises that is pivotal. Where the course of events can change for individuals, groups even nations. One such event was last year’s federal election, where who we were going to be as a people was set down for the next several decades. Another lynch pin, more directly involving
I remember it clearly, it was during the 90’s and the experts insisted that it would be better for me to feed myself than have someone feed me. So thousands of dollars were spent on consultants and equipment to theoretically allow me to eat a meal with my own hands. It was a total disaster: My CP not only made my arm movement slow and awkward but the mental effort
The RDSP: Do you have yours? Even though I can’t make full use out of the Registered Disabilities Saving Plan (RDSP) myself, and thanks to the increase in asset limits within Person with Disability (PWD) benefit has somewhat decreased the need to open the RDSP, I still believe that the Registered Disability Savings Plans is extremely important, and something that everyone who is legible for it should have. One of
A few weeks ago I was asked by the Cerebral Palsy Association to come and give a short talk about goal setting, specifically in how setting goals related to finding work. Initially I was taken aback; I’m good at many things but I’m hardly a poster child for finding a regular job. Still wanting to help, I agreed and started to put together an outline of what I was going
Author’s Note This particular column is a little different than my others. It was originally my entry into the 2015 Canada Writes contest, but I didn’t win. However, my test readers thought it was pretty good so I decided not to let good writing go to waste and publish it. Originally this essay was my first for-profit eBook, but recently I’ve started to prompt it for free everywhere but Amazon
May is my busiest month of the year. I take the Hell’s Gate tour, up in the Fraser Valley one day. All the museums and gardens out in UBC another. The aquarium in Stanley Park along with the harbour tour, on a Third. In Squamish I visit both the train and mining museums then take the Sea to Sky Gondola up to enjoy the scenery. Back in Vancouver for a
On December 1st of 2015 the world got a little brighter for everyone on Persons with Disability (PWD). On that date the total assets that someone could possess rose from $5,000 to $100,000, and receiving monetary gifts became less likely to cause problems with the Financial Aid Worker (FAW). While the changes were not earth shattering or necessarily life altering, it wasn’t nothing either. However, I was surprised by the