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.
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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
Over the next few months, I’m going to be posting pieces from my essay Common Sense a Disabled Woman’s Perspective. Hopefully people will find them interesting and it will provoke some conversation. Introduction ‘Common Sense ain’t very common.’ I’m convinced whoever said that either had a disability or was close to someone who had a one, because that has been my experience in spades. For anyone with a disability
Written by Cathy Grant So, I went to the BCITS’s AGM and Social last week. It was a lovely event where I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while, ate some good food, and even won a door prize. So far it had been a really fun evening; that was until I had to leave. The location of the event was on Grandville Island and while
So last month I checked out an accessible apartment that I could have moved into if it met with my approval: it didn’t. While it was accessible and the property manager was willing to make more so, the issues that made it inappropriate for me went far beyond that single issue. This entire experience got me thinking about what are the other things that are equally as important as accessibility
A couple of weeks ago I took part in a discussion group sponsored by Vancouver City Hall regarding accessible housing in Vancouver. One of the key take aways for me was there is going to be a lot more accessible housing coming online over the next few years. How much will be depended a lot of factors, not the least of which, is the dedicated lobbying of many seniors and
Written by Cathy Grant May 2018 As a general rule I really disliked staff meetings. I found them to be more about my staff needs and the gripes with me (worst with each other) than about getting my needs addressed. However, there was this one time that my then manager had other ideas. The basic premise was simple, instead of a normal staff meeting; he called for a session staff
Written by Cathy Grant April Column 2018 Well a long-delayed decision has been made recently. My roommate has decided to get rid of my old wheelchair van in June. A few years ago, with the help of many people I purchased a newer wheelchair van, but my roommate bought my old one for his personal use. When I first purchased the Van back in 2001 it wasn’t much to look
Written by Cathy Grant March Column 2018 In many of my previous columns I’ve been pretty hard not only on the various experts that have come through my life but on some of my staff people as well. While, the experts reaped what the sowed in my opinion, I believe that I may have left the impression that I was or that I am still in a constant struggle with
‘I am not Developmentally Disabled’ I sometimes think that I should have that phrase tattooed on my forehead to save time when I’m talking to a new expert or staff in my team. Now let me be clear there is nothing wrong with having a Developmental Disability, but I have Cerebral Palsy. THAT’s my disability and my only disability. Imagine how frustrating it would be to have Developmental Disability
Not the Food Court This series of reviews is for people with disabilities and for those that support them. The goal is to highlight restaurants (chains and local owned) who are providing a dining experience that people with a wide variety of disabilities can partake in. I do not expect any of the places we plan to review will be suitable or accessible for everyone, but I honestly believe that
Over the many years I’ve been involved in the disability movement, I’ve interacted with many different advocacy groups. On the surface, all of these groups sound like they’re the real deal. Caring individuals who, for the most part, genuinely want to advocate for better care for the disabled or who want to provide that care. Unfortunately, the failure rate of many of these groups is so high and
Written by Cathy Grant Federal Accessible Act as well as the BC Accessible Act we need this badly. The protocol from the UN to be sign, we also need this badly. Last but not the least, is Nicholas or John Horgan to help us with my FOI to get the actual documents that we asked for the first-place November 10 2016). Shane Simpson is helping with my FOI, we
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