Sarah Hall is a self-advocate who used to work with Community Living BC while she lived in the Lower Mainland, but has since moved to Ontario. Here she shares her experience as a self advocate living in Canada.
I used to be a self advocacy person who spoke on behalf of people with different types of disabilities by reaching out to them, connecting with them and developing relationships with them.
Our goals are to overcome challenges, have more responsibilities, try our best to conquer our missions in our personal lives and in the community and work environment, and work together as a team with each other.
Here are some of the obstacles and challenges we face in having all types of disabilities:
- Building new relationships every where we go
- Joining community activities
- Being able to feel comfortable, safe in community and each other
- Learning to understand about budgeting how to handle money, paying rent, bills to pay how to save up for housing, holidays and being able to have fun spending money by going shopping, swimming, movies and other things
I have facial syndrome, because my mom was drinking while pregnant with me. Even with challenges, I have overcome my disabilities by having my own bank account, having my own phone in my name and living with friends. I hope one day to be able to live on my own and drive some day. My friends, God and family do encourage me and support me in every way possible to go on when it’s gets tough.
Friends that I know have overcome their disabilities by making good choices and desicions, having responsibilities with money, having kids, living in a house or apartment, being able to get around, being engaged, getting married and having fun with friends.
Friends that I know have disabilities with being in wheelchairs or crutches, being blind or deaf. Everyone wants to be able to overcome their disabilities but it’s a struggle everyday. Nothing is impossible for them. They are being challenged everyday of their lives to be positive in every situation they are in, be determined to work in the community with others or at home working, being comfortable in who they are in themselves, being able to balance their lives, and having responsibilities with money and everything else they are responsible for. It’s wonderful with people with all types of disabilities that we all can relate or share our experiences, knowing we can be friends and build relationships and go places together.