Each year, the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA for short) presents the National Community Radio Conference across Canada and this year it was at Ryerson University in Toronto! When I found out it was going to be there, I immediately applied to go as a member of CiTR, the campus radio station at UBC.

I am not a traveller at all though. In fact, I had only been to Disneyland when I was fifteen years old. So this was going to be a real learning experience for me.

There were so many questions going through my mind, like, how am I going to take my wheelchair? Is my wheelchair going to fit in the cargo hold? How am I going to sit on the plane? And so on and so on. Then, I needed a support staff to come with me to assist me physically. However, all went well! Thank you to Spectrum Society for making sure I had staff to accompany me and to Air Canada for being so accommodating in making sure my wheelchair was strapped well in the cargo hold.

Even more, one of the crew members was kind enough to lift me out of my wheelchair and onto the plane and then gave me three pillows to sit on. The travel time was four and a half hours. And when we got to Toronto, we asked the Pearson Airport employees where we could get a cab, and they were able to get one for us.

From then on, the majority of my days was spent attending workshops where I learned so much that my brain was pretty much fried, but in a good way! The highlight of this trip was receiving the “Breaking Barriers” award on behalf of CiTR and my teammates from the Accessibility Collective where I was producing and hosting a biweekly show called All Access Pass. Our episode on Disability Terminology and Language, featuring the three panelists, was the winner.

It was a very happy, proud and humble moment for me and to receive it in person was special as well!

 

Story is written from

Deepi Leihl 

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