A personal tribute to David Onley, former lieutenant governor of Ontario
Living with Kabuki Syndrome has limited my ability to find employment, pursue higher-level education, and it leaves me dependent on my family to help me with my day-to-day living. I appreciate the PWD benefits I receive every month, as I depend on these funds to get by on a daily basis. However, the funds I get do not cover my monthly expenses and the preventative therapies I need to manage my health.
If I told you that being disabled was expensive, I’m guessing you wouldn’t be surprised. According to a recent Angus Reid poll, most Canadians are aware that being disabled means higher costs of living,
The government broke new ground last month when federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough introduced legislation for a new federal Canada Disability Benefit in Parliament.
People with disabilities are all too accustomed to being pushed to the sidelines or forgotten.
I’m at the playground with my four-year-old son. He’s chewing on his hand, drooling. A nearby mom says, sympathetically, “Are teeth coming in?” I say, “No, it’s his stim.”
A life with disability should not mean a life in poverty. Unfortunately, that’s the reality for too many persons with disabilities in Canada. I should know. I’ve lived with challenging mental health conditions for several decades, and while I’ve had periods of work, I’ve also had long periods of hospitalization, and I’ve relied on government benefits to eat, for shelter, to survive. I eked out funds from casual contract work when I was well enough and depended on gifts from friends in hard times.
Imagine a group of 100 Canadians: young, old, from coast to coast to coast, representing the rich diversity of this country. I see them talking, laughing, sharing photos of their family. Maybe someone has a ball and a game breaks out.
Although there is no such thing as overcoming a disability, claiming it can be liberating.
The Government of Canada has announced the creation of a Canadian Disability Inclusion Plan to address long-standing challenges facing Canadians with disabilities, and a national COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group.