Hello, my name is Elisa. I have just started volunteering, working with Disability Without Poverty initiative that is trying to get the situation that allows people like me and others with disabilities to have a living wage and to reach their full potential.
I have been trying to do videos, I’ve been trying to say it the best way I can, but to be honest, I’m just going to put it like this: it’s not fair. It is not fair that we must fight to have enough money so that if we live on our own, I would not have to choose between food and university.
Fortunately, I don’t, because I have very supportive family members, but the point is, it’s not fair that our lives are so constricted because of our lack of economic funds. You know, I keep thinking of Martin Luther King at the beginning of his famous Washington speech and him saying our country has promised life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but when it comes to the negro this promissory note, it’s a bad check “a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds’” (King, 1963).
I truly feel like that this is what disabled people go through, not only economically but also information poverty. Many of us stumble upon these organizations, but we’re not taught about them in school. We’re taught about the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Harvey Milk, which is great in school. Which is great. I love learning about Gandhi and Harvey Milk, but what about people like me?
We have successes, we have lives, we love, we have intellectual ideas. Why? Why do we have to fight to have our basic needs not taken from us because provincial Government may just go “Great, the federal Government is taking care of the money now, hands off”. Why do we have to be concerned, why?
I’m sorry just… it makes me really sad because I see a lot of people in my situation, at least where I live, where it’s like, they’ve lost their fight and that’s not right! They are afraid to leave their homes. It starts when we have the money and this all changes when we have the money to support ourselves, to feel secure, to feel like we are valued.
And so, I ask you from the bottom of my heart, please help my people; make sure that we actually do get the economic wage we need to live our full potential and contribute to Canadian society.
Thank you. Have a good day.