Welcome to On The Pulse, a space where our host, Dave Brown, reflects on topics discussed during the show and place to get more information about resources discussed.
A report on autism and human rights
On today’s show we talked about a report on human rights for autistics in Ontario. Anne Borden is a co-founder of Autistics 4 Autistics Ontario.
The report was comprehensive and eye opening as to how autistic individuals are treated systemically at all levels of society. Whether that’s at the level of government services like health care and education or within the context of not-for-profit and charitable organizations. Even with ‘good intentions’, there are so many shortcomings that stem partially from a lack of resources and also a lack of consultation with community members. Due to the lack of meaningful engagement with the community, those limited resources end up being funneled into places that are ineffective. The previous government in Ontario came up with a 500 million dollar Autism Plan that didn’t talk about systemic physical abuse, poverty or affordable housing. How do you spend half a billion dollars and not address core issues?
We also got to delve into gaps in service. You hear the expression ‘aging out’ in reference to individuals with developmental disabilities. We just don’t have enough services that support adults with developmental disabilities. That is something that cuts across many disabilities as well. Government services, charities and not for profits that focus on serving children with disabilities, though somewhat lacking, are far more robust than those for adult counterparts. Adults with disabilities are just seen as different and treated accordingly. It centres around a question of, “what happens when disability stops being ‘cute’?” That is a different kettle of fish for a whole different show.
The report by Autistics 4 Autistics Ontario is extremely comprehensive. You can read it here.
You can also check out some blog posts on the report here.
In conversation with Laura Bain
On today’s show we talked with AMI-tv Halifax Presenter Laura Bain. Laura was recently honoured with the CNIB Holly Award, attended the “No Barriers” Conference in New York City and went skydiving.
I want to drill down on Laura’s New York City experience. New York is the biggest city in America. On any given day there can be 30 million people in the city. It is gigantic. Laura was open about the fact that she was nervous about taking that trip solo. There are so many variables when you travel to a vibrant place that can throw orientation and mobility for a real loop. New York City is sensory overload. There is a lot of noise and allot of people. Times Square is about as close to my personal hell as it gets.
That said, it’s something you have to experience. It requires discomfort. It requires the plunging into the unknown. That’s where human experience is found. In your day to day life, familiarity is good, and should be embraced. I eat at the same places all the time. I go out to the same bars. I dwell in the same neighbourhoods. But every now and again, you have to explore. Blind, low vision or fully sighted, you have to get after it, even when it’s scary to do so. Laura said the prospect of going to New York was scarier than jumping out of a plane, but it sounds like she had a very rich experience while there.
The Disability Justice Network of Ontario
On today’s show we previewed the NBA Season. Elias El-Zein is the Co-host of the 3 In the Key podcast.
We spent a good chunk of the show talking about the Toronto Raptors. Not because they are the only Canadian franchise, but because they are a legitimate contender to win the Eastern Conference and advance to the NBA Finals. LeBron James is no longer in the East, so that helps clear a path for them. Even though the Boston Celtics are a top tier team, the Raptors are right there with them. The acquisition of Kawhi Leonard cannot be understated for Toronto. He’s a defensive player of the candidate and has been an NBA Finals MVP. He might be the most talented player in the history of the franchise. That is something to note. That is a reason to listen to games or watch games. Great athletes don’t grow on trees and even if it’s just for one year until he hits free agency, Kawhi Leonard is a transformational force. Going into any game or playoff series, the Raptors are likely to have the best player on the floor. Not since the days of Vince Carter have they been able to say that.
I’ve loved basketball forever and to see the sport grow in popularity in Canada has been amazing to witness. Another strong season from the Raptors will help as the sport keeps gaining momentum.
And it should be noted, there are lots of Canadian basketball fans who could care less about the Raptors. We have love for you too. Keep supporting your team irrespective of geography.
To learn more about the 3 in the Key podcast visit here.