Don’t you forget about PWD

By now, most people have heard or watched what happened last week in the US. Meanwhile, here on the local front, Covid-19 numbers continue to rise, and Quebec has implemented a curfew to lower the case numbers.

I admit that I don’t understand how a curfew is going to improve the situation. Perhaps I’m missing their logic behind it, but to me, it doesn’t make much sense. Over the past year, as far as the handling of Covid-19 goes, very little has made sense.

This may be a new year, but we still have a long way to go before things get better, at least as far as Covid goes. I have hope that things will eventually get better. If I were to guess when that’ll happen, my best guess would be late summer or early fall. In my opinion, it depends on how seriously we take it, and we all do our part.

Things have been relatively quiet in the PWD community, with the lockdown still in effect and holidays just ending. Of course, the fact that everybody’s living in their version of a bubble may also have something to do with things being so quiet.

It’s a bizarre feeling.

As many of you know, I’m not usually at a loss for words when voicing concerns and trying to bring awareness regarding issues affecting people with disabilities. After all the barriers that myself and other members of the PWD community have broken, I never once imagined that a bubble would slow me down.

But here we are.

One of my significant concerns is that once this is all over, people with disabilities will go back to being ignored, including residents in long term care homes and hospitals. Just because some of our concerns may be at a standstill right now, we’re still here. Our concerns and fights to be heard and treated fairly and respectfully won’t magically disappear.

In one way, it’s good news for me because it means that I’ll have things to talk about here, but that’s it. People With Disabilities shouldn’t need to fight for every little thing, including the very basics in life.

Let’s use ODSP as a quick example.

We ALL need a place to live. Like most people, a PWD probably doesn’t want to live with their family forever, if it’s at all possible. Eventually, the person finds a place. Now, the person needs to pay rent, bills, plus groceries and other household items. Let’s keep in mind that the person has a disability and quite possibly medical issues. Despite what Doug Ford said, many people with disabilities AREN’T ALL able to work, even if it’s from home.

I’m not trying to get pity on us, but it’s the TRUTH.

People on ODSP aren’t receiving enough money to make ends meet. I know many ODSP recipients who often have to decide between buying food or paying their rent.

We’re human like everyone else, and because we’re human, we have needs and rights. Why do we need to feel like we’re being punished?

None of us chose this life, so why make it seem like we made a wrong decision, and we need to be reprimanded?

Locally speaking, there’s Para Transpo. Right now, the service is better in terms of the drivers showing up on time, and sometimes even early. However, I know that it’s due to the pandemic and across the board, people aren’t using public transportation nearly as often. As soon as life slowly returns to normal, our concerns will also return.

As I said above, certain aspects of life have quieted down, but not for everyone. For people with disabilities, we shall continue to raise our voices.

I understand and agree that Covid-19 should be a top priority.

The thing about being on top of any list is to acknowledge what else and who else is on the list as well.