Christopher, one of the kids featured in this year’s campaign, talks about times when he was excluded at school due to his disability. He shares that, “Playing a game or having fun in life is not a privilege or a gift, it’s a must-have in a child’s life.”
Holland Bloorview ambassador and TVOkids reporter, Alex, talks about ableism and how to combat it in the classroom.
Meagan McAteer speaks about her short film, ONE DAY/DAY ONE, and her partnership with Holland Bloorview to help cast its lead role and provide coaching on disability inclusion best practices in film.
Breakfast Television Toronto interviews Holland Bloorview ambassador, Gavi, about her lived experience with ableism, and president and CEO of our Foundation, Sandra Hawken, speaks to this year’s Dear Everybody campaign.
The fifth year of the Dear Everybody campaign is urging Canadians to talk about “ableism” by amplifying the voices of six kids and youth who share their hurtful experiences with ableism. Ashleigh Saith, vice president of strategy and public engagement at the Holland Bloorview Foundation, noted wanting to leverage this “moment in time where people are more aware about what’s going on in terms of social inequities”.
Jay, who uses they/them pronouns and identifies as queer and polyamorous, explains the challenges around dating due to the stigma surrounding disability. They said, “There is an assumption out there that all disabled people are asexual – that we don’t date, we don’t love, we don’t have kids”.
Christopher has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and loves basketball, but still experiences instances where he’s left out due to his disability. He says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge my skills before you’ve seen them because sometimes they could be great”.
(Story starts at 53:35 min. mark) Holland Bloorview inpatients take part in a Paralympics viewing party and share their thoughts on ableism and this year’s Dear Everybody campaign. Campaign supporter and motivational speaker, Spencer West, is also interviewed about the topic.
Rachel, one of the youth featured in this year’s Dear Everybody campaign, wants people to know that she’s more than her disability. A long-time Holland Bloorview client, she states, “…the media represents us so helplessly or I guess miserably, we are not exposed to the general population in a way that is authentic”.
21-year old Nathan has cerebral palsy and shares the effects of ableism in his life as it relates to his race and identity. He says about ableism, “I faced it quite a lot, especially being a Black male with a disability”. Nathan recalls being stopped by police officers who have accused him of stealing a walker that was indeed his.