Brampton Caledon Community Living’s 58th Annual General Meeting

 

BCCL held its 58th annual general meeting on September 24, 2015 at the Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton. The AGM’s theme, Life’s Spiritual Dimension, was inspired by the Canadian humanitarian, Jean Vanier, who, in March of this year, was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize. The prize honours a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery or practical works.

Guest speakers spoke about the impact people with a disability have had on their lives. Steven Haney, a BCCL manager, recounted his fond memories of the late Edgar Wicksey, a gentlemen he supported. Sara Singh, a BCCL board director, in spoken word, reflected upon her relationship with her sister with a developmental disability. Their moving presentations were bookended by songs beautifully sung by Francine Morrison, a BCCL service coordinator.

Travis Miller, a support worker with BCCL for 15 years, was the recipient of the Reese Matthew Kirk Above and Beyond Award which recognizes employees who demonstrate exceptional commitment to BCCL’s vision and values and the people they support.

Talk about “homegrown” talent!

Who Is She To You

At this year’s 58th Annual General Meeting, board director Sara Singh presented, in spoken word form, a poem entitled “Who Is She To You”.   Sara’s loving and honest reflections on living with a sister with a disability were powerful and moving

Who is She to You?
Who is she to you?
A question I hear time and time again,
Are you are worker,
are you a nurse,
wait, Not even a friend?
??! Who is she to you?
No she’s my sister, I say
Oh wow, they remark but
Still this look of disdain.

That’s so noble of you,
with a great big smile.
Still looking at her like,
like she’s something so vile.
A feeling not foreign
as the rage ensues,
let the truth be told
Sometimes I lose control,
and don’t know what I’ll do.

Who is she I say,
She is a Princess,
Can’t you see?
The crown above her head
it’s so heavenly.
But then I realize,
she has gifts you can’t see,
Talents you choose not to believe.

Who is she you ask?

She is an artist, a poet, a singer, designer, an advocate,
a friend.
She is a sister, a daughter, an aunt,
always there with a helping hand.
She is a young leader fighting to be heard,
to be realized,
to be given a chance.
A mere opportunity,
something more than your pitiful glance.

Who is she, You ask,
She’s a warrior, out here on a task.
She’s here to challenge your misapprehensions
Your notions of who she is,
And what she ought to be.
All things you think she lacks,
because she isn’t what you want her to be.
She’s here to break out of every box you want to put her into,
She’s here to set you free.
Free from all these societal beliefs,
All these limitations, all these labels you see.
All of the constraints that you place on her,
Mentally, physically, emotionally,

Spiritually.
Judging every one of her abilities.
And questioning,

her ability to be.

Who is she you ask.
She is a flawless.
Despite being battered and broken,

by the lack of expectations, judgments and criticisms.
By the harsh stares and miscalculations,
She is a warrior,
Taking it all in stride,
With her Head held high.
You see each negative remark,
Doesn’t leave a scar,
It helps mould a martyr,
thick skin and pain so deep
that the average being would drown
from the tears that they’d weep.

But not her

Strength of a thousand, Determination of a lion
She takes my hand, and Together we stand.
Stronger United, this force field is our shield and our swords are the words
That we breath
To help you see
That there’s more to this world
Than shallow misconceptions
And that someone who is different
By any standard
Still deserves the right to be.

Who is she to you, You ask,
Look at her again and you’ll see.
No explanation needed.
You just need to feel and believe.

A poem for my sister Gurvir, because “sisters help each other”.

 Thank you for just being you.

 

By: Sara Singh

Director hopes ‘The Rainbow Kid’ changes views of disability in movies

 

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2015/09/12/director-hopes-the-rainbow-kid-changes-views-of-disability-in-movies.html

Video | Director hopes ‘The Rainbow Kid’ changes views of disability in movies | Toronto Star
Actor Dylan Harman says he was bullied, like his character in the ‘The Rainbow Kid.’ Director Kire Paputts says he hopes the film, which premieres Saturday at TIFF, changes views about special needs people in movies.

Mitchell Inquest Jury Delivers Recommendations

The coroner’s jury looking into the death of Guy Mitchell, a 38 year old man with a developmental disability who drowned on April 29, 2012 after falling into a cistern on the property where he lived in Ancaster, has delivered its recommendations.  Read more

Please click the link to view the jury’s list of recommendations to prevent a similar death.