It was a special night at Brampton Caledon Community Living’s annual general meeting on September 28, 2017. A crowd of almost 300 turned out to celebrate BCCL’s 60th anniversary on Canada’s 150th birthday. Travis Kerr opened the evening with the spoken word, riffing, sculpting and scatting celebratory words. “Happy Birthday Canada! Happy Birthday BCCL!” Monika Huizenga beamed, telling her story about realizing her dream of becoming a Canadian citizen. And John Sousa was recognized for his 40 years of stellar service at Norpak, BCCL’s light assembly and packaging enterprise. Home grown short videos by BCCL’s creative staff were screened that communicated in picture and sound, the values that help define who we are as an organization and as a country.
In the words of Travis Kerr, “Happy Birthday Canada. Happy Birthday Brampton Caledon Community Living!”
Brampton Caledon Community Living held its 60th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, September 28, 2017.
Though my time with staff and the members in which you support was brief, it taught me a lot about myself. If l am honest, when I initially heard that my placement was with adults with disabilities it brought back to past memories from my childhood. As a child with a physical disability, I was hesitant to associate myself with others who were also disabled because I did not want to be reminded of my own disability or be attached to the social stigma given to those with disabilities over the years that is what I ran away from. However, throughout my community placement, I was forced to face my own biases about disability, especially, disabilities different than my own. Despite knowing, that disabled people want to be treated with respect, integrity, and kindness like the ‘average person’ I spoke/speak those words from a personal place relying only on my experience alone. My time at BCCL enabled me to see what it truly means to treat everyone equally and allowed me to overcome my fear of being around or associated with others with disabilities. For that, I will be forever grateful. What I have learned during my time with everyone will not only make me a better person but a better educator.
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Parents of developmentally disabled children needing help as they become adults ask “what will happen after we are gone?