Poverty and People with Intellectual Disabilities (April 24, 2008)

More than 100 people made it “standing room only” at Metro Hall in Toronto on the evening of April 24 for the launch of a series of public dialogues on poverty and people with intellectual disabilities organized by the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL). The event was co-sponsored by the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) and the Colour of Poverty. Opened by Bendina Miller, CACL President, and moderated by Catherine Frazee of the Ryerson School of Disability Studies, the session featured:

Those assembled included people with disabilities and their family members, community workers and volunteers. A number of the participants made powerful statements about their experiences and struggles for inclusion and equity. Key points from several statements made were:

Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President of CACL, thanked all for their open and honest contributions and announced that this was the first of a series of public dialogues that would be held across the country as part of CACL’s 50th anniversary program.

Catherine Frazee summed up the evening well by noting that the statements made had been very “moving” but in a “mobilizing” rather than sentimental way, and that all should be emboldened now to speak out more publicly on the issue of poverty and to join with others fighting against poverty in order to secure “decent lives for ourselves and for each other.”

Event Reports

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