Today has been a great day for communication: texting, emailing, phoning, and just plain conversing face to face.
Brittainy had the morning shift today. Brittainy is one of my newer employees, and I like her a lot. She's very perky and positive.
Throughout these past seven years of having Direct Funding, a lot of my employees have come and gone. Along the way, I have told them stories of abuse at the hands of attendants, not just to me but to other people, and not just from the places where I received these services but all attendant agencies across the board.
Physical, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse continues to happen every day to people with disabilities from those who are supposed to offer them support.
Brittainy was, of course, horrified by these stories, even more so when I told her that people who manage these agencies rarely side with the clients in matters of disputes. Many rights of disabled people are trampled on without any thought or care. My poor friend Aaron was told by management that attendants did not have to communicate with him by using his communication board because it was within their rights not to talk to him.
And then I told Brittainy how my friend Lamia had worked for an agency that provided me with attendant services for eight years. Lamia came in towards the latter part of my involvement with these bastards and Lamia advocated many times on my behalf.
The system is so horribly warped that before attendants can be hired they have to sign a contract stating that they never can go to the media about what goes on. I guess Lamia did not read the fine print because they were instrumental in helping me go to The Star and expose the abuse. When the agency confronted them, Lamia said, "I don't care if you fire me, I quit!"
That made me feel so compelled to text Lamia and reconnect with them and find out how they were doing. Life has been so hectic and nuts for both of us, that it was difficult to stay in contact. So we texted back and forth, and I am very happy to say that they are going to try to come to Rob's 50th birthday celebration.
And then I got an email from my friend Laura whom I haven't seen in ages. I am so happy that we are going to have coffee at Tim Hortons tomorrow.
Plus, as soon as I went outside to go shopping this evening, I met Heather whom I haven't seen in ages. We promised to email each other and set a date to get together.
And now I am watching videos with Dobrila and drinking beer. Cheers! To cool, great, fantastic, brilliant friends!
This is how life is supposed to be.