Thursday, June 11, 2015

Save the Independent Living Fund Part II

When I watched the video of the cast of Coronation Street advocating saving the Independent Living Fund, I got all choked up and even cried a little.

Why did I feel such strong emotions tied to this video?  Well, first, the fact that they gave their time and support to speak out against this terrible injustice.  Plus, they spoke respectfully and knowledgeably about what was at stake if the Independent Living Fund were to be cut at the three week deadline.

It's rare to see anyone from the general public talk about or even comprehend all of the pitfalls and indignities people with disabilities face on a daily basis.  I have wished for years that people were more educated about this sensitive subject.

I keep talking about the cast of Coronation Street being in the video, but there were also many people with disabilities, too, advocating for themselves and others like them in Britain.

I think that listening to these people (my peers!) was the most poignant and touching.  I understood the frustration and anger they felt ... and the fear as well.

Growing up, I had this fear that hung over my head for years.  I was afraid that I would grow up, my parents would eventually die, and I would end in an institution like Participation House. This was before on-site attendant care and before Direct Funding.  In my mind's eye, I was looking at a life of dependence; little or no freedom; and, no self-determination.  It was not a bright future.

Attendant care and Direct Funding did come along, though, and I lived on my own, got married, and started my own art business.

That's how it should be.  Everybody should have their independence and a chance to live their lives the way they want.

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