Transcript: Dismantling Ableism in Ontario | Aug 29, 2019

A guest sits in the studio. She's in her thirties, with long curly dark brown hair. She's wearing a white blouse with a black bow.

Nam Kiwanuka says SARAH JAMA IS CO-FOUNDER
OF THE HAMILTON-BASED
DISABILITY JUSTICE NETWORK
OF ONTARIO,
AN ORGANIZATION
THAT WANTS TO CREATE,
"A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES ARE FREE TO BE."

Nam appears on screen. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a black blazer over a spotted blouse, and a black bow.

A caption on screen reads "Dismantling ableism in Ontario. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says IT'S A POWERFUL VISION,
ONE AIMED AT GETTING THE NEEDS
OF A WIDER SPECTRUM
OF PEOPLE INTO VIEW,
AND TO HELP MOVE US
ALL PAST ABLEISM.
AND WE'RE PLEASED IT BRINGS
SARAH JAMA
TO OUR STUDIO TONIGHT.
HI!
IT'S NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Sarah says HEY.

NAM SAYS I LIKE WHAT YOU'RE WEARING.

SARAH SAYS THANK YOU.

Nam says YOU GOT THE BOW TIE GOING.
SAME, SAME, SAME.

SARAH SAYS TRUE, TRUE.
BUT IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE
IN THE STUDIO.
I APPRECIATE THE INVITE.

NAM SAYS YOU'RE A CO-FOUNDER
OF THE DISABILITY JUSTICE
NETWORK OF ONTARIO.
WHAT DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION DO?

The caption changes to "Sara Jama. Disability Justice Network of Ontario."
Then, it changes again to "Grassroots organizing."

Sarah says SO OUR MISSION IS TO CREATE
A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES
ARE FREE TO BE,
AND SO WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE FOR
US IS TEACHING YOUNG PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES TO BE ABLE
TO CHALLENGE INSTITUTIONS
AND COMMUNITY SPACES
THAT EXIST,
AND SAY,
"HEY, THIS IS WHAT WE NEED
IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO
PARTICIPATE AS OUR FULL SELVES."
SO OFTENTIMES, PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES ARE TAUGHT
FROM A YOUNG AGE
THAT YOU'RE A BURDEN ON SOCIETY.
SO IF YOU NEED SUPPORT,
YOU CAN GO TO THIS SERVICE
OR THAT SERVICE,
BUT YOU'RE NOT TAUGHT
TO ASK THE CRITICAL QUESTION OF:
WHERE DO YOU GO
WHEN THE SERVICES THAT EXIST
DON'T WORK FOR YOU?
AND SO WE'RE BUILDING
THE POLITICAL CAPACITY
IN YOUNG PEOPLE
TO HOLD THESE INSTITUTIONS
AND COMMUNITY SPACES
RESPONSIBLE
FOR THE SPACES THAT THEY CREATE.

Nam says YOUR BASED RIGHT NOW IN HAMILTON.

SARAH SAYS YEAH!

Nam says WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THIS
ORGANIZATION COME FROM?

Sarah says SO HAMILTON HAS THE LARGEST
DENSITY OF PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES ACROSS
THE PROVINCE.
SO THAT'S KIND OF WHY
WE'RE BASED IN HAMILTON.
AND THE IDEA CAME FROM MYSELF
AND MY FRIEND SHANTHIYA,
WHO... WE WERE
ORGANIZING POLITICALLY ON CAMPUS
ON A VARIETY
OF DIFFERENT ISSUES,
WHETHER IT CAME TO LIKE
THE 15 dollar AND FAIRNESS CAMPAIGN
OR LIKE WOMEN AND GENDER EQUITY
ISSUES ON OUR CAMPUS.
BUT DISABILITY PERSPECTIVES
WERE OFTEN LEFT OUT.
PEOPLE THINK WHEN YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT ACCESS
AND COMMUNITY-ORGANIZING
SPACES,
YOU NEED JUST A RAMP TO
ACCESS LIKE CERTAIN SERVICES,
BUT DISABILITY INTERSECTS
WITH SO MANY DIFFERENT
COMMUNITY MOVEMENTS THAT EXIST,
AND IT'S OFTEN LEFT OUT.

NAM SAYS LIKE WHAT?

Sarah says SO LIKE WHAT?
I WOULD SAY THAT, FOR EXAMPLE,
THERE ARE HUGE LABOUR ISSUES
WITH REGARD TO WORKERS' RIGHTS
IN MY CITY.
WE'RE A HUGE
LIKE INDUSTRIAL UBER-CITY,
BUT YOU DON'T REALLY SEE
A FOCUS
ON INCLUDING
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
IN THOSE CONVERSATIONS
AND THOSE MOVEMENTS.
OR WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE,
THE CONVERSATION RIGHT
NOW IS STUCK
TOWARD PLASTIC STRAWS, RIGHT?
IT SHOULD BE ABOUT:
HOW DO WE CREATE A WORLD
THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES
TO EXIST PAST THIS IDEA OF OUR
ECONOMIC WORTH, RIGHT?
WE DON'T JUST WANT ACCESS
TO EMPLOYMENT
WHICH IS WHAT FEDERAL
LEGISLATION IS FOCUSED ON,
FOR EXAMPLE.
BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES
CAN'T ACTUALLY WORK.
SO, WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE
TO BUILD A COMMUNITY
THAT ACTUALLY FITS US FOR OUR
WHOLE SELVES,
AND NOT JUST BECAUSE SOME OF US
ARE ABLE TO PRODUCE
AND SOME OF US CAN'T?

NAM SAYS AND THERE'S A DISTINCTION,
CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG...

SARAH SAYS YEAH...

Nam says BETWEEN ACCESSIBILITY
AND DISABILITY JUSTICE?
IS THERE?

Sarah says YEAH, SO FOR ME,
I SEE A DISTINCTION,
AS WELL AS THE PEOPLE
WHO CREATED DISABILITY JUSTICE
WHO ARE SINS INVALID
FROM OAKLAND.
AND THEY ARE A BUNCH OF QUEER,
RADICAL, BLACK ORGANIZERS
WHO CAME UP WITH THE TERM
"DISABILITY JUSTICE."
BECAUSE WHEN PEOPLE
TALK ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY,
IT'S USUALLY AROUND:
"HOW DO WE BUILD A... LIKE,
A WORLD AROUND
THIS PRE-EXISTING SOCIETY THAT
FITS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?"
BUT NOT FROM THE SENSE OF
LIKE... IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO BE
COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT, RIGHT?
SO IT'S A CRITIQUE OF THE
INDEPENDENT LIVING MOVEMENT.
EVERYBODY IS INTERDEPENDENT UPON
EACH OTHER, RIGHT?
YOUR FOOD JUST DOESN'T APPEAR;
IT COMES FROM GROCERY STORES.
NOBODY'S FULLY INDEPENDENT.
SO, IT'S THIS IDEA THAT KNOWING
THAT WE'RE ALL RELYING SORT OF
ON EACH OTHER, HOW DO WE BUILD
A SOCIETY THAT'S FULL, RIGHT,
AND FITS EVERYBODY?
SO LOOKING NOT JUST AT
EMPLOYMENT, BUT LOOKING AT:
HOW DO WE INTERACT
WITH OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM?
HOW DO WE INTERACT
WITH OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM?
HOW HAS OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HURT US?
RIGHT... IN A VARIETY
OF DIFFERENT WAYS,
AND ATTACKS OUR BODILY AUTONOMY?
SO, I THINK WHEN I THINK ABOUT
DISABILITY JUSTICE,
IT'S ABOUT CRITIQUING
THESE IDEAS THAT,
YOU KNOW, POLICING DOESN'T
JUST HURT BLACK PEOPLE;
IT HURTS BLACK
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, RIGHT?
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
IS A CONCEPT IN ONTARIO
THAT IS AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS,
BUT STILL EXISTS,
AND IT'S PREDOMINANTLY
HURTING PEOPLE
WITH INVISIBLE DISABILITIES
WHO ARE BEING INCARCERATED
AT EXTREMELY HIGH
RATES, RIGHT?
SO, HOW DO WE TALK ABOUT THIS
SORT OF... LEAVING OUT OF PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES IN OUR SOCIETY
FROM THE STANDPOINT OF JUSTICE
AS OPPOSED TO JUST WE NEED
ACCESS TO A PUBLIC SPACE
SO THAT WE CAN SPEND, OR EXPEND
ECONOMIC PURCHASING POWER.

Nam says YEAH.
AND LET'S USE HAMILTON
AS A CASE STUDY.
HOW DO YOU CONNECT THE ISSUES,
AS AN ACTIVIST,
THAT MOVE YOU AND
DRIVE YOU TO THE OUTCOMES
THAT YOU WANT TO SEE?

Sarah says MAINLY THROUGH UNDERSTANDING
THAT A LOT OF OUR ISSUES
ARE INTERCONNECTED, RIGHT?
SO WHEN I WAS ON CAMPUS,
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS
I DID IS I SIGNED UP FOR EVERY
SINGLE CLUB ON CAMPUS.

NAM SAYS AND THAT WAS
AT MCMASTER, RIGHT?

The caption changes to "Sarah Jama, @SarahJama_."

Sarah says YEAH.
I SIGNED UP FOR OVER 300 CLUBS,
JUST TO GET AN IDEA
OF WHAT PEOPLE WERE
INTERESTED IN,
OUTSIDE OF WHAT I WAS JUST
INTERESTED IN.
'CAUSE I UNDERSTAND THAT
FIGHTING FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS,
FIGHTING FOR PALESTINIAN
SOLIDARITY, ALL OF THESE ISSUES
ARE INTERCONNECTED TO THIS IDEA
THAT CERTAIN PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED
TO EXIST IN OUR SOCIETY OVER
OTHERS, RIGHT?
AND SO, THE KEY TO THAT,
IN ANY SORT OF MOVEMENT,
IS QUESTIONING THE UNDERPINNING
IDEOLOGY OF LIKE:
WHY ARE CERTAIN
PEOPLE ALLOWED TO EXIST
AND OTHER
PEOPLE ARE LEFT OUT?
AND THAT INCLUDES BLACK PEOPLE,
QUEER PEOPLE, RACIALIZED PEOPLE,
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
AND I ALSO HAVE THIS UNDERSTANDING
THAT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
FIT EVERY RACE, RELIGION,
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION, EVERYWHERE
ON THE LGBTQ-PLUS SPECTRUM,
BUT THESE ISSUES ARE OFTEN
LEFT OUT OF EVERY MOVEMENT
BECAUSE IT'S NOT
NORMALLY TALKED ABOUT.
AND I THINK... YEAH,
I HAVE THIS UNDERSTANDING
THAT IN ORDER TO BUILD TOWARD
A SOCIETY THAT FITS EVERYBODY,
WE HAVE TO START CENTERING
THE MOST VULNERABLE.
AND SO FOR ME, THAT OFTEN MEANS
INSTEAD OF PULLING PEOPLE
INTO MY MOVEMENTS
AND WHAT I BELIEVE IS IMPORTANT,
BEING ABLE TO MOVE INTO
DIFFERENT SPACES LIKE LABOUR,
LIKE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE,
AND BRING THAT LENS WITH ME.
SO, IT'S LIKE...

NAM SAYS REPRESENTATION...

Sarah says IT'S PRESENT IN ALL OF THESE
DIFFERENT SPACES.
YEAH, EXACTLY.

NAM SAYS AS A COMMUNITY
ORGANIZER,
YOU'RE WORKING
AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL.
WHAT DO YOU THINK
CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED
AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL THAT
CAN'T BE AT GOVERNMENT LEVEL?

Sarah says SO THAT'S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION.
I'M THINKING OF LIKE MIKE
FROM ACORN HAMILTON
WHO AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL, HE
IS A TENANT WHO IS EXPERIENCING
A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT ISSUES,
YET HE'S ABLE
TO BUILD CAPACITY
AND PEOPLE IN HIS
BUILDING TO HOLD
HIS LIKE LANDLORD
ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE SPACES
THAT ARE HARMING PEOPLES'
ABILITY TO LIVE
IN SAFE ENVIRONMENTS, RIGHT?
AND HE'S LITERALLY BUILDING
THAT CAPACITY IN OTHER PEOPLE.
I'M THINKING OF URSULA WHO'S
INVOLVED WITH THE CAMPAIGN
FOR ADEQUATE WELFARE
AND DISABILITY.
IT'S LIKE, A RACIALIZED
CARIBBEAN WOMAN
WHO RELENTLESSLY SHOWS UP
AND HOLDS PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE
FOR THE SPACES THAT
THEY CREATE TOO.
AND I THINK WHAT WE HAVE IN
HAMILTON ON THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL
IS A MASS AMOUNT
OF RELATIONSHIPS
AND COMMUNITY TRUST THAT DOESN'T
EXIST AT A GOVERNMENT LEVEL
BECAUSE THEY'RE
SO SEPARATE
FROM PEOPLES'
LIVED EXPERIENCES, RIGHT?
AND THEY DON'T SEE
THAT A SINGLE POLICY CAN HAVE
SUCH DRASTIC EFFECTS
ON PEOPLES' LIVES.
OR MAYBE THEY DO SEE IT,
AND THEY DON'T CARE.

NAM SAYS WELL, SPEAKING OF POLICY...

Sarah says YEAH...

Nam says A FEW MONTHS AGO, FORMER
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DAVID ONLEY
WAS HERE TO TALK ABOUT
HIS REVIEW
OF THE
ONTARIO'S ACCESSIBILITY
FOR ONTARIANS
WITH DISABILITIES ACT.
THE ACT WAS ENACTED IN 2005
WITH PROMISES OF MAKING ONTARIO
FULLY ACCESSIBLE BY 2025,
WHICH IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.
AND THIS IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY
ABOUT WHAT LIFE IS LIKE HERE
FOR PEOPLE LIVING
WITH DISABILITIES.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "April 10, 2019."
In the clip, Steve Paikin talks with a male guest and a female guest.

STEVE Paikin SAYS YOU HAVE SOME
PRETTY STRONG LANGUAGE
IN YOUR REPORT.
AND I WANT TO READ JUST ONE
PHRASE HERE,
BECAUSE YOU COMPARED
SERVICES THAT DISABLED PEOPLE
NOW CANNOT ACCESS... TO THE WATER FOUNTAINS
OR THE RESTAURANTS
THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS
WERE PROHIBITED FROM USING
IN THE DEEP SOUTH
BECAUSE OF WHAT WAS EFFECTIVELY
APARTHEID IN THE DEEP SOUTH
50 YEARS AGO.

The male guest SAYS YEAH.

Steve says THAT IS A TOUGH COMPARISON.
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT'S APT?

A caption reads "David Onley."

David, in his sixties, clean-shaven, says BECAUSE IT'S DELIBERATE.
NOT DELIBERATE TO DISCRIMINATE,
BUT IT'S... IT'S DELIBERATELY
PLACED ON THE BASIS OF
PERCEPTION OF AESTHETIC DESIGN... AS OPPOSED TO MEETING THE NEEDS
OF SOME 20 percent
OF THE POPULATION.

The clip ends.

Nam says DO YOU AGREE
WITH HIS ASSESSMENT?

The caption changes to "Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act."

Sarah says I UNDERSTAND... I BELIEVE
HIS... THE HEART OF HIS ASSESSMENT
IN TERMS OF WHAT HE'S SAYING.
THIS IDEA THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE
ACCESSIBLE BY 2025
IS A COMPLETE FALLACY.
AND THERE'S A LOT OF REASONS
FOR THAT.
BUT I ALSO THINK TOO THAT THE
ASSERTION THAT... IT'S DIFFICULT
TO MAKE... WE DON'T NEED
TO MAKE RACE COMPARISONS
BECAUSE THERE ARE BLACK
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
THAT EXIST THAT HAVE BEEN LEFT
OUT SYSTEMICALLY.
MORE SO THAN OTHER GROUPS
OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
IT'S A LOT HARDER
TO ACCESS SERVICES.
AND LIKE,
IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
A CONVERSATION AROUND
TRUE ACCESSIBILITY,
IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST MAKE
COMPARISONS TO,
YOU KNOW, TREATMENT AROUND
WATER FOUNTAINS.
LET'S TALK ABOUT ABDIRAHMAN ABDI
IN OTTAWA,
WHO WAS BLACK
AND KILLED BY POLICE, RIGHT?
LET'S TALK ABOUT SOLEIMAN
FAQIRI, A MUSLIM MAN,
PERSON OF COLOUR, WHO WAS
KILLED BY PRISON GUARDS
IN LINDSAY, ONTARIO.
LET'S HAVE REAL LIKE
CONVERSATIONS AROUND THE NUANCES
AROUND RACE AND DISABILITY,
VERSUS LEAVING IT AT THAT.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I GET THE
PRINCIPLE OF WHAT HE'S SAYING... AND THAT, YOU KNOW,
THE GOVERNMENT'S NOT TAKING
ACCESSIBILITY SERIOUSLY ENOUGH.
IT NEEDS TO DO A LOT MORE WORK
TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE BUILDING
A PROVINCE THAT LITERALLY FITS
OUR MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Nam says WELL IN YOUR VIEW, WHAT DO YOU
THINK IS WRONG WITH THAT ACT?

Sarah says THERE'S A LOT,
BUT I THINK IT HAS NO TEETH.
YOU CAN'T JUST SAY
ON PRINCIPLE
THAT THERE... WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE AN ACCESSIBLE PROVINCE
AND NOT PUT YOUR
MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.
THERE'S NOT ENOUGH LIKE
INVESTMENT IN MAKING SURE PEOPLE
ARE BEING SUPPORTED FINANCIALLY,
IN BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS,
IN ORDER TO MAKE
OUR PROVINCE ACCESSIBLE.
AND INSTEAD OF ADDRESSING THIS,
WE HAVE A PREMIER
AND A GOVERNMENT
THAT HAS GIVEN 1.3 MILLION dollars
TO RICK HANSEN FOUNDATION
IN A STRANGE PUBLIC-PRIVATE
SORT OF PARTNERSHIP
SO THAT THEY CAN CREATE
ARBITRARY CHECKLISTS
OF WHAT'S ACCESSIBLE
AND WHAT'S NOT.
AND WHAT WE'RE SEEING
IN BC
IS THEY'RE ACTUALLY
CHARGING ORGANIZATIONS
TO RECEIVE THIS
SORT OF ASSESSMENT.
AND INSTEAD OF DOING THAT,
WE SHOULD... AND THAT'S WHAT
WE'RE DOING IN ONTARIO IS THE
GOVERNMENT GAVE 1.3 MILLION dollars
TO THE RICK HANSEN FOUNDATION.
INSTEAD OF DOING THAT, WE NEED
TO BE DIRECTLY INVESTING IN WAYS
THAT IS GOING
TO INCENTIVE BUSINESSES
SO THEY'LL BECOME
ACCESSIBLE, RIGHT?
AND NOT JUST GIVING MONEY
TO AN ORGANIZATION
THAT'S GOING TO
POLICE THAT,
BUT REALLY MAKING IT EASIER TO
ACCESS THESE RESOURCES, RIGHT?
AND WE ALSO HAVE
TO MAKE SURE
THAT WE'RE TAKING
INTO CONSIDERATION
MORE THAN JUST
EMPLOYMENT.
A LOT OF AODA IS FRAMED AROUND
CONSUMERISM, RIGHT?
"I NEED ACCESS TO A STORE SO I
CAN BUY SOMETHING," RIGHT?
AND MY ECONOMIC BENEFIT.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES WHO CAN'T WORK?
DO THEY STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO
EXIST IN PUBLIC SPACES?
AND I'M NOT CLEAR THAT AODA
GOES FAR ENOUGH.
WE NEED TO BE THINKING BEYOND
JUST AODA, RIGHT?
OTHERWISE, WE'LL CONTINUE TO BE
LET DOWN OVER AND OVER AGAIN
BY THIS GOVERNMENT.

NAM SAYS HOW MUCH OF THIS IS ABOUT
THE GENERAL PUBLIC
WHO GO ABOUT
THEIR DAY
BECAUSE THE SPACES
ARE DESIGNED FOR THOSE
WITH... FOR PEOPLE WITH ABLE
BODIES, LIKE FOR US?

Sarah sighs, then says
THERE IS A CULTURE
CHANGE THAT NEEDS TO EXIST,
BUT HONESTLY, THE GOVERNMENT
IS DOING SO MUCH TO HARM
PEOPLES' BASIC RIGHTS.
LIKE, THE ROLLBACK OF THE
BASIC INCOME PILOT PROJECT
WHICH A PREDOMINANT AMOUNT
OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
WERE ON IN HAMILTON, RIGHT?
THE ROLLBACK OF THAT.
THE CUTS TO ODSP.
THE CHANGES TO OW.
LIKE, ALL OF THESE SYSTEMIC
CHANGES ARE SAYING
OVER AND OVER AGAIN
THAT IT IS OUR GOVERNMENT
WHO DOES NOT WANT PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES
TO EXIST FREELY
AND EQUALLY IN OUR SOCIETY.
AND SO UNTIL WE CHANGE THAT,
UNTIL WE STOP BEING ATTACKED
FROM PEOPLE IN POSITIONS
OF POWER TO IMPLEMENT
THOSE POLICY CHANGES... I DON'T REALLY CARE
ABOUT THE CULTURE
OR THE ONE ON ONES, RIGHT?
I WANT TO MAKE SURE
THAT SYSTEMICALLY
WE'RE MAKING THOSE
CHANGES, RIGHT?
BECAUSE I COULD TALK TO MY
TEACHERS OR MY FRIENDS
ABOUT THEIR ATTITUDES... BUT WHAT DO I CARE
ABOUT ATTITUDES
IF I STILL HAVE TO GO
TO A FOOD BANK?
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

[CHUCKLES]

Nam says WELL, IN THAT REVIEW TOO,
MR. ONLEY SAID THAT
WITH THE LAW, IT DOES NOT
CURRENTLY DEFINE WHAT IS MEANT
BY "ACCESSIBILITY."
WHY IS THAT PROBLEMATIC?

Sarah says IT'S PROBLEMATIC BECAUSE THERE
ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS
OF ACCESSIBILITY, RIGHT?
THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH VISIBLE
AND INVISIBLE DISABILITIES.
LIKE, THERE ARE MILLIONS
OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
IN OUR PROVINCE,
AND IT DOESN'T MEAN
ONE SPECIFIC
THING TO PEOPLE, RIGHT?
SO, WE NEED TO START MAKING SURE
THAT OUR DEFINITIONS
ARE REFLECTIVE OF PEOPLES'
ACTUAL EXPERIENCES,
VERSUS HAVING POLICYMAKERS
TRY TO DEFINE THINGS
THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND
OR DON'T EXPERIENCE THEMSELVES.

Nam says WELL, LAST YEAR,
YOU GAVE A TALK CALLED
WE ALL DESERVE
THE RIGHT TO LIFE.
AND I HAVE A CLIP FROM IT.
PLEASE ROLL.

Another clip plays, in which Sarah sits on a stage holding a microphone.

She says I THINK BACK TO GRADE 9
WHEN I WAS SO EXCITED TO BE
GETTING... GIVEN A SPARE
IN PLACE OF GYM... BECAUSE THE SCHOOL I WAS AT,
AT THE TIME,
DIDN'T HAVE THE PROPER
SUPPORTS TO SUPPORT ME
IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION.
BUT WHAT THAT MEANT IN THE LONG RUN
[CHUCKLES]
WAS THAT I WAS ALSO
MISSING CRITICAL EDUCATION
AROUND SEXUAL HEALTH THAT
THE REST OF MY PEERS RECEIVED.
AND I KNOW NOW
THAT WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES
ARE THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY
TO EXPERIENCE SEXUAL VIOLENCE,
SEXUAL ASSAULT,
INTIMATE-PARTNER VIOLENCE.
AND TO NOT LEARN ABOUT THEIR
SEXUAL HEALTH AND THEIR RIGHTS
UP UNTIL THEIR MID-TO-LATE 20S,
GEE, I WONDER WHY THAT IS?

The caption changes to "Educating the Education System."

Nam says AS YOU SAY IN THAT CLIP,
IT WAS FUN TO HAVE A SPARE
INSTEAD OF GYM... INSTEAD
OF GYM CLASS...

[SARAH CHUCKLES]

Nam says BUT LOOKING BACK, WHAT WAS THE
PERSONAL IMPACT FOR YOU
OF NOT PARTICIPATING
IN GYM CLASS?

Sarah says LIKE, MYSELF AND A LOT OF YOUNG
PEOPLE WHO ARE, YOU KNOW,
TOLD BY THEIR TEACHERS,
LIKE,
"OH, WE DON'T HAVE
THE CAPACITY TO HELP YOU,
SO WE'RE GOING TO GIVE YOU
A SPARE,
BECAUSE WE CAN'T ADEQUATELY
HELP YOU PARTICIPATE,"
THE IMPACT OF THAT IS
THAT YOU LOSE OUT
ON CRITICAL PIECES OF SEXUAL
HEALTH EDUCATION, RIGHT?
SO VARIOUS FORMS OF, YOU KNOW,
SEGREGATION WILL HAPPEN
WITHIN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
I WAS TOLD BY MY GRADE 7
TEACHERS THAT I WAS A LIABILITY
AND COULDN'T GO ON
AN OVERNIGHT TRIP, RIGHT?
SO, THESE CONSTANT SORT OF IDEAS
THAT YOU'RE A BURDEN
OR YOU SHOULD BE SEPARATED
OR YOU DON'T REALLY QUITE FIT,
IT FOLLOWS YOU.
AND IT TEACHES YOU AS A YOUNG
PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
THAT YOU ARE A BURDEN
ON SOCIETY.

NAM SAYS THAT HAS TO HURT.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Sarah CHUCKLE, then says YEAH, IT DID.
IT DID.
BUT I WAS ABLE
TO QUICKLY UNDERSTAND
THAT THEY WERE BEING A LITTLE
BIT RADICAL IN MY UNDERGRAD.
AND LIKE I SAID, ORGANIZING WITH
A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES
AND SORT OF FIGURING OUT,
"OK, WHAT IS MY PLACE
IN THE STRUGGLE,"
I LEARNED THAT THESE
ISSUES AREN'T ABOUT ME
AS AN INDIVIDUAL, AND I
CAN'T CONTINUE TO BE HURT
AS AN INDIVIDUAL, RIGHT?
BECAUSE IT'S TIED TO A HISTORY
OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
BEING LEFT OUT IN OUR SOCIETY.
IT'S TIED TO
THE ORILLIA ASYLUM FOR IDIOTS
WHERE PEOPLE WERE LITERALLY
TAKEN FROM THEIR PARENTS
AND THEIR HOMES
AND PUT INTO INSTITUTIONS.
IT'S TIED TO LIKE THE TREATMENT
OF PEOPLE
AT THE ROSS MACDONALD
SCHOOL OF THE BLIND
WHERE KIDS WERE ALLEGEDLY FORCED
TO DRINK THEIR OWN PEE
OUT OF URINALS, RIGHT?

NAM SAYS THIS IS IN CANADA.

Sarah says YES, IN ONTARIO.
IT'S TIED TO WHOLE HISTORIES
OF PEOPLE BEING REMOVED
FROM THEIR HOMES AND TREATED
VERY POORLY AND SEXUALLY ABUSED
IN THESE INSTITUTIONS,
PHYSICALLY ABUSED.
BURIED AT THE ORILLIA ASYLUM FOR
IDIOTS WITHOUT EVEN THEIR NAMES.
THEY WERE JUST GIVEN NUMBERS, RIGHT?
SO, I KNOW IT'S NOT ABOUT ME.
I KNOW IT'S ABOUT A SOCIETY
AND A COUNTRY
THAT IS PREDICATED
ON THIS IDEA
THAT SOME PEOPLE DON'T
HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST.
AND I KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, MY LACK
OF SEXUAL HEALTH EDUCATION
IS TIED TO THE ALBERTA
STERILIZATION ACT, AN ENTIRELY,
YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENT-CONDONED
ACT THAT SAID
THAT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
WOULD BE FORCIBLY STERILIZED
AGAINST THEIR WILL, KNOWLEDGE,
OR CONSENT, RIGHT?
SO, YEAH, IT HURTS,
BUT I ALSO UNDERSTAND
THAT IT'S NOT JUST ME
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE ALSO FEELING THE SAME
WAY AND DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY
TO SAY SOMETHING
OR TRY TO DO SOMETHING.
SO, YEAH.

NAM SAYS FOR THE FIRST TIME
IN 14 YEARS,
LAST YEAR, THE ONTARIO
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
UPDATED ITS EDUCATION
POLICY FOR PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES, AND CONCLUDED
THAT SIGNIFICANT BARRIERS
STILL EXIST IN EDUCATION.
THE CANADIAN PRESS REPORTED
ON THE ISSUE THIS WAY...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Policy shift." The quote reads "At the core of the commission's policy, Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane said, is a call to shift the way disabled students are viewed by those who work with them. 'The current model for special education starts from a premise of exceptionality or the idea that students with disabilities are the exception to "the normal" student. We need to start, from the beginning, designing inclusively rather than relying on one-off accommodations to deal with the varied needs that students have.'"
Quoted from Michelle McQuigga, The Canadian Press. August 29, 2018.

Nam says HOW IMPORTANT IS IT
TO ACCOMMODATE EACH STUDENT INDIVIDUALLY?

Sarah says I THINK IT'S SUPER IMPORTANT
TO ACCOMMODATE STUDENTS
INDIVIDUALLY, WHILE ALSO HAVING,
YOU KNOW, SYSTEMIC ANALYSIS
IN PLACE IN THESE INSTITUTIONS.
I ALSO THINK IT'S IMPORTANT
TO TEACH DISABILITY HISTORY
IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS.
IT'S RIDICULOUS TO ME
THAT I HAVE TO SELF-TEACH
AND LEARN IN POST-SECONDARY
ABOUT THE HISTORY
OF THE TREATMENT OF PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES
IN LIKE MY PROVINCE, RIGHT?
IN MY CITY.
SO I THINK, YEAH, INDIVIDUAL
SORT OF IEPS ARE IMPORTANT,
BUT SYSTEMIC ANALYSIS
IS IMPORTANT AS WELL.
AS WELL AS LIKE UNDERSTANDING
THE HISTORY OF PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES.

NAM SAYS TELL ME ABOUT THE ADVICE
THAT YOU WERE GIVEN
WHEN YOU WERE IN GRADE 12
ABOUT WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
AFTER YOU FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL?

Sarah says YEAH, I WAS... I WAS TOLD
TO TAKE A FIFTH YEAR OF SCHOOL.
ALSO THAT I SHOULD GO TO
COLLEGE INSTEAD OF UNIVERSITY.
AND I THINK A LOT... THAT HAPPENS
TO A LOT OF PEOPLE,
NOT JUST
WITH DISABILITIES,
BUT ALSO RACIALIZED PEOPLE, RIGHT?

NAM SAYS THE STREAMING, RIGHT?

Sarah says YEAH.

NAM SAYS AND YOU ENDED UP
DOING WHAT?

Sarah says I ENDED UP GOING
TO MCMASTER UNIVERSITY.
ACTUALLY,
MY MOM STUDIED WITH ME.
SHE ACTUALLY ENROLLED
THE YEAR AFTER I DID,
SO IT WAS REALLY NICE.

NAM SAYS OH, THAT'S REALLY COOL.

Sarah says YEAH.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

SARAH SAYS SO IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.
BUT I DID MAKE IT TO UNIVERSITY.
I STUDIED
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
BUT LEFT WITH
A SOCIAL SCIENCES DEGREE.
I ENDED UP LEARNING MORE OUTSIDE
OF CAMPUS THAN I DID IN CAMPUS
BECAUSE IT WAS HARD FOR ME
TO PICK UP A SOCIOLOGY BOOK
AND READ ABOUT THE STARTS
THAT AFFECTED ME... VERSUS WORKING IN MY LOCAL COMMUNITY TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT
HOW TO AFFECT CHANGE.
AND SO, YEAH, I REALLY, REALLY
VALUED GOING TO POST-SECONDARY,
BUT ALSO BEING IN THAT SPACE.

NAM SAYS HOW DID YOU... BECAUSE IN THE
TALK THAT... THE CLIP
I SHOWED EARLIER,
IN THAT SAME TALK,
YOU SPOKE ABOUT HOW FROM
A VERY YOUNG AGE,
YOU DIDN'T FEEL AS IF
YOU HAD AUTONOMY TO OUR BODY...
THROUGH THE MEDICAL SYSTEM,
AND THEN WHEN
YOU WENT TO SCHOOL.
HOW DID YOU GET FROM THAT POINT
TO WHAT YOU'RE DOING NOW,
AND HAVING AN ORGANIZATION
THAT ADVOCATES FOR... YOU KNOW,
I THINK YOU COULD
HAVE USED SOMETHING
LIKE THAT WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER?

Sarah says YEAH, I... HOW DID I GET HERE?
I THINK I JUST STARTED TO
BELIEVE IN MY OWN LIKE POWER
AND THE POWER OF COLLECTIVITY,
OF LIKE PEOPLE AROUND ME.
SO AGAIN, WHEN I LOOK AT THE
ORGANIZING THAT PEOPLE ARE DOING
IN HAMILTON THROUGH ACORN
OR THROUGH ENVIRONMENT HAMILTON,
AND GROUPS THAT ARE CONSTANTLY
WORKING TO BETTER THE LIVES
OF PEOPLE AROUND THEM,
I... LIKE, I THINK TO MYSELF:
WHY CAN'T I DO THAT TOO, RIGHT?
AND IT ALSO COMES FROM HAVING,
LIKE, YOU KNOW,
MY MOM AND FAMILY MEMBERS AROUND
ME WHO CONSISTENTLY REMINDED ME
THAT I HAVE VALUE IN
WHAT I SAY AND WHAT I THINK.
AND THAT I SHOULDN'T LET ANYBODY
TELL ME NO.
AND MENTORS TOO, RIGHT?
CONSTANTLY HAVING MENTORS
JUST TO REMIND ME OF THAT.

Nam says YOUNG PEOPLE ARE OFTEN PORTRAYED
AS BEING POLITICALLY DISENGAGED.

[SARAH CHUCKLES]

Nam says WE BEGAN OUR CONVERSATION WITH
YOUR OWN GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING.
HOW DO YOU EMPOWER YOUNG PEOPLE
TO AFFECT CHANGE
WHEN IT'S POLITICIANS
WHO ARE MAKING THE DECISIONS?

The caption changes to "The power of youth."

Sarah says POLITICIANS ARE... I SEE
POLITICIANS AS MOVABLE, RIGHT?
AND ANYBODY WHO THINKS
THAT POLITICIANS CAN'T BE HELD
ACCOUNTABLE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND
HOW POLITICS WORKS.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE,
OUR YOUTH COUNCIL
FOR THE DISABILITY
JUSTICE NETWORK,
THEY DECIDED THAT THEY
WANTED TO TAKE ON
A SNOW REMOVAL CAMPAIGN.
BECAUSE IN MY CITY, EVEN THOUGH
WE HAVE A LARGE DENSITY
OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES,
SNOW REMOVAL IS CLEARED
IN ANCASTER WHERE
PEOPLE WITH MORE INCOME LIVE,
BUT NOT IN THE DOWNTOWN CORE.
SO THEY WERE LIKE,
"WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING."
THEY CREATED AN ONLINE CAMPAIGN.
IT WAS JUST LIKE LITERALLY FOUR
OF US WITH A BANNER
AND ASKED PEOPLE TO TWEET
IN PHOTOS OF SNOW
THAT WASN'T CLEARED
THAT WAS CREATING BARRIERS.
AND THIS CREATED
SO MUCH DIALOGUE IN OUR CITY
THAT TWO YOUTH
COUNCIL MEMBERS
WROTE TWO DIFFERENT OP-EDS
ON THE CONVERSATION
FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.
THEY HAD MEETINGS
WITH TWO COUNCILLORS
AND WERE ABLE TO GET A MOTION
MOVED TO CONSIDER SNOW REMOVAL
IN THE 2020 BUDGET CYCLE,
ON COUNCIL.
AND THAT WAS IN A MATTER
OF LIKE FOUR WEEKS OR LESS.
AND IT'S THIS IDEA THAT,
YOU KNOW,
POLITICIANS ARE THE ALMIGHTY.
THEY'RE NOT.
WE PUT THEM THERE,
AND THEY'RE ACCOUNTABLE TO US.
AND SO HAVING
THAT CRITICAL UNDERSTANDING
IS HOW YOU GET THINGS CHANGED.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THAT... I GUESS
PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT YOUNG PEOPLE
NEED TO... WE NEED TO CHANGE
OUR MINDSET
WHEN IT COMES
TO YOUNG PEOPLE,
BECAUSE AS WE'RE SPEAKING,
THE WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING
IS INCREDIBLE, AND THERE'S
BEEN A HUGE YOUTH MOVEMENT
AROUND WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING
WITH THE CHANGES IN EDUCATION...
AND IT'S BEEN YOUNG PEOPLE
WHO ARE LEADING THAT FIGHT.
SO, DO YOU THINK
THAT THERE'S A MISCONCEPTION
THAT YOUNG PEOPLE
ARE NOT POLITICALLY ENGAGED?

Sarah says I THINK IT'S WORSE THAN THAT.
I THINK PEOPLE TREAT
YOUNG PEOPLE
AS THOUGH
THEY'RE NOT INTELLIGENT.
I ASKED MY NEPHEW
A COUPLE WEEKS AGO.
I WAS LIKE,
"MICHAIL, WHAT'S SOMETHING
THAT YOU WANT TO WORK ON
WHEN YOU'RE OLDER?
HE SAID,
"THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS."
I WAS LIKE, "WHY?"
BECAUSE TO ME, IT'S LIKE I HAVE
NEVER HEARD HIM REALLY TALK
ABOUT THAT BEFORE.
AND HE WAS LIKE, "BECAUSE IT
AFFECTS MY GENERATION;
IT AFFECTS PEOPLE LIKE US.
SO, THAT WOULD BE THE ONE ISSUE
I WOULD WANT TO TAKE ON."
PEOPLE ARE AWARE... YOUNG PEOPLE
ARE AWARE OF WHAT'S GOING ON;
THEY'RE VERY INTELLIGENT; AND IF
WE ASK THEM WHAT THEY THINK
THE SOLUTIONS ARE,
THEY WILL ANSWER.
SO, IT'S MORE THAN JUST ASKING
THEM TO BE POLITICAL.
IT'S REMEMBERING THAT THEY'RE
EVEN IN THE SPACE TO BEGIN WITH.

Nam says WELL, YOU MENTIONED OF SOME OF
THE CUTS THAT HAVE BEEN ENACTED
WITH THE NEW ONTARIO GOVERNMENT.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY
HAS BEEN THE MOST DETRIMENTAL
TOWARDS THE COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE
LIVING WITH DISABILITIES?

Sarah sighs, then says
THERE'S BEEN SO MANY.
IT'S... YEAH, THERE'S BEEN A LOT.
I WOULD SAY THE ONE THAT PEOPLE
ARE TALKING ABOUT SIGNIFICANTLY
IS THE CHANGING
DEFINITION TO THE TERMINOLOGY
AROUND "DISABILITY."
WHO FITS IN, WHO DOESN'T?
A LOT OF COMMUNITIES ARE SAYING
THAT THEY'RE AFRAID
THAT IT'S GOING
TO LEAVE OUT PEOPLE
WITH EPISODIC DISABILITIES,
DISABILITIES THAT FLARE UP.
AND ALSO THE OFF-LOADING ONTO
MUNICIPALITIES IN TERMS OF LIKE
THE DECISION AROUND WHO IS ABLE
TO APPLY FOR ODSP
AND WHO ISN'T WILL ALLOW FOR
LESS... LIKE MORE POWER ON,
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ON THE GROUND
OR INDIVIDUALS
TO MAKE DECISIONS IN TERMS
OF LIKE WHICH APPLICATIONS
TO ACCEPT AND WHICH TO DENY.
SO, THESE ARE VERY REAL WORRIES
THAT PEOPLE HAVE RIGHT NOW.
AND SO, THE CAMPAIGN FOR
ADEQUATE WELFARE AND DISABILITY
IN HAMILTON HAS BEEN HOSTING
CLINICS TO HELP PEOPLE SIGN UP
FOR ODSP BEFORE THE CHANGES
ARE ROLLED OUT.
THERE'S THAT.
BUT I ALSO THINK WHAT WAS MOST
DETRIMENTAL IN HAMILTON
WAS THE ROLLBACK OF
THE BASIC INCOME PILOT PROJECT
IN OUR CITY, BECAUSE IT AFFECTED
A LOT OF PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES.

Nam says IF YOU COULD HAVE A FEW MINUTES
WITH THE GOVERNMENT,
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?

Sarah CHUCKLES and says I DON'T NEED A COUPLE
MINUTES WITH THE GOVERNMENT.
I NEED... WE NEED TO GET THEM OUT,
I THINK.
I WOULDN'T REALLY... I DON'T THINK
THE GOVERNMENT, AS IT STANDS,
I DON'T BELIEVE THAT
THE DECISIONS THEY ARE MAKING
ARE IN GOOD FAITH.
AND I DON'T BELIEVE IT'S
POSSIBLE TO NEGOTIATE WITH THEM
AT THIS POINT.
THEY'VE MADE SO MANY DECISIONS
THAT SHOW ME THEIR VALUES.
AND THEIR VALUES ARE
THEY DON'T BELIEVE
THAT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST
FREELY IN OUR SOCIETY.
NOT ONLY THAT,
BUT PEOPLE IN POVERTY, RIGHT?
PEOPLE WHO HAVE WAY LESS
THAN THEY DO AS INDIVIDUALS.
THEY'RE NOT ABLE... THEY DON'T
HAVE THE CAPACITY
TO THINK IN THAT WAY.
SO, THE ONLY SOLUTION I SEE IS
TO GET THEM OUT OF GOVERNMENT.

Nam says AND WHAT ROLE DO YOU SEE YOUR
ORGANIZATION PLAYING FOR PEOPLE
WHO DO NEED... WHO MIGHT NOT
BE ABLE TO HAVE
ANY OTHER ASSISTANCE?

Sarah says RIGHT.
SO WE HAVE
A RESEARCH COMMITTEE,
BUT WE ALSO HAVE
A CAMPAIGNS COMMITTEE.
SO, WHAT WE DO IS WE MEET, YOU
KNOW, BIWEEKLY AND WE DECIDE:
WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES
IN TERMS OF THINGS
THAT YOU WANT TO WORK ON?
THE PRIORITIES THAT PEOPLE HAVE
DECIDED LOCALLY
ARE TALKING ABOUT WSIB
AND THE FAILURES THERE,
WITH REGARD TO PROTECTING
INJURED WORKERS... TALKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW,
THE ADP CAMPAIGN.
THE ASSISTIVE DEVICES PROGRAM
RIGHT NOW LEAVES A LOT OF PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES OUT BECAUSE
DEVICES LIKE MY WHEELCHAIR
OR WALKERS
OR HEARING AIDS AREN'T TREATED
AS INTEGRATED INTO OUR
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
IT'S AN ASIDE PIECE
WITH ADDITIONAL COSTS.

NAM SAYS YOU HAVE TO PAY
FOR IT YOURSELF?

Sarah says YOU HAVE TO PAY
FOR SOME OF IT YOURSELF.
OR WAIT LIKE MONTHS AND MONTHS
AND MONTHS
TO EVEN HEAR BACK
FROM THE ADP,
BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH BACKLOG.
LIKE, THEY'RE MONTHS BEYOND.
THERE'S NOT ENOUGH FUNDING
AND ENOUGH RESOURCES.
AND OFTEN
THEY DON'T PROVIDE MOTORS.
SO IF YOU'RE IN REPAIRS,
THEY DON'T COVER REPAIRS AT ALL.
SO IF MY WHEELCHAIR BREAKS,
YOU PAY FOR IT.
AND THEY DON'T... IF YOU'RE
IN HOSPITAL
OR WAITING FOR YOUR THING
TO BE REPAIRED,
THEY ALSO DON'T COVER THAT.
SO, THERE'S SO MANY GAPS
BECAUSE IT'S NOT TREATED
AS AN INTEGRATED PIECE
OF OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
SO RIGHT NOW, WE'RE WORKING ON
THOSE TWO THINGS
OVER THE SUMMER.
AND WE TAKE ON ISSUES
AS PEOPLE IDENTIFY THEM,
VERSUS SETTING
THE PRIORITIES OURSELVES.

Nam says DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
WHO MAY BE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
HOW TO NAVIGATE THE SYSTEM
AND MAY BE FACING
SIMILAR CHALLENGES?

Sarah says REMEMBER THAT YOU'RE PART
OF A LARGE COMMUNITY.
THE WAY SYSTEMS ARE BUILT RIGHT
NOW IS TO TEACH YOU
AND TO MAKE YOU FEEL ISOLATED,
THAT YOU'RE ALONE.
AND YOU'RE NOT ALONE.
YOU HAVE WHOLE COMMUNITIES
BEHIND YOU AND HISTORIES
OF PEOPLE THAT FOUGHT FOR YOUR
RIGHT TO EVEN ACCESS EDUCATION
OR WHATEVER SPACE
THAT YOU'RE OCCUPYING.
SO JUST REMEMBER
THAT YOU HAVE A VOICE.
YOU HAVE CAPACITY TO, YOU KNOW,
CREATE THE CHANGE
THAT YOU WANT TO SEE.

NAM SAYS WELL, WHEN IT COME
TO CREATING CHANGE,
IT DOES HELP IF YOU
ARE IN OFFICE.
DO YOU SEE A NEED FOR MORE YOUNG
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
RUNNING FOR OFFICE?

SARAH SAYS 100 percent.
THERE'S DEFINITELY A NEED
FOR MORE PEOPLE
OF VARIOUS CLASS BACKGROUNDS,
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES,
RACIALIZED PEOPLE,
TO TAKE UP THESE SEATS.
SO, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
IF I'M SAYING WE NEED TO GET RID
OF THE GOVERNMENT,
DEFINITELY I THINK
THESE ARE THE PEOPLE
THAT SHOULD BE REPLACING
THE GOVERNMENT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine; Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck."

NAM SAYS WELL, SARAH, IT'S BEEN
GREAT HAVING YOU HERE.
YOU HAVE GIVEN US A LOT TO THINK
ABOUT AND TO CONSIDER.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.

Sarah says AWESOME, THANK YOU.

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