“Good, bad and fabulous, disability is what it is” – a conversation about poverty & disability rights

On June 15, CDLI collaborated with the Disability Action Hall and Poverty Talks, to host a meet up on a community-centered approach to addressing the issues of poverty and disability rights. Instead of the usual critical conversations around these subjects, the meet up took a more solutions focus tone hence the meet up title “Good, bad and fabulous, disability is what it is” – a title chosen by the Disability Action Hall members. 

We focused on increasing our collective understanding and awareness of these issues and reflected on the appropriate language to use when talking about people living with a disability (see table below). The Calgary Ability Network was kind enough to help guide this discussion.

We heard life stories of disability and poverty in Calgary and how these areas may intersect in various ways. Participants has a chance to ask questions and hear first hand how people living in poverty or with a disability go about their daily lives.  

We ended our discussion by focusing on actions we could each do as residents, practitioners, community members to play a role in advancing disability rights and reducing poverty. Here is what we came up with:

  • Plan/organize or take part in a public rally
  • Give priority to people with disabilities
  • Approach your local politician or community leader about what can be done about poverty or advancing disability rights
  • Check the Disability Action Hall website (http://www.actionhall.ca/) for information on specific issues to approach your local politician or community leaders about
  • Support issues in the news and advocacy efforts by the Action Hall
  • Develop documentary titled “turning 65” to explore all the changes that occur when someone reaches 65 including all the legal benefit changes
  • Target/ use Social Media platforms to make visible these ideas
  • Save-the-Date: July 6th, Enough for All event at City Hall
  • Remember “Disability does not disable me, society does”
  • Check out the affordable farmers market and food dignity art show @ the Alex Food Center
  • Open your eyes to “bum spikes” – i.e. sharp objects to prevent people (usually targeted to people who are homeless and on the streets) from being in a public space.
Abbas Mancey