by Dominique Baird (Kamloops)
An accessible future looks like a place where everyone is included. I would love to see wider doors and ramps available for people using wheelchairs and scooters.
I would like to see bigger bathroom stalls and make sure that able-bodied people don’t use the bathrooms that are meant for those who have diverse abilities. I want people to be aware of others and their needs.
Those are some of my hopes for the future. I also do things right now to make a difference in my community. I work with Youth Outreach at People in Motion to educate school kids. I speak about diversity and I share my life experience about growing up with Down syndrome. I tell them facts about Down syndrome and I share what it was like to be bullied in school. I like when the kids ask me questions.
I’m also part of the local Down syndrome group and I give speeches at the university and in the community. The university classes I speak to are Masters students who will one day become teachers. I want them to have a better understanding of what their students might need and how they can be better teachers by getting to know a range of diversity.
I share the same message, but I also want to advocate for people with all abilities. I want people to think about how to include everyone with respect.
I hope that by sharing my experience, it will help others to be inclusive of everyone. I hope that the world will have a better understanding and see people as they are, not just their appearance.