Sharing my message

by Shameera Rosal

Shameera (left) proudly displays her silver medal in swimming which she won at the Special Olympics 2018 National Games.

I’m a Welcome Workshop presenter in Kelowna. I’m part of a team of three presenters. It’s important to have three perspectives on the team so there’s equal chance to share our story and inspire families and people to have a life to look forward to.

Our team just finished a workshop series at Rutland Secondary School where I graduated in 2014. It felt good to be there helping out and contributing my leadership skills. I’m also a third year student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. I study Anthropology and Geography with the support of STEPS Forward, the BC Initiative for Inclusive Post Secondary Education. I am one of the Self Advocates on the TYDE Research Project and I have a job on campus in the Equity and Inclusion office. I also work at Dairy Queen and swim professionally with Special Olympics. I just won silver at the 2018 National Games.

I’m excited to be a Welcome Workshop presenter because I like public speaking and talking about what it feels like to contribute and be included in community. I like being asked to do things that build my independence and the ability to make choices.

When I’m at work or studying on campus or swimming, nobody treats me different.
I feel respected and equal to everyone else.

I want to help people realize that even though I have a disability, it doesn’t prevent me from living my life to the fullest. I want people to know that I have a “good life.” This is a good message to share at the Welcome Workshops because many parents and kids don’t know what’s possible, especially after high school. I hope by telling my story there will be more equality and inclusion for people with diverse abilities. I hope all people with diverse abilities will be inspired to work towards having good lives.

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