On November 13th, it was confirmed that if I lived on my own, without the love and support my family, I would be well below poverty and potentially having to weigh the pros and cons of living in poverty or using government assistance in dying to end suffering (Human Concern International, 2022).
Unbeknownst to me there was a $333 cut to my government support check. Currently I receive $1255. If I was not living in a loving family situation, I would be in survival mode. There would be barely enough to pay rent in a supportive living residence, a quick search finding the lowest one would cost over $800 a month. There’s no money for social life. There’s no money for intellectual pursuits or hobbies. Now, for me, this is just imaginary. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for everyone living with a disability.
It’s not right.
People with disabilities have a right to live. We deserve dignity and respect, not out of a sense of entitlement but because we are human too. While I understand that the programs that give a right to die can be beneficial for those who have terminal illness. Social invisibility should not be made into one.
I suppose my anger comes from years of pop culture and personal interactions telling me that my life isn’t worth living. But enough is enough. People are dying! Not just emotionally, or spiritually, but physically.
At the risk of sounding dramatic. In one of my first articles, I mentioned how my one of my friends once told me that we were moving the basement and cheese and crackers and that’s all we get being disabled. That conversation haunts me. It follows me everywhere. Whispering, begging, late into the night.
Help them! Help them.
Even if it puts me in darkness for the rest of my life emotionally, like Mother Teresa in her work with the most destitute individuals (Naglieri, 2022), that is what I must do.
This is bigger than me. I come to you on my knees please help us.
There is hope though, a group called Disability Without Poverty is fighting to get Bill C 22 into government policy. This legislation promises to give working age Canadians a living wage if they have a disability, on top of existing provincial programs. So that we might actually live to full potential—instead of just trying to survive.
We need your help to push this bill through. To find out how, please visit their website at disabilitywithoutpoverty.ca. Please help us give people with disabilities a living wage.