Whazzup, you ask? "Expanded support for Persons with Disabilities in Nova Scotia", they say. We shall see ... we shall see ...
Is it actually possible? Possible to successfully advocate with our politicians and see positive change - direct positive results?Ask me that question a few weeks ago and, depending on my mood, I might have spouted the party line ("Never doubt that a small group committed people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that has.") or you might have gotten a more cynical response.
Ask me today and ... you will get guarded optimism. Tinged with a bit of excitement.
You might recall my recent blawg beg post, asking for your support by writing to your MLAs and the Minister of Community Services to request that the provincial government deal with one aspect of the "gap year" families face when their children reach the age of 18. An "adult", according to the feds. Still a minor, according to the Province.
At any rate, I was informed by my MLA, Ramona Jennex, today that even though there has been no media coverage (and nothing apparent on a review of the gov't website), there is indeed a line in the budget to address the gap year issue. Now who cool would that be?
Notice I say "would that be" ... because when it comes to politics, even seeing isn't necessarily always believing. Forgive us if, as a population, the disability community, as a whole, tends to be a little sceptical of all things political.
Please don't get me wrong, it's not that I doubt Ramona's word for one minute (and she did say she pushed and pestered until she saw the budget line with her own eyes), but first said budget will need to be passed into law. Which, of course, shouldn't be an issue in a majority gov't situation. Then, as Ramona pointed out, the Department of Community Services will need to figure out exactly HOW they will implement this change - will there be some procedure put in place whereby people will have to apply for this extra funding, etc.
So, yes, guarded optimism would best describe it at the moment. Okay, maybe, more accurately, guarded but very optimistic.
And although I think Ramona (and yes, perhaps even, the Minister of Community Services) deserve a well-earned pat on the back, perhaps it's best if we wait to pat ourselves on the back until we actually see the change in effect on the ground.
Still, who ever said that a small group of committed people can't change the world, even if it is only one small step at a time?