"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Not. On. The. Radar.

I just completed a telephone survey about my impressions on how our current provincial government is doing. But before you go off on that tangent, that is not what motivated me to drop what I was doing (yeah, I was most definitely in the middle of something when the phone rang but what can I say ... I do like surveys) and write this post.

What motivated me is this - the survey was lengthy (to the point of annoyance, really) but as we neared the end of the call, it hit me like a lightning bolt - what was missing.

Anyone care to hazard a guess?

It was us.

Me.

You.

Our children.

Our families.

Oh sure, we were there. Of course, we were there. In everything from power rates to emergency health care to the HST to creating more jobs in rural Nova Scotia to class sizes in elementary school  .... on and on it went. All that stuff is important and relevant to varying degrees to all of us.

But what was missing was any reference to any issues relevant to the disability community.

Interestingly (but not surprisingly), seniors were prominently featured. Children were there. Families were there. Small business were there. But there was absolutely NO mention of the disability community or any of our issues.

The closest thing to our issues was, in fact, rather a stretch - one question on how important I felt it was to help those most in need. In my mind, that includes those in the disability community. But for most many of our fellow Nova Scotians,  I would hazard a guess that the disability community most definitely did not jump to the front of their mind when asked that question.

We, my good friends, are not on the radar.

And, if our issues are not on the radar, how in the world can we possibly expect to have them addressed?

If, when the government assesses public opinion on the importance of various issues, people are never even asked their opinion on the issues so important to us and our families, how will government ever assess (let alone grow) the political will to tackle our issues?

How, indeed.

This is a post about questions, not answers. But, should anyone have any answers, I, for one, would love to hear them.

Because, really, people ... I'm thinking we have a serious problem here.

3 comments:

Deb Reynolds said...

Sad. I fear it is the same here...and part of our problem is that the disabled are lumped into the same category with those who are short-term disadvantaged in some way, or who, long-term, are only morally disabled. So when we try to begin a dialogue about the needs of the (truly) disabled, we get a lot of flack caused by those who don't understand the system and can't sort out the man who has lost his home because he was unemployed for 2 years....with the man who has "a bad back" (not that there aren't some legitimately disabled that way) who can still cut all his own firewood, but couldn't possibly take even a part-time job...and then those who are generations into such practices...and separate all these from those who have lifetime serious disabling conditions and needs.
Sorry for the diatribe. Got called away and lost my train of thought.

Gail said...

We are definitely not on the government's radar. My simplistic view is the fact most of us are too busy bringing up our non typical children to do anything to change it. Call it apathy, I call it exhaustion. On top of this my spouse is in the military and is deployed quite often.I am treading water most days.It is exhausting what we have had to go through to get our daughters' needs met..

Ali said...

True words, Michelle. TY for bringing this up! We DO have a serious problem. It is obvious to me, also, that we are not on the radar. :( It worries me greatly but I'm too swamped to really get to the heart of it!! It bothers me as an RN that we have a whole group of people who are unrecognized and UNHEARD... the situation is wholly unfair, short-sighted and wrong. Gail, your view is not simplistic-- it's simply THE TRUTH. I think many of us ARE so busy bringing up our non-typical kiddos (in my case, add 3 more neuro-typical ones,) that 'changing things' is a mountain that we feel we just cannot begin to climb. I don't even know where we should start. :( TY for your post: it was thought-provoking.