People sometimes share that they forget I am a person who is totally blind. I experience this as a good thing, an acknowledgment that they feel acceptance, and embrace me for who I am, my abilities and disabilities.
When I or others are not focusing on my disability and “forget” it, so to speak, it is not really forgotten. I don’t believe that people intend to dismiss my blindness.
People really don’t overlook I am blind. That is certainly not avoidable. Trust me! People don’t suddenly ignore my seeing eye dog at my side. They don’t suddenly stop needing to self-identify...
In the summer of 2018, our church decided to try Vacation Bible School camp (VBS).
The last time the United Church had organized a Vacations Bible School in the Gatineau Hills was circa 1955. Unsure of whether we could do this alone, Église Grace United Church asked our Anglican neighbours at St. Mary Magdalene in Chelsea if they would like to work together. They agreed!
We chose a theme: “Weird Animals” and adapted resources for our own context as we planned activities.
We advertised and prayed that children would sign up. On the first day of camp, 13 children...
I am a person who is totally blind. I use a dog guide. Wilson is a 7½ year old black lab. He can be correctly described as a seeing eye dog, as he is a graduate of that school. “Seeing eye dog” is actually not a generic term, though it is often used erroneously that way.
Service animals work helping people who live with PTSD, very low vision, blindness, very limited hearing, deafness, autism, diabetes, epilepsy, and medical support such as assisting those in wheelchairs. Service animals could be canine officers supporting police, search and rescue, and the like.
When I acquired HIV in 1987, it was “a death sentence”. One of the first comments made by my GP in 1990 in Regina, when he gave me the HIV+ test result, was that I would need more tests to find out “when the clock started ticking.” Not very comforting words. My work in the community-based AIDS movement in the 1990s was one great grieving process as we buried clients one after another. As a person of faith, Christian practice and teachings, like forgiveness and hope, have been essential parts of my journey with HIV.
All of this was in the back of my mind as I went to Amsterdam in...
In 2009, at the age of 19, my mother passed away from breast cancer.
I think, when we’re faced with profound injustice that we can’t comprehend fully, we are often brought back to experiences of our own where the piercing sensation of unfairness has touched us. That’s what I was thinking as I stood in Imjingak, Paju, Korea looking at the remembrance wall where South Korean families bring messages for their loved ones on the other side of the DMZ, the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
The boundary that separates my mom from me is not some manufactured liminal space. It is concrete...
As a child living in my First Nation community, I used to walk to the freshwater stream with my great grandmother to bring water home because we did not have running water. In the wintertime, it was harder to get water because the stream and the community water pipe were frozen. Instead, we would get buckets of snow to melt in our homes.
Now that I live in the city, I can easily access water and I never have to worry about boil water advisories. Boil water advisories are warnings to the whole community not to drink or cook with the water unless boiled over a minute to kill harmful...
Amina Mohammed of the U.N. recognized the work of ACT Alliance and other faith-based organizations, placing them firmly in the centre of the public square as essential and effective players in civil society and as prophetic agents of change.