On Saturday, November 5th, Jill, Aaron, and I went to the Buddy Walk, hosted by the Waterloo Region Down’s Syndrome Society (WRDSS). The Buddy Walk involved people raising money for walking a certain length of time, then walking that agreed distance around the community centre where it was held, holding signs to raise awareness for their difference and organisation. Like any good fundraiser, it also included food and fun. While looking around the Buddy Walk trying to decide what to blog about, my eyes landed on the girl conducting the WRDSS Buddy Choir, which is a singing group that anyone can join regardless if he or she has a difference. I thought about how I would feel if I was in her place, and the answer came to me immediately, I would feel important, like I was contributing. All my life, this feeling has been important to me. I’ve never wanted to be the girl who is always on the receiving end of people’s time and energy just because I have a physical difference; I have wanted my contribution to my relationships and to the world to be equal. I am sure that all people who have differences feel the same, and I hope, like WRDSS, BB Squared can help people with differences make their contributions to life.
Why We Need BB Squared November 17, 2011
Hi! I’m Carmen, the blog master. (Not really, I’m still learning, but we can pretend. 🙂 ) I thought it would be a great idea if our first post talked about why we think our organisation is so necessary.
Jill, the mastermind who came up with this creative idea, was telling one of her friends about Beautiful Brains, Bold Bodies or BB Squared and he responded with, “I’m not sure we need that, I already know about disabilities.” Jill grinned and offered him a challenge, “OK. My friend Carmen has a Cerebral Palsy, what does that mean?” He said something like, “Well, I think it’s a disease that…” and stopped. And then he, too, grinned and told Jill that maybe BB Squared is a good idea.
This is just one example of situations that we – especially Jill and I – have found ourselves in over the years. I myself have heard Cerebral Palsy referred to as a disease during presentations, have had offers of prayer to remove the devil from me while walking to school, and been talked down to by people all my life. Jill has also had to answer countless questions about what she does when she comes to work for me, and in terms of her own difference, has had to fight to get accommodations so that she can succeed in school and often fend off questions about why she does not respond to certain situations in life in the same way as others do.
We need BB Squared so that people can gain more knowledge about differences. Not just people who have differences themselves, or love someone who has a difference, but people who have had no exposure to differences at all. We also want to be an organisation where people can go to get a lot of information about various differences in one place. We want to act as a place that can connect people with various agencies who are doing great work in terms of differences, and maybe even connect agencies with one another. We have lots of other dreams too, and are in the process of making them more concrete ideas. For those of you who are reading this and live in Kitchener-Waterloo or surrounding area, we are hoping to hold focus groups in the next few months to find out what services and ideas people feel need to be put in place in our area. Everyone else, we want to hear from you, too! Please explore the blog to find out more about us, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter when we get the account up and running, and e-mail us with your ideas or feedback. There is a website in the works, too! We are all very excited about this and would love you to come along for the ride!
Come back next Thursday and every Thursday after that for new content on the blog!