"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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Days

Remember the story I shared with you last month about what happened when the LeHave Corporation tried to purchase a property in Bridgewaer that was ideally-suited for use as a group home, particularly for three individuals that had lived together for over 18 years?

How afer the neighbours started complaining, the Town of Bridgewater decided that the property couldn't become a group home because that was an "institution", which would violate zoning bylaws that allowed for "low density residential housing" aka single family dwellings?

As I told you then, following a groundswell of public support from across the country and the pointed suggestion that the Town's position might well violate Article 9 and Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Bridgewater eventually agreed to change its zoning bylaws to allow the new group home to open.

Well, I'm now very pleased to report that Denice Russell, Melisa Knox and Kim Fairbanks, who have lived together as sisters for 18 years have moved into "Compassion House", as the property is now known. Which made my day feel a little bit brighter.

Go read the story and see for yourself.

And then say those nine words slowly, savouring every one of them ... the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On The Lighter Side

Bullying.

Something that's all too common for children with special needs. And definitely a topic with no "lighter side".  But have you noticed that the topic seems to be all the rage lately? Yeah, I know, kind of hard to miss.

There's a post a'percolating in my head on just this - I know there is because I seem to be constantly finding and saving interesting links on the subject lately.

But not now. No, not today.

Today feels feels way too much like a beautiful summer today to delve into the dark depths of that subject.

So instead, because it is such a beautiful day (and because the school year will soon start winding down), I offer you the lighter side of special education - courtesy of Wrightslaw.

Sure, some of the wording is a littte different - for example, IEP = IPP - and "due process hearings" are a cocept that a parent in Nova Scotia might well drool over but when you got right down to it, really, special education is special education no matter where you go.






And last but most certainly not least:

Education Buzzwords: Image and Reality

So go ahead, have a chuckle. Laugh it up a bit.

Something tells me that other topic will still be around tomorrow.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Worth Your While

I'm thinking this presentation might just be worth your while to attend.

On Tuesday, May 29th, Dave Shannon, the CEO of the NS Human Rights Commission will be giving a presentation on Human Rights Legislation in Nova Scotia.  This is being hosted by the LAUNCH program.

I went to a Human Rights presentation a few months ago but, sadly, wasn't that impressed. However, I hold out more hope for this one because Dave not only has the legal knowledge [we went to Law School together although I don't really know him, except to see (and read about) him], but he is also a person with a physical disability. And he has done some absolutely amazing things, both in his own life and for promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.

From the excerpt on the presentation I received today:
Please join us as we welcome David Shannon—CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. David is the author of Six Degrees of Dignity: Disability in an Age of Freedom. He has practiced Law in Ontario. David is a person with quadriplegia as a result of a spinal cord injury at the age of 18. He can provide information regarding Human Rights legislation in Nova Scotia.

So, will I see you there?

DATE:  Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

TIME: 6:45pm to 8:30pm

LOCATION: The Club—St. James Anglican Church at the Rotary

Please RSVP to Kim Clarke

kim.clarke@iwk.nshealth.ca or 902-470-70

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Overwhelmed and Underpaid

I am just passing along this email received from the Halifax Association for Community Living.

Because it's a very important issue.
Hi Families and Friends,

One more email before I get out of your hair today! This story is about Toronto, where the waitlist is 8 months for housing. This is our story in NS and even worse. The housing options issue is of monumental proportions with 650 people on the waitlist in Nova Scotia, and a 4 to 5 year wait. The comments on this news story are very telling as well.

You may want to forward this on to your MLA, the premier, the party leaders and the minister of Community services, and share your story as well. I will list the emails for these people:

Percy Paris NDP Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank percy@percyparis.ca

David Wilson NDP Sackville-Cobequid dave@davidawilsonmla.ca

Keith Colwell Liberal Preston colwelkw@gov.ns.ca

Michèle Raymond NDP Halifax Atlantic mhraymondmla@eastlink.ca

Howard Epstein NDP Halifax Chebucto hepstein@ns.aliantzinc.ca

Leonard Preyra NDP Halifax Citadel-Sable Island preyra@eastlink.ca

Diana Whalen Liberal Halifax Clayton Park whalendc@gov.ns.ca

Graham Steele NDP Halifax Fairview graham@grahamsteele.ca

Maureen MacDonald NDP Halifax Needham mmacdonald@navnet.net

Mat Whynott NDP Hammonds Plains - Upper Sackville mat.mla@ns.sympatico.ca

Andrew Younger Liberal Dartmouth East info@andrewyounger.ca

Trevor Zinck Independent Dartmouth North tzinck@ns.aliantzinc.ca

Marilyn More NDP Dartmouth South - Portland Valley marilynmoremla@ns.aliantzinc.ca

Darrell Dexter NDP Cole Harbour ddexter.mla@gmail.com; premier@gov.ns.ca

Becky Kent NDP Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage kentbj@gov.ns.ca

Kelly Regan Liberal Bedford-Birch Cove kelly@kellyregan.ca

Denise Peterson-Rafuse Minister of Community Services DCSMIN@gov.ns.ca

Take care,

Yvette Cherry
Halifax Association for Community Living
Family Support Facilitator
www.halifaxacl.com
463-4752 Ext.2

HACL Mission Statement
“We believe that all people should be accepted as responsible, contributing members of their family and society.”