FORT ST. JOHN – Grade 10 ELC student Trinitey Douglas, with the help of volunteers from the ELC, is hosting the second annual Disability Day, an opportunity to show students what it might be like to live with a disability.
Douglas was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), which her Mother Kimberly Westgate describes is the curving of the joints. Douglas is only effected in her arms and shoulders.
After an opportunity in 2017 to participate in a conference with others that live with AMC, this would be a defining point for Douglas when her perspective of herself changed. As she met others that lived with more complex complications such as a girl that used her feet to apply her makeup, Douglas recognised she was able to do a bit more and this inspired Douglas to find her voice.
Douglas does not enjoy being stared at and she would rather people talk directly to her. After the conference, she decided she needed to find a way to communicate with her peers how life is for her. That was the start for Disability Awareness District Night 2018.
With Douglas’s success with opening a line of communication with her peers, this year she decided she was going to open up her event to be inclusive to other types of disabilities.
Disability Day 2019 will take place at Bert Bowes on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 and then Thursday, January 24th at Taylor Elementary. These events are geared toward the student body, by setting up interactive stations for students to participate. Participants will hopefully experience a shift in their perspective as the experiences trying to navigate the stations are designed to inspire and motivate students.
One of the stations set up at the event is to simulate what it would be like to have ADHD. By getting the participant to wear headphones, they need to complete a challenge on a computer while being distracted. Another station is completing an obstacle course while in a wheelchair and another that tests sight impairment is a series of goggles that have varying degrees of visibility.
Douglas would like Disability Day to continue to grow into the future, it is important for Douglas to advocate for those that might not have the voice to do so for themselves. This is an example that you are not too young to make a difference.
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