International Day of People with Disabilities

Saturday was the International Day of People with Disabilities. This is a day proclaimed by the UN and this year, the theme was "together for a better world for all:including persons with disabilities in development." this became particularly amusing (but not in a good way) when you consider everything that's happened in our fair city recently. The City cancelled its participation in marking this day and on Wednesday, Council will consider axing the Hardship Fund. All very inclusive, don't you think?

Anyway, the community partners decided to go ahead with a celebration of the International Day and announced that the gathering would be between 12:30-2PM. At the last minute, community pressure and the valiant efforts of Dave from Rolling Around in my Head brought the City back into the celebration. They wanted to move it indoors to the Member's Lounge in the Council Chamber, but the community members had concerns about the logistics of this - it was simply too late to change locations, so the lounge became the warm-up area.

Because it's Toronto. In December. Which is cold.

The gathering was by the Winston Churchill statue, next to a construction site. When we got there, we saw a woman with the most fabulous outfit - very celebratory!

We wandered towards City Hall (this is the picture that separates Stra Trek: The Next Generation fans from all the rest)

and found the Council Chamber. We felt this set-up with a recycling can on each Councillor's place said much. Not sure what, though.

The Lounge was accessible and I had a moment of pretending I was the Mayor. Not sure it'd make for great TV news, though.

This would, though

The celebrations is Variety Village are usually attended by 2-300 people, with dignitaries, sound system, ASL interpretation and attendants, food, tables and greenery. This year, because the City had pulled out, there were a small clump of disabled people sitting in the cold. Unfortunately, I didn't see any mainstream media there. Would've made a great story. I was wrong - the Toronto Star did a story about it.

Winston had opinions. Didn't share them, but his posture speaks loudly.

One really great thing did come out of this. A bunch of us congregated in the Member's Lounge and talked. Shared interesting information, philosophies and email addresses.Made connections and plotted just a smidge. I'm so very glad I went.