In this episode, meet some of the new Accessibility Collective members, what events are happening around town and hear some disability news across Canada. Plus, check out our thoughts on the recent Snowstorm in Vancouver as well as listen to some awesome music from disability musicians!
“Hello everyone! Happy 2020!!! Hope our listeners had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. My name is Deepi, your Accessibility Collective Coordinator and you're listening to All Access Pass season five on CITR 101.9 fm. We’re broadcasting live from Vancouver, on the Unneeded territory of the hookameenam speaking Musqueam People. In the studio today, I’m joined by my Accessibility Collective members.
Everyone Introduce yourself.
Happy New Year to all of you. And how was everybody's holidays season. And I know it's a month but I mean, we haven't been on air for a month. So how was everybody's holiday? Let's start with you, Alison.
It was good. It was quiet. Hung out with my pets. How about yours?
Yeah, It was quiet with family but a little bit stressful, you know, with life but, I mean, you know, watching Christmas movies helps, you know, calm things down. How about you Lidia?
I counted I heard our RESPECT played like 33 times at various social events so I you know, it was real hot year for that song.
Yeah, I don't know just regular social gatherings with like, dogs and wine? Like I don't I don't know what the deal was.
and Nate, how about you?
Me mine was like, it was very like stop and go kind of thing. I was either not doing anything which entails relaxing which was wonderful after exams, or I was up and seeing family or just doing things. So it was, it was a nice break, I think from school but I am glad to be back and glad to be back.
Aw, well, good to have everybody back. And so let's get back to our show topic.
But before we do, we're going to go to the first song break. So here is our newest member, Randy introducing our first song.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Ezra Kwizera a number of times over the years of the West Kelowna World Music Festival, residing now in Vancouver and formerly from Rwanda. Here's Ezra’s song amazing, and I think it describes how amazing each and every one of our listeners are, no matter how diverse their abilities from the Okanagan Valley on CITR Vancouver. I'm Randy.
(First Song Break)
Welcome back to All Access Pass the artists you just heard from was Ezra Kwizera and the song was amazing. And we have someone to introduce to you today. Hello.
Hi, listeners. I'm Monica and I'm a second year student here at UBC currently studying physics. In my spare time, I like to volunteer as a crisis responder for Kids Help Phone and I really wanted to join the accessibility collective to have the opportunity to spread more awareness on mental health and other important issues and initiatives in our community. I'm definitely looking forward to working with everyone here at all access pass.
Hi, my name is Glen, and I'm joining this collective because I'm one of those other people that is also disabled. And I feel that, you know, sometimes in life, you just have to go with what you think is the right thing to do, and joining this collective. I feel that as we as a disabled people have a responsibility to show the world that we're not just another piece of vegetable in the world. We have feelings, we have things that we want to do, and actually dammit, we're gonna do it.
I'm Randy Mills from the Okanagan Valley and I'm currently coming to you from the West Bank First Nations lands. I'm a shelter support worker in Kelowna for a nonprofit, and I'm working with some of the most vulnerable people in our community, providing assistance.
To them and advocating for them where I can. I'm pleased to be a part of the accessibility collective and All Access Pass here on CITR Vancouver.
And now here is that's Monica, Randy and Glen. And we're also going to be playing Abbie.
Hi everyone, my name’s Abbie. I’m a 3rd-year UBC student majoring in Cognitive Systems. I’m super passionate about volunteering for support groups with a primary focus on support for stroke recovery. I’m super excited to continue the discussion on accessibility and diversity with the team here on CiTR Vancouver. I am so thankful to be a part of the Accessibility Collective and I look forward to an amazing Season 5 here on All Access Pass.
And that that's thanks to Monica, Randy, Glen and Abbie for your intros. It is wonderful to have you all a part of this team and I'm so looking forward to working with each one of you as well as well. So now here's Alison, with what events are happening around town. Allison, take it away.
Thanks, Deepi. Hello everyone! There are three events happening soon. The first one is the Chinese New Year celebration happening at Oakridge mall. It is totally free & accessible and it’s on Thursday, Jan 23 from 6-9pm. For more information, go to the website: www.lunarnewyear.ca .”
“The second event is an arts event with the PuSh Festival. It’s called Ikigai Machine: A Disability Arts Vaudeville Experience/Opening Party. It’s on January 25th at 8 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre downtown.”
“The third and last event is Changing Brains, Exploring a New Reality - Neuroplasticity and Learning. Barbara Arrowsmith Young, a woman who started a program for people with learning disabilities to lessen the symptoms. She is talking about her program. It’s on February 1st at 3 pm at the Vancouver Public Library at the Central Branch.” Now, we're going To our second song break with Glen, take it away.
Hello everyone. Here is a song parasite by the artist Krista Couture from the album living the living record.
(Second Song Break)
Welcome back to All Access Pass. The song you just heard was parasite by the artist Krista Couture from the living record. A little bit about the artist, as a teenager, Krista battled cancer and lost her leg. She has had successful music career and was the winner of the Aboriginal Music Awards in 2008.
Thanks, Glen. Now we're going to check out what's happening in the news. So Nate take it away.
Thank you Deepi.
Alrighty, well, the government of BC has recently released a host of changes to the social welfare program. And one of the big main changes being a pet damage deposit funds for people with financial need. Well, what does that mean? Well, when you are trying to rent a house from a landlord, they oftentimes ask you to pay a pretty hefty deposit fund if you have a pet, which is especially pertinent for those with disabilities who have support animals, or just poor families who have pets in their home. So what this does is the government pays that deposit for them, so that they don't have to put forth the extra money that they may not have in order to keep up the rent. Yeah, really awesome, right.
Another change is that people who need financial assistance no longer have to prove that they've been financially independent for two years before that, to receive help.
That's really awesome. Especially because there's a lot of changes for kids.
Who are aging out of the foster care system. So they're they're just not financially supported once they turn 18. Right. And now these kids don't have to struggle on their own for two years before getting out into the world and and getting the support that they need. So that's the BC government has a plan to reduce child poverty by half in the next four years. So it's a pretty big step.
Yeah.no , kidding. Oh, yeah. And then one of the other changes is that couples who are either getting together or are separated but having a divorced, they've made it easier and quicker for them to either they essentially you get benefits longer if you're just getting together individual benefits, as opposed to the lower couples benefits right, and you get it sooner after you've separated so it's easier for people to get back on their feet or set up a stable, a stable partnership. So these are all really awesome changes. And I'm just this was something that made me really happy just to hear that things are getting better because I just love it when that happens. Yeah, yeah. So
Thanks Nate. Yeah, no problem,
Lidia, take it away… you’re next.
So I'm here to talk to you about Saskatchewan. So, recently there's been a recipient of to Saskatchewan’s assured income for disability. So they're said program and they had a particularly stressful new year because their government check arrived considerably later than usual. So the person Barbara Bush spent an hour on the phone trying to resolve this
dispute. Normally she receives the check on the 27th of any given month, and this December it arrived on the 31st. So that's a four day difference. And it had serious ramifications for her life and stress levels. She says I was feeling sick and depressed and scared. My son was off school and I couldn't even send him to the store with a couple of bucks to get some chips or to do anything. So of the approximately 16,000 households who receive said benefits who received the benefits in December about 70% of them receive money via electronic transfer, so they're not waiting for a check to arrive in the mail. However, in this instance, Barbara Bush sorry Brenda bush was unable to receive said via electronic transfer because she had left and then re entered the program and so they she was at that time unable to set up the transfers in her name. The ministry was contacted for comment, and they recommend that anyone who participates in the Saskatchewan assured income for disability program sets up an account to receive payments through electronic transfer to ensure they get their funds when they expect to get their funds. And that was what happened over there.
Alison, what problems did you want to talk about? Do we have anything in common?
We do. I'm going to talk about Saskatchewan as well.
What's happening there?
So I read a report online from the CBC, where it said that the First Nations group in Saskatchewan, the planes first nations have made an interactive camp for their sign language, which is one of the oldest indigenous sign languages in North America.
This camp teaches the language in a different way. And that it uses direct communication between everyone and supposed to be used for all of the planes First Nations people from Saskatchewan to Texas. We want this place to be where there's love and respect, like you're going to an aunt place or your big sister's place or your grandma's place. Nobody's going to get on your case, you're not going to be treated in a condescending way. Nobody's going to be reprimand you for a little mistake. I'll quote from lanie real bird, an instructor at the pound maker language camp. Even more. Language camp organizer, Floyd Favell said that people would speak and use signs at the same time. He further adds that the Plains Indian sign language is fun to learn. It's interactive. It's based on direct communication with people. It's not based on learning numbers, or colors or names. Of Animals. It's used for direct communication, and you can use it right away. So I thought this is an excellent way to teach our people. In my opinion, I think it's neat that people from different First Nations can communicate with each other without using the same oral language, since they can use sign language. They're taking a language that Western cultures think is only for deaf people, but it's using for hearing people. And you can look at this story more closely at the CBC website.
And that's wonderful. And now here is Brett.
After hearing testimony from the visually impaired community directly, TransLink has recently approved a plan to spend $7 million making the Vancouver transit system more accessible for those with vision loss, about 8500 stops will add Braille to their signs. On top of this tactile surface indicators will be available at SkyTrain stations and major bus exchanges. TransLink have actually been pilot testing these improvements since 2012 at Joyce Collingwood sky TrainStation. They're also trying to develop a navigation technology that could work with tablets or phones of those visually impaired riders. TransLink is actually one of the first companies in North America offering this much information to passengers with vision loss. Hopefully it will set a precedent for other cities to follow suit and making their transit more accessible.
Hi, everyone, this is Glen. The second song I have for you is called anything that you want from the artists Sarah jiggling and they're good bad luck off the album. When I get better.
(Third Song Break)
Welcome back to All Access Pass. The song you heard before the break was anything that you want by the artist, sarah Jiggling, and a good bad luck from the album when I get better. A bit about the artist: Sarah has anxiety and bipolar disorders and she is a strong advocate for mental health awareness.
And we will be right back with you on All Access Pass after some short messages.
Crane library is looking for student volunteers to record textbooks for those who cannot use print at the university. If you're a UBC student who is computer literate with an ability to read University material aloud, and you have a willingness to learn new techniques, we asked for a two hour commitment once a week for additional information and to set up in addition, call 648226114 or email crane firstname.lastname@example.org
This band is really good, and I've been wanting to find out more about local music. Yeah, I heard about it through CITR and Discorder
Um, it's a radio station. You can review all the music that comes in and help out with touring bands or just do some data entry to get started in their music department.
Yeah, you can just email email@example.com and they can help you get into the station or just come in whenever
Well, I will be there. So…
(End of ad and back to the show)
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to All Access Pass. This is Deepi. So we had a quite an interesting week last week. It was this big snow storm and I mean, how did everyone you know, navigate through the sidewalks, using the buses and etc.. So here's what Nicole had to say on this situation.
When I think about my day In a snowstorm, I as a person with a disability. I think more about the Physical failures like the icy, slippery ground that has presented itself to us this week
And when I think about myself, I think about the essential services that must carry on and those unprepared for the weather. So I'm kind of glad I got to stay home today you know what I mean?
Yeah, Like what?
Like picture pictures students and workers who need to travel those sidewalks those treacherous, lumpy icy sidewalks It can cause you to either break a bone or completely soak your shoes in ice cold slush. But I think about my safety as I take my time e to get home in the dark after work, and I worry about protecting my hearing aid from the falling
Does your hearing aids freeze up in the snow?
not really it doesnt freeze up in the snow, it's more the moisture that can cause damage and sound really crackly and that it almost like almost everyone who has hearing aids and cochlear implants like biggest stress that you're hearing aid will breakdown. So yeah, I protect them from the snow and the rain. But I can't hear anything when I have my hoodie over my hearing aid they could make this like scratchy noise?. So, um, so as a, you know, I be careful where I step in the dark, and these horrible sidewalk and I still worry as a female, about my safety. Um, but then I laugh to myself because if anyone were ever to assault me, they probably wouldn't go very far and they would probably land and fall and but I would also hope that I would be able to get away as well. And so anyway, I feel awful that I'm ranting about sidewalks and you know there are people who just can't shovel sidewalks and that’s not their fault, but thinking back on the weather. Again, Mother Nature unforgiving. It reminds us of our humanity. It reminds us of who we are as a society I think and how we respond together like together we can shovel the sidewalk that we can advocate for public spaces to shovel the sidewalk that we can.
You know, think about like maybe even having a set sidewalk Zamboni or adding a shovel to Deepi’s wheelchair so that you can plow her way into the studio and have a CiTR meeting like we wish to have on Monday. Or Come who can get like I ice spokes on his shoes and his crutches so he can walk through the snow or the blind they can't always like see what slippery and something that would help them get through the snow. So I think I think battling Mother Nature's torment will hopefully bring us together safely. But, for now we are chatting online
(Deepi) Thanks Nicole for sharing Your thoughts and explaining your challenges with the snow storm.
I definitely have difficulty to get around places with the snow on the ground that is for sure. I have a physical disability and use a electric wheelchair so it is not easy to drive through the icy snow that that is a big challenge for me because my wheels skid easily and they don't have snow tires at all. I don't even know it there is snow tires, to be quite honest for wheelchairs. But yeah it is bumpy when I try to go in the snow and actually, I'm afraid to go, you know to walk to drive in because I I don't have the control to stop any accidental moment. So, for me, it's basically a safety issue. more than anything. I also have many support staff as well and they don't they're not really comfortable in driving in the snow either due to lack of control on the roads, as well as some of the crazy drivers out there. Not all but some are and so you get the idea. We want to present prevent any unnecessary accident that we humans will regret for the rest of our lives. So yeah, it's better to just stay off the roads or not even try with, like Nicole mentioned with Mother Nature. So Alison, what are your thoughts on like, what did the snow do to you?
It was insane. like trying to get like I don't drive and I think a lot of people don't drive in the city.
So I take public transportation. And, like, I kind of like to think that I'm pretty mobile, like being able to get around, but because of the likes conditions, and then like, there's not a lot of like salt on the roads, so I couldn’t get anywhere, which, like, the cause some stir crazy and in me, yeah, and for people who have like cognitive disabilities, or mental illness, they like having stability, and being able to like get to work and having that stability is really important. So the unpredictable I think, is kind of like, not good.
(Deepi) Yeah. It's funny that you mentioned that because on Twitter, I posted this question on all access pass social media channel. As asking people with the recent heavy snowfall in Vancouver, how did they manage to get around if at all? Or what challenges did they face? One person posted saying that the cancellations and schedule changes, but their anxiety through the roof. being house bound always increases depression and makes it easier to be isolated. So this person also made sure this person to make things easier for them. They made sure to call friends and force themselves to be outside of what they normally do. They if they were at home. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So, um, do you have anything else to add? Nate or Lidia?
(Lidia) Yeah. One thing I noticed. So in my neighborhood, like, immediate surroundings of my place, there's a lot of wheelchair users live there. And people were like, very responsible in shovelling the immediate outside of their houses and city people came in and shovelled at certain areas, which is all great. But a lot of the times the like length of the shovel people were using was smaller than like the length of a wheelchair. So what would happen would be like enough space for someone to walk was created and it looks like this is a clear path to travel. But in the end, a lot of wheelchair users couldn't not actually go down this shovelled sidewalk.
I shovelled my my neighbor's walk because she's older. And finally like and I shovelled like the front of hers as well and salted it and then I guess her family, one of the founding members hired a person to shovel but forgot to put salt on it. So I’m out there and all the other
I'm in a neighborhood with a lot of immigrants. They're watching me put the salt on. Yeah.
(Nate) Yeah, I mean, I live. I'm a first year student here. So I live in the first year residences. And I was out and about, I think it was the Saturday whatever day it was, but, I guess it would have been, I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday, but there was, they hadn't salted they hadn't done anything. But there was so much it had been mixing between snow and rain, and that first day when they didn't salt the sidewalks, you couldn't go anywhere.
Like every like it was there was ice everywhere and myself. I'm a I'm a pretty able bodied person. And I was still struggling not to like slip and fall a few times on my walk around. So I can't imagine how difficult it would be to try and work through that. Yeah.
(Deepi) You were gonna say something Glen?
(Glen) Um, yeah, I know. I know you guys are first year young students, but I mean, just common sense if it is snowing really hard Why would you want to go to outside in the first place? Yeah, I think that's is the difference between kids and adults? The kids was it always go outside sure. You gotta be safe Be smart man.
I think I think the problem is with university is that like, if they don't cancel classes, you're expected to go that a lot of my classes are required participation for marks or we have like, these, these questions where we have to be there to get the marks. And it's really unfair to say either you show up and you risk you know, falling and hurting yourself. because nobody's taken care of the sidewalks yet. Or you know, you just don't go Yeah.
(Glen and Nate chatting)
Question you said last week, Wednesday, we didn't have to class
Yeah Wednesday was the the snow day?
Yeah, but Thursday it was back open. Do you think that when you in totem Park
Yeah, I was in totem park
Do you find on Thursday morning at 8am? Was it were you able to get out of your totem park?
Yeah, like it was they had all salted all the sidewalks like pretty aggressively and that point which I mean salting also you know poses a whole other issue because that just gets everywhere and it's pretty damaging to just about anything you're going to run it across oh no doubt.
Oh yeah salt is not good for their will salts just not good.
I don't know if you would have had any experience with this Deepi but like salt against wheelchairs or whatever? Just rubber against your chair? Yeah, not good stuff. That's bad. Yeah and service dogs.
And for cars too.
Oh my gosh, yeah. Well I'm from Ontario and it's salted. The roads are salted all winter. And so much wear and tear just from the Salt
My family is from Winnipeg and they would have to use sand in Winnipeg and plug in the cars. And that really damages the cars as well. like seeing the rust.
Yeah, no, it definitely does build up and it's okay.
Well, so on Thursday, did you find it was difficult to get your classes on Thursday, the day after the storm?
Again, like they salted all the road. They had salted all the sidewalks and what not. So it wasn't bad. But it was the day before it was it was that that stretch between I think it was the Saturday or the Sunday. It had just it had done like the snow and rain thing on the weekend. Because it was it snowed Friday evening, and then Saturday. Nothing was cleaned off or cleared and no Yeah, and I had to like I had errands that I had to run on Saturday and so I'm running around.
I'm like, I'm like crossing the street and I nearly fall you know halfway through the you know the red flashing red walk sign. I'm like, This isn't good.
I'm with Deepi. I mean when it's really snowing just stay inside. I don't know. I you know, I cut class on Thursday and Friday. There's no point to come once from second week of school.
Yeah, so I totally get that. Yeah, I totally understand that. But I did have classes though that You need to go to because yeah
First year kids. Sorry, freshman.
It moves so fast. That's the thing that you do have to be there a lot of the time and yeah, so.
(Deepi) Glen you have our next song, right?
(Glen) Yes, I do. Thanks so much. The fourth song I have for you is called Valentine vibe by the artist digger Dan and the dirt brigade. Hope you like the song.
(Fourth Song Break)
(Glen) And welcome back to the All Access Pass. songs you just just heard was Valentine vibe by the artist, Digger Dan and the dirt brigade. A little bit about digger Dan. He's a guitarist, singer and songwriter from Vancouver BC. He's working on recording his first album. He's He is a wheelchair user and is a part of Vancouver adaptive music society.
(Alison) Thanks, Glen. Speaking of digger Dan, he was up the International Day of people with disabilities event which was hosted by kickstart where Deepi and I had the opportunity of attending. This was back in December and we we will be playing another song by digger dan at the end of the show. But here's a two minute audio clip and we’ll play it now. hope you enjoy it.
tested out? Sure! Hello, hello. What should I say anything? What is today?
Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. And we're here with kickstart, which is an organization that supporting artists with disabilities. And we're letting past byers know about the day and about kickstart and all the efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunities that they want and are capable of.
Why should we care?
Because there's an amazing amount of people who are being left out of opportunities. And there's artists who are doing great work and need more attention. And because they're 24.7% of the population are people with disabilities and yet we are routinely excluded from the community.
Awesome! How about for yourself?
What, what's in it for you here today?
Well, I was just passing by. And I saw Heather here who I know from before, and decided to check it out. I knew about Kickstarter already in the past. And I have tried participating in plays and musicals, but I realized I can't act or sing. But it's great to see people who can be given the chance to.
Nice, thank you.
Thanks, Alison. And that wraps up our show for today. Hope you all enjoyed listening to this episode. The first one for 2020 Wow. Okay.
So if you are interested in joining our team or think that there is an issue we should bring up on our show, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Like us on our all access pass Facebook page. If you're on Twitter or Instagram or both, please follow us @access_citr. Hi grandpa. Hi, Alison's grandpa.
Also Happy Birthday to Araceli!
Those of you who don't know where Araceli, she's my support staff. So every other Wednesday that I need to get here. She drives me to to UBC from Richmond. Yeah.
Yeah, that's Araceli. So Happy Birthday thing.
So yeah, if you want to listen to the show again or hear some other content, hop on down to CITR.ca. And search in that box all Access Pass.
Thank you for listening and tune to our next show on Wednesday, January 29, at 3pm and please stick around for some more CITR, programming coming up next.