“We are people first, we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect like anyone in our communities”

Hamilton Ontario, Statement from
Anthony Frisina Above & Beyond Producer /Founder 
“Funding is paramount to preserve the quality of life for people who live with disabilities.  I am a Student Services Representative at Mohawk College & Standardized Patient at McMaster in Hamilton respectively, and a man who volunteers with passion in my community to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect.  I am speaking to you today through this statement to ensure that this doesn’t fall by the wayside.  All persons are people first.  Should we remove funding from those who require it to preserve their activities of daily living, we are compromising QUALITY of life.
There’s a real reliance on assistive technology According to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, over 81% of people with disabilities reported using some kind of assistive technology or specialized equipment to help them move, communicate, learn or carry out the daily activities of life. Disability is expensive
A customized power wheelchair can cost more than $25,000. A porch lift can cost upwards of $5,000. A specially designed walker can cost up to $2,500. Modifications and renovations to make a home accessible can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Disability is expensive. For a family, it can cost more than $40,000 a year to care for a child with a severe disability, yet some of these families have a total annual income of barely that much.  According to Easter Seals Canada (https://easterseals.ca/english/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Disability-in-Canada-Facts-Figures.pdf)
As someone who is volunteers with the Rick Hansen Foundation, Catholic Youth Organization, United Way, Disability Justice Network of Ontario, The Forward Movement and someone who has pioneered an initiative entitled Above & Beyond – Bridging the Gap to accessibility & inclusion – I implore you to take a look at the numbers.  They are staggering, more often than not we are directly or indirectly affected by disability.  But before disability, we are people first, we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect like anyone in our communities.  Eliminating funding takes that away.  We are often the subjected to stereotypes and stigmas, we are often exposed to assumptions-based mindsets.  “Nothing About Us, Without Us”.  Eliminating or reducing those funds restrict our voice.  Often times, people with disabilities live in poverty, increasing funds once again increases ones ability to be an active member of their community, participate in recreation, become employable and ensure that our quality of life is on par with our able-bodied cohorts and that benefits everyone.  We must reconsider and ensure all lives are maintained with dignity, integrity and respect.  Don’t take something away from those who need it the
Anthony Frisina (905) 741-2712
Above & Beyond Producer/Founder

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