Disabled in B.C. tired on talk, talk, talk

Dear editor,

I read Renee Andor's article "Disabled will be consulted" and just about choked on the hypocrisy.

Ingrid Schmidt decries the unsuitability of the lone disabled parking stall at Vanier Secondary School.

Dear editor,

I read Renee Andor’s article “Disabled will be consulted” in the Dec. 12 edition of your paper and just about choked on the hypocrisy.

School District 71’s policy to ban students requiring IEPs (i.e. those requiring wheelchairs or other mobility supports) from their French Immersion program. They are the only school district I know of in this province that actually promotes this policy as an incentive to attract prospective parents.

School District 71 transportation policies require special-needs buses to arrive at school after the regular buses and after the first bells and to depart similarly. These ‘disabled’ students are blatantly excluded from participating in the full day of education the rest of the school population is entitled to and receives.

Placing the Life Skills program on the second floor of the now Queneesh Elementary meant those students requiring mobility supports were even further compromised during an emergency such as an earthquake or fire, as the elevators would be unavailable —their only form of exit would be all those stairs.

I can only hope Mr. McRae’s Jan. 20 forum in Courtenay will not be held in his own backyard and old stomping grounds — Vanier School. There is one handicapped parking stall there.

Typically, the wheelchair insignia is interpreted as being synonymous with preferred parking for SD71 shuttle vehicles and for the RCMP.

If there is an emergency, of course, I can understand RCMP accessing the most convenient parking stall. This is not the case with Vanier.

The Vanier ‘disabled parking stall’ is located at the top of the parking lot hill. The concrete barrier at the back of the stall makes reversing in and unloading a wheelchair or walker impossible.

The only option is to drive in, unload the mobility aid, then try to secure it on the incline. After removing the passenger, the caregiver must not only navigate him/her past the concrete barriers but also past the dog leg that makes the whole exercise even more challenging.

Once completed, if the prospect of bouncing the wheelchair and occupant up the steps is too daunting, there is the option of pushing them up the hill and accessing the side door.

I find the above policies only continue to make it more challenging for those already most challenged. Over the past 18 years, School District 71 administration and staff and MCF Courtenay have made it clear to me they find the above insignificant. I feel they meet the criteria for discrimination.

I also do not believe it is a matter of ‘do more with less.’ I believe the reality is a more a matter of just acknowledge and ‘do.’

Most taxpayers work extremely hard for their ‘contribution’. It seems such a waste to spend it on hype and propaganda rather than tangible, beneficial actions.

I can hardly wait for Mr. McRae’s next project — maybe something like the Success of B.C. Government Policy and Residential Schools in the early 1900s — the social and economic benefits outweigh the damages.

Perhaps we could consider cutting to the chase, saving time and money and calling a spade a spade?

Ingrid Schmidt,

Merville

 

Just Posted

Fundraisers in place long-time Comox Valley chef

Peter Bradley recovering from emergency brain surgery

Last Simms Park concert of the season to double as a food bank fundraiser

Bring a donation for the food bank to the My Generation concert, Sunday, Aug. 25

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Community organizes drop-in cricket game

Alan Dafoe and a few other caring members of the community arranged… Continue reading

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Opinions vary about single-use plastics

Local governments in the Comox Valley are enacting bylaws to regulate single-use… Continue reading

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read