Most of us who are fortunate enough to live disability-free are blissfully unaware of what actually having a disability is like. We make assumptions about disabilities (as we do with most things) and then go on with our lives. A social media campaign by Project Value is trying to put an end to that.
They don’t want your pity. They don’t want your praise for ‘making it out of the house.’ They have jobs to do, families to take care of and zero time for our preconceived notions about their lives.
Prompted by the new doctor-assisted suicide bill in Canada, a group of people with varying neuromuscular disabilities have put together a video campaign to show ‘the other side of the disability story.’ They want to eliminate the image of victimhood often associated with their disabilities, and show how full their lives really are and all the ‘normal’ things they are capable of.
Project Value’s Facebook page currently has videos on four different individuals who explain their diagnosis and then talk about who they really are.
Ing Wong-Ward has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type Two as well as a number of lung problems. As a result, she’s confined to a wheel chair and needs assistance with nearly every aspect of her daily life. But that’s not at all how she defines herself. She’s active, married to her university-sweetheart, has a daughter (who likes to hitch rides on mama’s wheelchair), has traveled across Canada and to parts of Europe and Asia, is an award-winning producer and has an affinity for high-heels. Now that’s a completely different picture.
In the next week, the project will begin accepting submissions from across Canada to show the vast network of people who are not defined by or limited to their disabilities. They want to show Canada that having a disability and having a great quality of life are not mutually exclusive.