If someone was to ask me “What is the one difference in raising a child with disabilities?” I would have to say that I’m always fighting for my child needs. There is never a time where I’m not being an advocate for her. I fight for her medical concerns, need for therapies, funding, equipment, accessibility, etc. For parents of children without disabilities, these things aren’t usually a concern.

 

Right now I’m fighting for my child to have accessible transportation to school. This battle has been building for a long time and I’m reaching my point of “That’s it, I’ve had enough.” By that I mean my patience has run out and I’m bringing in reinforcements. Prior to enrolling my child in her school, I was assured there would be an accessible school bus available for her. Years have passed and still no bus. I find myself questioning if the School District doesn’t value my child’s education the same as other children.

 

Currently in our district, there are many children with disabilities forced to take taxis or other hired means of transportation to and from school. These children are not getting the same treatment as other children. They’re missing out on school field trips, inclusion and the social aspects of taking the school bus with their peers. Yet somehow the School District seems to believe this is acceptable. Recently the School District purchased several regular school buses. It appears that although there is a need for accessible buses, that need has again been ignored.

 

In our situation, we live in an area where there are no other options for accessible transportation. The taxi service does not have an accessible van. There is no Handy Dart service or other means of hiring an accessible vehicle. The School District’s suggestion is to sell my home and move, which is simply not an acceptable solution. It was also suggested to me to contact Transport Canada over their discrimination in not allowing safety belts on school buses for children with disabilities. While I do find that disturbing, a seat belt on a bus is a far cry from accessible transportation for a child with a wheelchair. In my opinion, the School District does not recognize their own discriminatory behaviour and should look in the mirror before pointing fingers. My child deserves an education too and this will not be a fight I’m willing to drop.

 

If you’re a parent in BC having the similar challenges with the School District, Transport Canada and/or the Ministry of Education, I would like to hear from you. Please reply to the post or email me directly.

 

Let’s be wheelistic, it won’t change if we don’t speak up for our children.

Leave a Reply

(Wheel-ist-ic) Adj: awareness or acceptance of actual fact, real existence, or truth with relation to inclusion, accessibility and/or persons with disabilities.

Let’s Be Wheelisitic is a blog designed to open communication, share and create change through parenting, awareness, inclusion and advocacy. Over the years people have encouraged me to use my voice and experiences with my daughter to help others with or without disabilities, or parents of children with disabilities. This blog is my way of doing just that. I hope you will find this site enjoyable, educational, helpful, and rewarding.
Subscribe to my blog
Quotes

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” — E. B. White

Archives