If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

“My name is Liz and I have Down syndrome.” She strode onto the stage without notes, without preparation, and seemingly without a care. A hundred pairs of eyes were anticipating her spoken word poetry performance. A recipe for disaster. A … Read More

When Einstein’s Scared I’m Scared

That line from the anti-nuclear bomb folksong “Atomic Talking Blues” has been swirling around my brain since the release of recommendations by the joint Parliamentary Committee on physician-assisted dying. The song refers to Einstein’s sober conclusion that we are not … Read More

Economic Citizenship – Setting the post-RDSP agenda

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) enables Canadians with disabilities to do something most of us take for granted, save money. Already the accumulated amount in registered plans across Canada exceeds $2 billion. By itself, this is not enough to … Read More

Kirsteen and Cat Main – Making Words Visible

I used to see her hanging around art festivals.  Like every young poet with something to say.  Waiting. Waiting for a chance to share her poems.   …A single tear falls remembering the happy timesSo far and few betweenAnger not … Read More

John Ralston Saul – Speed Does not Equal Intelligence

John Ralston Saul from the Foreword to Through The Eyes of Artists, 2004 Nina Hagerty Centre for the Arts … those of us who are lucky enough to have been close to a person with disabilities know the talents they … Read More

Phil Allen – The One Most Likely to Succeed

When Phil Allen was 27 his friends helped him escape from the Saskatchewan Institution where they were kept against their will.  They figured he was the one most likely to make it and come back to help them. They were … Read More

Jean Vanier – the Earth of Community

Imagine if we were drawn to each other not just because of our talents but also because of our darker thoughts, pettiness, secret vices and betrayals?  Would we realize how much we have in common?  Would we be as quick … Read More

Margo Button – An Unhinging of Wings

Margo Button is an award winning poet.  She wrote her first collection of poetry in honour of her son Randall John Button whose mental illness eventually led to his suicide.  The following poem is from, The Unhinging of Wings which … Read More

Margaret Heffernan – Personal Responsibility

Margaret Heffernan's new book is, Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril. Willful blindness is our collective capacity to 'go along' with what everyone else is doing; to carry forward with the familiar, to turn a 'blind … Read More

Spirit of the West – Putting Up With The Jones

Spirit of the West composed one of the most popular college drinking songs of all time, particularly on St. Patrick's Day – Home for a Rest.  On the sober side their songs reflect a critical eye on the decline of … Read More

Nick Hornby: About A Boy, His son Danny

Nick Hornby writes popular books which become equally popular movies, (High Fidelity and  About a Boy )  He also wrote the screenplay for the award winning film, An Education.  His writing resonates, I suspect  because like Hornby, music is the … Read More

Bonnie Sherr Klein – The Gift of Asking

Bonnie Sherr Klein is a celebrated documentary filmmaker.  From her base at the National Film Board she created award winning films such as, the anti-pornography documentary Not a Love Story and Speaking Our Peace.  Along the way she helped create … Read More

Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet reveals the birth of Compassion

Australian writer Tim Winton's masterpiece is, Cloudstreet whose every word seems to sparkle with the special light that illuminates the air in his hometown of Perth. The novel revolves around two charming, eccentric families.  I am drawn in particular to … Read More

Deanna Kawatski – How People With Disabilities Will Save the World

Clara and Me – The Story of an Unexpected Friendship by Deanna Kawatski is an enchanting story about the mysterious exchange of friendship.  Set in remote Northern British Columbia, Deanna longed for a female companion for eleven years.  Then Clara … Read More

How People With Disability Will Save the World

In Ian Brown's award winning book, The Boy in the Moon, he highlights the impact John Ralson Saul's brother  Anthony had on the internationally acclaimed writer and essayist's life. Saul is currently President of PEN International and Patron of PLAN.  … Read More