The exchange captured in the video above took place at the Kingston, Ontario “town hall” event with Prime Minister Trudeau on January 12. It happens that Ella’s mom (Erin Sheldon) is a friend of LiveWorkPlay and along with her husband Rob Hickey, are important and effective advocates for more inclusive schools and communities. This includes research and applied research in the field.
But on this day it was Ella who took the stage – wise beyond her years, she channeled her experiences with her sister Maggie into a great question that gets to the heart of what we choose to value in Canadian society. If we continue to treat children of immigrants with disabilities as unwelcome, there is little doubt that the values associated with that thinking reflect on how we treat Canadian-born citizens with disabilities. If we truly believe that people with disabilities are important and valued contributors to the human family, then we must learn to think and act differently.
Thank you Ella for raising this question in a public forum! This clip is from the full broadcast available on CPAC.