Stereotyping, stares, blunt comments and questions from well-intentioned and curious individuals are part of life for anyone with a disability
We have all felt ostracized and labelled. Instead of being called by our names, we are called "the person with the limp," the boy in the wheelchair" or "the lady with the walker." We are identified by what is the most noticeable about us. It is not our eye colour, hair type or stature, but the feature that stands out the most in others’ minds: our disability. Nobody likes to be stared at, and for us, it is beyond our control. Unlike certain people who deliberately make themselves look different with dyed purple hair and multiple body piercings, we look or walk the way we do because we have no control over what makes us different.
The first time Rita Genesse held her newborn daughter Bryanna in her arms, she says "it was a miracle - a beautiful moment." Genesse and her husband had been trying for six years to have a child. There was a miscarriage. And there were the numerous fears to deal with. These were not only the usual ones most women have, but a host of others because Rita Genesse has hydrocephalus.
There are many things to consider when looking for a health-care professional to meet your needs. Choosing the appropriate health care professional is a highly personal decision. Whether it be a general practitioner, specialist, or a treatment center worker, the person will be caring for you or someone you love. There are many aspects, therefore, that need to be thoroughly investigated and thought through before the most appropriate decisions for your circumstances are made.
For all of us, having a job offers a sense of purpose, an identity and an opportunity to contribute to society. But of the one million Canadians aged 15 to 64, 44 per cent of those with disabilities are unemployed. Few have the training, education, knowledge and experience to compete with the rest of the population. There is still a perception that individuals with disabilities cannot perform their jobs as well as those who do not have a disability. Some employers have lower expectations for an employee with a disability than they do for an employee without a disability.
Me in Disney World with nurse Suzanne, September 27, 1990
It was a cold, cold night, the night of February 20th, 1978, when I Luciana Spring Mascarin, was born. Five pound, five ounce baby girl. My parents named me Luciana because I look so much like my father. I was born at Grace Hospital in Windsor, Ontario at 5:35 am.