family travel,  special needs

Western Fair Revisited

Well, this is not the way I intended my Wednesday morning to go, but when it all went sideways I went with it and lo and behold look where it led. Once again enraged by Western Fair’s staunch position that it is too late to change their decision to charged disabled people and their attendants admission to the Fair this year, I headed to the computer to compose more letters and more emails. My children amused themselves with Sesame Street. Then they appeared to ask what Mom was doing. I said I am busy writing letters to Western Fair and the Mayor to let them know I disagree with the fact that kids like Ainsley will be paying double to go to the fare this year. I had just about licked all the envelopes shut when they both began taking paper and Crayola markers and drafting their own letters. For my niner to take this on in the summer, a task which involves writing and spelling and advocating for other children makes me proud.

So our letters will be mailed out today, right after I help them photocopy theirs. I am mailing media and about 10 city councillors and members of the Board of Governors who believe it is too late to declare they might have made a mistake and reverse their decision. In my letter I have noted that I have no problem ever paying admission for my child to attend a fare, whether my child has a disability or not, but I do have a problem paying for an attendant to go with her. This is a system that is inconsistent in London. Some places we go we have to pay for my daughter’s helper and my daughter also. It means we often pay double what the neighbour pays for the same experience. It should be noted that my daughter’s attendant care person, a wonderful helper named Tessa, is not attending any of these functions as a social event. She is working, if I am paying her to take my child and help her negotiate complex events, sports or activities. There are other places in the city that require a child with special needs to have a full-time one on one worker with them if they are attending, for instance, a camp. It is incredibly cost prohibitive for families who already struggle financially, simply because one member of the family has special needs.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.