Sharing experiences around our disabilities
By Edward Borkin
I recently attended a meeting which will help form questions in a survey.
The survey will be about people’s attitudes towards people with disabilities in New Zealand. There were people with many different disabilities and we all shared our personal experiences.
I went to the meeting to speak on behalf of people with Down syndrome. The message I wanted to share was “include us”.
I talked about how I was included by my old high school to open a new school gymnasium. This is because I won a gold medal at the World Summer Games in Greece. There were other athletes who opened the gymnasium with me such as Olympic medallist Bruce Kendall.
Another hot topic was around the support which people with disabilities receive.
We all came to the conclusion that the more support people with disabilities receive, the more they will achieve and succeed in the community. This increases positive attitudes towards people with disabilities.
I talked about the support I received from my job coach. This support has allowed me to be an employee at Pak’n Save since 2001.
My final message is that people with disabilities are good people and have value in the community. We need to speak up to be heard, respected and reach our full potential.