IDEA Regina A grassroots alliance...

The Regina Disability Manifesto

Issued by Individuals with Disabilities Equity Alliance of Regina (IDEA Regina)


Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed on December 10, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations


Demand Full Citizenship

As individuals with disabilities, we continue to be socially, economically and culturally excluded. This exclusion continues despite our repeated and long-term efforts, as individuals and members of organizations, to obtain our equitable place in society through negotiation and promoting awareness.

It is now time for the disability community to demand nothing less than full citizenship. We will no longer wait “cap in hand” for the long promised “response” to the comprehensive principles and approaches that have been proposed by our community in regard to disability issues.

Too many people are suffering and dying each day to make further inaction tolerable. We will not be implicit in facilitating the ongoing oppression of the world's most excluded group; people with disabilities. We will become the 'disability lens’ to hold our fellow citizens and governments accountable for their promises, actions and inaction.


Historical Context

We believe that our decision to issue this Manifesto must be viewed in a historical context of exclusion if not outright oppression of people with disabilities. History has repeatedly shown that individuals with disabilities, no matter what other groups we might have belonged, are the most frequent victims of state and community exclusion and oppression.

Charity based solutions to the issues faced by people with disabilities have proven inadequate, counterproductive, misguided and too often abusive. We firmly believe that only by ensuring social and economic justice can true equality be reached.


Double/Triple Jeopardy

Women with disabilities experience poverty, violence, employment discrimination and inadequate disability and family supports. The mainstream popular media rarely project positive role models of women with disabilities. We do not conform to stereotypical images of beauty, motherhood and worker. We are viewed as dependent burdens on society having little or no value.

Women with disabilities are struggling individually and collectively to achieve a positive self-image as a woman and as an individual with the disability. We are looking to exercise control over our lives.

Aboriginal peoples with disabilities struggle daily for full participation and justice. Economic, social and cultural exclusion is crushing the great majority of aboriginal individuals.

From childhood aboriginal individuals with disabilities experience chronic medical conditions because of wretched housing, crowded living conditions, lack of medical services, exclusion from community activities, as well as poor nutrition. To access disabilities supports aboriginal individuals with disabilities must confront and overcome jurisdictional confusion, indifference and game playing. This is a reality on and off reserves.

In the world of aboriginal priorities, disability concerns barely make the radar screen. The struggle is for survival and independence and against social, bureaucratic and political indifference at all levels.


Isolation and Exclusion

As tempting as it might be to focus on news worthy events reporting on death and injury the real tragedy lays in the day-to-day costs paid by individual people with disabilities. Isolation and exclusion are part of the daily cost of living with a disability. We continue to be victims of prejudice promoted from many sources including quasi-theological (i.e.” disability is the result of sin”) and Darwinian economic (i.e. disabled people are a “burdens” on economic progress and social programs) arguments.


Intrinsic Rights

As people with disabilities we only seek to obtain what should reasonably be our intrinsic rights bestowed on all by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Move Forward

Despite the magnitude of the task ahead of us, we continue to believe an opportunity exists to move forward if principled and courageous leadership is shown. We are willing to work with those that are willing to pledge themselves to equality for peoples with disabilities without delay.

We will promote awareness and activism among individuals with disabilities. When it is necessary we will oppose all groups, political parties, legislation, budgets, programs, plans and strategies that directly or indirectly result in our isolation and exclusion from society.


Who is IDEA Regina

Individual with Disabilities Equity Alliance of Regina (IDEA) is a grassroots alliance made up of people with disabilities, our families, our friends and our supporters dedicated to full citizenship for individuals with disabilities.

Our goal is to work towards the inclusion of all people in society by removing barriers to citizenship for individuals with disabilities.


Our Vision and Principles

We embrace the vision and principal statements forward in the 2001 Saskatchewan Disability Action Plan.


A society that recognizes the needs and aspirations of all citizens, respects the rights of individuals to self-determination, and provides the resources and supports necessary for full Citizenship.


· Citizenship -- individuals with disabilities have the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens.

· Independence and Self-determination -- We all make choices and decisions every day. Individuals with disabilities must be empowered to make the same types of choices and decisions about their lives.


Universal Design

IDEA Regina supports Universal Design to achieve the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Universal design is ... "The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design."


What We Want

The history of the disability rights movement teaches us that social change happens when disabled people unite, work together and make it happen. We are in a struggle to protect, preserve, and advance our right to inclusion.

· We fought for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and human rights legislative protection, yet we are still battling Via Rail in the Supreme Court for accessible rail cars and for access to public transportation.

· We pushed for community-based home care services, and we are still being institutionalized

· We experience discrimination and live in poverty and are forced to live our lives on minimal government handouts.

In moving toward our goal and vision we expect to participate in decision making on all issues regarding the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. We will work constructively with all levels of government, the private sector and other partners who are committed to building a community that includes full citizenship, independence and self-determination for all of us.


Our issues include but are not limited to the following: (This list is based on the 2001 Saskatchewan Disability Action Plan First Steps.)

Disability supports including:

· More flexible and responsive programs that provide aids to daily living.

· Personal supports, home making and professional health care services that will help us to live independently in our community.

· Accessible, flexible and affordable quality respite care for families caring for children and adults with disabilities and in need of care.

· Accessible and affordable housing.

· Accessible and affordable access to public transportation.

· Lifelong rehabilitation and therapy services.

· Early childhood intervention and education services and appropriate educational and intervention services throughout our life span including barriers free post secondary educational opportunities.

· A representative workforce using working age population goals and positive measures.

· Income supports that eliminates our poverty and includes:

· Disability pension that addresses the additional costs of disability and are based on individual needs

· Disability supports separate from income


Join Us

If you want to support us and become actively involved in the struggle for fairness and in particular:

· full citizenship

· social and economic justice

· support families and their networks

· promote independence and self-determination

We believe our website provides supporters with the information and tools needed to educate yourself and make your views known. We ask you to stay active and join IDEA Regina


We Thank Our Sponsors For Helping Make This Dream A Reality!

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