Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve seen a lot of people share art because of inktober. I’ve been feeling jealous because I don’t have any drawing skills.

I realized that writing is also artistic, so I’ve decided that I’m going to blog about something for everyday in October. I guess this little notice will have to count as day 1 — considering how late it is already. If you have any topics you would like me to touch on, please let me know!

Pushing The Wrong Buttons – A Collection of Thoughts On Accessibility

I’ve seen many debates in news articles, and even on my Facebook timeline about accessibility issues. I think that discussion is a good thing, because it provides different prospectives.

However, I have been been sitting on something that happened for a while. I feel like I need to share my feelings about it in more detail — not as an attack, just a semi-educated opinion.

A few weeks ago, an able-bodied acquaintance made a blanket statement, that if you weren’t disabled, you shouldn’t be using the automatic buttons. Of course, people had several arguments for both sides. Again, this is not an attack. I myself have been caught in a similar argument about who should use wheelchair ramps. Even as someone with a disability, it’s easy to get caught up in your own perspective as the only lense to see things.

I will say the same thing I commented on the post: I really don’t mind who uses the button as long as you wait your turn and don’t get in the way of me using it.

There’s something l have learned after being on the wrong — not fully informed side of an argument. Accessibility measurements may have originally been intended for one group, but ultimately can help a larger one. That’s the right direction, and something I actively try to remember when I get impassioned.

I’m not writing this to discourage conversation, or to say that able-bodied people shouldn’t have an opinion on disability issues. I just wish that people would get behind the right things. I’ve had to pick battles for my entire life. While there are a certain number of people who are misusing accessibility buttons, there bigger fish to fry.

I write to the city yearly about its lack of snow clearing in the winter. The comment section is riddled with things telling me stay inside, or that I should be used to Canadian winters by now. Never mind the fact that I spend 4-5 months essentially trapped in my house.

I get a little bit of anxiety every time I accidentally forget my metal straws — in case I get the offhand comment that I’m “killing the turtles.” I don’t want to kill anybody — I just want to work together towards something that’s accessible for everyone.

I drank out of the newly designed Starbucks lid the other day. As someone with mild Cerebral Palsy, I still struggled to drink. I sounded like a kid slurping soup. By the end of the ordeal, the cup looked crushed by the Hulk.

We are headed in the right direction, but it would go a lot smoother if people actually supported the right causes.

Toronto “Toots”

I haven’t had much time to think about my old job lately. I think that’s a good thing, because in the end, it was a stressful and sad point in my life. However, before I go even farther Into the “new job” life, I want to give the proper spotlight to the two coworkers that never got a proper goodbye — Bri and Brett.

I didn’t see them very often because they worked from Diply’s Toronto office, but they each left their own unique impression on my heart.

Brett has the quirkiest sense of humour I’ve ever seen. Every time he posts a meme, or anything, really; I either laugh hysterically or stare in confusion, willing myself to try and understand it. He’s the only guy I’ve never minded sliding into my DM’s, because he always shared funny things based on my own humour, or praised puns and fitting phrases within my articles.

Brett is also the current holder of “the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me” title. He had the best Christmas present made for me.

I’ll let this speak for itself.

Last thought on dear Brett: I love him more than the lobster Mac and cheese I had at his welcome lunch — that’s a lot!

Now, it’s Bri’s turn.Where to start with Bri? Well… she has a laugh that could get herself immediately kicked out of a library. However, in that laugh is also a pure joy and love for life that I’m certain no one else has. When I first met Bri I could sense a quiet confidence that I still aspire to have. She has a blog presence that I could only dream of, and I’ve seen her tackle issues that are important to her with the perfect combination of ferocity and grace. I have even participated in one of her blog projects, and the experience was very refreshing.

Bri also has so much confidence in her fashion and beauty choices; it’s enviable. She’s the only person I’ve actually felt like copying a look from. I did, and I didn’t pull it off as flawlessly. I’ve never told Bri, but just knowing her has pushed me way out of my comfort zone. She is one of the reasons I pick something different from the clothing rack, and her honesty in her writing has encouraged me to express myself without fear.

I’m sorry I never got to say goodbye, but I think this covers everything.

Pushing Pause

I’ve been doing significantly better than I have in a long time. I love my job, I love my coworkers… I love mostly everything about where I am at in my right now.

However, I can’t shake the feeling of still being stuck. To be honest, I find myself wishing that I could push the pause button on CP. Don’t panic, I’m okay.

It would be nice though, if I could just go away on vacation without having to account for all the extra baggage that a disability can be. Even being able to drive by myself to visit friends would be a huge improvement. Sometimes, I feel like a lost puppy whining for them to visit me. I’d love to walk up the stairs, and bring beer and snacks to their house parties.

I’d love to do something in the spur of the moment, without having to tell different companies where I was going, when I d be back — well in advance.

I wish I could cook for myself instead of gambling on others’ cooking abilities — and ultimately ordering out at least once a month.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life waiting on others to get things accomplished. It’s very tiring. I’m waiting for a new chair, and while I wait; random pieces of my old one fall of every day. They make you wait 5 years to get a “new” one, and by the time the process is said and done, it’s actually closer to 6. I’d rather just invest in robotic legs at this point.

I wish I could be saving for a home, instead of living in housing controlled by someone else. It would be nice to not have to make monthly reports every time I make an extra penny too.

I realize that without the things I have mentioned above, life would be a lot harder. That being said, these things that are supposed to help make me more independent are incredibly flawed, and are only going to get worse, thanks to our current government.

I’m not wishing my disability away. Without it I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t know the people, or the perspective I do today. I wouldn’t have a comedy routine. Most importantly, I wouldn’t know how to fight for myself or others.

I know I’m not the only one searching for the pause button.

A New Journey

On May 1st, I finally escaped the land of the unemployed. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. I was really close to losing my mind. It’s a new adventure for me. I’m learning a lot about Social Media management. There are so many things that I didn’t know went into it, because I used to simply be on the content side of things.

I work in the Innovation Works building. I love the environment because you can work anywhere you choose. The business I work for, Mind Your Own Business, is small. So far, I like working for a small business better. I feel like the things I’m doing are actually helpful. I even work a friend from high school, Emily, who I’ve silently admired since Grade 9 vocal class. It’s a family affair, as I also work with her husband Nick. I win when I go into work every Wednesday. The day is full of new things to learn, laughs, and good food, (on Wednesdays we eat salad… and then I get dessert from the in-house cafe).

I have a woman for a boss (YAY!!!) She is incredibly nice, and supportive, and patient with my “newness” to things. It’s only been three weeks, and I already find myself wanting to be at my very best for everybody.

I haven’t seen the actual office space yet, because the building is doing elevator repairs. To be honest, the only reason I want the elevator to be fixed — to visit the DOG FLOOR. DOG. FLOOR.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about was life was going to be like after Diply. Now that I’m finally there, all I feel is a relief, hope, and pure excitement for everything that happens next.

My very photogenic chai latte from Edgar & Joe’s; the in-house cafe.

Without Teachers

I’ve seen a lot of people posting against the education cuts planned/made under the Ford Government. I would like to add my own voice to the mix.

As a student with a disability, I wouldn’t have succeeded without the help of educational assistants. They were my hands when mine couldn’t work. They had the challenge of putting my thoughts to paper; my thoughts often coming faster than they could write. They were the biggest advocates for my success, letting teachers know what I needed; and sometimes reminding ignorant teachers that I was more than an extra body at the back of the room (the 90s were tough times.)

Larger class sizes and cutting EA’s is educational sabotage. Teachers will not be able to effectively do their jobs. I had a few classes on Main Campus at Western, and I recall the overwhelming feeling of being “just a number.” That feeling shouldn’t occupy the minds of elementary or secondary school students. Those years are meant for figuring out what works best for you and where your passions lie; before sinking thousands of dollars into them later.

I’ve heard teachers be referred to as lazy. That is so far from the truth. My passion for writing did not come from my parents. My passion for writing came from teachers like Judy Carter, who spent several painstaking periods trying to help me grasp Shakespeare; and write a poem of my own.

My love of Media and Animation was born from Linda Harvey-Rioux teaching the basics of photoshop; and dedicating several classes to the subject of Claymation

Extracurricular activities like choir in elementary school, gave me reprieve from an unstable life at home. I learned confidence, as well as how to socialize with my peers. Making cuts will deny students a key form of expression and growth that you can’t get anywhere else.

It is so discouraging and disturbing knowing that people who evidently don’t value education — don’t even finish what they start, are left in charge of the policies.

Don’t forget to thank the teachers and EA’s in your life. You probably wouldn’t be where you are today without them.

My Grade 6 teacher, Sue Hatch, who I still see on occasion.

Yoshi’s Crafted World – An Accessibility Review

I’ve always wanted to write game reviews that included how easy or difficult it was for people with disabilities to play. Sometimes, I buy a game and I end up getting really frustrated because of the tasks and the motor skills needed to do them. Truthfully, I know that video games are not accessible for everyone. However, if you can play, I hope my review will provide some useful insights.

As a Nintendo Switch user, I personally enjoy playing in portable mode with the joy-con attached. I have played in TV mode, and I find that I have difficulty controlling buttons and screen prompts

For my first review, I decided to start my review idea off with Yoshi’s Crafted World. I was pretty stoked for this game because it’s my first serious Yoshi game. I believe I tried a Yoshi game on the Nintendo DS platform, but I had trouble getting into it, and just plain stopped

Yoshi’s Crafted World has proven to be more enticing, thankfully. The game has two modes; Mellow and Classic. I chose to start with Mellow because I don’t have previous experience with any Yoshi games.

The nice thing about Mellow mode, is that it gives more time and power to Yoshi’s flutter jump. This is great for people who have difficulty lining up and timing jumps. Another handy feature of the mode is that it alerts you when a level objective is nearby.

My Orange Yoshi with Mellow Mode wings.

If you use the Nintendo Switch in TV mode, there is also an option for 2 player co-op. This is great, because if you are struggling with a particular part of the game, you can ask a pal for help. The second player also has the bonus of infinite Yoshi eggs.

The one thing you will need in this game is patience. The objective can be difficult to achieve all at once. It’s ok to come back to a level and try again. I made the mistake of repetitive tries on the same level. I would recommend visiting another level as a break up to avoid any frustration. I’m happy to report that after coming back to them , I achieved 100% in 4 levels so far.

At the time of writing, I have defeated 1 small boss and 1 large boss with little difficulty. I will update this post when I’ve completed the game.

I’m not disappointed with my first Yoshi experience at all. I would recommend it to someone who likes a bit of a challenge and doesn’t mind looking at a game from many different angles. The levels are very crafty in design.

If you would like me to add more to my reviews, please leave a comment below