Life is better outside an institution

I am writing this letter in support of the Michener Centre closing.

I am writing this letter in support of the Michener Centre closing.

My oldest daughter, 19, enjoys singing and dancing. She enjoys time with friends, Facebook and texting on her phone. She likes big roller-coasters and her favourite subject is math. My oldest daughter has many friends and loves school. My oldest daughter is included in high school, where she contributes to the school culture. My daughter attends Victoria School of the Arts, where she is a valued and contributing member of the student body.

My oldest daughter also lives with an intellectual disAbility. My oldest daughter qualifies for PDD funding as she needs support at home, community and school to live a safe, meaningful and purposeful life. None of which have ever slowed her down with the need and want to belong.

My second oldest daughter has a passion for music. She has performed at the Winspear, the Jubilee, the museum, and many, many school concerts. My second oldest daughter plays the grand piano and keyboard. She loves river rafting on class 3 rapids. She likes to text and search the web. She enjoys time with friends and family and wants to attend GMU Music Program next year, where she will audit. Currently she is a student and included at Victoria School of the Arts where she, too, is a valued member of the school, student body and recognized as a musician. She is a risk taker and loves to laugh.

My second oldest daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a walker and wheelchair for mobility. My daughter also lives with an intellectual disAbility. She is non-verbal and uses an iPad to talk. She qualifies for PDD funding. She has been included in school, home and community. She refuses to allow disability to define her.

Both of my daughters have opportunity to live and participate in community. Of course, this is what helped them build authentic relationships. It has given them opportunity for education. To build social connections. To have meaningful and purposeful days. To contribute. To bring value to the word disAbility.

Community is where we live play and sleep. The residents of the Michener Centre have been stripped of their human right to live an authentic life. To have community and opportunity. It is time to do the right thing and repatriate people back into community where we all belong. Where we all have choice, opportunity, relationships, a home and citizenship.

The government of Alberta is leading the way in including all people and I am proud to be an Albertan. Tear down this horrific, barbaric institution. Lets define home and build community. … It is time. It is the right thing to do.

Repatriate!

Leah McRorie

Edmonton

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