I have chronic pain, so walking from Building 5 to Building 11 is physically exhausting for me. Then last August, I hurt my back. I don’t have a wheelchair or walker, so making my way from where my bus dropped me off at 104 Street was excruciating. The introduction of e-scooters in downtown Edmonton last summer made me realize how much one small thing can totally change your life. Those e-scooters became my accessibility aid. They literally got me through my back injury – physically and mentally.
Many of my friends access the counsellors and other mental health supports at MacEwan, and that’s great. It’s a positive thing. I think we’ve taken leaps in reducing stigma around mental health. Equally fascinating to me is how we’ve yet to do that around disability. Planning activities around the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, hearing other people’s stories and having conversations made me more aware of the stigma around high-functioning disabilities, and made me wish I’d had this kind of revelation earlier on in my university career.
We’re all going through a lot, whether it involves an invisible disability, visible disability, mental health issue or any of the many challenges life throws at us. To me, this awareness day was a reminder to all of us to be compassionate.
– Emily, Bachelor of Communication Studies student and Champions of Diversity and Equity (CODE) volunteer
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.