The Real People Campaign is a group of families making a coordinated effort to gather stories of families living with and caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities. These Campaign families want to share their stories with all levels of governments in Ontario and Canada, as well as our own communities, to help others understand and help us with our everyday struggles.
The urgency of our campaign becomes more and more critical as the waiting lists for support services, housing and funding get longer. We always hear that it is essential that we, as parents, plan for our children's future to avoid crisis situations caused by our own unexpected health issues or deaths and to be proactive in the system. However, in a department of government (Ministry of Community and Social Services) that is extremely underfunded and any access to funds is becoming increasingly competitive, it is frustrating for us to access the resources we need to adequately plan for our futures. Rather than watch helplessly and sink deeper into this hole of helplessness, we decided to take our futures into our own hands and to advocate for the support we need. We created The Real People Campaign to give families living and caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities a voice in the process and to help government and agency bodies understand that we would like to be a part of the solution. Our stories are valuable and need to be heard.
We believe that the watermark of a society is how well our most vulnerable citizens are cared for. We believe, just as the dollars are put forward to send every child to school, so should the dollars be prioritized to support every person with an intellectual disability.