Today Disability Alert launched its Campaign of Hope on the streets of Charlottetown. The Campaign of Hope will last until election day May 28th, 2007. It will focus on education of the public and political candidates.
The Campaign of Hope is the next step in the Tour of Hope which started on April 15th, 2007. During the Tour of Hope we followed various political candidates from Tignish to Montague.
We spoke to people in the towns and cities we visited, put up posters and handed out information flyers at nominating conventions. The response we got was encouraging. Many people were aware of the unfair treatment given to Islanders with disabilities by the government.
The Campaign of Hope is quite simple, the hope for all Islanders with disabilities. The first hope is that they will get coverage under the Disability Support Program. Only 1,100 people get help from the DSP despite the existence of 19,000 Islanders with disabilities. Government studies show at least 3,000 of those 19,000 still need help.
The Campaign of Hope is hope that Islanders with disabilities will get the help they need. We have hope that the government will reform the DSP to stop the abuse of the disabled. We have hope that the Island will become a place accessible to all of its citizens including those with disabilities.
The Campaign of Hope will be on the streets, as it was this morning in Charlottetown, talking to Islanders to raise awareness of the issues. It has a question for all candidates: do you support reform of the Disability Support Program to make it fair, available to all Islanders with disabilities, and to provide for their unmet needs?
Islanders with disabilities need your help, not your dollars or your vote. They simply need all Islanders to ask their political candidates where they stand on reforming the Disability Support Program.
PEI Disability Alert is a not-for-profit group providing advocacy support to Islanders with disabilities.