It started as an idea during a breakfast discussion: a simple tool to inform, educate and stimulate activism on issues facing members with disabilities.
The result: an eight-minute video that received a standing ovation when it premiered at last November’s National Human Rights conference.
The overwhelmingly enthusiastic response came after an emotional presentation about the making of the video by Richard Sherring. Sherring, a member of CUPE’s persons with disabilities national working group (PWDNWG), was instrumental in kick-starting the project and contributed his editing and production expertise.
“This video…enables us to communicate with all CUPE members,” he told the audience. “It allows people to hear us, understand where we are coming from. It shows what can be achieved when a group of committed individuals work together to further our union’s goals.”
The video features candid interview with PWDNWG members, who speak movingly about the barriers and discrimination they face. It also shows how the union can make a difference when it takes up the cause.
The title, Challenging Attitudes, highlights the need to “overcome a certain mindset that perpetuates the myth of able-bodiedness as the norm,” as Sherring described it.
For equality representative Conni Kilfoil, the video’s real significance is the commitment it demonstrates.
“The video is compelling evidence that disability rights and issues are now clearly on CUPE’s radar,” says Kilfoil.
To order a copy of the video, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the National Equality Branch in Ottawa.