This year’s recipient of CUPE’s National Disability Rights Activism Award is Pat Shade, First Vice-President of CUPE 951. Pat is an active member of his local’s Health and Safety and Human Rights and Equity Committees. He advocates daily for the removal of barriers for members with disabilities.

Shade’s activism doesn’t stop at his local. He is also involved in CUPE BC as a Diversity Vice-President representing persons with disabilities, and as the Chair of the Persons with Disabilities Committee. He has been eligible to retire for some time now, but he chooses not to. Instead, he keeps fighting for more inclusion and accessibility, and he keeps advancing disability rights in our workplaces, communities, and union.

“Unfortunately, disabled people’s needs and rights are always the first to be forgotten. But when our needs and rights are met, it is beneficial for us and society as a whole. The stigmatization and marginalization of persons with disabilities must come to an end,” said Shade.

CUPE’s National Disability Rights Activism Award recognizes the achievement and activism of a CUPE member or retiree with a disability who has achieved important victories, such as eliminating barriers and introducing rights, policies or practices, as well educating CUPE members about disability-related issues.