I am writing about an incident that happened to me at work July 17. I am a street cleaner working with the CDS Downtown Crew. This crew is a social enterprise site that CDS is contracted by the city to provide individuals with varying disabilities the opportunity to learn employment skills.
I felt deeply offended by the assumption that a person working in Jubliee Park made about me. I am a person with a disability, I am not mentally challenged, I have a learning disability. I overheard one say I was mentally challenged. When confronted about it, they simply stated that they have a right to their opinion.
They are all kinds of people in this community, despite who or what they are we all have to learn to live with each other, because who wants to live in a community that dictates hateful words or discriminates towards those who have a mental illness or any type of cognitive issues.
I wish that when people see me working, rather than use harmful words, or mock me, come over and say hello, ask me my name. Don’t be afraid of me because I am different.
Remember that just because I am different does not mean I do not deserve to be treated with kindness.