What I Have Learned This Past Year

Natalie has brown shoulder-length hair and is wearing a red top.  She is smiling.

Hi, I’m Natalie, I live in the Chorus Apartments and I am a part of the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo and the Community Development POD at Semiahmoo House.

This last year, has been a little bit weird and stressful, but it’s not all bad. It is important to remember the good things so that you can be happy, even when you are anxious. For example, one of things I miss is seeing people faces, but I like when people wear masks because it makes me feel safer.

I use to go into my volunteer job and programs every day, but now I stay at home. Even though I am at home, I am very busy. I have done four virtual interviews with the Community Development POD, I am applying for the Healthy Community Grant to host a virtual dinner and a movie for my neighbors, I have joined the “Disability Community & Inclusive Affordable Housing Committee” for the BC Federal Liberal Party, and I wrote and directed a Q&A video for World Down Syndrome Day.

I have learned a lot over the last year. For example, in the Housing Committee we talked a lot about housing and accessibility. Accessibility is important to have in our community, because it is good for EVERYONE. People who need help should be able to have help, like having a button on doors to help open it. Like accessibility, everyone deserves respect.

I want to be treated like an adult with respect and not a child because I am in the thirties. As an adult, you make your own choices and should have the same options and freedom as everyone else and not have people make decisions for you. Having access to plain language is important. Thank you

Written by Natalie Raven, Self-Advocate of Semiahmoo, SAS member, originally published on selfadvocate.net.

UNITI is the partnership of three affiliated societies that have provided important community services for decades. Semiahmoo House Society provides quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in Surrey and White Rock. Peninsula Estates Housing Society provides affordable and inclusive housing that reflects the diversity of our community. The Semiahmoo Foundation assures that UNITI has the recognition, relationships and resources to support an inclusive community. Together we’re stronger!

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Helen Creamore
    September 8, 2022 4:22 pm

    Well spoken Natalie. It is so important that people hear these messages.

  • Manjeet Ghangass
    November 23, 2022 1:39 pm

    Natalie Raven it sure sounds like you are really truely living a life of your own by making sure that you are doing everything you can for yourself in terms of living fully independently. When I read this i felt very empowered by your story to kind of do the same mysself to the halfway point not fully yet. The key word is yet, i do eventually see myself being fully independent kind of like you when i turn 46.5 years old for sure. Thank you so much for sharing your story I greatly appreciate it.


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