When you receive a disability diagnosis, it can change your life. You might think you have to give up on the future you had envisioned for yourself or your child. But you don’t.
We’re here to change perspectives. We’re here to show Manitoba’s adults, youth and children exactly what’s possible.
Going to summer camp with your siblings: it’s possible with help from our staff. Achieving independence when you cannot walk: it’s possible through our wheelchair services. Getting the services you need close to home: it’s possible through our rural offices and our Jordan’s Principle commitment. Working a well-paid job with benefits: it’s possible through our vocational and employment programs. Learning ASL at the same time as learning English: it’s possible through our language classes for Deaf Newcomers. Becoming the leading goal scorer for your team: it’s possible through our sledge hockey program.
We make this kind of life possible by focusing on one simple thing: care.
Many people think they know what care means, but it’s not until you need a service from us that you truly appreciate its significance. It’s not sympathy. It’s not even empathy. It’s more complex than that.Care is being in a person’s place, listening to where they are at, interacting in a non-invasive way, and responding to what they are asking.
It isn’t defaulting to a procedure; it’s doing what’s right for that person. It isn’t setting milestones for that person to hit; it’s understanding their individual goals and supporting them in reaching those goals at their own pace. As much as we help Manitobans overcome challenges, we are also overcoming our own challenges as an organization and as a society.
To provide programs and services to all Manitobans with disabilities, we operate three Winnipeg offices, six regional offices and 15 program areas while supporting 15 self-help organizations.It’s a huge feat, so our staff often feel isolated from each other, and few Manitobans understand the full scope of what we do.
As a society, we still have a lot of work to do on the road to inclusivity and accessibility.
Kids are still being turned away from sports because leagues do not know how to adapt game rules.Many workplaces still don’t hire people with disabilities; 40 per cent of people with disabilities are unemployed.Being arm’s length from government means we can be a bold voice. Right now, we need to be as bold as the change we want to see in Manitoba.
We won’t accept the national unemployment average for people with disabilities – we are actively finding jobs and creating them through our social enterprise (like Clean Ventures).We don’t just want to keep pace with the evolving needs of the individuals and families we serve – we want to lead the charge. We won’t be told to wait on the sidelines because we require assistive technology or adaptive equipment – we’re changing the rules of the game.
It's time to ask every individual, business and partner in our province, “What is possible for Manitobans with disabilities?”
And we must ensure we are all working together to make it happen.
We’re Manitoba Possible. We’re for an inclusive and accessible society.