They’re Off! And You’re On!

An election is coming, and that is an opportunity to educate politicians about the shortfalls we experience as families of children with autism.  The following is adapted with permission from a helpful letter from Patrick Falconer, who is a part of Barrier Free Manitoba and Disability Matters: Vote 2016:

Manitoba’s general provincial election officially started earlier this week. Politicians are now actively competing for media attention and for your vote. This will continue and intensify during the next 32 days.

The race has started and they (the politicians) are ‘OFF’! What is most important now is to makes sure that you (and the thousands of other Manitobans who care about disability issues) are ‘ON’!

Barrier Free Manitoba has partnered with Abilities Manitoba in organizing Disability Matters: Vote 2016. DMV2016 has plenty of moving parts and offers lots of ways for you to get involved. The best way to keep up to speed is to subscribe to the campaign’s update service. If you have not already subscribed, do so by clicking here.

While we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities, there is one ESSENTIAL thing we absolutely NEED you to do. That’s to contact each and every candidate running in your constituency to:

  • Tell them how important disability issues (like therapy options for children with autism) are to you, and
  • Ask them for their and their party’s positions on DMV2016’s five priority issues (like accessibility to inclusive education and autism intervention programs).

Doing this will make a real difference.

But is not quite as easy at it sounds.

FIRST, you will have to find out whose running in your constituency. The best place to find this is a citizen created and managed web site called Manitoba Election 2016. The website (under the “Candidates” tab) lists all the candidates by constituency, including available contact info and social media channels. (The Elections Manitoba website is an alternative but it does not include contact information.)

SECOND, you will need to contact the candidates. It’s easiest when they come to your home – then all you have to do is open the door. But don’t wait until they come to you. What we need you to do is to contact them – by phone, by email, and/or by posting messages on their social media channels (e.g., Facebook).

THIRD, you will need to figure out what to say to them and what questions to ask. DMV2016 can help you here. Download the handy, dandy Tool Kit (available in both Word and PDF versions) from the links on this page.  Make sure you are ready to ask about the issues that affect your family.

Taking these three steps might take 30 minutes. Or it might take 2 hours. However much time it takes, consider this a very serious investment into making Manitoba a better place for all.

Trust us. It will make a huge difference.

We need YOUR SUPPORT. And we need it NOW!


Patrick Falconer

Consultant to the Barrier-Free Manitoba Steering Committee

Social media: twitter / facebook / daily digest

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