“I became a disability activist when I realized it takes political will to change society for the better.”

Primary Media
Published On: December 4, 2020

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Everyone belongs; that belief anchors our United Church. It’s why your Mission & Service gifts support gatherings of people who are left on the margins of society and support education events that help us learn what we can do about it.

Disability is one aspect of social justice the United Church is working on. Did you know that one in five Canadians live with at least one disability? That’s 6.2 million people. Of these, 1.2 million can’t afford aids, devices, or prescription medications. People living with severe disabilities have half the income of those with none. Seniors are almost twice as likely to have a disability as people who are of working age.

Disability is an issue that affects us all. That’s why the United Church partners with people from other denominations to raise awareness. People like Anglican disability activist Lynda Katsuno, who is widely considered a pioneer in the field.

Lynda on a city street
Credit: The United Church of Canada

Lynda has lived with disability since she was in a car accident in 1973. At the time, she was a primary school teacher and loved her job working with children.

After the accident, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to return to what she loved because the school wasn’t accessible. Lynda credits a committed principal and board of education superintendent for making the changes that would enable her to return to her job.

“I became a disability activist when I realized it takes political will to change society for the better. Our community is made stronger when we include people with disabilities. If people with disabilities were fully welcome, the world would be a richer place. It would be a place where there is hope and no fear,” she says.

Ideals of mutuality, inclusivity, and justice drive Lynda’s passion to make the world a better place for all. “I don’t want to be seen as a poor, pathetic person. I want to be seen as a child of God,” she says.

Your generosity supports events and education that help create healthy, strong, welcoming communities inside and outside the church. Communities where no one is left out. Where we are all valued as children of God.

Let’s build a world where everyone belongs. Make your Mission & Service gift for belonging today.

Use this and other stories found in Your Generosity Matters (formerly Minutes for Mission) to spread the word about Mission & Service.