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Krystian's Newsletter

November 25, 2013 - Employment Equality, Equality Rights

My son Krystian is 24 and developmentally delayed. Since he was 13, he had a dream of doing something that would make a difference in the world. At first, at age 16, he started taking internet courses about internet safety and started to do presentations at universities and schools, directing his message towards other special needs adults and children. He always felt they are the most volnerable to be cyberbullied or abducted by a peditor. He made it his mission to inform as many people as he could.

Krystian' NewsletterFrom there until now, he realized it's hard to get jobs because the community thinks about their disabilities instead of the fact that they have lots of abilities, so he has started a newsletter called "The Kamloops Self Advocate" and as an added bonus, he hopes to stamp out stigma at the same time by spreading some understanding and letting people know how able they are instead of how disabled they are. Their disability is not them as a whole and he wants people to start thinking of them with abilities instead of disabilities. That is the main goal for the newsletter.

I'll give you a little history so you understand why this is such a remarkable achievement. My son was born premature. I wasn't able to take him home from the hospital until he was 5 months old. He also has a chronic liver disease due to his early birth. Doctors said he would never be able to read or write so even in school, teachers never focused on him learning to read until grade 6, one teacher took on the challenge.

As his mother, I tried teaching him phonics throughout his school years also and Krystian taught himself on the computer as well. It was amazing how he started to read. Now he reads and writes fluently and is a very good speller. Still working on his grammar though but he has a speach impediment and writes the way he talks. Now he is in charge of this news letter with some direction from Justine who works with New Horizons, a developmentally disability organization.

Once the newsletter got started, CLBC in Vancouver was so impressed they asked him to join their editorial board in Vancouver where he can advise them about their newsletter and other literature they send out so it's done in language that all diverseability people can understand. (Diversability is a word they prefer to call themselves instead of disabled). So now, he gets flown down to Vancouver every few months to be on this board and it is a paid position.

Krystian is a real go getter and goes after what he wants. We are all so proud of what he had accomplished despite some obstacles he faces. He definitely has far more abilities than disabilities and his newsletter has shown this to be true.
Linda (mom)

If you want to get the newsletter e-mail thekamloopsselfadvocate@yahoo.com
It contains poems and recipes from other diversability people, services like easter seals canada and much more. I am a communications coordinator/reporter which means I report and spread news about the newsletter.