Monday, June 27, 2011

Service Dog Dreams Become a Nightmare

"I began what was supposed to be my three week “Service Dog Boot Camp” with Arizona Goldens, LLC. Unfortunately, less than six days into it, Arizona Goldens abruptly terminated my boot camp.  It’s all over.  This was entirely their decision and I do not agree with it. 
I do not get my service dog and Arizona Goldens will be keeping the entire $20,990 that all you wonderful people gave to them for the specific purpose of providing me with a suitable service dog."

This is an absolutely outrageous (though likely not a singular) travesty and i believe a blatant abuse of the trust and hard work and money that Amber and friends and family put into this. Please, watch the video, go to the website and learn more, and pass it along. This should never happen to anyone again!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

YouthCO HIV and Hep C Community Outreach & The All-Genders Wellness Centre

I conducted this audit on June 1st, 2011, to benefit the All-Genders Wellness Centre All-Genders Wellness Centre, YouthCO, and others who use the space.

The space is located in the heart of downtown "Vancouver", and is easily accessed by many wheelchair accessible buses, as well as skytrain.
Overall, YouthCo and the All Genders Wellness Centre will be accessible to many folks with varying accessibility needs.
There is elevator access, a wheelchair accessible, gender neutral washroom, a variety of sturdy seating, and options for moving things around a bit to accommodate particular needs as they arise. It is spacious, inviting, and staff are open to dialogue about making the space even more accessible.

A few things need tweaking, like lowering the sharps container and mirror in the WC access bathroom, letting folks know that different rooms can be used to  accommodate larger scooters, for example, creating more standard signage, and clarifying the sign language interpretation capabilities, for example. Creating a scent-reduced policy for certain events like the All Genders Wellness Centre would definitely be advisable. As well, increasing resources available for trans women will create an environment for the Wellness Centre which includes more of our communities.

If would like to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or additional feedback on the space, please e-mail me at:

Please consider passing along this information, on YouthCO, The All-Genders Wellness Centre, and the accessibilities audit. The more folks who can access these essential resources, the better!

YouthCO was founded in 1994, and "is Canada's first youth-driven organization leading the HIV and HepC movement through peer education, support, and shared leadership. We provide peer-led prevention education programs in highschools, post secondary institutions, youth detention centres, drop-in facilities, Aboriginal communities, and at community events. In our engaging and participatory workshops, our facilitators lead discussions about HIV/AIDS, Hep C, safer sex, self-esteem, durg use, risk reduction, and healthy relationships. YouthCO is a community of young people supporting each other in our efforts to prevent HIV and Hep C.

Our peer-support services for youth impacted by HIV and Hep C include a non-judgemental and confidential drop-in space, meal programs, computer access, dinners & retreats, mentorship and skills building opportunities, clinic accompaniments, advocacy, and street outreach. We see positive and often transformative changes occur in the lives of many of the youth who access these services."

The All-Genders Wellness Centre "aims to provide low-barrier wellness services to transgender and gender non-conforming people in a way that is respectful and celebratory of clients’ identity and self-expression. Our centre is volunteer run,  and all of our practitioners are volunteering their time, so that we can offer free services to people who need them, regardless of factors like citizenship, health insurance, or residential address."