Monday, August 28, 2017

Dear Everybody: It's time to end stigma

By Louise Kinross

Check out this TV ad in Holland Bloorview's new anti-stigma campaign, Dear Everybody, which launches today.

Dear Everybody is an open letter from children and youth with disabilities, and their families, that pushes readers to confront their own biases about disability and human value.

The letter begins: "Every line of our letter helps people understand our lives, puts a little information into our world and takes a little stigma out of it."

Some of the letter's points include:

  • Not everyone with a disability looks like they have a disability.
  • Just because someone doesn't do something the way most people do it, doesn't mean they can't do it.
  • Talking to someone with a disability like they're a baby is rude unless they're a baby.
  • Just because someone doesn't speak the way you do, doesn't mean they don't have a lot to say.
  • If being around someone with a disability makes you feel uncomfortable, you aren't around someone with a disability enough.
Share our letter with your colleagues and friends.

In addition to donated ads on TV and radio, and in transit shelters, restaurants and online, please visit our website, It brings together personal stories, resources, videos and ways for people to get involved. You can also read our position paper that defines stigma and its impact, and includes key recommendations. Become part of our social media campaign by using the hashtag #DearEverybody.

Finally, come visit our installation at The Eaton Centre from August 28 to September 2 to hear messages from kids and youth with disabilities. Go to Level 1 of the Eaton Centre in the open area near The Gap, in the space between the escalators to Level 2 and the escalators down to the Food Court.  

The Toronto Star wrote about our campaign today. You may recognize Jadine Baldwin, who wrote this recent piece for BLOOM.

And 17-year-old Maddy Hearne spoke this morning on CBC's Metro Morning about how people react awkwardly to her post-concussive syndrome, because they can't see the injury. 

The creative for our campaign was donated by KBS advertising agency.

Join us!