TED Tuesdays: Faith Jegede

After I attended TEDxRyersonU in November, I found my inspiration to write my own talk. This might be a shorter version of my own. Still inspiring and I’ve been saying it for years. Great way to start the new year: Don’t be normal, be extraordinary.

Faith Jegede: What I’ve learned from my autistic brothers

Autistic…Artistic…Sounds pretty close.

My father put this article in front of me this evening: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/nyregion/children-with-autism-connecting-via-bus-and-train.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=autism&st=cse

Oliver, left, and Ravi Greene, who are regular visitors to the New York Transit Museum.

Oliver, left, and Ravi Greene, who are regular visitors to the New York Transit Museum.

There are three things about this article on the surface that are eye-catching to me:

  1. I have a brother named Ravi
  2. He has autism; and
  3. He likes trains

I wonder how much of a coincidence this is. Now, if I dig deeper into the article, I am reminded of the sessions that I attended at the Art Gallery of Ontario on Saturday. Though I did not attend this particular discussion, I wonder if this museum has touched on a great idea.

One of the interesting things that I heard about at this event is the fear of some parents with small children that their little hands might touch something they aren’t supposed to. I also know that there are movies for mummies where they have an afternoon showing of a movie for mothers with small children without fear of babies crying and disturbing someone else.

So why not have a day for families that have people with disabilities? I know that sometimes, people with disabilities feel uncomfortable, but so do some of those around them. In a place like a gallery, many expect to have a quiet atmosphere, but some can’t control it, much like my brother who has Tourette’s Syndrome. Have one day a month or something similar where families can view the artwork without worrying about disturbing anyone else because everyone else is doing it too. This would not only set the minds of those with the disability at ease, but also those who care for them. Couldn’t hurt to have others around that might learn how to integrate those with disabilities into their lives as well. Just a thought…

Disgusting – Comment on Asperger’s Story

University of Toronto professor Thomas Reynolds, middle, and his sons Chris, left, and Evan, right have applied to become permanent residents. But Chris, who has Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism, is deemed medically inadmissible

University of Toronto professor Thomas Reynolds, middle, and his sons Chris, left, and Evan, right have applied to become permanent residents. But Chris, who has Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism, is deemed medically inadmissible. Photo by: VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR

I read this article in the Toronto Star yesterday: Family ripped apart, immigration says son with Asperger’s ‘inadmissible’. I was floored.

How do they come up with $7,000 per year? If his father is taking care of his expenses, then how do they figure that it’s going to cost $7,000 per year. And let’s face it, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to most. I know that someday, he won’t have his father around to cover it but who knows when that will be?

People with Asperger’s Syndrome can be productive members of society. My brother is a high-functioning Autistic Savant (which is said to be more severe than Asperger’s), has Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD and Epilepsy. He can hold down a job, even if only part time. So why couldn’t this young man? None that I can see. He’s even said as much.

What is the difference between granting somone with no formal education and someone with a disability of this nature into the country. He might be a little behind in his learning, similar to my brother, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be productive members of society. Let him stay and stop discriminating against people with disabilities!

As for the post a day, how fitting that the topic to be: What would cause you to protest or riot for something? I know that this was directed around the riots in Vancouver, but THIS is something for which I would protest.