Because everybody belongs.
Cathyanne remembers the time she spent waiting to hear her son Carson’s voice. While Carson originally presented as non-verbal, through years of speech therapy, he has now developed a vocabulary of 50 words and counting. So it’s no surprise that these days, Carson has a lot to say.
“Carson also loves Gospel music. He loves to sing,” says Cathyanne.
But outside of Holland Bloorview, Cathyanne sees that Carson sometimes struggles to be accepted for who he is: a seven-year-old boy with that love for music and technology.
Carson has cerebral palsy and this means that Cathyanne will sometimes carry him when walking becomes a challenge. On occasion, Carson also uses a wheelchair.
“When we’re out people will say: ‘He’s a big boy, he should walk.’ But they don’t know everything,” she says.
That’s why the mother-son duo want to challenge these assumptions.
Cathyanne hopes that if more kids with disabilities are included in the media, this authentic representation will change people’s minds about disability. She also hopes that Carson will begin to see more kids like him in his favourite movies and TV shows.
“He may be thinking that he doesn’t belong because he uses a wheelchair,” she says. “Whereas he could be whatever he wants to be if he sees more people like him included [on screen].”