Night before last we arrived in Charlottetown, really tired from both the drive and from this being the last stop on a several city lecture/consulting tour. We had thought about going out for a bit to explore but both of us were bagged and decided just to stay in, order food, and get ready for the following day.
On the ride over we spoke with Heidi, one of the organising committee about lunch. We came to easy agreement about ordering food in to the venue to avoid the rush of getting out and back in an hour. This time line was once OK for me but now as a wheelchair user, so much time is taken up with getting in and out of the van, tie downs and complicated seat belts that there's no time left to eat. We were all good with that Heidi said she'd check around for options.
I was checking Facebook and up popped a message from Heidi, in it she said that we'd be ordering pizza ... ALRIGHT ... and then she went on to say that the company we'd be ordering from is a local one, not a national or international chain AND that they were an inclusive employer particularly with adults who are affected by intellectual disability.
This kind of action, which comes from the right kind of thinking, pleases me no end. Using human service dollars to reward those who employ and support the people we serve makes such sense to me. Years ago I worked as a direct support professional in a group how with a manager who strongly believed in advocating in every way possible for full inclusion. She went to every grocery store in the neighbourhood and explained that she was looking for a place to shop for the two group homes in the area. She would spend those, considerable, dollars at a store that hired someone with a disability to be part of the staff.
Did she hold them at ransom? Maybe. But it worked. One store manager jumped at the chance to interview a few people and ended up in hiring a fellow with a disability, WHO STILL WORKS THERE. He got the job through advocacy but he kept it through skill.
So when Heidi said that we were going to order from a place that stands in support of the people we serve and the work we do ... well that was probably the best topping we had on a pizza that was already, very, very, good.