It’s time for the province to “act” responsible, extend Manitoba’s Vulnerable Persons Act to all who need it By Alex Lytwyn, for CBC News
Posted: Mar 19, 2015
Depending on someone to get me out of bed in the morning and manage the details of my life until they put me in my room at night only makes me feel one way: Vulnerable, says Alex Lytwyn.
There are employees in Manitoba that arrive at work and find their boss lying in bed. I know it’s true, because they work for me.
Now, if you don’t believe the boss can be in “boss form” when the first interaction with their employee is in the bedroom, you are correct.
I have cerebral palsy, and I use a wheelchair; authority is a rare feeling for me, even if I am boss to my employees.
Depending on someone to get me out of bed in the morning and manage the details of my life until they put me in my room at night only makes me feel one way: Vulnerable.
That’s why I find it funny that I am not covered under Manitoba’s Vulnerable Persons Act.
Because my disability is physical only, and I am not mentally disabled, I can’t access services and funding outlined in the act.
For example, if I were covered under the act there would be more options for staff available to me.
Have you ever seen someone in a store, talked for a few minutes and the next week they are showering you?
To me, this sounds vulnerable, and living in the small community of Winnipegosis, Man. poses these challenges for me.
It’s not like there’s many people who want to do such a personal job, and the people who you do find to work, if any, must be of the trustworthy variety.
If not, too bad.
I see my staff like a pair of hands, except most hands don’t need to be told what to do.
My life is actually in someone else’s hands and I cannot defend myself, much like a mentally disabled person. That makes me wonder why I am not covered by the act.
And what about dealing with someone you are uncomfortable with, who you hired out of the limited pool of potential employees available to those who are not covered by the act.
You have to get out of bed in the morning, right? Therefore, you can do nothing about it.
The employee knows the details of your life: When you go to the ATM, they enter your pin. In the bathroom, they help you and after they’ve done that and you are alone doing your thing, you must trust they won’t clean your house out while you’re in there.
Am I supposed to make an itemized list of my belongings?
Or what do you do if they leave you in there, stranded? Yes, this happened to me once.
In my community, there is a residence for those who are mentally disabled.
They get housing, money and opportunities for work. Why? Because they are covered by Manitoba’s Vulnerable Persons Act.
But there are people whose disabilities limit their physical functioning, who need help to get the most out of their lives. I am one of them, and I am vulnerable.
It’s time for the province to “act” responsible, and extend Manitoba’s Vulnerable Persons Act to cover all people who need it.
Alex Lytwyn, 29, is from Winnipegosis, Manitoba. He has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, but he has not felt limited by his disability. A graduate of the business administration program at Assiniboine Community College, Lytwyn has written two books in three years