On April 15th, A4A and members of our ally community gathered for the first-ever neurodiversity flag raising at Toronto City Hall! Here is a section of our speech for the occasion:
“We’re here today to celebrate diversity. Our flag has a rainbow infinity symbol, the symbol of the neurodiversity movement. Neurodiversity means that –like BIOdiversity– all of us have a role to play in society …and we should be valued for who we are. Included in public life, such as school and employment. For nonverbal autistics, this also means equal and fair access to communication, such as AAC.
“Our society is beginning to move ahead, closer to inclusion. That is something to celebrate.
“We are also here today to remember. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the final closure of Ontario’s large residential institutions, where our brothers and sisters before us were locked away from their families and communities, unable to leave, facing abuse as they laboured without pay on the institutional farms, such as Huronia. Only recently has our province reckoned with this dark chapter in its history. We will now observe a moment of silence for Ontario’s residential institution victims and survivors…
“As we raise the flag, let’s think about how far our society has come to bring us all here today. Also, let’s think about the road ahead. We have seen how inclusion and acceptance lifts us all. We need to keep working on it, together.
“Thank you everyone for coming to this flag raising and being a part of this day. We will now raise the neurodiversity flag.”