voices of disability+poverty go to Queen's Park

was triggered on September 5, 2018, at a meeting between NDP MPP Marit Stiles (Davenport), ODSP Action Coalition co-chair Andrea Hatala and trans artist living with a disability claude wittmann who is also collaborating with faculty members Eliza Chandler and Esther Ignani of the School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto.

At that meeting, NDP MPP Marit Stiles said she would stand up at Queen's Park and read quotes from ODSP recipients and from individuals with lived experience of disability and poverty. We did no make this real, but MINIMAL ACTION was delivered at Queen's Park to the hands of NDP MPP and critic for social services Lisa Gretzky on October 30, 2018. She will stand up for us. More contributions are still welcome and will be transferred to Queen's Park.
BACKGROUND: On July 31, 2018, Minister Lisa MacLeod announced that she was taking a short 100 days to, in her words, "patch" our social assistance system and "get us back on track" "in the best social assistance program [that] is a job." The 100 days will end with an official announcement on November 8, 2018. After that our lives will be different but we will have had no say. That same July 31st, Minister MacLeod cancelled the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project, halved a scheduled increase of OW and ODSP rates (we will stay poorer than in 1998), and revoked about 20 other changes to ODSP and OW, which were only a modest step towards respecting our rights.

ETHICS: "In this action, i am inviting us in some sort of unattractive limbo. I am inviting us to walk on a fine line between _using "poverty+disability porn" as a political tool and _speaking our truths to reclaim the voice that is currently denied to us by Queens Park. Be wise in what you share. Your dignity is yours. I will practice my full respect and be in touch with you if doubts arise". - claude wittmann

--- If you identify as an ODSP recipient or an individual with lived experience of disability and poverty,
please send your story/opinion to

Possible guiding questions: - is your ODSP/OW allowance sufficient for your food, housing, health and security? - what will the implementation of a 1.5% increase change for you? - what would change for you if ODSP stopped to claw back on earnings? - what do you hear in Minister MacLeod's words "the best social program is a job"? - what is one of the rules of ODSP that affects your life the most and how? - should people with lived experience be at the decision table changing our social assistance right now?

What will happen? claude wittmann will deliver all of our contributions to Marit Stiles. Marit will read from them at Queens Park. And, unless you specify otherwise, they will also be made visible here and quotes from them will be tweeted by Trevor Manson at the ODSP Action Coalition.

--- If you identify as an agency worker, support worker, personal worker, ally, please participate in MINIMAL ACTION 3 to describe your current stress.

from August 2018 to now

- Anonymous 1
- Dawn King
- LC
- Joanna
- BD
- Brooke_Misener
- BM
- Trevor Manson
- claude wittmann
- about Rona Achilles
- Scott Seiler and his wife
- Pam Patterson
- Teresa
- John Rae
- Rhonda Smithson
- Angela Browne
- Anonymous 3
- Kris
- Anonymous Group 1
- Bob Murphy
- Chronic Pain
- Horrific Anticipation
- Jessica
from July 2010

- "What's Your Story"
report featuring contributions from 236 recipient members of the ODSP Action Coalition

(still mostly valid; one difference is that the maximum ODSP allowance was $1042 at the time and it is $1169 now. We are now poorer than we were in 1998.)