Tag Archives: accessibility barriers

Homeless Canaries Need Access to Fragrance-Free Showers

 

I saw an announcement on fb from a city agency that was opening up an arena to allow homeless people a place to shower, and they were also providing soap, shampoo, and other necessities.

“People who are homeless or precariously housed in (the city) relied upon bathrooms and showers in public facilities. But, they have closed their doors during the pandemic. There are now free showers and washrooms open daily at (the)  Arena.”

Homelessness is something far too many human canaries are intimately  familiar with, since there are so few accessible, medically safe housing options available when our ‘sensitivities’ become disabling.  Many  human canaries are  precariously housed too.


Graphic image text description:

Everyone welcome.
Toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, and more provided.
Free showers & washrooms
———————————————————————-
ACCESSIBILITY QUESTION:
Is the soap and shampoo fragrance-free so that people with environmental ‘sensitivities’ could also access the space?
MAY is MCS/ES Awareness Month

I was (due to MCS/ES related accessibility barriers) homeless myself for a year, and the need to shower did not go away. I know several homeless canaries now, one who just a few days ago was discussing her attempts to create a shower outside the van she is living in, so I asked the fb page a question about accessibility for homeless canaries.

Here’s what happened:

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Dear Quarantined and Socially Distanced

I’m sorry you have to experience this, but am glad that it is just a temporary experience for you and your family. I personally know how difficult it is (times  1000 or more).

Hopefully if you actually do become ill, it will pass quickly and there will be no lasting effects.

It is more than likely that most of you will have all the medical assistance, food, toilet paper, and everything else that you will need to have available to deal with basic creature comforts and needs, so it will be just the habitual and a few social comforts that are temporarily disrupted for you.

Did you know that more than a few people are not as fortunate, and experience this kind of segregation full time, with no vacations, with few, if any of the relatively easily accessible (to most) basic amenities? And they aren’t criminals!

Say what?

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Endangered Human in Jasper

If you are in or near Jasper, Alberta  anytime between February 29 and March 7, please check out Marie LeBlanc’s Endangered Human presentation at  Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts. I have seen some of it, and it’s very powerful.

 

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Find all 25 reasons why I didn’t come (to your party)

There are those who invite us to celebrations, sometimes year after year, but who also refuse to remove the accessibility barriers so that we can attend.

There are 25 barriers in this photo.
Can you find them all?

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Don’t understand?

Learn more here:

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Diffusing Health Harm on Unsuspecting Shoppers and Outrageously False Product Claims

Here’s yet another example of a systemic issue regarding health harming accessibility barriers, happening in a province (and country) where we have Human Rights laws that recognize people with environmental ‘sensitivities’ as having a disability, and where everyone is encouraged to remove accessibility barriers instead of creating new ones.

Unsuspecting Oshawa Costco Canada shoppers are being subjected to this fragrance assault and/or accessibility barrier between November 26, 2019 and December 8, 2019.

Info which was found buried on Costco Canada’s website in the Special Events page, there may be other locations as well.
How many members see these announcements?

In December, it appears that those who shop at  Costco’s Ste Foy location will also be sprayed, without alternative accommodations made for member shoppers whose lives are harmed by this kind of thing (unless there’s a public outcry before it happens).

Not only is the store air thoroughly polluted by this kind of diffusion (as experienced by someone who reported it to their mother who has environmental sensitivities and is severely allergic to fragranced products) for the 2 week duration of this “special event”, but everything in their store(s), *including food*, will also have absorbed substantial residues of undisclosed (and not food-safe) fragrance substances, that may be difficult if not impossible to remove.

This ‘special event’ can cause significant harm to people with asthma, autism, chemical and environmental sensitivities, fragrance allergies, migraines, and mast cell activation syndrome (to name a few). Even 2nd and 3rd hand residues of this type can cause serious (and life-threatening) health problems and long lasting disabling effects, so a suggestion of having someone else do the shopping is not a reasonable or feasible accommodation.

See below for the product details and the store manager’s and assistant manager’s responses when called.

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Gain – Sinking Your Disabled Boat

Have you seen the new  “the more the better” Gain detergent ad?

When the delivery woman tries her best not to puke from the Gain fumes,
the Gain user shrugs and the voice-over says:

“Hey, you can’t float everyone’s boat. Love it or hate it, it’s intense.”

!!!

In other words, Gain implies they’re fine with sinking us

(More on what we all think about that later)

The ad starts off with a scene that already promotes an IAQ nightmare:

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CBC News Hi-lights Accessibility Barriers to Housing for People With MCS/ES

Severe sensitivity to household chemicals leaves GTA man
homeless for the holidays

Environmental sensitivities have forced Oliver Zhang to move 70 times in 3 years


I hope that someone can offer or help create a safe place for Oliver Zhang to live.

I also hope that something is done soon to ensure safe, affordable, accessible,  non-toxic, mold-free, housing is available for all  the other people who have  MCS/ES (a condition, not disorder) who need safe and accessible housing.

Since finding a safe place to rest one’s head and body is so challenging, even in the best of current circumstances, Oliver Zhang should not be forced to leave the shelter where he is currently residing if it is physically safe enough for him to be there.  He is in crisis.

Forcing people onto the streets creates preventable trauma and mental health problems in addition to the serious challenges that already exist when trying to survive with MCS/ES in a society full of systemic accessibility barriers.

I know of many people who have had to move numerous (even countless) times  in their quest to find housing that doesn’t hurt and disable them. I hear from too many who are in crisis,  seeking accessible housing. I know people who no longer have the energy to keep looking for a needle in a haystack, because each toxic haystack leaves them more and more incapacitated. I know people with MCS/ES who are sleeping in cars and tents, and I have also known more than a few people who weren’t able to find safe housing and are no longer with us.

This is a preventable crisis.

Oliver Zhang and all the other people who are homeless due to the lack of accessible housing for people with MCS/ES, have been put into this position due to systemic neglect (if not deliberate discrimination) and bad policies, not through any fault of their own.

The City of Toronto has known about the critical need for accessible housing for people with MCS/ES since at least 2007, and most likely long before.

In 2008:

“The City of Toronto has launched a consultation process on the development of the City’s ten-year affordable housing plan, known as Housing Opportunities Toronto (“HOT”); and

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Health Canada and Chemicals in Fragranced Products

This report from the Auditor General of Canada came out in 2016. Nothing has changed as far as I have seen, and I keep my eyes open for these kinds of things.

“The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) conducts independent audits and studies that provide objective information, advice, and assurance to Parliament, territorial legislatures, boards of crown corporations, government, and Canadians.”

Here’s a short video, followed by the transcript,  more from the report, and some relevant bits from a follow up by Health Canada:

Chemicals in Consumer Products and Cosmetics

 

Video Transcript

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When There’s No Accessible Potty

 

This washroom isn’t accessible:

 

neither is this one:

 

nor are the Ontario highway and other washrooms that have these installed:

Pesticides and fragrance! What could go wrong?

 

Many of us cannot go into a washroom that has an air effer or scented soap.

“In addition to the possibly life threatening immediate and delayed adverse health effects, “our clothes are contaminated and need to be aired out for days before we can even wash them or they contaminate more of our clothes.”
(from a  fb comment on the last post
)

So what to do?

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Laundry Products Harm Humans!

 

We often hear from people who think they aren’t wearing any fragrance while their fume trail is noticeable (and headache inducing or worse) from 100 feet away.  Not only that, but the scent residues are left everywhere these people have touched anything, including pretty much permanently in the furniture they’ve used.

How can this be?

Laundry products!

 

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