A VOICE TO SUPPORT OUR DISABLED 

14.3% of Canadians report having a disability.

Canadians with disabilities are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than other Canadians. They face exclusion from quality education, from employment and from participation in their communities.

Diane Coleman, president of Not Dead Yet, said "All of the major national disability rights groups that have taken a position on assisted suicide oppose bills to legalize it. Simply put, assisted suicide sets up a double standard, with suicide prevention for some and suicide assistance for others, depending on their health or disability. The dangers of mistake, coercion and abuse it poses to old, ill and disabled people are rooted in a profound and still largely unacknowledged devaluation of our lives. Those of us with serious disabilities have good reasons to be skeptical about the mantra of choice being used to market assisted suicide in our profit-driven health care system. Anyone could ask for assisted suicide, but the law gives doctors the authority to decide who is eligible."

Based on projections, disability in Manitoba will continue to rise over the next 25 years. The Society for Manitobans with Disabilities www.smd.mb.ca strives for long term sustainability so that programs and services are available to meet the needs of children, youth and adults with disabilities. 

As of 2011 the estimated Manitobans with disabilities by type is as follows:

Type                                 Count                      %                          

Mobility                              129,979                         65.6

Pain                                    129,335                        65.3

Agility                                 121,831                         61.5

Hearing                               56,974                         28.7

Seeing                                42,956                         21.7

Learning                             29,995                          15.1

Psychological                     25,535,                        12.9

Speech                               24,270                         12.3

Memory                              21, 612                          10.9

Developmental                     8,722                            4.4

Chronic Health                     6,954                            3.5

Unknown                              6,732                            3.4