I am asking to be able to post this letter in the paper.
On Aug. 28, 2022, I was given an award called the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee Medal.
This award came as a very big surprise since I did not know that someone was paying attention to a person who is blind and a senior. I was surprised that someone has shown that they were watching me straggle through my many years of advocacy. Yesterday, I was shown that someone was watching and acknowledged my 25 years of trying to create universal design for those who are sight-impaired.
I have served on committees which has helped me to bring problems to the front burner, but my “city” has listened poorly, especially when things have been done incorrectly and don’t get done properly the first time, and adding insult to injury, they do not be fix them when brought to their attention.
Universal design is not inventing a new wheel – it has already been established and guidelines drawn up. But when we try to show the city how what they have done on their own without following the universal design guidelines does not work, and things still get done incorrectly, it is very frustrating and disappointing. My independence gets less and less because my “city” is trying to reinvent the wheel when it is not necessary in today’s age.
That is why yesterday’s ceremony was a victory for me. I have someone here that has helped me and taken the time to pat me in the back for all accomplished to date.
So I would like to thank the Honorable Marc Dalton for considering me for this award. This was a proud moment, because for many years I have worked with Dalton as an MLA and now as an MP.
Marc, yesterday was a very proud day “for me” to have received this award. Thank you for your past help and possibly for future help as we move forward. Your pat on the back will give me the courage and strength to keep moving forward and giving a voice to the blind.
Although I have received other awards from the city, yesterday’s award “for me” has given me a voice to move forward because this particular award matters for me!
Maria Kovacs, Maple Ridge
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