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New Brunswick Coalition of Persons with Disabilities

Shelley Petit – Teacher

Shelley Petit – Teacher

It was news to me when I got sick and learned I had multiple chemical sensitivity(MCS). My former work environment was infested with mold and I started researching it. Iwas like “oh my”, and felt bad because I wish I’d known this 10 years ago. I would havechanged my entire lifestyle but I had no idea. My liver can’t handle anything anymore and ithas led to many other health issues. 

I’m newly disabled I guess and it’s an invisible disability. If you just look at me, you wouldnot think I am disabled. I probably would not believe it either, but I am living with it and it isnot a fun thing at all. The problem is that it is really hard to get public acceptance forinvisible disabilities. Anyone can see a wheelchair and understand. People can’t seewhat I go through. 

Financially, it is hard. $564/month is not sufficient for anybody. You can’t get anapartment; you can’t cohabitate. I have kids in school I want to support. I had no idea howbad things were until I found myself in this situation. It takes living it to really see it. 

Caseworkers are helpful but have way too much on their plates. I think they need socialworkers that are disability experts for people with disabilities only. So, they wouldknow what we need, how to make sure we got what we need, and how to apply for thevarious disability programs federal or provincial. A starting point would be afederal/provincial website that you could go to where everything would be listed and couldjust click on the links to learn more and to apply for things. 

We also need to move to integrated chronic care treatments where a variety of doctorswork together to address complex disability issues. This includes nutritionists, psychologists,diagnosticians, occupational therapists working together to provide solutions. And, it wouldnot be making rules that are a “one size fits all”. They need to have a little more discretionbased off what doctors say. 

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