Sunday, 19 November 2017
Dignity Party Candidate for Adelaide B-J Price speaks to Andrew Reimer about World Toliet Day and more
Andrew Reimer: We are joined by a candidate for the Seat of Adelaide from the Dignity Party.
She’s an educator, social worker and now a PhD candidate and received a scholarship in public health.
BJ Price brings a wealth of experience to the Dignity Party team.
She’s passionate about advancing the rights of people with complex communication needs and she wants to see appropriate policy in this area.
Kelly Vincent was talking about an issue earlier today, it’s World Toilet Day and of course that affects people with disabilities in a huge way.
B-J Price: Hi Andrew, yes I joined Kelly Vincent at the Cathedral Hotel, in North Adelaide, upstairs in fact. It has been fitted out with a much better, more accessible toilet.
It also has a lift and we were so excited about that because many people with mobility issues, wheelchairs, prams, things like that cannot access stairs and so therefore it means a big chunk of recreational opportunities are lost to those people.
And so to see this at the Cathedral Hotel, and to be able to go up there with some of my friends who use wheelchairs and other mobility equipment and to enjoy the view, it’s great.
Just being able to move around knowing they can go to the bathroom is amazing.
And, of course, it shouldn’t be amazing; it should be a natural human right for everybody.
It’s 2017 and we’re still fighting and having to be grateful for those sorts of little initiatives, really there could be a lot more done.
Andrew Reimer: Momentum is gaining rapidly, thanks to the work of Kelly Vincent and the Dignity Party, there are more goals being scored all the time for people with disabilities.
B-J Price: Yes Andrew, a lot of work has been done. Kelly Vincent came to the parliament in 2010 and I can say that personally as a family, as a group, we’ve been so grateful to have her advocacy and leadership in these areas.
And it’s not just been about disability; Kelly’s work has really broadened out to a whole lot of marginalised groups of people that would not have had a public voice or access to the public arena.
We’re talking here about people with mental health issues or people who are older, the more vulnerable groups of people that are forgotten about and since Kelly has been elected we’ve certainly had a lot of wins, but we need more wins to happen. Thinking about the Cathedral, it’s one hotel out of several in the area where we can access upstairs, that’s so important. In education, it’s when children can get to mainstream school and not be stigmatised, in the community it’s when mental health isn’t something you have to hide anymore, when there’s not the high levels of elder abuse and violence. When we achieve this level of inclusion, then we’ll know we have really ticked the box.
At the moment we’re getting close to ticking the box, we’re moving towards that but we really need to up the ante and to ensure that these needs are met for all of us.
I want to be an older person, whether I had disability or not, I’d really want to be valued, I’d like to be able to get into that Festival Theatre and not just have to sit with one person and only be allocated the back row, that’s the case for wheelchair users now.
I want to be able to get into shops and businesses; I’d want to know that I had the same rights as other people. There are really so many things and so many people along the lifespan that will reap the value of having these progressive inroads made.
Andrew Reimer: B-J you’re standing for election in the Seat of Adelaide.
B-J Price: Yes, it’s where I live, it’s an exciting and wonderful experience so far just meeting so many different people. So many people in the local community really value human rights. Of course like me they’re also passionate about South Australia and about the city of Adelaide. We’re lucky, it’s a gorgeous, wonderful, progressive city and if we can get as many people contributing as possible, if we can find ways that we can meet the needs of people so that they can work, so that they can be part of the community so that they really get that sense of identity and involvement, that’s what’s going to benefit everybody.
Andrew Reimer: To find out more about you what do people need to do, BJ will you be doorknocking over the coming months?
B-J Price: I will, I practiced my first doorknocking a little while ago.
Andrew Reimer: how did you go?
B-J Price: I knocked on a neighbour’s door, at first nobody came to the door and I thought no-one was home, then they came out, and do you know as soon as I mentioned Kelly Vincent they knew who she is and were smiling, and very happy and we had a chat. So it was good, a good first experience. I’m planning, with my campaign support team, to do plenty of door knocking before March 17th. My supporter team had a meeting yesterday and we looked at all the issues and looked at what needs to change we came up with a plan to raise awareness and get our message out there. South Australia is an ageing community, we need to ensure human rights are in place, it’s important that we look at all the other important issues of climate change, and transition to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, state development, employment, we know those things are utterly important. What we will not lose sight of is that, if we leave big chunks of our community out of thatcircuit we really aren’t going to benefit from that progress or benefit from their input and involvement. We really need to be clever about including people, that’s what Dignity Party are working on.