Special needs

Special-needs parenting: Why you need to vote

One mom talks about the importance of voting now that she’s a parent of a daughter with special needs.

1Anchel

Syona plays a pivotal role in how Anchel casts her vote. Photo: Anchel Krishna

Here in Ontario we’re in the midst of a snap election. With the vote scheduled for Thursday, June 12, my mind has been all over the campaign in both a professional and personal way. Although some of you may not be in provincial election mode, you likely will have some sort of election coming up and I think you may still want to consider some of the points below.

There was an election shortly after Syona was born. I remember walking with her to our local polling station and casting my vote. I made my decision based on healthcare at the time (we had spent the first two weeks of her life in hospital and it was the most experience I’d ever had with our healthcare system).

As a first generation Indo-Canadian I recognize the importance of voting. My parents uprooted their lives in India to move to Canada to provide more opportunities for themselves and their future kids (they only met and married after becoming Canadians). My sister, who is completing her PhD in political science, is great at reminding us that voting is our right and privilege—but also our responsibility.

At work, we’ve launched a campaign to make sure that the people we work with are informed about some of the issues that may be important to their families. Make It Count is all about sharing information, giving people ideas on how to get involved and—most importantly—encouraging them to get out and vote on June 12. The best place to connect with us is on Twitter @CTNKids.

In the week ahead, I will attend several local all-candidate debates and ask questions about what they plan to do to support families like mine. I’ve researched the party platforms and have made a decision I feel comfortable with. In my research I searched for specific commitments to kids, youth and adults with special needs. For me, the decision was clear and there was a very obvious frontrunner.

Quick tip: If you don’t have time to pour over the party platforms line by line be sure to use your Control+F or Command+F and type in the terms that you’re looking for to see what the party’s are specifically saying about the issues that are important to you. Vote Compass is also a pretty interesting tool that uses your answers to questions and aligns it with various parties. I don’t know that I would use the tool to help me decide my vote, but it was an interesting exercise.

I want Syona to grow up and know that there are so many ways to advocate for the issues that are important to her. Voting is just one of the many responsibilities we have as citizens.

If you’re eligible to vote on Thursday, June 12 I hope that you will join me in casting your vote and support a party that has committed to improving the issues that are important to you.

Do you make it a point to vote during elections? How do you make your decision?

Follow along as Anchel Krishna shares her experiences as mother to Syona, an extraordinary toddler with cerebral palsy. Read all of Anchel’s Special-needs parenting posts and follow her on Twitter @AnchelK.