People with a developmental disability are vulnerable. They get abused emotionally, physically and sexually more often than the rest of the population. They get exploited and taken advantage of more than other citizens. They get incarcerated more often. They have their basic human rights abused. They are vulnerable to loneliness, and a lifestyle where their only connections are with their family and people paid to be in their lives. As a result, they are subject to the quirks and unpredictability of an under-funded service system that has ever changing policies, personnel and agendas.
When a person with a disability and another citizen join with each other in a committed, long-term, freely given relationship these vulnerabilities are lessened. These relationships protect people.
Citizen Advocacy Organisations promote the development of such relationships.
Over the past couple of years I have worked with two such organisations to promote their work through these films that we made together. The films showcase six such relationships and highlight how much both parties gain from them.
It is my privilege to share their stories.