Valeria Kuri, a second-year Windsor Law student enrolled in the joint JD/MSW program, produced a video for Community Living Cambridge featuring interviews with the agency’s members, staff, and support workers who outline their experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic and address the unique barriers these agencies face.
The video, viewable on Community Living Cambridge’s YouTube channel, suggests agencies providing services to individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities have not been adequately supported since the coronavirus outbreak. Having a personal connection with Community Living Cambridge herself, Kuri felt it was her duty to communicate the agency’s struggle, so she put her video production skills to use.
“My hope for this video is for the agency to get recognition and to have the voices of the individuals they support and employ heard by key stakeholders,” says Kuri. “But I also want to showcase the agency’s dedication and commitment to advocating for a better, more inclusive world. People with disabilities are citizens with rights who deserve to have the freedom and safety to realize and live their dreams and be included just like everybody else.”
Before Kuri and her family immigrated to Canada, her mother was a doctor in Mexico. Once they arrived in Canada, however, she was not able to practice medicine due to governmental restrictions, so she began working for Community Living Cambridge in order to support her family.
“Over the years, my mom worked her way up in the agency,” explains Kuri. “She currently holds the position of director of program development and residential services.”
Kuri herself has held volunteer and paid positions with the agency while pursuing her education.
Laverne Jacobs, Windsor Law associate dean for research and graduate studies and director of the Law, Disability and Social Change project, which conducts research into current legal and policy issues with a focus on listening to, incorporating, and respecting the voices of people with disabilities.
She praises Kuri’s commitment: “In unprecedented times, it is reassuring to see such dedicated work bringing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, along with their support workers, into view.”