Below the Radar Transcript

The Power of Disability Part 5 — with Tim Louis and Penny Parry

Speakers: Alex Abahmed, Al Etmanski, Tim Louis, Penny Parry


Alex Abahmed  0:01 
Hi, I'm Alex Abahmed with Below the Radar and you're listening to The Power of Disability with your host, community organizer, social entrepreneur and author Al Etmanski. This is a six-part series of the Below the Radar podcast. The Power of Disability features interviews with special guests, centering the contributions of people with disabilities. 


Al Etmanski  0:28
Hello, welcome to The Power of Disability podcast. I'm Al Etmanski, and this is a six part series highlighting what history has overlooked — the contributions of people with disabilities. Today's Power of Disability guests are Penny Perry and Tim Louis. And Penny and Tim, welcome.

Tim Louis  0:48
No I wanna thank you, you’re a real pioneer and trendsetter in the disability movement. We’re honoured to be here, just tonight.

Al Etmanski  00:59
I'm looking forward to our conversation, but I want to kind of attempt to summarize who you are, and what you've done, and then you can correct me after. How does that sound?

Penny Parry  1:06
That’s good.

Al Etmanski  1:08
Okay. So, Tim, you're a lawyer, you were a politician. I'm assuming you still have that political instinct in you. You're an advocate, a blogger, somebody who has led the disability movement in British Columbia and beyond for an awfully long time. While you were a law student, you co-founded Handydart, the very beginnings of accessible transportation. You chaired the Public Library Board, you were a parks board Commissioner. You were a city councilor for two terms. While there, you were key and developing and implementing the Vancouver Food Policy Council and Vancouver's Ethical Purchasing Policy. You also found time — as I mentioned, to continue a law career. You served on the board of the Vancity Credit Union, and you — from time to time showed up at gatherings with a Che Guevara t-shirt. [chuckles] Penny, university professor, psychologist, youth care practitioner, artist, multiple artists, short story writer, photographer, and I don't think this shows up in your bio, but I associate this with artistry as well — but you're a fantastic cook.

Penny Parry  2:28
Yeah, thank you.

Al Etmanski  02:30
You served as the Child and Youth Advocate for the City of Vancouver for four years in the 90s. That was a pretty pioneering position — I think you were the second person to occupy that role. 

Penny Parry  2:42

Al Etmanski  2:43
And you received many, many, many awards for your work — and you are still actively involved in social policy work. You and I end up being at the same conferences, and there you are, still involved, still engaged. So welcome! Welcome, Penny. Welcome, Tim.

Tim Louis  3:01
“Welcome Tim” — I’m welcome!

Al Etmanski  03:03
Okay, so you've heard me describe you — I don't know how adequate you saw that, but if I was to ask you out of the blue, who is Penny Perry, as a human being? How would you describe yourself? 

Penny Parry  3:16
Well, the easiest way to describe me is that I own 27 copies of Alice in Wonderland, because I'm fascinated by curiosity. And so, that's how I would describe myself. I always liked Alice in Wonderland, because I think there is something to be said, for curiosity for its own sake. It's kind of the life blood of people, once you become no longer curious, what's the point? And if not, then it should never be of practical value. But there's also something just to saying, “I don’t think I've seen white rabbits do that that often?” And then just go. So I think that's sort of what characterizes the center of me. That's due to the fact that when I was like an infant, I think — my mother told me, she said, “Phil, you have to get her a storybook — like read to her at night.” My father came back with the adult version. That you know, most little infants would not really appreciate, but I still have that book. So it became very much second nature to me. The other thing about me, I think is that I am very dogged in my pursuits. So if I want to do something — and sometimes this drives my partner Tim crazy, because he said, “Okay, this is just A to B, let's just do it.” And I'm going, “I don't quite understand a little A and B, and I really need to think about it first,” as my style is slightly different. Which makes it good — we get along well, unless we're ready to kill each other [laughing slightly].But we get along well, so we have very complimentary styles. So my style is more lateral thinking, and that kind of thing. And I love being with people, despite the fact that I can amuse myself forever. But I absolutely just am fascinated by everybody. 

Al Etmanski  5:06
So you’re curiouser, and curiouser, and curiouser. [laughs]

Penny Parry  5:10
I am totally. And I mean, I end up in the morning — I'm reading a couple of stories, then I’ll say to Tim, “Did you know that when dentures were first invented, first they were invented because they were trying to mimic nature? And then somebody said, ‘this is okay, but really need to know about the mechanics of this.’” I’m sure Tim’s mother would say, “What are you going to do with that information?” And I would say, “Nothing — I just think it’s really interesting!”

Al Etmanski  5:36
[laughs] Tim, there's probably been more articles written about you than Penny, although there’s probably more journal articles written about Penny, or by Penny — but, because you've been that much more of a public figure, there's many perceptions of you out there. How would you describe yourself as a human being? 

Tim Louis  5:54
That's a great question. Off the top of my head, I would say that I have many parts. One part of me is perhaps my primary partner, she's an incredibly wise individual, and has politically influenced me in the political arena. She contributes to my positions — of my articulation of those positions, to me. So the reality is that Penny has been my political compass for forty years. We talk about so many world issues, and ethical issues, and sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't agree. We watched a movie the other night, One Night in Miami, and we totally disagreed. I was all in support of Malcolm X, and she was all in support of somebody else — the two of them, disagreed. So that’s one part, and another part is a lawyer, Harry Rankin, who your listeners may not know of. He was an incredible man. He shaped my politics. He was my mentor. But he was also responsible for the fact that I am a lawyer. I really enjoy law, when I'm able to act for somebody that would not have representation otherwise. I get a great deal of pleasure from the cases that I’ve had over the years, and that gives me a lot of enjoyment in life. I worked for a past politician sitting on city council. And doing my best to be firm, and to be assertive, and to be outspoken on my belief system — gave me a lot of pleasure. I guess maybe, I'm not sure if it's the last or not, but as a social activist, I continue to be very interested in world issues, to the plight of the Palestinians in the Middle East. And by the way, so happy yesterday, a big victory for the International Criminal Court. It had made a breathtaking decision that they do have jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories, in spite of the apoplectic opposition — and a part of the aparthied state, otherwise known as Israel. And in global warming, and the criminal and very barbaric economic blockade of the world’s last remaining true socialist state, Cuba. And so I’m many different parts, at different points in the day, I'm one of those parts.

Penny Parry  8:44
Mhm. And I think of your many parts in listening to you. I was reminded that we're like the yin and the yang, in that Tim is — and correct me if I'm not saying this correctly — you're more bound to see the “Oh God look at the mess we're in.” And I'm like, “Oh, well, you know, messes happen.” And my danger is that I can become a Pollyanna — and your danger is that you can become a French poet. [laughs]

Tim Louis  9:12
Absolutely, although I will say that lately I’m very happy, very optimistic, to have out the current president, who comes from the corporate wing of the Democratic Party — the wing that is beholden to the pharmaceutical industry, and the arms munitions, and the privatized healthcare. And yet he’s wowed me and others in the progressive movement. When he started, we were holding our breath, but he really turned out to be one of the more progressive presidents ever in the history of The States. So maybe there is hope. Maybe there is hope.

Al Etmanski  09:55
I want to talk about this question of mentorship, actually, with both of you. Maybe just to continue the conversation with you, Tim for a bit longer — but you described Harry Rankin as your mentor. Did you get into law school because of him? Or did he mentor you into your style of lawyering, because I know you articled with people other than Harry. So could you describe a little bit about the legendary Harry Rankin, who I think many of our listeners would know of, if they're from Vancouver. If they're not, then they need to know that he was both a radical politician — I think at one point he was a self-avowed communist — who was also extremely influential in terms of keeping the City of Vancouver's budget under control. He was a prudent fiscal politician as well, and took on any challenge that the underdog in British Columbia faced for 30, 40 years. I don't know if you agree with that assessment, but you ended up somehow articling with him, you consider him your mentor? Why?

Tim Louis  10:54
For upwards of a year now — I don’t need to tell you that we could do not one, but ten podcasts just on Harry Rankin. We don't have time today to talk into that much detail. You say he was, at one point in time, an avowed communist. But throughout almost all of his entire life he was a communist in every matter, except for the fact that he never did take out a membership. When he was in law school at UBC, the law society was prohibiting any graduate of the law school that was affiliated with the communist party from becoming a lawyer. And so Harry never did take on a membership. Harry ran for city council thirteen times before he got elected. Oh my goodness, that’s determination. He was declared elected on his twelfth try — went to bed with a great big smile on his face. In the middle of the night they found the poll marks in Point Gray, a conservative area, and in the middle of night he slipped from just barely elected, to runner-up. Harry Rankin was my mentor long before law school, to answer your question. He politicized me when I was lobbying for better transportation for folks like me that needed a HandyDart at City Hall. He could take out the entire rest of the council, and out-debate them, and force them to vote in favour of better transit for us. He wrote the letter that got me into law school. And you said that — well I’m just paraphrasing here, that you understood that I did not article for him the entire time, and you’re right. I articled for a fellow, I don’t want to name him. He’s no longer with us. He passed away. But he was totally, totally, totally impractical. He had me doing research, which is the most impractical thing to ask me to do, because of my limited arm function. He had me camp out at the law library in the courthouse. I would stand in line, and eventually get to the front, so the librarian could reach and take a book off whatever shelf I couldn’t reach, open it to the page I needed. I would read it, two seconds later, because of what was on the page, I had to get another book, I would go back to the back of the lineup. Long story short, in eight hours, I produced absolutely nothing, and he fired me after 3 months. Harry picked me up right away. And I know we’re getting too much into Harry here. Harry having done criminal law, where you have to think on your feet. And during lunch hour he would race into my office, he would toss a file over my desk, and halfway down the hallway as he was departing, I would yell out in desperation, “Harry! When is the trial?” And just as he was turning the corner to disappear, he would pick his arm up, look at his wristwatch, and bark back to me “In about 90 minutes.”

[Al and Penny laugh] 

Tim Louis  14:20
And that’s how I learned to think on my feet. He was an amazing human being, and we could talk, as I mentioned a moment ago, for ten podcasts about Harry. But he politicized me, but he also taught me how to practice law. Cut to the chase, be practical, don’t charge people a fee for nothing. If you’re not giving them something of substance, and you’re just giving them fluff, then they don’t deserve to be charged. Harry taught me discipline. He taught me determination. He taught me selflessness. He taught me altruism, and so on, and so on.

Al Etmanski  15:02
Thank you. Thank you for that dive back into history. I do want to talk to you at some point — but maybe when this is over — about that expression, ‘think on your feet.’ You think very quickly, but you think on your tires maybe more than your feet [laughs].

[Penny laughs]

Al Etmanski  15:18
Penny, as I say, you and I — our lives intersect via the conference or workshop venues that we used to attend. And in the room there always seems to be people who are gathering around you. And so I want to talk about this question of mentorship as well. One of the most influential people in British Columbia now, one of the most influential public servants is Jennifer Charlesworth, who's the Representative for Children and Youth. And without hesitation, she credits you for getting her into this field way back when, and meeting you, when you were a lecturer at the University of Victoria. Do you remember that, and do you see yourself as a mentor? I know, when I hear you talk sometimes I think you actually want to make it very, very clear you're a colleague, and you're very collegial about it. But can you talk a little bit about that, because Jennifer must not be the only person like that. And there are people who really do count you as a primary influence in their life.

Penny Parry  16:15
I mean, I think that's the way to frame it, that many people end up by circumstance — by chance — being in the right place, at the right moment for another person. And I distinctly remember Jennifer, because she was incredible from that very moment ago. She hadn't finished high school, then finished high school on her own, then went on a sailing trip to Maui, I think, or somewhere. And she was like, “I don't know exactly what I want to do with my life.” And I thought, “It won't matter, you’re brilliant! And the fact that you're questioning is great.” And I just remember being absolutely, incredibly struck by her. But also, she caught me at a time when I had absolute commitment to child and youth care as a practical frontline opportunity for people to influence as — with all respect to my degrees in psychology — but a psychologist doesn't get to have breakfast with kids. A psychologist doesn't wander in when kids are at their best, at their worst, at their whatever. And so, child and youth care workers actually get to that. They see people in their everyday lives. And so, I think I must have gone on this little rant about, “If you're gonna do anything, do something real, and here’s something real.” [laughs] That's what I remember. And maybe that wasn’t what I said, but that was where I was at that moment. And, in listening to Tim, he’s got one person who stands out. And I can't say for myself that one person stood out as a mentor for me. What I can say though, there was always someone there at the right time, apparently, in the same vein as myself, when I needed to hear whatever I needed to hear. So that's my idea of mentoring as an alternative style of mentoring. That you happen to be there. And it's very much part of the literature on resiliency, which says that resilience is not about sort of, ‘do it on your own’, and you can buck-up, and fight anything. It has a number of factors in it, one of which is that the right person is there at the right time, and unbeknownst to them, has an incredible impact on you. And so, I think that's part of an alternative model of mentoring. And I'm always very surprised when people say, ‘but you had such an impact.’ Because I think, “I remember you! You were great!” I mean, the light did not shine. The trumpets didn't go off. And I just saw incredible — I just felt I was lucky in meeting incredible people, with incredible potential.

Al Etmanski  19:02
Well thank you. For your conceptualization of mentorship, I'm wondering about that in the context of your artistry. I mean, this is a whole other side of you that emerged in my awareness, much later in my relationship with you. Are there signposts along the way? Are there people along the way that you met who encouraged that side of your life? You went into pretty well full-time there.

Penny Parry  19:30
Yeah, I woke up one morning, and poor Tim, it was about six o'clock in the morning, and I said to him, “I'm going to art school.” He said, “Oh okay.” I don’t think he realized yet. And then he put me through art school, which is great. One of the things about us is, at any one point in time, one of us has been earning money, and the other has been either student or whatever. So whoever's got the money pays the bills kinda thing, wouldn’t you say?

Tim Louis  19:54
Right, yeah.

Penny Parry  19:55
But getting back to the mentorship thing, and people that were there. On the one hand, oddly enough, when I think back on me as a little kid, there were many, many messages, optimal moments, where my mother would say these little things, like when I’d come home and say, “We’re getting a new car! We’re getting a new car!” Talking about five or six. And she’d say, “Penny, you know what the best thing is about getting a new car?” And I would go, “The colour?” “No, no, the colour’s good, but not the colour.” “It’s gonna drive fast!” “That’s good too, but that’s not it. The best thing about having a new car, a car of our own, we can give other people rides.” So that's like a certain model of mentorship, and the things that you think, “Huh, that wasn’t that important.” But it was incredibly important. If you look at my choice of careers, and I realized you had moved into art — I have to say that right now I'm working on something. And I’ve always had an undercurrent, I think, art is an expression to share with other people of something we've learned. Or to provoke others into learning. So that’s how the art part of me, maybe by fluke, ends up being that alternate mentor to someone. They kind of look at something and go, “Oh, I hadn’t thought about that!” Or, “Hmmm.” And that's all I'm meaning to do, because people have it in themselves. I don’t know if that answers it.

Al Etmanski  21:31
So are you saying that for you, art is actually a form of mentorship? Of helping people? 

Penny Parry  21:45
Yeah, influencing people at the right moment. And, you know, you see people come up at times and say, “Oh I really never, blah blah blah.” And you think, “Gee, I've never thought of you being surprised at what you’re telling me you’re surprised at. But way to go.” And so yeah, for me, as I say, mentorship. I really think you were very lucky Tim, to have Harry, because I think that's a really incredible model. And I wanted to say that, again, I was brought up in Quebec, in the era of Duplessis, and all of that stuff. So the politics of things and voting was like, you voted for whoever the priest told you to vote for, the man of the house did it, the wife voted as the husband did. So I didn’t have a lot of exposure to, let's say formal politics. So Tim, one of the things you have mentored me on, is more of a real understanding of some of the aspects of politics. Which I would have known as just downright good philosophy, or what a person ought to do anyway. But I never knew it was embodied in who gets elected, or how you can make a policy, to actually make these things happen.

Al Etmanski  22:55
So, Tim and Penny, I wanted to turn for a while just to the issues associated with people with disabilities. And, Tim, in your Wikipedia, I don't know if you wrote it, or if you had somebody write it, or somebody wrote it. And whether you've looked at it or not, but there's no mention of your advocacy in the disability world, and a lot of your bios omit that part of your life. So I guess is that a conscious choice? Was it a conscious choice? Do you have an ambivalent relationship with that part of yourself? I’m just wondering if you have any reflections or thoughts on them? 

Tim Louis  23:31
No I did not write the page or have anybody write it for me. You ask a very good question. In my mind, and so it's a fine line between identifying as quote-unquote disabled, and then being given perhaps a break or whatever, that you wouldn’t get otherwise, and not doing that. In my politics, I was always very determined to speak to the issues that were concerned to me. And I'm not sure that I’m being fair here, but let me just say, quote-unquote, “playing the disability card.” And I'm not really sure where that takes us, but let me go way back to when I moved out of home. I was eligible for what we now call PWD (Person with Disability), and I was eligible for all my tuition to be paid for, yada, yada, yada. And I said, “No, if an able-bodied person is not entitled to free tuition, if they’re not entitled to income assistance when they were a student, I’m going to take out student loans, and go into debt just like everybody else.” But, guess what, any expense that I incur that is unique to my disability, you — and by you I mean the State, will pay for it, whether you like it or not. Whether there is a program for it or not. So let's start with my attended care, there is no program for attended care, but guess what, you’re paying for it. When I moved into a house on 8th Avenue, I needed a little elevator at the back of the house, and I simply ordered the elevator. It was installed. And I told my then social worker, “You are going to pay for it.” And he just went faint and went white like a ghost, “Tim well you know that's not the appropriate process, you’re supposed to complete the application. I review it, it goes up the chain, eventually it goes to Victoria. They have a special division for those types of requests, and eventually you get answers.” And I said, “Well where am I to live in the meantime? I’m renting a house. You want me to live in the grass? So you will pay for it.” And so I’m probably wandering a bit from your question. I’d never consider myself to be, quote-unquote, “disabled.” But I’m not sure what that means.

Al Etmanski  26:32
Do you share that perspective that Tim just spoke of, Penny, and the line he draws? Has that shifted or changed for you? 

Penny Parry  26:40
No, I think for me, although I would frame it — not frame it differently, but I have always taken the perspective, ever since I was a little girl I think, that there's a continuum of apples, there’s a continuum of people. Some people are tall, some people are short, some people are heavy, some people are thin, some people are wiz-bang great, some people are not so fast at certain things, but they're good with their hands, and other people aren't. And so we're in a world of difference. And then what happens whether we — and that’s why for years, and I still don't like the term “special needs.” Because I argued for years, ‘everybody has the same basic needs.’ Somebody might need some help to get those needs met, but nobody’s got special needs. Because once you do that, you’re not equal. And I've seen — I think this builds on what Tim was saying. It's a fine balance because it's important when your child — and I worked for years with kids and families, but I would say that what children, and adults, and adolescents, what human beings wanna be, is not exactly like everybody else, but to be treated like everybody else. And so that's when I would fully agree that unfortunately, sometimes, people think well, “I'm special,” and that becomes their identity. And what they don't realize is that if you overdo that, you're not being treated equally. People don't give you a good run for your money in the debate, because they think, “Oh it's not fair to do that to that person.” That's not equal. That's not respect. So yes, I think we're both of one mind on that delicate thing. It's not to deny the difference, or deny that +you might need another way of reaching your need. But the needs are all the same, and the people are all the same. 

Al Etmanski  28:40
When I was researching my book, I started to pick up on what people are now calling disability pride, the assertion that we lead with our disability, and the person is the second. So that, just in terms of nomenclature, is a shift from the way I have been schooled or trained. But also I'm sensing, in that pride, anger, rising anger, a mounting anger. I feel that, in Canada — feistiness, since they're no longer willing to put up with the way people with disabilities are being treated. A feeling of, to some extent, of betrayal by the social justice movement. That the systemic discrimination against disabled people doesn't show up on anybody's radar, compared to other issues. And it's not a question of competition, but just a question of lack of acknowledgement. So you both have been involved in the movement for a long time, are observers, initiators, and whatever, do you see this as a modern version of what might have gotten you into this in the first place? Or do you see differences? Is there something different that's emerging now that you don't relate to, for example? I'm just curious what you think about this changing nature of disability, the changing narrative of disability.

Tim Louis  29:57
I'm not sure that I'm addressing this last question of yours, but at the risk of being off-point a little bit, and I’m maybe misinterpreting the women’s movement, for example, which I’m a very strong supporter of the women’s movement. But women would not consider themselves to be weaker than men, or more vulnerable than men, or more fragile than men, or less capable of standing up for themselves than men. And again, I may be off point here, but the Metro Vancouver Alliance holds a really incredible event at election time, at the Italian Cultural Centre. And another person with a disability insisted that in order to, quote-unquote accommodate anyone with a disability, there had to be people at all the doors of the Italian Cultural Centre to open up the door, walk them all the way to their seat. And all of the sudden the person with disability was being treated like a fragile ornament, and I’m trying to think of a woman having the door opened for them, a woman being led to their seat, etcetera, etcetera. They would say, “Get lost. I’m not fragile.” So I was actually quite offended by that. I got into a very beautiful, philosophical discussion with the executive director of the Metro Vancouver Alliance, about how do we properly accommodate disabled people attending that event? And there’s a line, I don’t know where you draw it, between accommodation on the one hand, and something beyond accommodation, which reinforces as a concept that people with disabilities are less resilient, and less hardy, etcetera, etcetera. And now I’m way off your point, but I just have to say this, sometimes it's been said that if a woman is assertive, it’s misconstrued as being difficult, or being aggressive. And I’ve often wondered, whether or not if a person with a disability is assertive, and puts their foot down, whether or not it’s considered inappropriate for that disabled person to be assertive, and to be outspoken. But to come back to your question, yes, there is a disability culture, just like there is a Black culture. But there's a fine line. Sometimes, I regret to say, sometimes, it’s used to create too much of something.

Penny Parry 32:55

Tim Louis  32:55
Yeah. So like when Penny was answering your question a moment ago, I know she’s not saying, for a moment, that there should not be any unique supports for people who have special needs. Of course there should be. But let’s not mollycoddle, let's not turn the person inadvertently into a child, a passive, childlike, individual. Let's not do that by mistake.

Penny Parry 33:22
Right. And I think just to pick up on that, when you said, “Let's not turn the person into a child.” There’s still, and I’m always gobsmacked by it — we go to a restaurant and the person would say [to me], “And what do you think he would like to drink?” And I say, “I have no idea, why don’t you ask him?” Right? And it’s not a bad person saying that, but the assumption is — part of balance between recognizing that some accommodation is needed, also has to be balanced with why you think that, and what assumptions you have. So somebody says, “Hey, there's a woman with a stroller and a kid, can somebody help her lift the stroller?” It's not because we think she's unable, or because she would never think of that. None of those assumptions are there. It's just like, “Yeah, let me. Here, can I help you?” And I guess, again, for me, it comes back to the way we treat each other. If we just say, “Oh, can I get that for you? Not because I think you're about to fall over or whatever. But can I help you as I would help somebody else?” 

Al Etmanski  34:29
So Penny and Tim, we’re coming to the end of our discussion, and I was gonna ask you a lot of questions about the two of you as a couple, but I think our listeners, or I encourage you to actually watch this as well — would be picking up the answers to those questions just by the interaction between the two of you over the last 40 minutes or so. But I know — I don't think it's a secret, but I know you're coming up to the 40th anniversary of you being together. So maybe the last question is from each of you, what's the secret of a lengthy romance?

[Penny smiles]

Tim Louis  35:02
Well I think I would say I’ve learned from Penny that you have to be flexible, and accommodating, and she has been incredibly flexible and accommodating with me in our early years. I was hardly ever home, I was in meetings one night or another, and working until late in the evening. And she was very understanding of that. I’m not giving it the right credit, sorry...

Penny Parry 35:33
“A little woman waiting at home, and I was hardly there.” [laughs]

Tim Louis  35:37
But yeah, I guess a part of the secret to a long relationship, is being able to have great discussions is very important. Discussions that are substantive, not to sum up some silly sitcoms that you probably shouldn't waste your time watching in the first place, let alone talk to you about it. But what is Biden up to? Is he truly a progressive? How do we get the embargo on Cuba lifted? And so on, and so on. And meaningful discussions that we have, tempered throughout the day, everyday that gives meaning to life. And to get involved in causes, in partnership together, and fighting on the same cause, that’s relevant to a long relationship.

Penny Parry 36:23
Well I thought what Tim was going to say was, when we first got together. He said, “Okay, well, we'll get together, but it's on one understanding.” All important decisions, listen to him, “I make,” — that’s Tim makes. “And any of the rest, you can make.”

Tim Louis  36:41
The unimportant decisions.

Penny Parry 36:42
The unimportant decisions…

Tim Louis  36:43
Penny gets to make.

Penny Parry 36:44
And he says, “You know what? In 40 years, there's never been an important decision.” [laughs]

[Al laughs]

Al Etmanski  36:53
Well, I just want to thank you both. For this, it’s been a real treat for me. I’ve been looking forward to this. I hope we've shared with our listeners, and those who are watching this, parts of your life that people may not have known, along with the things that they've known. In that regard. We'll have links to your work on the SFU website — including Tim, your regular blog, so we'll make sure all of that’s on there for people to follow up. So thank you both for joining us today. If you want to read more about The Power of Disability, I encourage you to check out my website. The links are on the podcast as well, or check out my latest book, The Power of Disability —

Penny Parry 37:32
I’ve read your book and it’s wonderful. Everyone in there is very powerful.

Al Etmanski  37:37
Alright thank you, well I won’t say more than that — check it out! And until the next time, bye for now. Thank you.

Tim Louis  37:44
Take care Al!

Penny Parry 37:45
Thanks Al! Bye bye!


Alex Abahmed  37:49  
This has been part five of The Power of Disability, a special six-part series of the Below the Radar podcast. Check back next Thursday for the sixth installment. This series is curated and hosted by the community organizer, social entrepreneur and author Al Etmanski. Theme music for The Power of Disability is “There Is Nothing Wrong With Me, Epilepsy” by Todd Oseki. The production of this series is supported by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement.

[music, singing: “Disease, disorder, what can it be? There’s no need for sympathy. Disease, disorder, epilepsy. There is nothing wrong with me.”]

Transcript auto-generated by and edited by the Below the Radar team.
May 20, 2021

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