We live in a province where language is a huge issue. I can't even begin to tell you how many times people have said to me "Oh your son doesn't speak French?! Do you realize you live in Quebec"? Really, thank you kindly for pointing that out. Do YOU realize my son is autistic and for the first five years of his life barely spoke?
Raising awareness is often a good first step, and functions well as a means to an end -- but it cannot be viewed as an end in itself. Activism simply does not end with the sharing of a Facebook post or a retweet; it's great to tell your friends that something is important enough to share with them, but it's virtually meaningless if it doesn't lead to further action.
One late spring day, there was a party invitation from Laurie on my desk when I walked into French class. Laurie was the "funny one" of the very popular girls. She was snarky before snarky was a thing. She had a quick wit that stung. I'd seen girls driven to tears by her so often I lost count. Our only conversations had been her asking me for help with algebra, so I had no idea why I was invited.
While volunteering and working with autistic children, Lisa Fraser noticed one of the key therapeutic devices of the day was, in her eyes, really ugly. The weighted vests was like slapping a label on kids and saying "Hey, look at me! I'm different." She believed that bringing a better design and even some style into these kids' lives, was an endeavour worth pursuing.