One of the biggest frustrations for the neurodiverse community in Ontario was the decision by the Ford government to scrap the UBI pilot project. The move was met with vocal opposition, with 100 of the top employers co-signing an open letter to the Ford government protesting the move. Recent looks at the growing housing bubble, the increasing disparity between the rich and poor, and generally an almost guaranteed economic crisis, I decided it was time to share a list of what I, as a person on the autism spectrum currently relying heavily on ODSP, would use UBI for in an attempt to dispel some misconceptions around the model.
Books, movies, comics, etc.
I’m an avid reader and cinephile, and yet my income restricts the number of books and movies I can read or watch each month. Being able to afford more would be ideal and increase literacy and theatre attendance in general.
Music, festivals, community events
I love music, and I love festivals and community events–but my ability to spend money on all of those is limited. Being able to do so would definitely enable me to give back to the local community in ways I’m not able to at the moment.
Food and drink
Keeping myself sustained through food and drink is a definite struggle for me, as I get emotionally deregulated very quickly when hungry, and cooking is draining and time-consuming. If I had more money, I’d eat out far more often than I’m able to now, and I’d be able to afford some of the local options. Guelph has a great food scene, but I’m not able to enjoy it or contribute to it all that well at my current income level.
I don’t see myself owning a house anytime soon, but being able to rent a one-bedroom apartment would be a huge help. Living with roommates is difficult for anyone, but doubly so for those who have the quirks of the neurodiverse, so being able to live on my own would be ideal.
Church, ministries, and non-profits
I have a heart for social justice but a lot of my ability to intervene is limited to online advocacy. I’ve been volunteering at a non-profit for a number of years now, but I’ve had to step down from that position in part because income has become a greater concern and need. Having the financial freedom to support non-profits and church outreach, as well as being able to volunteer again, would be of great benefit.