Tara Brinston

Fredericton, NB

“There are around 650 million people in the world with a disability; 400 million living in a developing country. If they all lived in the same place, they would make up the third largest country in the world. It would be the least educated country; with the highest rate of infant mortality; few employment opportunities and restricted access to democratic processes. It would be the poorest country in the world.”

This is the driving force behind Tara Brinston’s five-year focus on the rights of persons with an intellectual disability. Tara is from Fredericton, New Brunswick and is a graduate of St. Thomas University. She is a dedicated community member and a driving force in the disability movement here in Canada. In 2011, Tara was named Director for Canada’s International People’s Project where she was able to blend her two passions together; international travel and disability rights. For this project Tara helped support 12 international delegates from eight countries worldwide to complete a 21-day community impact project in New Brunswick. From this, delegates learned and shared stories about disability rights and the treatment of persons with a disability in their own countries as well as in Canada. With this knowledge, Tara was able to host a summer camp for families with children with a disability.

On top of all of these accomplishments, Tara is a regular facilitator and presenter for numerous workshops, seminars and conferences on a large variety of disability topics. She speaks to schools and campuses on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the first human rights convention of the 21st century with the highest number of signatories for the first day of signing) and the use of the “r-word”. Tara feels these two topics are of utmost importance in moving disability rights forward globally.

“I am proud to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

Tara’s vision for the future is to one day not be needed. She hopes that “disability advocates do not exist, because all people are welcomed, valued, and included. I envision governments, community groups and organizations including persons with disabilities in their conversations and planning when improving overall education, employment, and housing options and when thinking about poverty. I envision persons with disabilities having a choice and voice in their lives. I envision a world that celebrates everyone’s individual gifts and embraces the diversity that is humanity.”