Disability and Mental Health Rights Activist Feature: Aleena Qasim

Disability Rights Feature: Aleena Qasim

Disability Rights: Aleena Qasim. Aleena Qasim is a psychology graduate from the University of Alberta. Aleena Qasim advocates for mental health rights. She has dedicated her time to enhancing the livelihood of disabled children and adults in Edmonton. She is the writer of an 83-page resource handbook for employees working with disabled clients. This handbook was put together throughout a semester of dedicated research. It was written for “AdaptAbilities,” a nonprofit dedicated to empowering people with special needs.

For Aleena, inspiration to create the handbook was garnered through working with disabled people. It was also through realizing how little new employees tend to be taught about the diagnoses of clients they are working with. She was motivated to make a change that would serve the disabled people. Additionally, this change would educate the general population on how to engage with children and adults with common diagnoses. These include Autism, Down Syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome, and more. The handbook will also be made available for public use.

Aleena’s Service

Aleena is well-known for her service in the general community and displays a passion for empowering marginalized people. For example, she was a volunteer at the Stollery Hospital PCICU unit. Her role involved comforting children in distressed situations and guiding family members. She also taught visitors how to practice proper hand hygiene upon entering the unit. She also worked closely with nurses to provide assistance in the unit.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Aleena was employed at Saint Thomas Health Center. She provided aid for elderly people in their day-to-day lives. She also signed in visitors and staff. Furthermore, she ensured that they were fully vaccinated and changed their masks to avoid the spread of the virus. Aleena is also very involved in the university community, where she delivered resources and academic advice to students in the Faculty of Education. She demonstrates a robust level of compassion for those in need and enriches the lives of people around her constantly.

Role as Community Specialist

Currently, Aleena Qasim is a Community Specialist at AdaptAbilities, where she works front-line as an ambassador and ally. Her aim is to create a community-enriched, caring, and safe environment for disabled individuals and their families. Her role involves engaging with special-needs children to reach their goals and aid them in creating meaningful days. She worked in the Hearts in Action summer camp, where daily activities and field trips were arranged and catered to those with special needs.

Aleena has also worked with special-needs adults. Her role involved assisting them in finding employment and reaching their individual goals and aspirations. Aleena believes that disabled people are entitled to more inclusion from the general public. She believes not enough has been done to make the world an equitable place for those with special needs. She aims to primarily by break down barriers to employment and education and ensure that disabled people have access to the services they need to flourish.

Her Work in the Community

Aleena believes that accepting feedback from disabled people regarding how well their needs are being met is an excellent way to enhance services and ensure that they are benefiting the population they aim to serve. As abled people, we should not be satisfied with doing “just enough” to include disabled people in general society. Rather, it is an ongoing process that requires more attention and appropriate action to empower those with special needs.

Aleena Qasim has an admirable track record of service to the community, both locally and globally. In addition to her work at AdaptAbilities, she has been involved in numerous anti-oppressive movements. Aleena is a vocal advocate for Palestinian rights, and she has taken part in several protests in Edmonton to raise awareness about the apartheid state of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. She also supports the Land Back movement for Indigenous people in Canada and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Community Recognition for Her Work

In recognition of her tireless work in these areas, Aleena has received several awards and accolades. In 2019, she received the “Changemaker Award” from the University of Alberta’s Department of Psychology, which is given to a psychology student who has made a significant impact on their community. She was also the recipient of the “Volunteer of the Year” award from AdaptAbilities in 2020 for her outstanding service to the organization.

Aleena’s dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of disabled individuals has not gone unnoticed. Her work has been featured in local media, including the Edmonton Journal and CTV News. She has also been invited to speak at conferences and events on topics related to disability advocacy and inclusion.

Creating a Safe Space

As a community specialist at AdaptAbilities, Aleena’s role involves creating a safe and caring environment for disabled individuals and their families. She works closely with special-needs children and adults, helping them to achieve their goals and aspirations. Aleena believes that disabled people should have more access to employment and education opportunities, and she is committed to breaking down barriers that prevent them from living fulfilling lives.

Her Personal Life

In her free time, Aleena enjoys painting, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. She is a strong believer in self-care and makes sure to take time for herself to recharge and reflect.

Overall, Aleena Qasim is an inspiring individual who has dedicated her life to making the world a better place for disabled individuals and marginalized communities. Her commitment to social justice and equality is unwavering, and she serves as a role model for others who wish to make a positive impact on their communities.

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