“As a public representative I will speak very loudly for our most vulnerable people with mental/physical disabilities and our seniors in our community.” Ashan Fernando
By Ron Sandison
Editor’s Note: This is an informative article. The Art of Autism nonprofit does not endorse specific candidates.
As a disability advocate, author, and mental field worker with autism, I was excited to interview Ashan Fernando, a candidate for City of Toronto Councillor Ward 25, Scarborough-Rouge Park. I enjoyed hearing Ashan passion to serve his community and be a voice for individuals with mental health and disabilities. In this leadership position, Ashan will provide experience and integrity with a dedication to serve the people by making their voices and needs heard.
1. What sparked your interests in politics and passion to serve your community in a government position?
I became interested to run for politics as we have been neglected, disregarded and our people’s concerns are not addressed. I am running for the Role of City of Toronto Councillor Ward 25, Scarborough-Rouge Park to put the everyday people front and center in decision making and make their voice heard loudly at Toronto City Hall. I also want to address and increase supports for people with mental and physical disabilities and to make it easy to access support programs and or services without any barriers. My Ultimate focus is For the People and I will be a servant and community leader for my neighbors, friends of Ward 25, Scarborough-Rouge Park. I will also speak very loudly for our most vulnerable people with mental/physical disabilities and our seniors in our community.
2. What leadership qualities did you learn from your parents and teachers?
The leadership qualities I have gained from my work experience and from my mentors are Integrity, Empathy, Creativity, Honesty, Positivity & Active Listening.
3. What are your three top qualities as a leader?
Trust, Inspiration & Interpersonal Communication.
4. As Toronto City Councillor, how will you empower people with disabilities and autism for employment, housing and financial?
I will address all barriers that people with mental/physical disabilities face with speaking with them directly as they know their challenges first hand. I will speak up for them in the city level and provide programs and coaching to prepare them for suitable employment with work place accommodations in place for them.
We need affordable housing that is accessible for people with mental/physical disabilities such as subsidize housing more units to be created in Toronto. I will strongly call on the provincial government and work closely with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to urgently double the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) to provide sustainable financial support for shelter, food, clothing, medicine.
6. What does community inclusion mean to you?
Community inclusion means to have everyone engaged in the decision-making process and have consultations with the community to hear their concerns, issues and suggestions and to stay constantly connected with the community.
7. As Advocacy Disability Council Member at Surrey Place, how have you advocated for people with disabilities and enriched their lives?
I speak about the daily Struggles that people with disabilities face and help in finding solutions to overcome or help with those struggles. Asking members for advice and their opinions and respecting each other’s opinions. Advocating for development disabilities by making YouTube videos and sharing it on social media to create awareness. Currently the Advocacy Disability Council is planning a Self-Advocates Networking and Wellness Fair for February 2023 for all peoples with disabilities.
8. How has your educational background and experiences equipped you for Toronto City Councillor?
I have over 20+ years experience serving the public in customer relations and that I graduated from George Brown College with a Hotel Management Diploma. I will be an outstanding City of Toronto Councillor for the people and provide the best customer service to my Constituents. I will always ensure that all my constituents are heard, listen to and their concerns addressed. I will have a community hub once a month for everyone in Ward 25 to come to and speak with me as well as community get togethers.
Nobody Will Be Ignored, Neglected or Left in The Dark. I will hold consultations with all my neighbors and friends of Ward 25. We will all work together for our Ward 25, Scarborough-Rouge Park.
9. How will you eliminate wasted spending at City Hall and help local businesses thrive?
I will call for an audit of city spending and bring financial accountability to Toronto City Hall and maintain our current public core services and put in incentives to grow our small businesses in Toronto.
10. What advice would you give to young adults who desire to serve their community?
Believe In Yourself, Be Positive & Lead by Example.
ABOUT ASHAN FERANDO
Hello, I am Ashan Fernando, it’s my privilege to run for Toronto City Councillor to represent Ward 25, Scarborough-Rouge Park. I’m a dedicated, passionate, optimistic Scarborough-Rouge Park Resident for over 22 plus years and am driven to get it done at Toronto City Hall for us.
with my career experience in Customer Service, Hospitality and Office Administration Professional with 20+ years and in a unique range of industries, including Telecommunications, Hotel and Retail. I received the Culture Award and Customer Service Excellence Award from Rogers Communications and the MVP Awards from Fido Canada and Best Buy Canada.
My strong work ethic, reliability, organizational ability, and outgoing personality makes me a valuable advocate with a passion and drive to deliver results for our Ward 25.
I graduated from George Brown College with a Hotel Management Diploma with honours. As your elected City Councillor, I will maintain the open dialogue of communication by email, phone or in person. I will ensure your voice and concerns are heard loudly at City Hall.
I am a mental and physical disabilities advocate for the vulnerable people and very involved in the hospitality industry as a hospitality professional. I am a member of the Hotel Association Of Canada and advocating for the hospitality industry with the President & CEO Susie Grynol. I am also on the advocacy disability council at Surrey Place as a council member.
Contact Ashan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Sandison works full time in the medical field and is a professor of theology at Destiny School of Ministry. He is an advisory board member of Autism Society Faith Initiative of Autism Society of America. Sandison has a Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University and is the author of A Parent’s Guide to Autism: Practical Advice. Biblical Wisdom, published by Charisma House and Thought, Choice, Action. He has memorized over 10,000 Scriptures including 22 complete books of the New Testament and over 5,000 quotes. Ron’s third book Views from the Spectrum was released in May 2021.
Ron frequently guest speaks at colleges, conferences, autism centers, and churches. Ron and his wife, Kristen, reside in Rochester Hills, MI, with a baby daughter, Makayla Marie born on March 20, 2016.
You can contact Ron at his website www.spectruminclusion.com or email him at email@example.com