Leaders on Wheels: News from students at the Mackay Centre satellite class at Westmount High

WHS-Mackay Students Publish Chapter in Book

Quebec Roots: My Community, My Values


Quebec Roots is a collaborative project in which authors, photographers, and students from classes across Quebec produce an anthology of text and images depicting life in their communities and putting forward their values. 

I went to a Quebec Roots event at Blue Metropolis a year ago and approached Quebec Roots about getting involved this year. I work with physically disabled students at the Mackay Centre satellite class at Westmount High School. We are one of the 6 schools from across the province to be in this year's edition. 

Our chapter is called Life on Wheels and addresses the reality of accessing the world in a wheelchair. We speak of the challenges but also of the humour involved. 

Over the 2013/14 school year, we worked with author Monique Polak and photographer Monique Dykstra. One of the practical considerations we needed to solve for our participation in this project was finding the right armature to attach our digital camera to a wheelchair to provide stability and allow certain students to take photographs with some independence. 

With the publishing of the book, we were all able to go to Blue Metropolis Festival and attend the launch of the latest edition of Quebec Roots that took place on May 2. We will also be presenting our book to younger students at the Mackay Centre on May 21. 

For more information and/or to order a copy of the book please contact me on the class phone:(514)-483-7200;xt 5962 or email: spiquette@emsb.qc.ca 

Proudly and Sincerely,

Sebastian Piquette


(Excerpt from our chapter in Quebec Roots 2013 Edition)

ü We don’t like it when you stare at us. We are not strange.

ü Be friendly to us. We are regular kids who happen to go to school in wheelchairs. Yeah, man!

ü If you see us struggling to pick something up or open or close a door, ask us, “Do you need my help?” Don’t just walk past us without saying anything.

ü Be patient with us. Some of us stutter or have difficulty speaking.

ü We are powerful. We can do everything, even if it is sometimes hard.

ü Don’t feel sorry for us. We are happy.